The Gendered and Gendering Institutions

1430 WordsDec 7, 20126 Pages
When describing something that influences your gender, most people would assume that your “sex” or our biological identification given to us at birth would be the most definite source; however there are multiple factors and processes that contribute to one’s gender identity. The multitudes of institutions that assist in the socialization of an individual vary from person to person, but are all beneficial in creating a sense of gender. According to Michael Messner, there are two types of institutions, the gendered and the gendering. The gendered institution is described by Messner as “an institution constructed by gender relations. As such, its structures and values (rules, formal organizations, sex composition, etc.) reflect dominant…show more content…
I still find myself watching and participating in sports, although not as passionately as I once had, but it is always in the back of my mind. I believe that I relate easily to the male sex because I understand their topics of interests that a lot of other girls my age do not. While I do identify as a girl, my interests, style of dress, laid back attitude, and casual appearance seem to identify more with the masculine identity. Whether this is due to the institution of sports or biological genetics, is a completely different argument. While basketball had an extremely big influence on my gender identity, growing up in a house of predominantly women; myself, my mother, and my two sisters, had an extreme impact on me, and how I viewed femininity. My Mother, extremely proud of us all, held no reservations, no expectations of gender, and was open to anything we wanted to try as children to establish an identity for ourselves; a true gift in which not everyone is exempt to. Growing up in a household that was flexible and fluid about personal identity and gender, I found this to be an extremely influential gendering institution. The expectations of the household were pretty fair and straightforward, the chores must be completed by Sunday nights, didn’t matter who did them as long as they got done. Curfews never changed, if you were coming home it had to be by midnight and if you were staying at a
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