Becoming Essay

2147 WordsOct 19, 20149 Pages
BECOMING MEMBERS OF SOCIETY: LEARNING THE SOCIAL MEANINGS OF GENDER by AARON H. DEVOR Author: * Born in 1951 as Holly Devor * 2002, Devor announced his decision to live as a man and to adopt the name Aaron H. Devor * A professor of sociology, Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of Victoria in British Colombia, a member of the International Academy of Sex Research and author of FTM: Female-to-Male Transsexuals in Society (1997) Reading (387) * This selection is taken from his groundbreaking book, Gender Blending: Confronting the Limits of Duality (1989) * Gender is the most transparent of all social categories: we acquire gender roles so early in life and so thoroughly that it’s hard to see them as the result of lessons taught and learned. * Maleness and femaleness seem “natural,” not the product of socialization. * Aaron suggests that many of our notions of what it means to be female or male are socially constructed * He also touches on the various ways that different cultures define gender. The Gendered Self (387) * Learning to be properly gendered members of society begins with the establishment of gender identity which acts as a filter guiding people learn gender role behaviors appropriate (to their statuses) * Learning to behave in accordance with one’s gender identity is a lifelong process. Society demands different gender performances from us as we growing up and moving through our lives, and we are either rewarded or punished differently according to the social norm * As children learn that they are members of a group of gender, they come to see themselves in terms they have learned from the people around them. * For example: (387-388) + Children begin to settle into a gender identity between the age of eighteen months and two years. By this age, children usually understand that they are

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