What are gender stereotypes and how are they conveyed in our society? According to Mior and Jessel (1989), gender refers to the socially constructed roles of, and relations between, men and women, while 'Sex' refers to biological characteristics which define humans as female or male. These biological characteristics are not mutually exclusive however, as there are individuals who possess both. This definition is also shared by the website http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender. A stereotype is a popular belief about specific social groups or types of individuals.
However, stereotypes have a major part in an individual’s sense of “gender identity”. When someone wants to describe a male usually, use words such as forceful, powerful, and brave. When describing a woman it is quite the opposite, we are inclined to use descriptive words like kind, affectionate and insightful. Although the application of conveying stereotypical definitions to the sexes is the social custom, this also unlocks the way for unenthusiastic effects when investigating these crucial qualities from an additional sensible approach (Rathus, Nevid & Fichner-Rathus, 2005). Stereotypes may also confuse or hinder the openness to which we express ourselves, and our sexuality.
These gender roles once were the societal standards and expectations that a young man or woman aimed to live by. They could almost be described as characteristic guidelines that one could aim for; giving young people a sense of direction. (Eldridge, 2005) James’s three main characters Basil, Olive and Verena portray three separate identities of the feminist movement that became the unraveling of gender roles. Basil represents the role of men, Olive represents those women consumed by the feminist movement and Verena represents those women caught in the middle. (Habegger, 1969) What is missing in this portrayal is men post feminist movement and the effects it has had on them and women who wish to live by their feminine roots.
Ideology is communicated through the use of signs, including advertisements. Advertisements are one way to sell a product by creating a relationship between the brand and a particular lifestyle. It is clear that some advertisers are willing to manipulate these fantasies and exploit our gender identities to sell their products. The Napoleon Perdis advertisement I have chosen to do reinforces the stereotypes of men and women. Through the use of a semiotic analyse I will discuss the way gender is acknowledged within the Napoleon Perdis summer skincare advertisement.
Ignorance What causes cross-cultural conflicts? In the articles “Sex and Gender” by William Thompson and Joseph Hickey, “Sex, Lies, and Conversation” by Deborah Tannen, and “Identity in Transformation” by Yasmin Ahmed, each will explore the many obstacles people face in their lives and demonstrate how clashes among different cultures are caused by assumptions manifested from expectations. In “Sex and Gender,” William Thompson and Joseph Hickey explain the differences between sex and gender. Most altercations come from the differences in terms of sex and gender that aren’t clear to others, ”Sex is based on biological and physical differences between females and males; gender refers to a cultural understanding of what constitutes masculinity and femininity in a society” (285). Sex is established by genetics whereas gender is shaped by ones particular society at particular times.
Differences in cognition between men and women are highly influenced by their roles in the society and culture they belong to. For example, in a society where women are defined by their male partner and depend on him economically, it is likely that they will depend on them mentally as well and will be more prone to develop depression when losing them than the other way around. Although there are biological explanations to the reason why females tend to be more prone to depression (hormonal changes in puberty, menopause or the premenstrual period, for example), I do not believe depression could be evoked solely by hormonal changes (because otherwise depression would be even more common among females) without the participation of environmental factors in addition. Another reason why I believe socio- cultural explanations are more relevant when explaining gender differences in prevalence of depression is because these
HOW ARE OUR SOCIAL EXPECTATIONS OF MASCULINITY CHANGING? To understand how the social expectations of masculinity are changing in today’s society, it is necessary to look in-depth at the concept of ‘hegemonic masculinity’ (Connell 2000), its impact on men and how this concept appears to be changing for some men, yet appears to be still embedded within masculinity in some sections of contemporary society today. In sociological terms, masculinity is taken for granted, it is a ‘norm’ and it is not associated with gender or compared to women (Van Krieken, Habibis, Smith, Hutchins, Haralambos and Holborn 2006). The social construction of masculinity was studied in depth by Connell (1995). Connell looked at gender and the human body in three ways, firstly, the biological difference between men and women, secondly sociologically and lastly where there is a ‘compromise’, where the previous two are somewhat combined.
How can you compare a hand gun to the male characters having “super powers” and control of army like tankers during their battles? It is hard to believe there would be such a significant difference just because of one’s sex. A person’s sex (male/female) can have an effect on the glass ceiling theory. This theory helps one to understand why women can’t reach the same prestige as a male can. This video just teaches one that our gender is truly defined by society.
(Al-Ghafari) Some gender roles confine both sexes to traditional duties and responsibilities. Media plays a role in constructing gender roles and in presenting the image of the girl as a woman, and the boy as a man that has different roles. (Al-Ghafari) Media can play a significant part in transmitting a society’s culture to children. The way in which gender is portrayed contributes to the images that children develop about their own roles in society. Gender bias can be seen in books, movies and television shows, for example, evil female characters, such as the stepmother and the ugly witch.
Since claiming their role in society as capable human beings, women have been treated unfairly in the society when they haven’t been directly excluded from various fields that are socially less “suitable” for a woman. As a young man who has grown up with significant female influence in my life and as a young musician who is in a rock band with two women, I know these stereotypical male views to be completely baseless. Even in infancy children are doused in the complex ideas of gender roles and what it means to belong to a certain gender. Before encountering the views of a patriarchal society a child will first encounter this sexism in the home, no matter how subtle. While boys are encouraged to be adventurous and granted freedom that is perhaps undeserved, their female counterparts will be given toy ovens and princess dolls to play with.