“Gender is a term that has psychological and cultural connotations. Gender is the amount of masculinity and femininity found in a person, and, obviously, while there are mixtures of both in many humans. The normal male has a preponderance of masculinity and the normal female a preponderance of femininity.” (Stoller, 1968, pp 9-10) Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women. It is a constructed category that is culturally defined as masculine and feminine. When it comes to gender, there is no one single masculine or feminine identity.
Are gender and sex the same thing? Explain why or why not? “Gender is defined by FAO as ‘the relations between men and women, both perceptual and material. Gender is not determined biologically, as a result of sexual characteristics of either women or men, but is constructed socially. It is a central organizing principle of societies, and often governs the processes of production and reproduction, consumption and distribution,” (FAO, 1997).
Are gender and sex the same thing? Explain why or why not? According to "Eldis" (2013), “'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.” (1) Gender and sex are similar but they are not the same thing. I say this because a person can have the sexual characteristics of a man but still have the gender of a woman e.g.
Throughout history in the United States, people have always been categorized into different groups based on distinct factors. In today’s society, gender, race, and class tend to be the main three distinctions of the human species. Everyone fits into these categories and being neutral is generally not an option. Starting at a young age, you are conditioned to identify with your gender. Girls wear pink and play with Barbie’s while boys wear blue and play with toy trucks.
For example, cultural feminists look to the different values associated with womanhood and femininity as a reason why men and women experience the social world differently. Other feminist theorists believe that the different roles assigned to women and men within institutions better explain gender difference, including the sexual division of labor in the household. Existential and phenomenological feminists focus on how women have been marginalized and defined as the “other” in patriarchal societies. Women are thus seen as objects and are denied the opportunity for self-realization. Gender Inequality: Gender-inequality theories recognize that women's location in, and experience of, social situations are not only different but also unequal to men's.
It begins when a child is born; at this stage a child is labelled a boy or a girl and can have all sorts of influences of how the baby is treated (e.g. we commonly dress boys in blue and girls in pink). Money and Ehrhart proposed that social labelling and differential treatment of boys and girls can lead to different paths of socialisation, however this varies depending of the cultural views of masculinity and femininity (e.g. some cultures have gender expectations, stereotypically males must play with cars and action figures whereas girls have to play will dolls, however some cultures do not label activities so stereotypically.) Social constructionist theory suggests the concepts of gender are not natural but made/constructed within a particular time and place through language.
There are also various factors such as social class and gender that affect the treatment and experiences of children. Furthermore, genders are assigned different roles providing them with different, often unequal opportunities (e.g. according to Oakley, females are more likely to perform domestic labour than males). Child liberationists such as Firestone and Holt argue that children are oppressed by adults. Adults have full control over the freedom of children, particularly parents.
How is gender a social construction of reality? The typical gender identity widely known today such as the girly girl or the tough boy was formed by our society. The term gender is a symbolic construction that expresses the meanings a society confers on biological sex. Social construction of reality is that by consistently being treated in a certain way, we begin to expect to be treated in that way. With that being said, there is some sort of development of awareness of what is normal and what is not for a gender.
What is Gender ? Gender means those characteristics which defines or explains if someone is masculine or feminine according to their behavioral differences, for example how they dress or act towards others, the kinds of work they do and their status in society. Gender refers to the social attributes and opportunities associated with being male and female and the relationships between women and men and girls and boys, as well as the relations between women and those between men. Some critics argue that gender roles in modern society are based on women being inferior to men. I agree because of a countless observation at social arenas, such as workplace, the average household, educational institution, and even in our nation’s government.
Society and its Effects on Gender Roles Many people don’t know the difference between gender and sex. Sex is anatomical and biological. Gender roles are expectations of how a person should act, dress, and talk based on our sex. Gender roles are learned mainly through social interaction instead of biologically. When we are born we have very little concept of our gender and we learn “proper” behavior through society and our relationships with others.