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Gender Roles And Stereotypes

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Are children born with certain gender stereotypes or are they learned based on culture? The question at hand is multifaceted – one part tradition and the other part genetics. According to the World Health Organization, “gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women (World Health Organization, 2015). However, there is an alternative theory supported by some evolutionary psychologists. The idea of gender roles and stereotypes seems to be gaining more attention in the twenty-first century, as many traditional paradigms are changing. With the exception of their gentiles and possibly their clothing, boys and girls have few differences during the…show more content…
They believe that people evolve to perform certain tasks based on their genders. An example of this would be the typical American home in the 1950’s: The dad goes to work and manages the money while the mom handles the kids and manages the house. This comes from the idea that men are naturally more strong, which allows them to work more efficiently, and women are typically better with children and organization. Opposing the nature argument is one that is growing in popularity. This argument states that nature is only responsible for a person’s gender but not in the creation of gender roles. The nurture argument is one that views men and women as equally capable of performing certain tasks. Moreover, social norms such as gender specific colors or activities are due to the culture that a child is raised in. As children move through development they begin to develop different gender roles and gender stereotypes that are influenced by their peers and caregivers…show more content…
The number of male programmers compared to female programmers is staggeringly unequal. According to one study by the Association of American Universities institutions, “only about 5 percent of full-time professors and 4.2 percent of the chairs in engineering, mathematics and statistics, earth sciences, chemistry, and physics and astronomy combined were female” (Bystydzienski & Bird, 2006). Although my opinion may be seen as biased, given my upbringing, I believe I would side with the nurture argument regardless. Aside from the countless studies and experiments supporting this argument, one needs only to apply logic and reason to realize that gender stereotypes are the product of social and cultural norms. These social norms tend to favor the male gender and end up causing physical and mental harm to the female gender. Women tend to have fewer opportunities and human rights compared to men. Unfortunately, ideologies such as religion and tradition seem to promote this inequality and oppression. Bystydzienski, J. M., & Bird, S. R. (2006). Removing barriers: Women in academic science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
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