Essay On Femininity And Masculinity

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Bodies are not just defined by biological differences. Sex differences alone, do not determine one’s masculinity or femininity as gender is a social process. Gender is about how one uses their body to express themselves. Bodies become gendered at a very young age through the process of socialisation. Gender can be formally defined as the social differences of being feminine or masculine that are influenced by society (Holmes, 2007, p. 2). Young children are strongly influenced by school, peers and family/primary carers; these institutions are the first points of contact for children in understanding and learning gender. Society influences and contributes towards a sense of self, identity and therefore gender. Although some individuals have agency and the ability to make their own choices to some extent, these choices are often restrained by social structures…show more content…
This does not mean that it is permanent or constant, instead it can be viewed as something that people do and something that is performed. Gender is not static, it is fluid and can be measured on a continuum of masculinity and femininity. This gender socialisation theory can be applied to how young boys and girls are taught to approach physical activity and sport in different ways. This process begins from a young age; although observing one’s biological sex can influence femininity and masculinity to a degree, individuals do have agency to some extent, which allows them to make their own decisions about how they perform gender (Butler, 2007, p. 47). Yet in terms of children and even adults having the agency to decide to take up sport either in a social or professional capacity, there are structural barriers in place that make it more difficult for women and girls excel in and participate in certain sports. It is a far easier for boys and men to do well in sport. This is due to boys and girls being taught to perform gender and use their bodies in different
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