Gender is not associated with one’s physical constructive, then again, it is far more confounding. It is characterised as “the complex interrelationship between an individual’s sex (gender biology) and one’s internal sense of self as male, female, both or neither (gender identity) as well as one’s outward presentations and behaviour (gender expression), related to that perception, including their gender roles.” Freud pointed out that when we meet a person, the first thing that we notice and establish is that person’s gender. Most of the times, if we are not able to place or establish a person’s gender, it will cause inconvenience to us. Perhaps, this ‘establishment’ is interlinked with the way we behave with the person, which is explained by the gender system, predominant in one’s culture. A gender system incorporates “processes that define males and females as different in socially significant ways and justify inequality on the basis of that difference.” This gender system lays down the guidelines about what behaviour a particular society expects of males and females.
Throughout history, we have seen the same stereotypes placed on gender, men should be strong and brave. They are the ones that support their families while women are the caregivers and the nurturers and handling the household. According to Emily Kane in “Glamour Babies” and “Little Toughies”, “gender is not a straightforward amplification of underling biological differences between male and females; rather, gender is constructed through social processes and enforced through social mechanisms.” With that being said Kane feels that we should not limit ourselves to those preconceived notions of what men and women can do. According to Kane, we should not believe that men and women could not develop certain mental or psychological attributes merely because of their sex. This mean that we do not have to fall into the trap of preconceived notions, such as; if we are born a girl we will love the color pink and do poorly in mathematics.
What Influences Gender Role Specifics Within Society? Colleen Ann Jardine Thongsook College, July 2016 Abstract The family unit, education, and the media play a huge role in socially constructing genders to into specific behaviors and roles that are the expected and termed “norms” within society. Children are made aware of the cultural and societal norms through subtle messages at a very young age and it has been embedded in them by the age of 4 or 5. Children, being at a disadvantage accept it as a natural form of behavior which has lasting effects, good and bad right into their adulthood. Unfortunately, not all adults realize the true reality and continue the same cycle with their offspring.
Gender Roles can be defined as roles society expects people to play on account of their sex life. Like all roles, gender roles are made up of sets of expectations, so they can be thought of as sets of expiations, so they can be thought of as sets of expectation that are attached to sex. (pp: 220 John E. Farley & Michael W. Flota). Gender roles are separate patterns of personality traits, mannerisms, interests, attitudes, and behaviors that are regarded as either male or female by one 's culture. Gender roles are also exist with respect to interpersonal behavior (it still common for men to ask women for dates than vice versa).
“Gender identities are formed from birth as children are moulded into socially-approved patterns of masculinity and femininity. But, while early childhood is undoubtedly a crucial period in the formation of gender identities, masculinities and femininities are being created and recreated throughout the lifecycle: confirmed, negotiated and modified on a daily basis” (Jackson 201). Therefore, masculinity is a theory like feminism deals with the status of men in a particular society. It questions the power relation of masculinity in a given context. The study of masculinity theory is always relational with women, gay, tough guy etc.
How can the word ‘gender’ be defined? The American Psychological Association refers to gender as, “The attitudes, feelings, and behaviors that a given culture associates with a person’s biological sex.” Gender is not to be confused with an individual’s sex, which is predicated solely on biological factors, such as genitalia and sex chromosomes. Gender has become a social construct, and society has absolute control in defining gender roles; stifling creativity and innovation. Gender construction is the distinction between the two sexes and attribution of traits and characteristics through gender roles. The culture within a society defines what is considered masculine or feminine.
What he means is that one’s sex derives from one’s reproductive organs and genital configurations , whereas gender refers to the amount of stereotypical femininity and masculinity a person exhibits. Gayle Rubin, for instance, uses the term ‘sex/gender system’ in order to describe “a set of arrangements by which the biological raw material of human sex and procreation is shaped by human, social intervention” (1975, 165). To inhibit one’s gender means having to learn behaviour, manners, gestures and attitudes that our culture deems appropriate to each sex. It is through learning these patterns that we become socialized and gendered, moving from our individual anatomical sex (being male or female) to a processed social product (behaving as a man or woman). From the social and cultural expectations for a man and the manner and degree to which he acknowledges and lives up to them we derive the concept of masculinity; those applicable to a woman, together with her compliance with them, we think of as femininity.
The general aim of these works has been to condemn the male attitude towards women. ‘Sex’ according to her is determined biologically and ‘Gender’ is a social construct through stereotyping and conditioning. The two terms quiet often used in Gender Studies have different meanings. Sex defines the maleness and femaleness of a person, a biological difference in genitalia. Gender is the socio-cultural definition of man and woman with roles and behaviour assigned to them by society.