Theoretical Background A variety of theoretical approaches to the study of language and gender have developed to account for gender differences in language use. However, interpretation of speech differences between men and women is associated with two main approaches: dominance approach and difference approach. The dominance approach is proposed by researchers such as Lakoff (1975), Spender (1980), and Zimmerman and West (1975). This approach claimed that gender differences in speech are the consequence of unequal distribution of power and status in society. The central focus of this model is male dominance and gender discrimination, viewing women as oppressed and minority group.
Throughout history, people have portrayed men and women differently often requiring of the former masculinity and of the latter femininity. Society often tries to assign specific traits for men and specific traits for women. The value of a women is different than a man’s value. This leaves society with the question, “What does it mean for a man to be masculine and a woman to be feminine?” Are these phrases established to help us identify genders? In society, it is intimated that men have to possess the masculinity gender and women have to possess the femininity gender.
According to this, gender identity could be a more significant predictor of the individuals’ behavior than is biological sex. Whereas gender involves the mannerisms and comportments considered characteristic of each sexual category, gender identity is more properly used when these attributions are made with oneself as the stimulus person (Unger, 1979). Gender identity takes multiple forms and can be a concept filled with ambiguity and uncertainty, because the messages about gender can come from a large number of sources (e.g., society, organizations, friends, family) that are often uneven and contradictory. This identity is a social construction under a constant development where social norms, structures, people and the self are very important (Ely & Padavic, 2007). Gender was classified as a social category linked with multiple social processes that generate and sustain differences between women and men not making it an innate concept for people.
However, gender roles also have costs and disadvantages to people. It affects the way people perceive others as they make assumptions on their behaviors (Beal 284) which can lead to criticisms. Because of the assumptions and distinctions gender roles built, males and females experience “lost or limited opportunities” (Beal 284) wherein an individual is restricted to do things they are not expected to
People deeply influence and have a huge impact on each other. Interacting with others help us modify our thoughts, behaviour, attitudes, and feelings and adjust according to the needs of our society and culture. It is through socialisation that gender roles and stereotypes are developed and learned. Gender stereotypes have a huge impact and deeply affect the way we behave and think. Simply put gender stereotypes are the characteristics that are considered to be unique traits of women versus men (Cuddy, 2010).
This chapter begins with the definition of gender role theory, that is a philosophy based on the assumption that males and females in society have an inclination to live up to approved roles based on anticipations on how males and females ought to act in society, and that they will be judged differently for the same actions. This has created stereotypes on both men and women, not only based on their behaviors, but appearance, personalities, skills, and characteristics. Many research stated that due to the expected role of behaviorism, many communication between relationship between both sexes had taken to a huge fall, because of the difference between reality and the constant changes of attitudes with the developments. (Henley and Kramara,1991;
A lot of things come to mind when someone mentions sexism. The main topic addressed by the populous is women’s issues, but does one truly consider the issues faced by men? Does anyone stop to think about the stereotypes that men are forced to conform to? The answer can vary based on who responds, but if one general consensus were to be reached then it would be that these sexist standards are rarely addressed, or that they simply don’t exist. Americans need to take this call to action and use it to revolutionise the unrealistic standards set for male citizens of this country.
Gender inequality is remaining a barrier for human development. Gender inequality means unfair or different treatments due to their gender in term of education, personal autonomy and more. Women may suffer from discrimination and violence due to gender inequality that include restricted access to educational, employment opportunities and increased exposure to sexual harassment. Why does this phenomenon happen and what cause this to happen? Most of the traditional culture that exacerbate favoritism towards men.
When it came to moral issue, the general public usual unwittingly criticizes the opposite sex of male in a severer level than man. For example, woman who has multiple sexual partners will be stigmatized in a wider range of verbal expressions than man. Since learning language can’t be separated from those interactions, they simultaneously located how they were identified by others; therefore, they conceptualized those ideal images of themselves from the external social facts and internalized those gender characteristics as their part of
We often judge a female by her role in the society. We have a pre convinced notion that women are delicate and not capable of performing to the ability of a man. That men possess masculine characteristics hence women are not expected to fore take any such jobs due to their feminist characteristics. This lowers the motivational level of women which results in decreased work performance. Contrary to this males can take advantage of the gender stereotypes in their favor as they may not have the characteristics associated to them but may be judged on that basis.