Differentiating Between Sex And Gender Essay

1169 words - 5 pages

What differentiates one’s gender from one’s sex? Sex is biological while gender is social. In this sense, a person whose sex is female can have a male gender if some of the tasks she does are more attributed to males. But society has greatly erased this distinction and instead created gender differences that relate to one’s sex. While biological differences do not lead to gender differences, society has created these separate spheres to differentiate between who they consider as a male or a female and have carefully intertwined it in everyday life as seen with messages understood from the media, schools and a child’s first year along with each family’s struggle to attain the dream of an “ideal family.”
Media messages suggest how society transmits its expectations about gender roles throughout all age groups. It specifies what household work has to be associated with males or females. Through TV messages, it is seen that females are almost exclusively associated with household products that deal with cooking, cleaning or taking care of the children, all while looking as perfect as possible. (Media Messages, p. 161) Males related to household work are mostly seen when they have to use huge tools and machines to do their job such as cutting grass or trimming the bushes. These similar stereotypes can also be observed in children’s programming when children’s commercials suggest whether a toy is for a boy or a girl. (Media Messages, p.162) Commercials with “boy toys” include fighting and charging verbs that suggest how boys need to be the protectors and have a lot of strength. Girls’ commercials on the other hand, is filled with princess dolls that they have to look after, put on its makeup and braid its hair. These bring forth the ideology that girls have to focus on how they look as their appearances matter a great deal. The conviction that TV can influence children’s beliefs about the way they should act in society is true as seen in the Freestyle Project that used the counterprogramming approach. (Media Messages, p.168) Hence, males and females from an early age learn what society has deemed appropriate for their sex through media messages and continue to be influenced by it throughout their lifetime. While boys are trained to become macho, girls are trained to be timid. And through the Freestyle Project that conveys how children do adapt the behavior seen on the media, these children are inadvertently taken in a path of false stereotypes.
Moreover, ideas learned from school further creates a mistaken stereotype about how a male or female should act among children. The teacher’s treatment of boys and girls reflect stereotyped assumptions about boys’ and girls’ ability that later impacts children’s thinking about the distinction between sex and gender. Girls are required to sit quietly, pay attention, and do careful work by society. Boys on the other hand are required to ask numerous questions, and those who do not follow the rules while...

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