Gender And Sexuality Essay

1192 words - 5 pages

What does it take to be a man or a woman? Our sense organs alone do not determine whether we are men or women. Our gender includes a multifaceted combination of beliefs, behaviors, and characteristics. How do we act, behave, and talk like a man or a woman? Each one of us has a sex, a gender, and a gender identity that are all aspects of our sexuality. These aspects describe who we are, in different personalities and attributes but related. Society’s categories for what is masculine and feminine may not capture how we truly feel, how we behave, or how we define ourselves.
In today’s society, the imagery of men and women are portrayed in their different personalities. The ideal male is always characterized as being competent, stable, tough, poised, sturdy, skillful, and aggressive. The ideal female on the other hand is regarded as kind, emotional, caring, respectful, sensitive, gentle, and soft. Males are given the power to lead and on the contrary, females become subordinates and followers. In most countries, a study explains “that attributes such as affectionate or sensitive are considered more typical of women, whereas attributes such as aggressive or courageous are more typical of men” (Williams and Best 1990). The contradictory qualities that are assigned to each gender draw a very wide division that is too narrow to distinguish one from another. The different personalities and traits of both men and women indicate the type of roles that they play in the basic unit of our society – the family. A man that is construed to be the head of the family, the role of being a father is associated with it. A woman’s nurturing character and intuition gives her the role of a mother. The different roles that both men and women characterize have the same goal – to nurture and provide for their family.
Stereotypes between men and women are also reflected in their respective fields of occupation. A study on the implicit and explicit occupational gender types, Sex Roles, “Occupational gender stereotypes are activated when men and women are considered to be more suited for certain occupations based on stereotyped characteristics and temperaments” (White and White 2006). Matheus represented the following examples, “a stereotypically feminine job would be associated with attributes such as nurturing, caring, and being sensitive to the needs of others and a stereotypically masculine job would be associated with attributes such as decisiveness, coldness and toughness” (Matheus 2010). Nowadays, women are usually seen in the workforce as secretaries and nurses. Meanwhile, most doctors and construction laborers are men. In addition, Anker points out that “Occupational segregation by gender is prevalent in most if not all countries” (Anker 1998). “Women and men work in different fields and within fields at different levels” (Anker 1998). Diekman and Wilde explained that “men’s concentration in leadership and other high power roles led to the assumption that men have...

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