Gender Roles Throughout Various Cultures Essay

730 words - 3 pages

Gender, contrary to sexual orientation, is made up of behaviors that one learns through social acculturation. Gender is not something one is born with, but rather learned through several behaviors practiced within that culture. While we have our own ideas about what gender is within our own society, various cultures define gender immensely differently.An example of this would be the construction of masculinity in Spain. In Andalusia Spain, men consider women to be "the devil," and the only goodness found in women is their ability to be a mother. They seem to find that a woman's motives are to bring men down. This concept is based upon stories of Eve in the Bible, where Eve often tempts Adam, and Eve's temptations were usually considered sexual. These men find that women's demands for sexual intimacy will drive the women to be unfaithful, thus emasculating the men. The gender constructs of this society imply that a woman belongs at home, while men are free to be out in public whenever and wherever they please. In this culture, a "real man" can be defined as one who can effectively control his wife.Within Indian culture, there is in fact a third gender, entitled "hijra." This genderis composed of males, who were born with, or become sexually impotent. They make itso physically, they appear to be female, as they enjoy dressing in female attire, andwear body jewelry and decorations. They also adopt other female characteristics such as: the way the walk and sit, their name, and what public facility they use. The idea of this hijra gender is based on the religious belief of worshiping the goddess Bahuchara Mata. The Indian culture believes that powers of procreation are transferred from this goddess to the hijras. Thus, hijras create a living by performing certain rituals at life-cycle ceremonies. Considering this, hijras can generate great meaning and power within the Indian culture. This third gender has adapted itself as a traditional role in Indian society, proving this gender was without a doubt learned within the culture.In my opinion, it is hard to say whether the hijra is comparative to a transvestite. Many transvestites claim they are a...

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