The Concept Of Gender And How It Is Constructed.

2206 words - 9 pages

This paper is a wholistic approach to the concept of gender and how it is constructed. It follows the concepts that we have talked about throughout the entire course of the semester. Throughout this paper I will be discussing gender in a few various situations. I will talk about the biological aspects first, then be moving on to a couple social institutions involving gender. There are many different ways that gender can be debated. It is a very hot topic in today's society. There is a lot to be said about gender and its social constructs. In this paper I hope to discuss the topic of gender in a complete way. I hope to follow the structure of the assignment and incorporate the ideas and concepts that have been discussed throughout this entire semester of this class.I would like to begin explaining the concept of gender by using terms such as biological sex, anatomy, chromosomes, and hormones. These terms are often used when trying to define gender in a more scientific way. First, there is the definition of gender. The most concrete definition for gender that I could find was, the condition of being male or female. It is a concrete definition but I think that in the same respect it is a very vague definition as well. There is a lot of evidence pointing toward there being more than just male or female when in regards to gender. When discussing biological genitals, there is somewhat of a gray area. In society today there are more and more reported cases of babies being born with both sexual characteristics. This of course poses a dilemma to doctors. In the past, babies who were born this way were often thought of to have a "birth defect". In fact, many times they would push the parents into making very hasty decisions about corrective surgery. "Before twenty four hours pass, the child must leave the hospital as a sex, and the parents must feel certain of the decision." (Fausto-Sterling pg. 45) I find this to be appalling. First of all, it has been researched that doctors base their recommendations for the sex of the baby on the easier, more normal looking route of surgery. They do not conduct any tests to determine whether or not the baby has more feminine characteristics and hormones or more masculine ones. They base their decision purely on the outward appearance of the genitals. Chromosomes often do not come into play when reaching a decision on what sex the baby is to be. They actually base most of their decision on how big the penis is. "If it is very small then it is a girl and if it is larger then it is a boy." (Lorber, 1993, pg. 15) This often backfires on the doctors and the parents. These children grow up feeling like they are a girl in a boy's body or vice versa. The real victim here is the child.There has been evidence that shows that upon growing up into adults, many of these intersexed children wish that they had never had any type of "corrective surgery". They feel lacerated and mangled instead of normal. Due to the extent of the scar...

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