The Social Construction Of Gender Essay

1975 words - 8 pages

In the United States, our concept of gender, and the differences between men and women, have deep traditional roots. Men are supposed to be strong individuals, who support and defend their families. Women are seen as nurturing, and motherly, more gentle and tame. We believe so strongly that the two genders are entirely separate, with such completely different traits, that it almost seems that men and women are just born with different qualities.
But is this really the case? Are girls really born with the genes to prefer pink and Barbie dolls, while boys are genetically predisposed to act like warriors and defend their families? Are masculine and feminine simply genetic facts? Evidence seems to support a deeper reason than that. As a culture, we have developed and defined these gender roles over centuries. We have determined what is appropriate for men and women, and anything, or anyone, that doesn't fit those molds is ostracized. The traits that we decide are so important to men and women are so engrained in our society, that they seem natural.
But maybe they're not. Not all societies operate like ours. There are societies with a distinguished third gender, such as the Hijra in India, and the Kathoey in Thailand. If these “third genders” are acceptable, and normal, in other cultures, it seems unlikely that gender is biologically determined. Instead, learning gender is a social practice that begins before a child is even born. When parents paint their child's nursery pink or blue, they're already reinforcing the same social customs and gender rules that they were taught as children.
There are some biological differences between the male and female brain. But these differences don't account for our strict concepts of gender, or the existence of third gender, or intersex people. It's possible, that the differences between genders are influenced by both biological and social factors. In her paper on the biological differences in cognition between men and women, Doreen Kimura suggests that the social differences between genders arose out of biological necessity (Kimura 46). Even so, it is difficult to argue that social factors do play a large part in gender in society today. A closer look at both biological and social perspectives will reveal more about the processes that determine gender roles.
Merriam-Webster provides two definitions for the meaning of gender. The first is simply that gender is a synonym for sex. The second, however, states that gender is “the behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with one sex (Merriam-Webster).” This is the definition for gender used in this paper, while sex is defined separately, as the biological differences between males and females.
Biologically, there are some differences between males and females. Boys do tend to be a bit more aggressive, while girls are usually more verbal. Males also have better spatial skills, which research seems to contribute to their higher...

Find Another Essay On The Social Construction of Gender

Social Construction of Gender Essay

1087 words - 4 pages Social Construction of Gender      Today’s society plays a very important role in the construction of gender. Gender is a type of issue that has raised many questions over the years in defining and debating if both male and female are equal. Today gender is constructed in four different ways. The first way gender is defined is by the family in which a child is raised. Second is the society in which a child interacts; makes friends and

The Social Construction of Gender and Sexuality

1290 words - 5 pages The Social Construction of Gender and SexualityAccording to Johnny Weir, "Masculinity is what you believe it to be... [it is] all by perception, [I believe] masculinity and femininity is something that is very old-fashioned... [there is a] whole new generation of people who aren't defined by their race or their sex or who they like to sleep with." This statement exemplifies the definition of gender as a concept; gender is the expectations of a

The Social Construction of Gender and Sexuality

1338 words - 5 pages of them. The social construction of gender and sexuality all rely on the measure that people believe there is a difference between the two sexes, once this emphasis is taken away, is when gender roles will no longer play an integral role in the structure of society. Works Cited Gottlieb, Alma. "Interpreting Gender and Sexuality: Approaches from Cultural Anthropology." Exotic No More: Anthropology on the Front Lines. Ed. Jeremy MacClancy

Judith Lorber's The Social Construction of Gender

860 words - 3 pages Judith Lorber's The Social Construction of Gender Missing Works Cited Judith Lorber is able to convey many of her ideals about our contemporary conceptions of gender in her essay, ?The Social Construction of Gender.? Not only does she clearly express her opinions on the roles of physiological differences of the male and female bodies, but she also elaborates on the roles of the mass media and professional sports among other things. It

Analysis of "The Social Construction of Gender" (Author Unknown)

846 words - 3 pages "The Social Construction of Gender" was a very insightful article into the vast space of gender issues in society. Not only was the article full and complete, it also shed some light on some issues that were extremely fascinating. There is a very insubstantial line called gender, and one that is very easily crossed, or even straddled, whether by physical transformation or social influences. Gender in society has become strictly psychological and

Social Construction of Gender and Identity

1725 words - 7 pages specific gender norms and activities they can do in the college community. Faludi’s demonstration on strict gender norms in cadets’ lives bring a better understanding of gender separation in Iranian society that Azar Nafisi point it out in her memoir “Reading Lolita in Tehran.” Moreover, the social construction of gender and identity is not limited in being a true male or a true female, but also it is about fitting in a specific group of people in

Social Construction: Gender Differences

802 words - 3 pages Jennifer BerezinaENG 283-T ,7 pmExam 1-question 1How does one define social construction? Well, to begin with you can certainly consider gender differences in social construction. When referring to social construction we are looking at ways society defines these characteristics and ideas within different cultures, whether it's the biologically involved or these instances are learned starting at infancy. It's these social interactions that people

Commentary on Lorber´s Night to His Day”: The Social Construction of Gender

950 words - 4 pages As Lorber explores in her essay “Night to His Day”: The Social Construction of Gender, “most people find it hard to believe that gender is constantly created and re-created out of human interaction, out of social life, and is the texture and order of that social life” (Lorber 1). This article was very intriguing because I thought of my gender as my sex but they are not the same. Lorber has tried to prove that gender has a different meaning

"Gender Roles and Fashion " How do clothing fashions aid in the social construction of gender? What does a woman or man say about herself or himself with various pieces of clothing?

901 words - 4 pages . I was so excited and anxious for the day when the boys would... finally... notice... me (sarcasm intended).Fashion trends and clothing styles, in particular, significantly aid the social construction of gender. The mere presence of a standard for the judgment of beauty automatically designates some group to be in control of the other. That is, individuals are constantly judging one another to make certain that they fit into the correct gender

George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss: The Construction of Gender Roles

3446 words - 14 pages lives of these characters we can examine the impact of social conditioning upon the lives of human beings. The ideas provided in The Second Sex regarding the cultural conditioning of children could be easily seen at work in the character portrayal of Tom and Maggie. The Second Sex (1949) was published much later than The Mill on the Floss (1860). This fact explains Eliot’s intense concern and awareness of her gender based society. But de Beauvoir

The Cultural Construction Of Gender And Representation Of Identity In Soaps And Music Videos

2060 words - 9 pages Soaps but more importantly music videos can be said to interrogate the cultural construction of gender and representations of identity. The video suggests a set of images to the viewer and usually these are a blurring of gender and identity. Music videos predicate on the representation of female gender experience. The two interrelated sign systems- access signs and discovery signs- will be discussed. Music clips that will be focused on are

Similar Essays

The Social Construction Of Gender Essay

1501 words - 6 pages recognizes.? (Lorber, Night To His Day: The Social Construction of Gender, For Individuals, Gender Means Sameness, Page 463) ??a defining feature of reality construction is to see our world as being the only possible one.? (Kessler & McKenna, Gender: An Ethnomethodological Approach, The Primacy of Gender Attribution, Page 475) Many people don?t realize that gender is a socially constructed accomplishment. People make up methods in their heads about ways

The Social Construction Of Gender Essay

3371 words - 13 pages perspectives on the social construction of gender. Next, I will analyze three case studies and explain how gender construction is applied in order to provide a clearer understanding of gender construction. Lastly, I will develop my own case study by analyzing the movie Mrs. Doubtfire and apply gender construction. SEX AND GENDER In order to grasp the concept of social construction of gender, it is essential to understand the difference between sex

The Social Construction Of Gender Essay

856 words - 3 pages Different culture and different periods of history construct gender differently. Due to the social construction of gender, gender always ranks women below men of the same race and class. The rich details of the historical and field studies have given the notion that violence is always related to masculinities. Men is always referred as the subject of the action “violence against female” when speaking of the phrase “violence toward women”. Men

The Social Construction Of Gender Essay

1310 words - 5 pages The Social Construction of Difference Between Genders Gender refers to the cultural shaping of sexual identity; gender is the way in which one's biological sex is given shape and meaning within a culture. To quote Simone de Beauvoir: "you may be born a woman (sex), but you are also made into a woman for the rest of your life (gender)." In her book Gender Trouble, Judith Butler (1990) tells us that gender itself is "never fixed, always fluid