Gender is a socially constructed concept which challenges how individuals and others perceive their selves. It “refers to the performance itself, the ways people accomplish being a man or a woman, a boy or a girl” (Aulette, Wittner 75). The individual and interactionist views on gender correlate with my perceptions of gender based on my early life experiences. Both help to explain the foundations which have formed my understanding of gender. However, the structuralist theory deviates from how I understand gender.
We are all born into a world filled with rules and standards that we must follow. As infants and young children, we do not have a choice in how we are raised and perceive the world. The individual theory states,
Individuals who were socialized into roles that fulfilled societal needs were the key to maintaining the social system. Their socialization involved internalizing social norms as expectations about how to feel, think, and behave in the social roles they inhabited as parents and children, husbands and wives, employers and workers, teachers and students (Aulette, Wittner 69).
Ever since I was born, my gender was constructed by those around me. I did not have a choice in how I would be raised or what I would be taught. My parents greatly influenced my understanding of gender. Quote on 72
In addition, the interactionist approach corresponds with how I perceive gender. Human beings are constantly “doing gender” in which we interact with others based on gender (Aulette, Wittner 71). Growing up in the South there are certain standards that one must follow based on their gender. For instance, boys must be chivalrous and hold open doors for girls. However, it is interesting to see how others react when one challenges these standards, especially in a public setting. Whenever I go to restaurants with my boyfriend...