Sex is the biological difference while gender is the social and cultural meanings attached to femininity and masculinity lecture. From the time that a child is born the doctor assigns it a gender, girl or boy, depending on its genitalia. They determine the way in which we, as members of society, behave among others and what is deemed socially acceptable and what is not, all based on our gender.
From the moment children take their first breaths, they are exposed to the gender roles society has set. However, the social construction of gender does not happen only once and does not stop with children. It continues throughout the rest of our lives and influences our perspective and the way we view things and situations.
Regarding the media one is able to see an example of gender stereotyping by observing the messages of advertisements. Recently I had conversation with my husband relating to the issue of sexism regarding a car show he was watching on TV where standing next to the new cars were beautiful female models.
My comment was that is an example of benevolent sexism. My husband did not want to accept this and he argued that male models are sometimes used as well.
We end up watching the car show for over an hour in order to find a male model next to a car but we did not see any. Additionally cultural and religious beliefs and attitudes have a serious impact on gender identity and in many cases promote stereotype beliefs against women and lead to gender discrimination.
When it comes to culture and religious influences in a society regarding the view of gender I believe the concept of institutionalized sexism is appropriate to describe this situation. When a society has specific norms people living within the society will adapt to them and they will do the same even for discriminatory norms. It is more than the continuous creation of the meaning of gender through human actions.
Gender itself is constituted through interaction. Female monkeys exposed prenatally to male sex hormones later prefer male rough-and-tumble play. The human genetic disease congenital adrenal hyperplasia CAH exposes the female foetus to unusually large amounts of male sex hormone and toy-preference studies have shown that girls with CAH prefer to play with cars than with dolls. Few deny that biology plays a major role in determining gender-specific play.
This view suggests we should treat gender-based behaviour in children as a disease in need of a cure. Critics believe, however, that when it comes to defining a person, gender alone does not describe the individual, for example, sexuality should be considered as well Gottleib, Sexuality reflects the gender expectations of society.
It, like gender, is created in relation to the opposite sex. Sexuality has a way of restricting each sex into specific sexual roles; men are expected to have a dominant sexual style and women are expected to have a submissive sexual style; these expectations stem from the expectations of the roles of each gender.
Women are criticized when they are considered too sexual Jean Kilbourne, In fact, rather than an individual producing the performance, the opposite is true. The performance is what produces the individual. Specifically, Butler approvingly quotes Nietzsche's claim that "there is no 'being' behind doing… 'the doer' is merely a fiction added to the deed — the deed is everything. Although a seemingly difficult concept to grasp, gender performativity is realized throughout many aspects of our lives, specifically in our infancy and young childhood, our teen years, and finally our adult lives.
On Butler's hypothesis, the socially constructed aspect of gender performativity is perhaps most obvious in drag performance, which offers a rudimentary understanding of gender binaries in its emphasis on gender performance. Butler understands drag cannot be regarded as an example of subjective or singular identity, where "there is a 'one' who is prior to gender, a one who goes to the wardrobe of gender decides with deliberation which gender it will be today".
Rather, Butler suggests that what is performed "can only be understood through reference to what is barred from the signifier within the domain of corporeal legibility". Jones believes the performative power to act out gender is extremely useful as a framework, offering new ways to consider images as enactments with embodied subjects rather than inanimate objects for men's viewing pleasure.
Children learn at a very young age what it means to be a boy or girl in our society. Individuals are either given masculine or feminine names based on their sex, are assigned colors that are deemed appropriate only when utilized by a particular sex and are even given toys that will aid them in recognizing their proper places in society.
According to Barbara Kerr and Karen Multon, many parents would be puzzled to know "the tendency of little children to think that it is their clothing or toys that make them boy or girl". Eckert furthers this in stating that determining sex at one's birth is also vital of how one presents themselves in society at an older age because "sex determination sets the stage for a lifelong process of gendering".
Similar to Butler, Eckert is hinting to the fact that gender is not an internal reality that cannot be changed. What Eckert is instead stating is that this is a common misconception that a majority of the population unknowingly reinforces, which sees its emergence during infancy.
Following from Sigmund Freud 's notion of melancholia , such a repudiation results in a heightened identification with the Other that cannot be loved, resulting in gender performances which create allegories of, and internalize the lost love that the subject is subsequently unable to acknowledge or grieve. Butler explains that "a masculine gender is formed from the refusal to grieve the masculine as a possibility of love; a feminine gender is formed taken on, assumed through the fantasy which the feminine is excluded as a possible object of love, an exclusion never grieved, but 'preserved' through the heightening of feminine identification itself".
Often, this is the time in which one's ability to master their gender performance labels them as successful, and thus normal, or unsuccessful, and thus strange and unfitting. One of the sources that demonstrate how successful performance is acted out is magazines, specifically magazines targeting young girls. According to Eckert, "When we are teenagers, the teen magazines told girls how to make conversation with boys…". Thus calling back to Butler's perception that gender is not a fact about us but is something that is taught to us and is being constantly reinforced.
This idea that gender is constantly shaped by expectations is relevant in the online community. Teenagers are easily able to formulate relationships and friendships online, thus increasing the probability of a teenager's delicate identity to be manipulated and distorted.
Queer Identity[ edit ] The Butlerian model presents a queer perspective on gender performance and explores the possible intersection between socially constructed gender roles and compulsory heterosexuality. This model diverges from the hegemonic analytical framework of gender that many claim is heteronormative , contending with the ways in which queer actors problematize the traditional construction of gender.
Butler adapts the psychoanalytical term of melancholia to conceptualize homoerotic subtext as it exists in western literature and especially the relationship between women writers, their gender, and their sexuality. Melancholia deals with mourning, but for homosexual couples it is not just mourning the death of the relationship, instead it is the societal disavowal of the relationship itself and the ability to mourn, thus leading to repression of these feelings.
Many of the survivors that participated in this activism were homosexuals whom has lost their partners to the disease. The survivors commemorated the dead by quilting together their rags, repurposing their possessions, and displaying their own bodies for premature mourning.
All of these protests amounted to a message that some part of them will be left in the world after they have expired. Instead of recognizing these instances as moral or psychological failures, this concept frames them as the resultants of a conflict between a person's sexuality and their gender. It tells scores of talented young women that they need not work on changing the law, or feeding the hungry, or assailing power through theory harnessed to material politics.
To further explain this thesis the essay will draw on early childhood socialization of masculinity and femininity, it will then examine the hegemonic male that is demonstrated through dominant music and sport forms. It tells scores of talented young women that they need not work on changing the law, or feeding the hungry, or assailing power through theory harnessed to material politics. What Eckert is instead stating is that this is a common misconception that a majority of the population unknowingly reinforces, which sees its emergence during infancy. Gender is a structural feature of society and the sociological significance of gender is that it is a devise by which society controls its members Henslin, There is no credible evidence that normal gender-based play behaviour causes any harm.
Accountability[ edit ] People hold themselves and each other accountable for their presentations of gender how they 'measure up'. Everything was pink, as a baby girl was expected, and honestly I never imaged how many different shades of pink actually exist for products such as baby clothes. Male students frequently harass male and female students, while female students generally only harass other female students. While nurses, teachers, and housewives emphasis on wives are purely female professions in our society. Sexuality is also an aspect of socialization; individuals are taught the sexual roles they should perform, according to their perceived gender. As their body changes, so does the environment in which they live in.
Sexuality is also an aspect of socialization; individuals are taught the sexual roles they should perform, according to their perceived gender. You can change gendered play in children by social conditioning but it bounces back when there is any slackening off in the conditioning. Because a girl may want to be a mother later, her academics in high school can create clear gender differences because "higher occupational expectations, educational expectations, and academic grades were more strongly associated with the expected age of parenthood for girls than for boys". When it comes to culture and religious influences in a society regarding the view of gender I believe the concept of institutionalized sexism is appropriate to describe this situation.
People are often convinced that there are inherent differences between men and women, which skews both studies and their findings. Thus calling back to Butler's perception that gender is not a fact about us but is something that is taught to us and is being constantly reinforced. The United States of America and other developed countries have come a long way in trying to eliminate discrimination against women but there is still a room for improvement.
According to Eckert, "When we are teenagers, the teen magazines told girls how to make conversation with boys…".
When an individual thinks of a doctor, lawyer, priest, engineer, or manager they usually picture males. In other words, gender is simultaneously created and maintained — "both a process and a product, medium and outcome of such power relations". Social constructionism asserts that gender is a category that people evaluate as omnirelevant to social life.
Society created the role of gender and created an emphasis on the differences between the two genders. This means that some of these theories assume a clear biological division between women and men when considering the social creation of masculinity and femininity, while other contest the assumption of the biological division between the sexes as independent of social construction. People have preconceived notions about what particular racial groups look like although there is no biological component to this categorization. Queer Identity[ edit ] The Butlerian model presents a queer perspective on gender performance and explores the possible intersection between socially constructed gender roles and compulsory heterosexuality. However, such categories can be based on or at least influenced by gender stereotypes. Therefore one could see that again social influence affects perception about gender identity and roles.