Sex, on the other hand, refers in this context to the biological aspects of being either female or male. Genetically, females are identified by having two X chromosomes and males by having an X and a Y chromosome.
In addition, sex can typically be determined from either primary or secondary sexual characteristics. Primary sexual characteristics comprise the female or male reproductive organs i. Secondary sexual characteristics comprise the superficial differences between the sexes that occur with puberty e. It is relatively easy to see that biology has an impact on gender and the subsequent actions and behaviors that are thought to be more relevant to either females or males. For example, no matter how much a man might want to experience giving birth, the simple fact is that he cannot, except as an observer.
From this fact it is easy if not necessarily logical to assume that biology is destiny and, therefore, women and men have certain unalterable roles in society—for example, that women are the keepers of home and hearth because of their reproductive role, while men are the protectors and providers because of their relatively greater size and strength.
However, before concluding that biology is destiny in terms of gender roles, it is important to understand that not only do gender roles differ from culture to culture, they also change over time within the same culture. Early 20th-century American culture emphasized that a woman's role was in the home.
As a result, many women did not have high school educations and never held jobs; instead, they quite happily raised families and supported their husbands by keeping their households running smoothly. Nearly a century later, this gender role is no longer the norm or at least not the only acceptable norm and sounds quite constricting to our more educated, career-oriented 21st-century ears. If biology were the sole determinant of gender roles, such changes would not be possible.
In 21st-century United States culture, gender roles continue to be in a state of flux to some extent, although traditional gender roles still apply in many quarters. For example, boys are often encouraged to become strong, fast, aggressive, dominant, and achieving, while traditional roles for girls are to be sensitive, intuitive, passive, emotional, and interested in the things of home and family.
However, these gender roles are culturally bound. For example, in the Tchambuli culture of New Guinea, gender roles for women include doing the fishing and manufacturing as well as controlling the power and economic life of the community. Tchambuli women also take the lead in initiating sexual relations. As a result, today advertising is effectively used to shape the views of the audience; and gender-related stereotypes of this or that advertising can be used to define gender roles in the society.
In addition, the portrayal of men and women in media can have negative impact on the society. Matthew Kieran discusses gender roles in media in his book Media Ethics: He states that representation of gender roles in media is closely connected with sex and harm.
It is clear that such material is harmful. In most cases, these images have negative impact towards the opposite sex. Moreover, they may cultivate the sense of low-esteem, humiliation and even inferiority in those women who do not match the ideals represented in media. It means that representation of gender roles in media has an enormous impact on the members of the society, both men and women. Besides the above mentioned facts, there are certain gender-related inequalities in presence and control in media.
Many sources of information reveal the fundamental inequality in the frequency of appearance of men and women in mass media. For example, many TV programs portray more men than women, and more men are given the leading roles. In addition, women are less represented in other forms of media.
The research proved the fact that women are dramatically underrepresented in such job positions as film directors, executive producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors. It means that in most cases, women do not hold the positions of control and they are less featured in media products. For example, men often appear in action and drama roles, while women are found in soap operas and comedies.
In addition, men are portrayed at higher positions in the society, in the so-call traditional male occupations, and less likely in the home environment. It means that producers prefer to portray men as more dominant than women. As a rule, they are portrayed as more powerful and more successful. That is, women usually report being in pain before men do for similar experiences. This would suggest that women are more vulnerable in that respect.
Moreover, hormonal factors that affect the perception of pain and output of pain-killing endorphins are also more variable in female bodies due to menstruation Calandra. Ultimately, the pain threshold example does support the norm that women are weaker. However, it is important to also understand that women are strong because they must deal with more physical pain on the whole. To exemplify, he cited that hormones, brain structure, genetic and biological factors all contribute to higher levels of chronic pain for women that often go undiagnosed Thompson.
Given the ubiquitous nature of pain for women, it is easy for society to construct an image of women as being frail. However, the fact that they have to undergo more pain neglects to reflect the fact that this makes them stronger, not weaker. Ultimately, women are not weaker than men with respect to pain, they just have to deal with more of it.
It is a long-standing counter-argument that men are inherently stronger than women in every facet of life because of evolution. Despite the fact that men were native hunters and women gatherers, recent research suggests that men have many more inherent weaknesses than women.
For instance, Marianne Legaton argued that at younger ages and throughout the lifespan, men are more likely to develop disorders, commit suicide and die violently than women Legaton.
These vulnerabilities were documented with case studies and supported by research focused exclusively on gender differences. This suggests that there are still more opportunities to learn more about the differences between men and women in terms of weakness and strength. Nonetheless, it is clear that men are subject to trials that extend much further than just hormones and pain thresholds; moreover, this further exemplifies the issues with characterizing women as a weaker sex in society.
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Argumentatice Essay Gender Roles - ‘Boys will be boys’, a phrase coined to exonerate the entire male sex of loathsome acts past, present, and potential. But what about the .
Gender roles are largely a product of the way in which one was raised and may not be in conformance with one's gender identity. Research shows that both genetics and environment influence the development of gender roles.
Jan 30, · 9. Gender Roles in Society Essay Gender Roles - Words Notes: Gender Roles. Objective Conditions: 1. Masculine and Feminine are labels that replace the thought of Male or Female. 2. Our traits are different but made sense of the categories of culture therefore automatically forming the certain role we should be. 3. Gender roles play an important role in shaping the way we think about others in society. Typically, the characterization of women as being ‘weak’ has prevailed in many different facets of women’s lives.4/5(12).
This essay focuses on the differences between gender roles and will show you that it is far harder being a woman in a world where gender roles exist in this manner. Gender roles happen from an early age, such as with the toys and colors we introduce children to. Gender role discrimination may be considered by many to be nonexistent to today's society and that equality between the sexes has been achieved. Gender roles and relations still play a part in perpetuating inequality, and the effects of gender roles in relation to childhood, family life and at work.