Gender Roles In Western Culture

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This essay focuses on the extent to which men and women conform to their gender roles in the western culture. Generally, we see people swapping the words ‘gender’ and ‘sex’, which is wrong. We are born with a sex allotted to us. Both ‘biological sex’ and ‘gender’ are distinctive. Gender is not associated with one’s physical construction, then again, it is far more confounding. It is characterised as “the complex interrelationship between an individual’s sex (gender biology) and one’s internal sense of self as male, female, both or neither (gender identity) as well as one’s outward presentations and behaviour (gender expression), related to that perception, including their gender roles.” Freud pointed out that when we meet a person,…show more content…
“Gender roles can be described as social norms, or rules and standards that dictate different interests, responsibilities, opportunities, limitations, and behaviour for men and women.” (Johnson et., 2007; Mahalik et al., 2003) These gender roles decide and impact the way one lives his or her daily life, like choosing work clothes. Generally, by living in the world, people understand and portray the expected behaviour for their gender. Even though, the individual can decide whether to adopt these rules or not, gender roles are important means of social organization that affect many facets of society. That’s why, men and women tend to internalise the typical gender roles, regardless of their gender, and develop their notion of gender…show more content…
They claim that the fact that kids exhibit gender appropriate behaviour, from the age of two or three, even before developing gender constancy, questions his theory. (Martin & Ruble, 2004) They also talk about how Kohlberg’s theory has not taken into account the reason for children to use gender as a construct, to sort out their view of the world. (Wharton, 2005) GENDER SCHEMA THEORY Sandra Bem’s gender schema thoery is another cognitive theory of gender socialization. ”According to Bem, in cultures where distinctions between men and women are emphasised, children learn to use gender as a way to process information about the world.” This theory provides response to the unanswered questions in the cognitive development theory, by Kohlberg. It gives us a reason as to why children use gender. Schemas or gender schemas are cognitive structure that helps children to put the information that they acquire in order, and maintain a sense of stability. (Stockhard, 1999). ”She argues that gender schemas tend to be polarised, so that the children believe what is acceptable and appropriate for females is not acceptable or appropriate for males (and vice versa).” (Wharton, 2005,

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