Biological, Interpersonal And Cultural Approaches To Gender Theory

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Gender Theory Paper For centuries it seems that society has always had a say on gender roles. Men and women think of the characteristics of being male or female and assume that those characteristics make up what gender is. Thinking about gender as what makes a man or a woman, people enforce these perspectives on children by praising or rejecting behaviors that may not fit the category of male or female. Theorists and researchers have much to say about gender roles and the makeup of gender. In this paper, four approaches to gender development will be identified and discussed. After covering the biological, interpersonal, critical and cultural theoretical approaches to gender, one will be highlighted for being the most valid in my perspective. …show more content…
The cultural approach considers the ways societies have defined gender, along with how we individually acquire our view on gender through interactional processes. No matter how American culture views the roles of men and women, there is no surprise that all cultures have a different perspective on the roles of men and women in their country. Symbolic interactionism asserts that we learn who we are through our communication with others (Wood, pp. 50). As children attend school, they build a view of gender based on what their peers and teachers say and do. With each experience, they begin to link behaviors with masculinity or femininity. For example, girls may get scolded for jumping around, yelling, or sitting with their legs open. As they hear “that’s not lady like,” girls make the link of behaving quietly and sitting properly with being female. The concepts of roles was highlighted in this approach, being considered the biggest contribution to the cultural approach of gender (Wood, pp. 50). The concept of roles indicates society having a set of roles for women and a set of roles for men; also a set of behaviors that society views as unacceptable if done by a man or

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