Compare And Contrast Gender And Gender

1200 Words 5 Pages
There are two common words that we have always seen when filing up forms or answering questionnaire are gender and sex. The answers to those terms are usually fixed within two choices which are male and female. We often just pick an answer to identify ourselves without knowing that those two terms actually have different meanings. Sex is used to describe an individual based on their biological genitals and reproductive organs hence categorising them into two groups for male and female (Dictionary.com Unabridged, n.d.). On the other hand, the gender of an individual is defined based on social and cultural roles rather than the biological differences (Oxford Dictionaries, n.d.). Therefore, gender is not restricted to only two options of male …show more content…
West and Zimmerman (1987) argued that gender is not a set of traits but instead is the result of social doings. Gender relates to everything we do as it defines the way we talk, the clothes we wear, the actions we make thus it is socially constructed and is reinforced by our society. Gender identity is the sense of belonging to a particular sex (Brym & Lie, 2007). For instance, it is taught to us in the form of clothes in which boys are always wearing blue while girls are dressed in pink. Parents are always colour-coding their babies so that other people can easily recognise their child as a boy or girl therefore unconsciously teaching kids to like certain colours only. For example, it is unacceptable if a boy decides to wear a pink shirt and he should stick with blue as it is more boyish. The culture of a family contributes strongly to this factor as family members is one of the earliest form of human contact a child has before going to elementary school. Gender role relates to behaviours, attitudes and personalities of an individual associated with widely shared expectations on how males and females should act based on their sex (Brym & Lie, 2007). These widely shared expectations arise from parents, family members, friends, teachers and society. Therefore, boys are raised to be masculine and tough in contrast to girls being raised to be feminine and …show more content…
Those differences limit the actions and behaviours of males and females. For instance, when females who are usually taught to be soft-spoken and shy suddenly speak up with an opinion, they will be silenced while judgemental looks are passed around. The demands and expectations of adults are one of the key contribution towards gender socialisation. These can be seen in most schools, where teachers expect boys to do well in subjects such as mathematics and science whereas girls are expected to strive in English (Brym & Lie, 2007). These early gender roles adopted by children from the adults play a part in the social interaction of the children when they grow up. Boys are encouraged to play sports where their social interaction includes competing and having conflicts with each other (Brym & Lie, 2007). They are taught to face challenges head on or they will be called a coward. They also learn to be the centre of attention and be proud of themselves as their parents are always praising and showing them off. On the other hand, Brym and Lie (2007) found that girls learn their social interaction by playing with dolls and cooking sets where they are supposed to be gentle and avoid conflicts. They are taught to seek for help whenever face with difficulties. Therefore they are brought up with the mind set of being helpless and

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