Essay about Cultural Expectations For Women And A Different Set For Men

1301 Words Feb 18th, 2015 null Page
Our society often uses sex and gender interchangeably, but an important distinction needs to be made between these two terms. In biology, organisms are classified as either female or male based on their reproductive organs, chromosomes, and hormones. Differing physical characteristics become apparent with maturity. While sex is anatomically based, gender is more complex. It is a social construct encompassing the attributes and behaviors that society deems appropriate for that gender. Social norms in the Unites States reflect a gender binary, hence there are cultural expectations for women and a different set for men. Nurturing, aggressive, wreckless, polite, flirtatious, strong, independent could describe either a male or a female, but we subconsciously associate these traits as either feminine or masculine because our culture has reinforced that notion. These expectations are taught and the sometimes subtle, often overt lessons begin at a very young age. It starts with the color of the blanket a baby is wrapped up in, the toys bought for them to play with, and extends to the pretend play they engage in. Society reinforces the ideals of masculine and feminine through out life. Consequently, it is perfectly acceptable for a girl to put on a purple tutu and twirl about granting wishes to her stuffed animals, while it would be discouraged for a boy. He should be outside in the sandbox setting up his toy soldiers in a mock battle. In spite of the entrenched idea of gender,…

Related Documents