Gender Roles: Sex, Gender And Society

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Sex, Gender & Society
There is argument by some that sex and gender differ due to a social basis. In most societies males and females are expected to behave in different ways and to conform to what is considered gender role norms (Knapp, Constructing Gender, 2015). Society reinforces sex and gender through the creation of a binary system. You are male or female, masculine or feminine, but, there are combinations of these markers that are becoming more accepted, i.e. masculine-female, feminine-male, gender-neutral, and intersexed. The factors that influence behavior and expression are intertwined with a number of aspects of life. The nature of these aspects varies from biological influences to social powers and to environmental impacts.
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Society, the media, family, global interactions, education and work environments continue to emphasize sex and gender expectations. This is a long process of day to day exchanges that develops over time and is felt in all areas of life including sexuality and sexual behavior (Knapp, Constructing Gender, 2015). There is more acceptance of individuality in the way a person lives their life based on their choices or innate instincts. The media has brought awareness of gender flexibility and fluidity, but we still have a long way to go. Gender roles, gender identity, sex and sexual identity are more complex than being born male or female, identifying as feminine or masculine, gay or straight. This is not black or white. There are direct and indirect factors that shape and influence how an individual perceives themselves, their individual role in life and the individuals around them. It includes your social interactions, environment and …show more content…
There are chromosomal differences at conception when sexual genotype is determined, XY male or XX female. At 3 weeks sexual development of the gonads begins and by 6 weeks the testes develop under influence of sex-determining genes (SRY) on the Y-chromosome or lack of Y, ovaries develop in an XX embryo (Knapp, Hormones & Sexual Differentiation, 2015; Swaab, 2007). Sexual differentiation of sexual organs begins at 6-12 weeks triggered by androgens, testosterone, and dihydrotestosterone, in males or lack of in females. Androgens are essential in the formation of the penis, scrotum, vas deferens, and prostate (Swaab, 2007). If there is the absence of androgens the uterus, oviduct, cervix, and vagina develop. This differentiation of internal reproductive organs is complete by 20 weeks and external genitalia continue to develop until birth (Knapp, Hormones & Sexual Differentiation, 2015). The brain begins sexual differentiation at this point due to hormone exposure on brain cells resulting in changes to brain function and structure (Swaab,

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