Gender Inequality : Gender Roles Essay

1267 Words Nov 23rd, 2016 6 Pages
Gender Inequality: Gender Roles
As defined by the Oxford Dictionary, gender roles are “roles or behaviors learned by a person as appropriate to their gender, determined by the prevailing cultural norms.” Gender roles are built on the interactions people have with others and their environments, and those interactions give individuals strong suggestions about how they should behave based on what gender they are. Women’s gender roles in America place them below men which creates an unequal society. That unequal society is especially harsh toward women.
To understand what gender roles are, one needs to have a better understanding of what gender is. A common misunderstanding is the belief that a person’s gender is same as their sex, which is not true. Sex is “…a person 's biological status and is typically categorized as male, female or intersex (i.e., atypical combinations of features that usually distinguish male from female). There are a number of indicators of biological sex, including sex chromosomes, gonads, internal reproductive organs and external genitalia,” (American Psychological Association 11) In contrast, gender is the demeanor, behaviors, and actions that are associated with a person’s biological sex. According to Ann Oakley, a social scientist, while gender does parallel the biological division of sexes, there is no basis for how much gender separates the sexes and the value that placed on one sex over the other. Essentially, gender is a concept created by humans…

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