Influence Of Gender Roles

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The College Male and His Influence on the World
Countless times during our lives, we will be faced with a choice to make. It is one or it is the other. You can have either chocolate or have vanilla; call heads or call tails; go right or go left; go to UT or go to OU. However, there is one situation in which being one or the other becomes a much more complicated endeavor. The concept of gender is one much more complex than that of deciding between two things, for gender is not a choice, but something chosen for you, shaped and defined by the environment around you. It is this external influence on gender that I will be focusing on throughout this paper, with a specific focus on the male gender role. Even more specifically, I want to know why
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A gender role is a theoretical construct involving a set of social and behavioral norms that, within a specific culture, are widely considered to be socially appropriate for individuals of a specific sex. The perception of gender roles may include attitudes, actions and personality traits associated with a particular gender within that culture. Gender roles are more commonly referred to as gender stereotypes. I am choosing to focus on the masculine gender role, and what it means to “be a …show more content…
From the time young men enter this world, a declaration of, “it’s a boy,” is made and the social expectations of being male are thrust upon them. Money and Tucker, both social scientists, state that, “we learn gender identities and expected gender roles much the same way we attain speech. We are born hard-wired for speech, but not programmed. Programming for speech occurs as we are exposed to the language spoken” (Money & Tucker 1975). This concept of “programming for [gender]” is a clear implication that the masculine gender role is something learned from one’s external environment. Social scientist Andreas G. Phlaretou goes a step further to claim that, “since the gendering of maleness is socially constructed, it must be actualized through action and sensation – by doing things that repeatedly affirm that one is really male while avoiding things that leave room for doubt” (Philaretou 2001). Not only must one observe and learn what it is to be masculine from his external environment, but he must also put it into practice, exhibiting behaviors that indicate his level of masculinity and avoiding any that would threaten it. Reinforcing the masculine gender role as a theoretical construct does little to define masculinity, however, and actual traits must be laid out. The most common themes I have found throughout my research have been power, competition and respect. Philaretou even

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