The Ideology Of Gender: The Practice Of Sex And Gender

2007 Words 8 Pages
The terms sex and gender are often used as interchangeable terms, but this is inaccurate. According to the World Health Organization, “Sex refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women. Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women” (World Health Organization 2015). Although we are naturally given a sex based on our DNA, society determines our gender as we grow up. This can lead to someone’s gender identity or gender expression not matching their assigned sex, which is referred to as being transgender. This essay will show that the practice of transgenderism proves that gender is a socially constructed …show more content…
Society is split between two different sexes, male and female. Although the only differences between the sexes are biological, society has determined rules on how the two should behave, creating gender. Ideologies of gender teach how appropriate behaviour that is expected and rewarded, creating society norms and punishment for not following this behavior (Dunphy 2000, p. 80). The male gender is associated with masculinity and the female gender is associated with being femininity. Being masculine means that one engages in a more dominant, competitive, and autonomous manner (Ashmore, Del Boca, and Wohlers 1986). This can mean being aggressive and showing power over someone who is not considered as masculine. Being feminine means that one engages in a manner that is expressive and submissive (Ashmore, Del Boca, and Wohlers 1986). Gender roles are socially created expectations for masculine and feminine behavior, often exaggerating real and imagined aspects of sex roles (Lipman-Blumen 1984, p. 2). An example of this is that women are expected to be more nurturing than men (imagined) because they are the ones who breastfeed children (real). That is why the male is expected to court a female, by being the …show more content…
Transgender men try to demonstrate the understanding of feminine ‘gender’ that they may have. This means they have to rely on other men who are transgender to help guide them on what it takes to be feminine. This means that transgender men don’t natural know all that is considered feminine, and choose to learn more on what it takes to act the way society believes females should act. It also suggests that ‘gender’ is neither natural nor innate. There is forced femininity on females, but for males it is their choice. One way transgender men achieve this is through drag, also known as the act of men dressing in women’s clothing. However when men choose to dress in “women’s clothes” they choose the stereotypical feminine outfits such as dresses or skirts. However women where more than just dresses and skirts, they often wear shirts and jeans just like men. To men “women’s clothes” are the apparel that a male dominated society considers feminine and therefore appropriate for females (Jeffreys 1990, p. 167). This apparel usually makes things more difficult for women, including wearing high heeled shoes that hurt their feet and wearing dresses that force a woman to be keep her legs together or crossed which will mean they will take up less space and appear to be less powerful. Cross-dressing men choose to follow the rules of femininity by wearing “feminine” clothing, which

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