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CONSTRUCTION AND DIAGNOSIS OF GENDER

BY

B R SIWAL

2008

SINDICATE FOR GENDER MAINSTREAMING NEW DELHI, INDIA

E-mail: gendermainstream@gmail.com

Preface
Gender has become a growth industry in the academy. Gender has historically played a significant role in how the lives and fortunes of men and women are shaped. Gender serves as one of the most significant identifying labels throughout the life span. Human differentiation on the basis of gender is a fundamental phenomenon that affects virtually every aspect of peoples daily lives. Gender development is a fundamental issue because some of the most important aspects of peoples lives, such as the talents they cultivate, the conceptions they hold of themselves and others, the socio-structural opportunities and constraints they encounter, and the social life and occupational paths they pursue are heavily prescribed by societal gender-typing. It is the primary basis on which people get differentiated with pervasive effects on their daily lives. Theoretical exploration of gender development can take many different forms. Over the years several major theories have been proposed to explain gender development. The theories differ on several important dimensions. Keeping in view importance of theme the monograph has been prepared. The monograph explores the various approaches to theorising gender, as they have evolved in recent decades. It then explains a range of key concepts like theory of gender development, gender identity: masculinity/femininity, gender and socialization and gender roles, gender prejudice and stereotypes etc. The present monograph explores the psychosocial determinants and mechanisms by which society socializes male and female infants into masculine and feminine adults, gender socialization roles, gender prejudice and stereotypes. It specifies how gender conceptions are constructed from the complex mix of experiences and how they operate in concert with motivational and self-regulatory mechanisms to guide gender-linked conduct throughout the life course. Hope the monograph which is based on survey of existing literature on the subject will be useful for academicians and gender scholar as well as gender studies teachers and trainers.

B R Siwal Email:brsiwal@gmail.com

CONTENTS
Pages 1 Theoretical Approach To Gender 1- 35

Theory Of Gender Development

36-54

Gender and Socialisation

55-79

Gender Identity: Masculinity and Feminity

80-103

Gender roles

104-117

Gender Prejudices And Stereotypes

118-137

References

THEORETICAL APPROACH TO GENDER

Gender as a concept In the everyday language there many words that can be described as so-called buzz words. In the discourse of development and development theory these buzz words are also found. These words are often used without really exploring their meaning in the specific context of development. Gender is one of these over used words. The concept is often used without understanding the true impact that gender has on the everyday life of people. For this reason it is necessary to discuss the concept gender in depth. The meaning of the concept has changed in different phases of feminist research. Intellectuals have been creating, critiquing, and advancing concepts of gender for the past 30 years. In the last hundred years, gender has been dynamic; a variety of the social meanings attached to the sexes have changed. Although the sorting of people into two categories continues, the socially constructed character of gender has become visible. Until the 1980s, "gender" was a word used primarily in the realm of linguistics. The women's movement changed that, as it changed so much else. Advocates of women's rights in the present looked at what they had been taught about the past and realized that it described only the male experience, though often portraying this as universal. Women were first fitted into existing conceptual categoriesnations, historical periods, social classes, religious allegiancesbut focusing on women often disrupted these classifications, forcing a rethinking of the way history was organized and structured.Feminist researchers have shown that the dichotomy male/female is one of the most powerful metaphors for difference as understood in terms of hierarchies of power and inequalities in societies. Feminist intellectuals have been thinking gender into science for more than three decades. A whole range of debates have developed on the conceptualization of gender. Historians familiar with studying women increasingly began to discuss the ways in which systems of sexual differentiation affected both women and men, and by the early 1980s they began to use the word "gender" to describe these systems. They differentiated primarily between "sex," by which they meant physical, morphological, and anatomical differences (what are often called "biological differences") and "gender," by which they meant a culturally constructed, historically changing, and often unstable system of differences. Historians interested in this new perspective asserted that gender was an appropriate category of analysis when looking at all historical developments, not simply those involving women or the family. Every political, intellectual, religious, economic, social, and even military change had an impact on the actions and roles of men and women, and, conversely, a culture's gender structures influenced every other structure or development. Historians of the early modern period figured prominently in the development of both women's and gender history and continue to be important voices in their subsequent growth and that of related areas of study such as the history of sexuality. Many people understandably but mistakenly equate the study of gender with the study of women when, in fact, these are fairly different enterprises. Historians who study women (many but not all of them women) look at women's activities and contributions in various economic, political, cultural, and spatial contexts. The study of gender is an outgrowth of women's history, which is why people tend to view the study of gender and women as the same thing. The scholarly interest in gender emerged as

practitioners of women's history, informed by scholarship in sociology, anthropology, psychology, and literary criticism, began to ask critical questions of their own methodologies. Shifting the focus from women to gender, scholar of gender explores how males and females (sex) become men and women (gender). That is, to study gender is to examine how a society assigns social meanings to the different biological characteristics of males and females. Scholars who study gender see it as a cultural constructssomething that human beings create and those changes over time. The differences between men and women, they argue, are rooted in society, not in nature, and as such can be historicized. Moreover, gender scholars point out, if women's lives have been shaped profoundly by gender prescriptions, then so, too, have men's. Cultural ideals and practices of masculinity and femininity have been created together, often in opposition to one another; therefore, both men and women have gender histories that must be analyzed in tandem. Indeed, gender studies is relational in that research into the history of gender ideals and practices is always linked to investigations about the operation of the economy, the construction of racial ideologies, the development of political institutions, and other phenomena typically studied by historians. So what does it mean to do women's history in comparison to gender history? Actually, most historians in this field do a little bit of both. Still, whereas a women's historian would focus on, for example, women's labor force participation during World War II, a gender historian would examine how gender ideologies shaped the organization of labor on the battlefield and the home front, and how the war remapped the meanings of masculinity, femininity, and labor. Put another way, women's historians foreground women as historical actors, while gender historians foreground ideological systems as agents of history. Certainly, those who do women's history engage the question of how gender norms shape women's experiences and struggles, but they tend to focus on women, as such, more than they examine historical ideological shifts in the meanings of masculine and feminine. At the same time, gender historians do not ignore women altogether; rather they interrogate the very meaning of the term "woman," highlighting historical changes in the construction of masculinity and femininity, manhood and womanhood. Again, many historians do some combination of both, combing the documents for clues about how men and women have both shaped and been shaped by gendered beliefs, practices, and institutions. Anthropological inquiries into the meaning of gender in India resulted in the realization that gender categories are constructed differently throughout this nation than in the Western World. The word gender in the scholarly community has become a politically correct synonym for the study of women. Gender, however, does not refer simply to the study of women, but to the manner in which male and female differences are socially constructed. In anthropological studies, there has been a general move away in anthropological studies from attempts to formulate universal categories of gender. The criteria for analyzing gendered categories and social status vary cross-culturally. In Indian culture according to anthropological gender scholars the experience of women within gender definitions has generated a universal picture of the Indian woman. A variety of theoretical models have been utilized as lenses through which to view the study of gender in India. Wadley, positions the meaning of gender in India within a paradigm of order and disorder. Women as a gender must be controlled because of their capacity to create disorder within society. Influenced by Sanskrit texts, many Brahmans feel that women lack wisdom and are born with many demerits, however, women also have great power. Gender is part of what we might call our core identity since it starts so early in our lives

and persists throughout our lives. The way that our culture has constructed gender will have deep and significant effects on us throughout our lives. It will affect the way we see ourselves and how others see us. It will affect our expectations of how to be in the world. Gender identity is our internal identification with a gender. It means that we see ourselves within the gender construction of our society. It is an internal knowing that we are a specific gender. Some argue that we also have a sexual identity. This is an internal identification with and knowing of our biological sex. Obviously there are many possibilities here, even within the constraints of a two-sex/two-gender system. However, within the constraints of the sex/gender paradigm of mainstream. Gender is perhaps the most salient and ubiquitous social category in human societies. As Maccoby points out, its influence is observed within all known languages, past and present, and serves to distinguish role differences pan-culturally. Indeed, gender can be seen as the primary basis for human differentiation. The pervasive social importance which gender adopts serves as a powerful incentive for investigation. The change has however not been complete, and much research is still being conducted using modified versions of older, intra-psychic approaches. Important constructs inherited from this paradigm, most notably that of gender-stereotyped personality traits and the conceptions of masculinity and femininity are often included in research using more recent methods The word gender originated from the French word Genil meaning how society and culture define female and male. Gender is an English word; the meaning has changed over time. Twenty years ago, gender had the same definition as sex. The word does not translate easily into other languages. For each language, we must find a way to describe the concept of gender in ways that can be understood, not simply use the English word gender. As Ann Oakley explains, the term gender originated in medical and psychiatric usage where, in the 1930s, psychologists used the word gender to describe peoples psychological attributes without linking these to men and women. In 1968, Robert Stoller, a psychiatrist, published Sex and Gender a book about how children who were biologically (according to chromosomes) of one sex seemed to belong to the other sex. Most commonly found were babies who were genetically female but who were born with male external genitalia these babies could be brought up as either male or female and would develop the appropriate gender identity. Gender was thus used by Stoller to refer to behaviour, feelings, thoughts and fantasies that were related to the sexes but that did not have primary biological connotations. This use of gender to refer to attributes that are related to the division between the sexes but are not primarily biologically determined was adopted by feminists to separate innate biological differences between men and women, and socially constructed differences. The term gender became popular in 1979 when Rhoda Unger urged scientists to use the term sex when referring to biological aspects of being male or female and to use the term gender when referring to social, cultural and psychological aspects in the lives of men and women. In Latin word gender derives from the genus, meaning birth, race, or kind, a noun itself derived from the verb gignere, meaning to beget or to be born. In its original sense, gender is a grammatical term denoting a subclass of a part of speech (noun, pronoun, etc.) associated (often arbitrarily) with a sex (male or female) or with neither (neuter). The modern conceptualization of gender as distinct from sexuality, a ground breaking insight, was first introduced by the researcher, who through his pioneering studies of inter-sexed patients was able to make the distinction. He borrowed the term gender from its provenance in linguistics and introduced it into the medical and psychological literature. Robert Stoller sharpened the distinction between femaleness and maleness (sex) and femininity and masculinity (gender) and originated the term core gender identity, meaning

self-identification as female or male. Catharine Stimpson defines gender as the complex organization that various societies have constructed on the biological differences between men and women and that then go on to regulate them. The gender system is founded on two basic principles, on the separation of the sexes and on men seen as the norm. The first of these two principles means that males and females should not mix an important strategy for maintaining the system. Women and men are considered different by nature and should therefore be treated differently. The second principle suggests that men represent normality and women deviate from this normality. Women and men devote their time to different things, and what men do is considered to be of greater value. Womens interests are regarded as special interests. Acting on these principles, society draws up a gender contract which regulates the relationship between the sexes socially, financially and politically. Every historical period has its own gender contract, its own invisible agreement and settlement. The gender contract covers areas such as occupation, spheres of interests and skills, thoughts, personal characteristics and qualities, outward appearance, sexual behaviour and suitable locations to be in. The concept helps us to see gender as the roles and the tasks which we have been allotted according to the gender contract and which are constantly being reproduced by virtue of the expectations and concepts of gender that are prevalent at the individual level and in society as a whole. In this way we are socialised into the gender-determined power structure and take it for granted. Men recreate through patriarchy their supremacy. As for women, they themselves help to create anew their subordination by acknowledging in different ways, consciously or unconsciously, the supremacy of men. The gender contract can be renegotiated, as it has constantly been throughout history. It can also be finally terminated. Faced with this supposedly scientific justification for womens exclusion from large areas of social participation, feminists began to question the link between different physiological characteristics and a natural differentiation in social roles for men and women, and began to formulate ways of overcoming it. For many feminists this has involved a denial of the relevance of biological differences between men and women for the organization of society. This has led to a distinction in much feminist theory between physiological sex and social gender. This distinction can also be expressed by the terms female and feminine, female being the biological category to which women belong and feminine behaviour and roles being the social constructions based on this biological category. Thus, many feminists have argued that whereas biological sex is a naturally occurring difference, all the roles and forms of behaviour associated with being a woman have been created historically by different societies. Feminism and gender Many classics of feminist writing during this period are hard-hitting elaborations on the basic theme of social construction; society, psychology, sociology, literature, medicine, science, all construct women differently, slipping cultural rhetoric in under the heading of biological fact. It is cultural prescription gender, not sex which explains why women fail to have proper orgasms, are ill-tted to be brain surgeons, suffer from depressive illness, cannot reach the literary heights of Shakespeare, and so on and so forth . . . During this period, even/especially inuential theories such as Freuds about the origins of sexual difference came to be restated in the language of gender

development. Thus the concept of gender seemed to open up whole new avenues of thought and analysis for feminists, bringing with it the hope of huge theoretical advances in the analysis of womens oppression. As Christine Delphy argues, the arrival of the concept of gender made possible three linked advances: all the differences between the sexes which seemed to be social and arbitrary, whether they actually varied from one society to another or were just held to be susceptible to change, were gathered together in one concept; the use of the singular term (gender) rather than the plural (sexes) meant that the accent was moved from the two divided parts to the principle of partition itself, and feminists could focus on the way in which this partition was constructed and enforced; and nally, the concept of gender allowed room for an idea of hierarchy and power relations, which meant that the division could be considered from another angle. This distinction between biological sex and social gender is clearly present, although it is not made explicitly in those terms, in a book that has had an important inuence on feminist thought, Simone de Beauvoirs Le Deuxime Sexe (The Second Sex). De Beauvoirs famous assertion that one is not born a woman: one becomes one encapsulates an argument that womens inferior position is not a natural or biological fact but one that is created by society. One may be born as a female of the human race but it is civilization which creates woman, which denes what is feminine, and proscribes how women should and do behave. And what is important is that this social construction of woman has meant a continued oppression of women. The social roles and modes of behaviour that civilizations have assigned to women have kept them in an inferior position to that of men. This means that women are not like the working classes in Marxist ideology: they have not emerged as an oppressed group because of particular historical circumstances, but have always been oppressed in all forms of social organization. De Beauvoir does not, however, argue that there is no biological distinction to be made between men and women. Although she maintains that the psychological and behavioural aspects of sex are the products of patriarchal cultures and not the inevitable products of biological differences, she argues that there is an irreducible biological difference between men and women. Woman is a biological and not a socio-historical category, even though all the behaviour associated with femininity is clearly a social construction. The liberation of women thus depends on freeing women from this social construct of the eternal feminine, which has reduced them to a position of social and economic inferiority, but it does not depend on the denial of men and women as biologically distinct categories. De Beauvoirs distinction between biological sex and the social creation of the eternal feminine is a precursor of the distinction between sex and gender that is common in much feminist theory. As Ann Oakley explains, the term gender originated in medical and psychiatric usage where, from the 1930s, psychologists used the word gender to describe peoples psychological attributes without linking these to men and women. In 1968, Robert Stoller, a psychiatrist, published Sex and Gender a book about how children who were biologically (according to chromosomes) of one sex seemed to belong to the other sex. Most commonly found were babies who were genetically female but who were born with male external genitalia these babies could be brought up as either male or female and would develop the appropriate gender identity. Gender was thus used by Stoller to refer to behaviour, feelings, thoughts and fantasies that were related to the sexes but that did not have primary biological connotations. This use of gender to refer to attributes that are related to the division between the sexes but are not primarily biologically determined was adopted by feminists

to separate innate biological differences between men and women, and socially constructed differences. Thanks to Ann Oakleys Sex, Gender and Society, this meaning was taken up in the early phases of the second-wave feminist movement, and from there spread rapidly throughout the social sciences, always referring to the socially organised relationship of women to men. Its adoption by historians owes much to Joan Scotts immensely inuential paper of 1986, Gender: a useful category of historical analyses. On the one hand, a renewed emphasis on the use of language to organise knowledge about sexual difference has entered historical scholarship under the inuence of post-modern literary theories. On the other hand, historians have followed sociologists in exploring the relational aspects of gender from mens perspectives, thus opening up to analysis the cultural production of masculinities and the organisation of power hierarchies between different groups of men. However, despite the many advantages that the use of the concept of gender and the theoretical separation between gender and biological sex have provided for feminists, gender is still a problematic term that seems to have lost some of the revolutionary potential it once possessed as it has become accepted into common usage: Today, gender slips uneasily between being merely another word for sex and being a contested political term. One of the difculties has been that, although, as Delphy (1996) argued, the concept of gender opens up the possibility of an analysis of hierarchy, gender analysis may lead to the neglect of the power inequalities that exist between men and women. Talking about men and women as engendered, with the implication that both masculinity and femininity are social constructs, may in fact suggest difference rather than power inequality. Furthermore, gender is sometimes seen as something that is relevant only to women because gender was so readily adopted by feminists to explain womens subordinate position in society, it may be perceived as a term that applies only to women and the social construction of femininity (although there seems to have been a recent upturn in academic studies of masculinity). Oakley points out that gender is a term that has been used by academic feminists to bring respectability to their work talking about gender rather than about women because the study of women is not really respectable. She comments that: Such a strategy only works because gender was invented to help explain womens position: men neither wonder about theirs nor need to explain it. The fact that only women seem to have gender clearly demonstrates the operation of power inequalities, but these inequalities are sometimes overlooked or their operation is not fully explained merely by an analysis of how gender is constructed. Perhaps even more importantly, the very distinction between sex and gender, and the relationship between the two terms, has been called into question. Critics argue that the distinction between sex and gender often leads to a failure to interrogate the nature of sex itself. Gender is seen as the content, with sex as the container, and although gender is perceived as variable, the container of sex is perceived to be universal and unchanging because it is natural. In other words, the distinction between sex and gender means that there is a failure to call into question the ways in which society constructs sex that is, the natural body itself. Sex is seen as a primary division on which gender is predicated. In response, some feminists have argued against this seemingly natural precedence of sex before gender and have argued that biological sex itself is a social construct that biology is not natural and universal, but is also, like gender, socially mediated. In his historical study of the construction and representation of sex, Thomas Laqueur points out the

way in which up until the end of the seventeenth century male and female bodies were not conceptualized in terms of difference; instead, testicles and ovaries, for example, were seen as equivalent and indeed shared the same name. It was only in the eighteenth century that sexual difference was discovered. Similarly, it has been pointed out that, for biologists, sex is composed of a number of different indicators which all have a varying correlation with one another, and the reduction of these various elements to one indicator of division (such as the possession or nonpossession of a penis) is clearly a social act. This type of analysis clearly destabilizes the division btween sex and gender and has led some feminists such as Delphy to argue that in fact gender precedes sex. From another angle, Judith Butler has attempted to deconstruct the sex/gender distinction along with other binary distinctions such as that between nature and culture, and so on. For some feminists, the need to emphasize the social construction of sex has led to a rejection of gender as a term that is not only unnecessary but that also leads to confusion because the use of gender to describe something that is socially constructed implies that biological sex itself is natural. Monique Wittig, for example, maintains that sex is nothing more than a social construct and that the division between men and women is merely a product of social power relations with no basis in nature or human biology. There is no sex. There is but a sex that is oppressed and sex that oppresses. It is oppression that creates sex and not the contrary. The contrary would be to say that sex creates oppression, or to say that the cause (origin) of oppression is to be found in sex itself, in a natural division of the sexes pre-existing (or outside of) society. According to Wittig, therefore, women are nothing more than an oppressed social class. The disappearance of oppression and therefore of the dominant and the dominated (the sex class of men and that of women) will see the elimination of women and of men as distinct groups of human beings. In this world where sex classes will no longer exist, freedom for all human beings will be attained beyond the categories of sex, and both the concept and the real existence of men and women will give way to the advent of individual subjects. These criticisms of gender and of the binary divide between gender and sex do seem to have some foundation. The use of gender can mean that power is evacuated from the analysis of relationships between men and women, and that agency is denied both to women and men (if masculinity and femininity, dominance and oppression are social constructs, then what place is left for the individual agent?). Moreover, as various feminist writers have emphasized, any binary division that sees sex as natural and gender as socially constructed must be avoided. Having said this, however, it may be argued that there is still some power in the use of gender as a term of analysis and that one of the tasks of contemporary feminism should be to try to clarify the complex relationships between gender, sex and power that pervade our society. That gender is not fixed in advance of social interaction, but is constructed in interaction, is an important theme in the modern sociology of gender. Masculinities are neither programmed in our genes, nor fixed by social structure, prior to social interaction. They come into existence as people act. They are actively produced, using the resources and strategies in a given social setting. Kimmel and Messner support a constructionist view, saying: our identity as men is developed through a complex process of interaction with the culture in which we learn the gender scripts of our culture men make themselves, actively constructing their masculinities within a social and historical context. Grosz says in her examination of male and female bodies and sexuality: There is no natural norm; there are only cultural forms of body, which do or do not conform to social norms.

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Beale comments that the gender revolution movement that emerged in Europe and the US in the 1980s went further still, arguing that the entire gender system is an oppressive and divisive piece of social engineering, a human invention that has little to do with biology Clearly, a constructionist approach to gender suits feminist argument. If gender is largely or even partly biologically determined, being a man and being a woman and masculinity and femininity are largely or at least partly programmed genetically and, therefore, limited in the degree to which they can be changed. But, under a constructionist approach, women can be anything they want to be, and men can be anything they (or women) want them to be. Seidler points to this convenient and highly contentious pervasive social constructionist view of gender within social theory saying that it helps foster a form of rationalism that gives the idea that our lives are within our rational control, and that through will and determination alone we can determine our lives (p. 100). He adds: it tends to assume that all our feelings and desires, as modes of classification or mental constructions, can somehow be remade or remodelled as an act of will and determination. Seidler goes further to warn of the danger of social constructionism (and feminism) reinforcing a particular moralism in relation to how men should be. When sex differences become a source of cultural symbolism and give individuals characteristics of femaleness and maleness it leads us to the understanding of gender. The word gender is also not new to us, we all learnt about this in our first lesson of grammar to classify masculine gender and feminine gender. But in Sociology, it is used as a conceptual category and a very specific meaning is given to it. Thus, Gender as a term explains the way society constructs the differences between women and men and girls and boys. Gender refers to the array of socially constructed roles and relationships, personality traits, attitudes, behaviours, values, relative power and influence that society ascribes to the two sexes on a differential basis. Whereas biological sex is determined by genetic and anatomical characteristics, gender is an acquired identity that is learned, changes over time, and varies widely within and across cultures Anatomy, Destiny, and Gender Freuds famous dictum that anatomy is destiny is no longer the linchpin of psychoanalytic gender theorizing. Research on the masculinization of the brain or lack thereof demonstrates that several biological variables are related to specific gender-related traits, maturational challenges, and intrapsychic conflicts commonly experienced by males. Nonetheless, on the basis of clinical evidence, the biological givens in gender identity formation are significantly counterbalanced by what psychoanalysis emphasizes: the early imprinting of the boys actual interactions with his primary attachment figures; his internalized object relations; the prevailing sociocultural determinants; and, most important, his unique, psycho-dynamically determined reactions to each of these influences, particularly as they interact with his basic biological development (Stoller 1976; Blos 1985). We might say therefore that with respect to biology, the destiny of a boys masculinity is based on what he makes of his anatomy. Contemporary thinking about gender, emerging over the last thirty years, has resulted in an influential critique, in large measure empirically based, of Freuds phallocentric theories of male and female development. Freud, in collapsing the distinctions between biological sex, sexuality, and gender, made gender crudely derivative of the anatomical differences between the sexes. Todays

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more complex gender-identity paradigm untangles gender per se from sex and sexuality. Consequently, masculine gender identity must be distinguished from core gender identity and from sexual (gender) object choice. Core gender identity refers to the sense of belonging to a biological sex and is established in the first year and a half of life. It is the felt conviction of being biologically male (or female) and is what I refer to when discussing the boys maleness. This stands in contrast to what this article largely addresses, namely, the boys gender identity, which Stoller termed non-core gender identity and Person and Ovesey (1983) and research psychologists call gender role identity. This sense of masculinity, or the males self-image as a gendered being, is far more complicated and ambiguous than maleness. Sex and gender Clinical approach By contrast, in the biomedical sciences the distinction between sex and gender has been almost uniformly ignored. In fact, a quick glance at any database of medical literature reveals that not only are the terms sex and gender used synonymously, but that gender is often used instead of sex for describing biological factors, presumably because it is considered more politically correct to do so. This conflation is common in popular culture as well. However, in light of the history of the emergence of gender as a conceptual framework, the imprecise and oftentimes careless usage of gender in the biomedical literature leads to misinterpretation and imbues the reported research results with unintended meanings. At the very least, the use of the term gender implies an acknowledgment and recognition of the sex/gender distinction, and, at most, it implies the understanding that sex difference is the result of complex arrangements between biology (e.g., genetics, hormones, physiology) and culture (e.g., hierarchical relationships, historical and geographical location, social interactions). Yet this implicit meaning often belies the results themselves, for they reveal that no such understanding is intended. The first is whether gender is biologically determined or whether it is socially and culturally constructed or some combination of both. This question is fundamental to any discussion of gender and gender identities. If as some say, gender in innate, determined by biology, then the nature of men and women is predetermined and relatively fixed and only minor if any change can be socially effected. However, if gender is socially and culturally constructed as argued by many involved in gender and cultural studies, then gender is fluid, changing from time to time and society to society, and malleable ie. it is a matter of will and consciousness that can be changed and influenced by discourse. Most 19 century understandings were that sex (usually expressed as a binary of male and female) and gender were the same thing and that they were biologically determined ie. innate, determined by genes and hormones. The terms masculine and feminine were used to describe gender traits of men and women respectively and were seen to be primarily influenced by biological factors. Sex refers to biological sex differences. Most of the time we assume that these are visible differences between the sexes - most specifically, sex organs and the noticeable presence or absence of breasts. Sex is considered an ascribed status because our determination of peoples sex based upon these visible characteristics. Cultures generally then build upon these differences, or accentuate them through blatant and subtle mechanisms. Sex, in reality, is more than the simple blueprint learned in high-school biology--XX for female, XY for male. All embryos are identical for the first eight weeks of gestation, and then several factors nudge the infant toward male or 12
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female development. But some embryos step off track. The cause can be chromosomal or hormonal. Infants with androgen insensitivity syndrome, for example, have XY cells but cannot process testosterone, and they look like females. An inherited condition called 5-alpha-reductase deficiency triggers an apparent female-to-male sex change at puberty. Congenital adrenal hyperplasia--the most common intersexual condition--results from hormonal imbalances that masculinize the genitals of XX children. Scientists speculate that such an imbalance may also masculinize the brain, establishing gender and sexual orientation. Certainly part of the reason there is a rush to correct the ambiguity of the sex of intersexuals is because of the link between sex and gender. Gender reflects the social and personal characteristics a society assigns to the sexes. It is those things that we may consider personality characteristics such as aggressiveness, nurturing, emotional responses, etc. Gender can be considered the being part of social assignment. It is how we are supposed to be the sex we are assigned. Since our gender socialization starts at birth, it has been considered critical that the sex of a child be properly determined so that there is no gender confusion in socialization. This is an interesting conclusion for doctors to have come to because the common assumption, and a point frequently argued, is that those characteristics that are socially assigned to the sexes (what we are calling gender) are considered by most to be a natural consequence of our sex. One central factor in this equalitydifference debate is the question of the relevance of biological differences between men and women. For centuries, biological difference has been the starting point and justication for the creation of different social roles for women and men. Not only was womens biological capacity for childbirth and breastfeeding and their generally lesser physical strength seen as determining their social role in the home, occupying themselves with domestic chores and bringing up children, but it was also claimed that these biological differences made them unt to participate in the public sphere. Women were judged to be less reasonable than men, more ruled by emotion, and thus incapable of political decision-making, for example. These types of assertions by philosophers and political theorists were supported by anatomists and biologists who, as scientic knowledge of the human body advanced in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, began to use data such as measurements of brain size to establish a difference in intelligence between men and women. Although this crude type of scientic differentiation between men and women is now almost universally acknowledged as worthless, there is a continuing attempt to provide empirical scientic data to support the idea of innate biological differences between men and women. Influential in this view of sex and gender as synonymous and innate was psychologist John Money who drew on embryologists research which, as early as the 1920s, identified that foetal development involved a single embryonic promordium or gonad which gave rise to either an ovary or testis, and hormones which triggered the development of male or female genitalia from a single set of structures. In the 1950s, Money extended this concept of separation from a single structure into two distinct genders to psychological development. Anne Fausto-Sterling (1995) describes Moneys influential theory as a fork in the road which occurs early in human development and lists Moneys road signs which signal male or female as: Chromosomal sex (denoted by the presence of an X or Y chromosome); Gonadal sex (when the X or Y chromosome instructs the foetal gonad to develop into a testis or ovary);

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Foetal hormonal sex (in which the embryonic testis produces hormones which influences following events); Internal morphologic sex (development of internal organs such as the uterus); External morphologic sex (development of genitalia Brain sex; Sex of assignment and rearing; Pubertal hormonal sex (when another emission of hormones occurs triggering developments such as hair growth and breast enlargement);

On the face of it, Moneys list of 10 gender differences does not rule out exceptions, such as a person having an XXY or XYY chromosomal structure, thus opening the door to possibly more than two genders, although this thinking was not engaged seriously for almost half a century and remains debated today. Nor does it preclude social and cultural influence on gender. But his theory positions sex and gender as fundamentally determined by biological differences. In 1975, Wilson was another who claimed that the difference between the sexes was determined by biological differences with little influence from social and cultural factors. He believed this to be true of all human societies and asserted that genetic differences between the sexes are great enough to cause a substantial division of. Males and females were seen to act in accordance with sex roles scripted by their biologically determined gender. Sex roles thinking held sway for much of the mid-twentieth century and shaped social institutions and practices. However, sociologists attacked biological determinism or essentialism, as it was termed. Joseph Pleck, a prolific writer on the subject, criticised the sex role identity of men in his 1981 book, The Myth of Masculinity, pointing out that biological determinism and functionalist sex role discourse were based largely on assumptions with little empirical evidence of innate biological or psychological differences between the sexes. New directions in the debate To further complicate matters, social scientific research on the sex/gender distinction continues to reveal the ways in which this distinction itself does not reflect the complex relationship between or meanings of both sex and gender. Thus, while biomedical discourse has not even grappled with the original lexicon of sex and gender, the sex/gender debate in the social sciences continues to move in new directions, leaving biomedicine further behind. One such direction is the way in which the designation of biological sex itself as a binary concept of male versus female ignores the realities of both biology and sex. Social scientists argue that the category biological sex is a complex arena in which a variety of genetic, metabolic, and hormonal factors create individuals for whom a sex is socially assigned. Although ones sex is most often determined by ones genotype (i.e., XX or XY chromosomes), some scholars argue that the binary assignment is itself a cultural construct, and perhaps it is more appropriate to classify sex on a continuum, or at least a categorical system that includes more than two categories. Still other scholars study the fairly arbitrary assignment of sex that is made for individuals for whom no specific sex (read: male or female) assignment is possible due to physical ambiguities. In developed countries, such arbitrary assignment is often accompanied by genital surgery to fix any uncertainty in the childs visible sex. These cases beg the question of what is sex.

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Culture as Epicenter of Gender Gender means the state of being male or female, what it means to be a man or a woman, and in a social context it refers to the social differences between men and women. Girls and boys learn these differences while they are growing up in society, in different ways in different cultures. The identities of women and men are formed differently because social surroundings impose different expectations on girls and boys from the moment they are born. Gender roles thus start to take shape already at a very early age. Gender in the social and cultural sense is thus learned, as opposed to the biological, physical, sense in which the word is sometimes used. The attributes of gender in the social and cultural sense are also variable and differ between cultures and over time. Culture is a term that is used to mean a number of things in different contexts. Normally, when people hear the term culture they assume that one is talking about such things as art, architecture, clothing, or food. These types of things are part of what culture is. Others may assume that culture means high culture such as opera, ballet, and fancy dinner tables with lots of silverware. This too may be a part of culture. Actually, culture is the values, beliefs, and behavioral expectations shared by a people, as well as physical manifestations that are created by a people. In other words, culture encompasses both a physical or material component such as clothes and food, and a non-physical (or non-material) component such as values and beliefs. Definition of culture is that it is shared by a people. Culture is shared, and it varies from one people to another. It is culture that both binds people together through shared ways of being in the world, and distinguishes one people from another. Culture provides continuity within the group as it is passed from one generation to the next. As people share a culture, and interact with each other within the rules and structures of that culture, they are a society. Society is people collectively sharing a culture. Failure to pass on the culture, particularly the non-material culture, means the death of the culture and the society even though individuals descended from the group may live on into the indefinite future. One Material culture includes all physical aspects of a culture. Different cultures share some material components such as housing, clothes, food, etc. However, what that material culture looks like and the meanings applied to it can be very different across cultures. These meanings are linked to the nonmaterial part of culture. The non-material culture includes values and beliefs, the rules for behavior, and language. Values include the standards of judgement of a people -- what is right / wrong, good / bad, desirable / undesirable, beautiful / ugly. Values include the shared beliefs of a people, and the meanings of the world and interactions around them. One component of cultural values is beliefs. Beliefs include simple things such as glass is a solid (it is actually a liquid which in our environment never truly becomes solid). Beliefs can be more complex such as humans are above all other living things. Beliefs help explain our world to us and why things are the way they are. In the context of social order, they provide support and maintenance of why people have prestige (or lack of it). In some ways it can be characterized as the story a people live. Social Stratification Social stratification can be seen as a foundation for the culture and the society. It sets out the fundamental distinctions between groups and individuals. It largely determines how we will interact with each other, and what the conditions of our lives, as individuals and groups, will be. Social

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stratification is societys way of systematically ranking groups and individuals into a hierarchy, and according them power, privilege, and access to social resources relative to that ranking. Stratification systems provide a social hierarchy which results in imbalances of power and access between higher status and lower status groups. This imbalance is an assumed and integral function of stratification, and certainly perpetuates it. In fact, the imbalance makes it very difficult for the hierarchy to do anything but reproduce itself. There are a number of variables in this definition of social stratification. The first component is the term stratification itself. Stratification is built upon the word stratum meaning layer. Strata, which is the plural, means multiple layers stacked upon each other. According to our definition, the layering of these strata has a meaning - hierarchy. In the social sense of the term, hierarchy means that not all strata are valued equally. Those in the lower strata are less important than those in the higher strata from societys perspective. The stratum that one belongs to determines what ones power, privilege, and access to social resources are. Everything relates to it in some way: how we interact with each other; how social institutions such as religion, the political order, education, and economy work and are structured; what things need to be done and who is to do them. Social stratification is systematic in that it organizes social structure. Strata are comprised of people who meet characteristics the society determines make up the criteria for membership within each stratum. This is important in that access to social resources are determined by what strata one is a member of, and membership is determined by the society - not the individual. Stratification systems, and the characteristics needed to be placed (or located) within a stratum are generally based upon either ascribed or achieved characteristics. Ascribed characteristics are usually those one is born with and cannot change. These types of characteristics may include such things as race, sex, caste or clan, age, and religion. Achieved characteristics are based upon individuals achievements and may be such things as skill or economics. Since ascribed characteristics are ones which cannot be changed under normal circumstance, stratification systems based upon inscriptive characteristics are considered closed systems. This means that you are born (or placed) into a stratum and you cannot change it. Achieved systems on the other hand are considered within the realm of the individuals ability to change (hard work, acquiring a skill, etc) and therefore are considered open systems. This means that individuals can change their stratum. In practice, there are no known contemporary societies where the stratification system is either totally closed or totally open. Instead, most societies lie along a continuum of closed to open Status and roles Status, as mentioned above refers to ones social positions within a society, and we all hold multiple statuses at any given time in our lives. These positions are pre-existing for the individual just as a society pre-exists the individual. We are slotted into our position in the hierarchy based upon what society has determined to be important characteristics, and we share those social locations with others who have similar characteristics. The prestige component of a status has to do with the way that other members of the society view and judge you based upon your social location and how you are performing within that status. Every status has roles that are assigned to it. These roles are the acting out of the responsibilities and norms of the status. An analogy that some find

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useful is that a status is similar to a job title, while the roles of that status are similar to the job description. Every status has roles just as every job has job duties. In terms of master statuses, the job title (status) might be female, and the roles would be how a female is supposed to act and be within the context of the society. Roles always have two components: a doing component that says what one is supposed to do and a being component that says how one is supposed to be (act) within that role. We interact constantly as individuals of different statuses and roles. While we may individualize our roles to reflect our own personality, we generally do that within the limits of what the society has determined to be acceptable. If we exceed those limits we are considered at best odd and at worst deviant. If our status is high enough and we exceed the limits of the role we may be considered eccentric rather than deviant. Social institutions Social institutions are relatively stable patterns of interaction that members of the society engage in to meet the survival needs of the society. What does a society need in order to survive? What are the basic needs? First, it needs to be able to replace members of the society as they die. Therefore all societies have some pattern of relations around family, and within that institution other institutions and regulations about marriage, acceptable sexual mates, etc. It is not enough to just replace societal members. These members must learn how to be members of the society and this involves a variety of institutions such as the family, education, religion and more recently the media. These new members need to survive in some way, and so societies have organization around the production and distribution of goods and services. This is known as the institution of economy. In order to maintain stability a society needs to have some sense of order (institutions of the political order, and religion), and a sense of common purpose and identity (all of the above institutions may be involved here). Certainly many other institutions may be created by a society either as distinct patterns, or as part of other social institutions. For example, there may be an institution of medical care. While we can identify a number of social institutions, they do not function separately, but are strongly integrated with one another. While each have identifiable patterns of interactions aimed at specific functions, they are part of one whole. What ties the institutions together in the society, and sets the framework or context for the interactions, are the same as for individuals in the society - shared culture and the stratification system. Social institutions are not buildings or machines. They are people working and interacting in certain ways. They are us living in our society. The rules (norms) that govern our behavior in society also govern us in social institutions. The values and beliefs that constitute the shared cultural mindscape govern a societys institutions. In the discussion of culture, prejudice was defined as a set of beliefs and/or attitudes about a group of people, or a person, based upon perceived membership in that group. When we see and experience the patterns of inequality that are embedded in the stratification system, we know that we are seeing something more than a few prejudiced individuals. Rather we are seeing institutional discrimination. Institutional discrimination is the arrangements or practices in social institutions and their related organizations that tend to favor one group (the dominant group) over other groups. These arrangements or practices may be conscious or unconscious actions, policies, and choices that tend to maintain groups in their socially proscribed stations. Institutional discrimination is characterized by its continual and ongoing nature as it is generally embedded within the processes, policies, rules, and norms of the organization or dominant group.

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Social construction The core of social construction is acknowledging that we as human beings and societies apply meaning to the world. Essentially, in defining the world we define social reality. Most students respond to this idea with that makes sense. However, that agreement is quickly challenged when we start thinking about the implications of meaning and reality. This challenge comes because while we logically understand that we learn the meanings of words and signs, we are taught that the world itself and everything in it is an unquestionable reality. In other words, we are raised as essentialists believing that the essence of a thing is in the thing itself - not in what we define it to mean. Our sex is a central feature of our selves. Sex is the physiological and physical distinctions between the sexes. From the time we are born, and perhaps before, it shapes others expectations of us and our expectations of ourselves. Our sex is a biological fact with biological implications. We know that females and males are different from each other. This knowing is supported by a large body of scientific and medical facts. We are taught there are many physiological differences between the sexes: general height/weight differences; hormonal and developmental differences; bodily function differences; and many more. We extend this knowing to the less physical where it is generally assumed that there are also mental and emotional differences between the sexes. We extend it again to assume that there are behavioral differences. Lastly, we extend it again to assume that males and females are suited for doing different things. Pretty much regardless of the culture in which we are raised, there is an assumed natural link between all of the above. We may believe these linkages between the physical, emotional, doing, and being are due to nature or to the will (or whimsy) of the gods, but regardless it is considered relatively fixed. Gender is the set of beliefs, prescriptions and attributions that are socially constructed and based on sexual difference. This social construction works as a kind of cultural "filter" through which the world is interpreted, as well as a kind of armour with which people's decisions and opportunities are limited according to whether they have the body of a man or a woman. All societies classify what is "typical" of women and "typical" of men, and the social obligations of each sex are established based on these cultural ideas, with a series of symbolic prohibitions. Culture is a result but it is also a means. The symbolic is the establishment of cultural codes that govern human existence by means of fundamental prescriptions, such as those of gender. The socialisation and individuation of humans are the result of a unique process: that of their humanisation, in other words their gradual emergence from the biological order and their transition towards culture. Symbolic thought represents the very heart of culture. All human beings have to face the same fact in all societies: sexual difference. Each culture creates its own symbolisation of the difference between the sexes and engenders many versions of the man/woman dichotomy. What characterises human beings is speech, involving a symbolising function, and it is fundamental for us to become social subjects and beings. Speech has a structure that is beyond the control and consciousness of the individual speaker, who does, however, make use of this structure, which is present in his or her mind. Language is a basic element of the cultural matrix, in other words the parent structure of meanings by virtue of which our experiences become intelligible. Human beings symbolise sexual difference with a mental structure that includes the unconscious and by using language, which is universal even though it takes different forms. This

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symbolisation is today known as gender. There are many different symbolisations of the constant biological universe of sexual difference. In other words, there are many different gender schemas. This cultural symbolisation of an anatomical difference takes the form of a set of practices, ideas, discourses and social representations that influence and condition people's objective and subjective behaviour according to their sex. By establishing gender, society thereby manufactures ideas of what men and women should be. Gender attributes "feminine" and "masculine" characteristics to spheres of life, activities and behaviour. From childhood we perceive representations of "the feminine" and "the masculine" through language and the material expressions of culture (objects, images, etc.). As regards information, gender precedes information relating to sexual difference in a child's cognitive development. Between the ages of two and three, girls and boys learn to refer to themselves in feminine or masculine terms, even if they have no clear idea of what the biological difference consists of. Many of them do not even register the anatomical difference, but they are able to differentiate the clothes, toys and the most obvious symbols of what is typical of boys and what is typical of girls. Gender refers to the socio-cultural definition of man and woman, the way in which they are differentiated and assigned socially acceptable roles. These are maintained, sustained by multiple structures like family, community, society, ethnicity, and through tools like culture, language, education, media and religion. For ages we have been socialized into believing that the different categories, roles and status accorded to men and women in society is determined by biology i.e. sex, that they are natural and constant and therefore not changeable. In a way, women and their bodies are held responsible for their specific roles and subsequently their subordinate status in society. When biological determinism has been accepted as natural, there is obviously no need to address the gender inequalities and injustice that exist in society. However, if biology alone determined our roles, every woman would be only cooking washing sewing etc.! But this clearly is not the case because most professional cooks, launderers and tailors happen to be men. The roles also change with time, culture, and region. Therefore, neither sex nor nature is responsible for the unjustifiable inequalities that exist between women and men. Sex marks the distinction between women and men as a result of their biological, physical and genetic differences. Gender roles are set by convention and other social, economic, political and cultural forces. From this perspective, sex is fixed and based in nature; gender is fluid and based in culture. This distinction constitutes progress compared with biology is destiny. However, it ignores the existence of persons who do not fit neatly into the biological or social categories of women and men, such as intersex, transgender, transsexual people and hijras. Furthermore, for many people the sex categories of female and male are neither fixed nor universal, but vary over time and across cultures. Accordingly, sex, like gender, is seen as a social and cultural construct. Everyone is born female or male. Biological and physiological conditions such as chromosomes, hormones, secondary sex characteristics and external and internal genitalia help us in calling a being as belonging to female sex or to a male sex. Only the sexual and reproductive organs are different and all other organs are the same. Other than these few biological differences, girls and boys are not different. In fact, the bodies of girls and boys have more similarities than differences. Because of their physical construction, girls belong to the female sex and boys belong to the male sex, these biological or physiological differences are created by nature, and these differences are same in every family, every community and in every country. Gender means the

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state of being male or female, what it means to be a man or a woman, and in a social context it refers to the social differences between men and women. Girls and boys learn these differences while they are growing up in society, in different ways in different cultures. The identities of women and men are formed differently because social surroundings impose different expectations on girls and boys from the moment they are born. Gender roles thus start to take shape already at a very early age. The babies are dressed in pink baby clothes if they are girls, while boys are given light blue clothes. Girls are supposed to play with dolls houses and boys with computer war games. Gender is relational and refers not simply to women or men but to the relationship between them. Gender refers to the economic, social and cultural attributes and opportunities associated with being male or female at a particular point in time. Sex refers to the biological characteristics that define humans as female or male. While these sets of biological characteristics are not mutually exclusive, as there are individuals who possess both, they tend to differentiate humans as males and females. (Sex) in human beings is not a purely dichotomous variable. It is not an evenly continuous one either. a fair number of human beings are markedly intersexual, a number of them to the point where both sorts of external genitalia appear, or where developed breasts occur in an individual with male genitalia, and so on. Nature does not create gender differences. Nature produces females and males but society turns them into women and men, feminine and masculine. Women and men experience the world in different ways. These differences are constructed by the society and experienced by the women differently that becomes the basis of inequality in their relationships. There are substantial differences in the way life is experienced by women and men. It would therefore be necessary to understand, why women and men experience the world in different ways, how these differences are constructed and achieved in society, what are the basis of inequality and hierarchy in their relationships. Gender in the social and cultural sense is thus learned, as opposed to the biological, physical, sense in which the word is sometimes used. The attributes of gender in the social and cultural sense are also variable and differ between cultures and over time. The lack of gender equality is often most clearly seen in the division of community and household tasks. In many communities women and girls traditionally take care of the work connected with the family and community activities while the men concentrate on work involving production. Nevertheless gender roles are changing and women in different parts of the world are moving over to paid work as well. Often, all the same, the women and girls engaged in production continue to look after family and community work. They thus play threefold role within their communities Gender is learnt through a process of socialisation and through the culture of the particular society concerned. In many cultures, boys are encouraged in the acts considered to display male traits (and girls vice versa) through the toys given to children (guns for boys, dolls for girls), the kind of discipline meted out, the jobs or careers to which they might aspire, and the portrayal of men and women in the media. Children learn their gender from birth. They learn how they should behave in order to be perceived by others, and themselves, as either masculine or feminine. Throughout their life this is reinforced by parents, teachers, peers, their culture and society. Gender is a neutral term, neither good nor bad, right nor wrong. For some, the word gender has become associated with womens issues and womens programs, feminists, and for some people gender has become a negative word that connotes exclusion or hatred of men. In fact,

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gender refers to both males and females. Surprisingly and unfortunately, many do not understand its meaning. People often use the word "Gender" as a synonym for "Sex." Sex, however, refers to a biological characteristic that makes someone female or someone male. We also misuse the word Gender as a synonym for "women" or "female." People also commonly accept that women and men perform different functions in the society. Some of these are biological roles and others are socially, culturally and historically given roles. However women and men identify social and cultural realities differently due to their own personal experiences to these given roles. In fact, human beings have a world of meanings, therefore, it is very important to understand What it means to be a woman and what it means to be a man, or again, what it means to be a girl and what it means to be a boy and also Why women and men respond differently to a similar development process. One central factor in this equalitydifference debate is the question of the relevance of biological differences between men and women. For centuries, biological difference has been the starting point and justication for the creation of different social roles for women and men. Not only was womens biological capacity for childbirth and breastfeeding and their generally lesser physical strength seen as determining their social role in the home, occupying themselves with domestic chores and bringing up children, but it was also claimed that these biological differences made them unt to participate in the public sphere. Women were judged to be less reasonable than men, more ruled by emotion, and thus incapable of political decision-making, for example. These types of assertions by philosophers and political theorists were supported by anatomists and biologists who, as scientic knowledge of the human body advanced in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, began to use data such as measurements of brain size to establish a difference in intelligence between men and women. Although this crude type of scientic differentiation between men and women is now almost universally acknowledged as worthless, there is a continuing attempt to provide empirical scientic data to support the idea of innate biological differences between men and women. As Lynne Segal points out, the late 1980s and 1990s saw a resurgence of social Darwinism, scientic theories that seek to explain male and female behaviour in terms of the demands of human evolution and survival, and that therefore dismiss the idea that masculinity and femininity are social constructs in favour of purely biological explanations. The significance attached to sex and gender identity is socially determined, which means that gender is political. This is basic to feminist thinking. We are born as biological creatures of the male or the female sex, but from the very beginning, we are moulded as social beings. We acquire a social sex, or gender. This process takes place in accordance with the criteria imposed by society with regards to what qualities are considered male and female respectively. In feminist research, the gender system is a way of describing in what way, and according to which principles, different societies form their concepts of gender. The gender system goes one step further than the theory of patriarchy in that it sees the issues relevant to the subordination of women in their historical context. The gender system is founded on two basic principles, on the separation of the sexes and on men seen as the norm. The first of these two principles means that males and females should not mix an important strategy for maintaining the system. Women and men are considered different by nature and should therefore be treated differently. The second principle suggests that men represent normality and women deviate from this normality. Women and men devote their time to different things, and what men do is considered to be of greater value. Womens interests are regarded as special interests. Acting on these principles, society draws up a gender contract which regulates the relationship between the sexes socially, financially and politically. Every historical period has its

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own gender contract, its own invisible agreement and settlement. The gender contract covers areas such as occupation, spheres of interests and skills, thoughts, personal characteristics and qualities, outward appearance, sexual behaviour and suitable locations to be in. The concept helps us to see gender as the roles and the tasks which we have been allotted according to the gender contract and which are constantly being reproduced by virtue of the expectations and concepts of gender that are prevalent at the individual level and in society as a whole. In this way we are socialised into the gender-determined power structure and take it for granted. The relation between gender roles and the division of labour is closely tied to individual cultures. Gender relations form a power system of economic, social and political structures. The cultural identity of every society is shaped by everyday practice, by, for example, traditions, rules of behaviour, ways of talking and dressing, and so on. These practices express the values and attitudes of each community as to how people should live together and what it means to be a woman or a man in the community. The values, respect accorded and ways of expressing gender that are connected with being a woman or a man form the gender system. In most societies the ruling gender system is a patriarchy men have a higher status than women. Thus, all socially given roles, activities, responsibilities and needs, which are categorized as feminine or masculine by a given society, at a given time, are differences of gender. Unlike the sex categories, gender categories are variable and often hierarchical in the distribution of power and privilege. Gender shapes the individuals opportunities for education, work, family, authority and reproduction. It also influences an individuals chances of making an impact on the production of knowledge and culture. The manner in which different societies value or devalue women and men determine the level of inequalities prevailing in that society. Gender is a primary category in which individuals both identify themselves and are identified by others. Gender is not a set of binary categories, but rather a spectrum. The concept of gender can be restrictive in many ways. People are generally expected to identify as a particular gender, the one which has been assigned to them, and act in specific ways deemed accordingly. While gender roles are the expectations a culture has of one's behavior as appropriate for male or female, gender identity is, the individual's actual subjective sense of belonging to the female or male category or neither of the two. Some people discover that their gender identity does not match the gender role they have been assigned, a condition traditionally referred to as gender dysphoria. In other circumstances, children may be born with both sets of genitalia, a condition referred to as being intersexed. No single common usage The question of meaning arose both in terms of the controversy over the translation, because of the lack of the word gender in Indian languages, and the various meanings it is attributed in various languages. It is argued that gender is not part of popular vocabulary and cannot be easily translated, especially within a context of gender training and particularly in the Indian languages. The word has been separated from the way it is used in grammatical classification. English speakers point out that as English is a language which has retained relatively little gender in its grammatical structure, gender is largely a technical term. To use this unfamiliar word with a different meaning is confusing. The argument against gender is based on the fact that it does not translate easily into

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local languages and thus, it is argued by some, it remains an alien concept. In some ways the debate about gender has echoes of an earlier development debate about the introduction of the Portuguese word conscientization into the English language. The term was used by the Brazilian educationalist Paulo Freire (1993) to describe a process of adult education with an explicit empowerment approach. It is perhaps no accident that whereas technical terms can be readily assimilated, those with a clear (and potentially revolutionary) value base are much more challenging. One way of neutralizing this challenge is precisely to argue that gender is a technical term. However, this approach was tested and found to be problematic for reasons which are discussed further below. When gender enters the public discourse, for example through the media, different people use it to mean different things. Sometimes it seems to be used interchangeably with sex. A number of gender training participants have referred to various quotations which associate gender with sexual orientation and expressions of sexuality, which are regarded by some as socially unacceptable. This is very much linked to a prevailing sense that if sexuality is not controlled, there will be social chaos. Sometimes gender becomes synonymous with the roles, responsibilities and rights of women only. To some extent these arguments reflect an ongoing debate about the role of nature and nurture in forming the human personality and characteristics. Gender is a set of complex and connected ideas. It is being used to describe the social constructions that are built on biological difference. These are many, different and variable. Gender and men With gender explained as an important concept in the current development discourse, it must also be noted that some groups experience a problem with the term. Writers such as OLeary expressed their concern with this term. According to them the problems that women face have not yet been dealt with, and already there is a new issue at stake. They also argue that the term gender takes both men and women into account, while men still have so many advantages over women. Khan argues that a focus on gender implies a shift away from women, to women and men, and because of still-existing inequalities the focus will once again be on men. The organisation Development Alternatives for Women in a New Era (DAWN) also expressed this concern. The fear is that gender discrimination will once again flare up, when we have not even touched on eliminating some of the problems experienced by women. There is also concern that a focus on gender can lead to a defensive approach from men. They can become depoliticised and feel unsafe in an approach focussing on gender. Men should not become disempowered by an approach focussing on women or on gender. According to Rao Gupta, unequal power balances in society favour men. This results in unequal heterosexual interaction where male power and male pleasure controls the pleasure and power of women. Rao Gupta also states that power for one should mean more power for all. There should not be a fear from men that the empowerment of women will take away power from them. Men, in all their diversity, have until recently been largely missing from GAD discourse. Their occasional appearances tend to be in the guise of Man the Oppressor, as custodians and perpetrators of male domination and as obstacles to equitable development. Representations of men in relation to women often portray men as figures women struggle with, fear, resist or resent. Rarely if ever are men depicted as people sons, lovers, husbands, fathers - with whom women might have shared interests and concerns, let alone love and cherish. Nor is the range of subject positions actual

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men may occupy in different kinds of relationships with women, or indeed men, brought into the frame. Rather, men emerge as a potent, homogeneous category that is invariably treated as problematic Another problem experienced with the term gender is the validity of the use of this term. The idea behind the use of the term gender was to explain where biology ends and where society starts. But according to White the term gender just replaced the term sex. Once again gender has been tied to being male or female. We dont really take into account the differences between individuals. White argues that today there is no real difference between how gender and sex is used by writers, researchers and policy makers. After years of study and writing about gender, we are just where we started. How many times have you completed a questionnaire that asks your gender? That is not really what the researcher wants to know. The question in reality, should be, what your sex is. This is just a practical example of how gender replaced sex, while the aim was to enhance the understanding of the lives of men and women in society. Yet, even with these problems experienced with the term gender, policy makers are still concerned with the idea of mainstreaming gender into the development and policy discourse. Gender is important in all aspects of policy making within government and public institutions . Together with the mainstreaming of gender, we also need gender awareness in the planning for development where women are included in planning and policy making. What is the mainstreaming of gender? Chant & Gutmann explain gender mainstreaming as a way to bring gender awareness to the centre of development planning. Gender issues should be an integral part of planning and practice to ensure that mainstreaming of gender is obtained. All legislation policies and programmes at all levels, in public and private sector, should focus on the concerns of both men and women. Both these groups should also benefit equally from these policies and programmes. Women in gender: We can ask the question why we always refer to women when we talk about gender. Both men and women are important in the discourse regarding gender. The focus on women is due to the fact that women are generally an oppressed group in the most societies (especially in Third World countries). The roles that men play in society are generally regarded higher than the roles that women play in society. These are the reasons why we focus in general more on women than on men in the gender discourse. Women are regarded as an oppressed, neglected group within the general development discourse. Many development efforts that are planned for women also have a positive effect on the men with whom they have relations and with whom they come into contact. For this reason it makes sense to focus on women, because men will not necessarily also benefit as a result. We should be aware of the dangers of focussing on people in general and not a specific group. Gender-neutral arguments state that if men benefit, women will also benefit. This is not true. History has shown to us that women do not benefit when men benefit such as with development projects based on the modernisation theory. The benefits for men do not trickle down to women. The opposite might, however, be true. If women benefit, those advantages will probably be shared by men as well. Women tend to be more caring than men and distribute advantages to the whole household. Men will then experience the advantage as well. Another important issue to realise is that women in Third World countries are not a

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homogeneous group. Women over different continents, in different countries and in different communities have diverse experiences. We may want to believe that there is solidarity between women, but we must realise that there are differences between groups and individuals. We are still confronted with the idea that gender is only a womens issue. Or, as Frnsveden & Rnquist put it, that gender is still a public domain. Women are still the main actors in research regarding gender, and they are more active than men in the Women in Development as well as Gender in Development schools. After discussing women in gender, it is also worth considering how men experience gender and how they form part of the gender and development process. Since the beginning of the 1990s the focus of women alone in gender issues has changed to involve men as well. In 1993 Sarah White argued that men must be part of the development process to a much greater extent. For this argument she faced the critique of many feminist writers, but she still stands by it. According to Cleaver, the concept gender translates very often to the needs of women alone; therefore we need to be aware of how men fit into the gender discourse. We cannot change the power-based balance between men and women if we only focus on women and their needs. The problems experienced by women cannot be changed by women alone. For that reason, we must involve men in the discourse regarding gender. When we argued for the inclusion of the term gender in development, men were noticeably absent. According to Pearson, it was mainly women who engaged in the gender and development discourse. It was women who wrote and argued for the inclusion of women. Then we can ask the question, why must we involve men now? Pearson argues that if we dont involve men in the gender and development discourse, there might be a suspicious attitude from feminists against the new focus of masculinity. Men are very often seen as the reason for failures in development as well as the oppression of women. Involving men in development projects aimed originally at the advancement of women creates the possibility of change within gender relations. It also creates the opportunity of sharing responsibilities for development between men and women. Men feel that because of the focus on women in the gender discourse, gender does not involve them. According to Frnsveden and Rnquist, men argue that gender does not have anything to do with them. Because of this argument, we have to involve men in the gender and development arena. They are just as much part of gender as women are. It is clear, that if we do not involve men in the gender arena, they will continue to argue that gender is only a womens issue. Gender must be everybodys issue. Men are also affected by gender and for that reason they should be included in interventions. The field of gender has been dominated by issues of women and involving men is a way to redress the balance in this field. Another reason to involve men in gender is that men as a group (although not a homogenous group) also experience inequalities. It might be a different kind of inequality as experienced by women, but there still are inequalities experienced by men. According to Levy et al. men experience these on the basis of gender, class, race, ethnicity, age, religion, sexuality as well as ability. We must recognise the inequalities that men experience and make these a part of the gender discourse. Some women, however, are very negative about involving men in the gender discourse. White asks the question if it is possible for men to share power and authority with women. The fear exists that involving men in discourse of gender and development can reduce the focus on women and create a situation where men can once again dominate decisions and resources. There is also

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limited funding and limited resources available for gender and development projects. There is concern that if the focus moves away from women, to women and men, men would benefit more. The power that men have over women and development should be changed to also include power to women. This will lead to power within women and a sharing of power between men and women. Involving men in the gender discourse must lead to equitable relations between men and women. According to Pearson men and women must be freed from the burdens that they carry due to gender relations. The problems experienced with the term gender must be addressed to lead to equitable relations. It is understandable that there are fears that involving men may lead to the disadvantages of women. Yet dealing with mens involvement in such a way that women are not disadvantaged by this involvement should prevent this. Not involving men in the development discourse may have even worse results. We must be aware of the possible reactions of men and plan for those reactions. To treat gender and development as only an issue for women underestimates the seriousness of the unequal society in which we live. To achieve gender equity, we must involve men to achieve a just society. According to Frnsveden and Rnquist, changing the barriers that women experience in development, reaches only halfway in achieving an equal society. Men and women should be partners in these changes, and by involving men, these changes can take place. Gender is often overlooked as an aspect of mens social identity. This stems from a tendency to consider male characteristics and attributes as the norm, with those of women being a variation on the norm. But the lives and activities of men as well as women are strongly influenced by gender. In most societies, men tend to have broader options, more opportunities and greater access to societys resources than women. This is the result of a framework of legislation, policies, and institutions that incorporate attitudes and practices about what is appropriate to being male and female in a given society. Cultural norms and practices about "masculinity" and expectations of men as leaders, husbands, sons and lovers -- in other words, gender -- are important in shaping the demands on men and their behaviour. In many societies, they mean that men are expected to bear arms and fight in defence of the nation or community. They shape the expectation that men will concentrate on the material needs of their families, rather than the nurturing and care relationship assigned to women. There are thus disadvantages and costs to men in patterns of gender difference. The Persistence of Gender Hierarchy What is interesting about the age old gender system in Western society is not that it never changes but that it sustains itself by continually redefining who men and women are and what they do while preserving the fundamental assumption that whatever the differences are, on balance, they imply that men are rightly more powerful. The essential form of gender hierarchythat is, the cultural assumption that men have more status and authority than do womenhas persisted during major socioeconomic transformations such as industrialization, the movement of women into the paid labor force, and more recently, the movement of women into maledominated occupations such as law or medicine. While a complex of social and historical processes has been responsible, we suggest that the interplay of gender beliefs and social relational contexts has played an important part in this persistence. If the structural terms on which people who are classified as men and women are allowed to encounter one another do not repeatedly enact power and influence relations that predominantly

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favor men in peoples everyday experience, then the cultural beliefs that create gender as a distinct system of difference and inequality will become unsustainable. The fact that gender is present in virtually all social relational contexts but is always enmeshed in other identities and activities suggests that these contexts are an arena where cultural beliefs about what gender is and what it means at any given point in a society are potentially subject to redefinition or change. Yet as we have seen, social relational contexts evoke preexisting gender beliefs that modestly but persistently bias peoples behavior and their evaluations of self and other in gender-typical ways. Although these biasing effects are contextually variable and often subtle, they are widespread across the many social relational contexts through which people enact society and shape the course of their lives. The cumulative consequence, cross-sectionally between aggregates of men and women and longitudinally over the lives of individuals, is to reproduce patterns of behaviors that appear to confirm the basic structure of gender beliefs. Thus, although gender beliefs are at play in social relational contexts, their self-fulfilling effects there give the basic hierarchical structure of these beliefs a devilish resilience. The resilience of gender hierarchy is further reinforced by the way social relational contexts carry preexisting gender beliefs into new activities at the leading edge of social change in society. These contexts, where individuals take the first steps that lead to a new type of industry, occupation, or social organization, are not well structured by established institutional rules and organizational procedures and, consequently, are particularly affected by the interpersonal relations that develop among the participants. These interpersonal relations, however, usually will be shaped in some degree by the implicit activation of gender beliefs in the contexts through which they develop. As gender beliefs write gender hierarchy into the interpersonal relations through which people create new social forms, the people in effect rewrite gender hierarchy into the new social practices that develop to define the new occupation or industry. In this way, gender beliefs and social relational contexts conserve gender hierarchy in the structure of society and cultural beliefs themselves despite ongoing economic and technological change. Social order and perception We are born into a cultural fabric where the evaluations and beliefs about what is "typical" for men and "typical" for women already exist. We use the gender elements and categories available in our culture in the way we see ourselves and in constructing our own image. Our perception is conditioned, or "filtered", by the culture in which we live and by the beliefs conveyed to us in our family and social circle with regard to what women do and what men do. The social discourse already inhabits our consciousness. There is great difficulty in analysing the logic of gender immersed in the social order, as the division of the world, according to Pierre Bourdieu based on references to biological differences and particularly those related to dividing the work of procreation and reproduction, acts as "the most well-founded of the collective illusions". Established as an objective set of references, gender concepts help to structure not only individual perception but also the specific and symbolic organisation of all social life. That is why, according to Bourdieu, the social order is so deeply rooted that it requires no justification: it prevails because it is selfevident and it is accepted as "natural" because of the almost perfect balance it achieves between social structures such as the social organisation of space and time and the sexual division of work, on the one hand, and on the other hand the cognitive structures etched in bodies and minds, such as the habitus.. According to Bourdieu, the habitus is the set of historical relations "placed" in

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individual bodies in the form of mental and corporal schemas of perception, appreciation and action. These schemas relate to gender and at the same time give rise to gender. In addition to the sexes, gender also affects the perception of everything else: the social, the political, the religious and the everyday. Understanding the cultural gender schema helps to unravel the network of social interrelations and interactions of the current symbolic order. In all cultures, sexual difference appears as the basis for the subordination or oppression of women. The framework of symbolisation is created precisely from the anatomical and reproductive, and all economic, social and political aspects of heterosexual male domination are based on the different place occupied by each sex in the process of sexual reproduction. However, women and men, although different as sexes, are equal as human beings. There are only two areas where there is truly a different experience (sexuality and procreation) and, in spite of the fact that these are central areas of life, they do not represent the "whole" of the human being and should not therefore lead to radically different forms of citizenship for both sexes. However, sexism (discrimination based on a person's sex) operates in all fields. Gender, as a symbolisation of sexual difference, defines the woman and the man as "complementary" beings, with "natural" differences typical of each. The basis of the construction of gender lies in an archaic sexual division of work that, by virtue of the scientific and technological advances, is now obsolete. And although gender has been constructed and modified over the centuries, there are still distinctions, socially accepted by men and women, which have their origin in this distribution of work. The symbolisation developed on the basis of this division of labour makes the identity of gender strong and coherent. Complicating gender So far, these readings have focused on gender as a central concept for understanding organizations. But gender does not exist in isolation from other dimensions of difference, such as race, ethnicity, class, sexual identity, religion, age, and nationality. We all inhabit, enact, and respond to many different social identities simultaneously. Similarly, organizations are not only gendered, they reect and reinforce divisions along other axes of difference as well. These divisions operate simultaneously to create interlocking systems of power; gender is only one relevant strand among many. Thinking at the individual level, most scholars and practitioners interested in gender today would agree that a focus on gender alone inappropriately masks important diversity in mens and womens experiences at work. Thinking at the social and institutional level, researchers increasingly recognize that a singular focus on gender occludes the role that other power relations play. For these reasons, we nd that gender is incomplete as a lens for analyzing organizations: we cannot adequately understand or challenge gender arrangements without considering the simultaneous effects of other social and power relations as well. Gender is a contentious subject. This can be for many reasons. Initially there is likely to be confusion between sex and gender. In many languages there is little or no linguistic distinction. It will be important to clarify and reinforce the distinction between the two words from the very outset of the course. Understanding the different meaning is essential to grasping the concept of gender relations and the gendered nature of society. It will be worth spending time on this until participants feel comfortable and confident that they do understand. Gender is an emotional subject. It strikes at the heart of who we are or think we are as

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individuals. Being male or being female is integral to our being, to how we face the world, how it perceives us, how we are expected to behave, the tasks we undertake, and how we relate to other females and males. To be in a classroom and feel this is in any way questioned is likely to create a negative response whether that means being hesitant, withdrawn, challenging or in extreme cases, downright hostile. Gender is a political subject. It spans all aspects of our social structures from the family hearth to state institutions. This can make persons especially those from cultures with less practice and tradition of questioning and challenging the status quo, nervous and apprehensive. This is likely to increase resistance to a subject that, by definition, participants already find difficult to grasp. Gender is often classified as womens issues. This is wrong and it is important to dispel the misconception from the beginning. This belief, however, provides those who are hostile to the subject with further excuse for dismissing it as irrelevant or of minimal significance. It is important to clarify the fact that it is about the relationships between women and men. Patriarchy is a universal norm of social construction, so it is no surprise that the male perception, male value system and male priorities have blinded us to the gendered nature of all societies. This is sensitive to get across, but the understanding will build as the course progresses. It is significant that women have had a lot of catching up to do. Research on the effects of war on women, the abuse of womens rights, the treatment of women by peacekeepers and the exclusion of women from public engagement is relatively recent, very topical and dynamic. This is not to exclude males but to correct the balance. Gender therefore refers to the social attributes and opportunities associated with being male and female and the relationships between women and men and girls and boys, as well as the relations between women and those between men. These attributes, opportunities and relationships are socially constructed and are learned through socialization processes. They are context/time specific and changeable. Gender determines what is expected, allowed and valued in a women or a man in a given context. In most societies there are differences and inequalities between women and men in responsibilities assigned, activities undertaken, access to and control over resources, as well as decision-making opportunities. Gender is part of the broader socio-cultural context. Other important criteria for socio-cultural analysis include class, race, poverty level, ethnic group and age. Nature of the relationship between sex and gender Our understanding of the sexed body, particularly the female body, and the aspects of it which are deemed biologically determined has actually shifted substantially in the last century. In the late 19th century, biologically determined femaleness was thought to be localized in a particular organ, first the uterus and then the ovaries. In the early 20th century, the locus of the biologically determined essence of femaleness was viewed as hormonal. In fact, a hormonal conception of the body is now one of the dominant ways of thinking about the biological roots of sex differences. Certainly the interest of biomedicine in the hormonal bases for health and disease in women is critically important, particularly in light of recent research on the potential protective benefits of estrogen against heart disease, the popularity of both birth control pills and hormone replacement therapies, and the increase in use of hormones in infertility treatments. However, attention to the hormonal bases of health and disease to the exclusion of other contributing factors

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in women continues to relegate womens health to narrow biological definitions. The nature of the relationship between sex and gender has also been examined by social scientists who argue that our notions of the ways that gender maps onto sex may be simplistic and neglect the diversity of experiences of both men and women. Although there is the desire to separate that which is biologically determined about sex differences and that which is social, cultural, and environmental, scholars have since argued that neither sex nor gender nor the relationship between sex and gender can be understood so simplistically. However to lump everything into either the sex or gender category, depending on your political or disciplinary persuasion, is equally problematic, for ones linguistic decision implies assumptions about the nature of difference. As a result, feminist scholars have been attempting to move past the sex/gender distinction without neglecting or dismissing the pull of biological determinism whenever discussing sex or the complex real life experiences of men and women. Vance traced the development of construction theory of sexuality and gender between 1975 and 1990 and comments that it drew on developments in several disciplines: social interactionism, labelling theory, and deviance in sociology; social history; labour studies, womens history and Marxist history; and symbolic anthropology, cross-cultural work on sexuality, and gender studies to name only the most significant streams. Number of writers have attempted to differentiate between sex and gender including anthropologist Gayle Rubin in her widely quoted essay The Traffic of Women: the Political Economy of Sex. Rubin asserts a distinction between sex and gender which assumes the discrete and prior ontological reality of a sex which is done over in the name of the law and transformed subsequently into gender. Butler notes that distinction between sex and gender serves the argument that whatever biological intractability sex appears to have, gender is culturally constructed. However, Butler remains committed to a constructionist view and suggests that perhaps the construct called sex is as culturally constructed as gender. Butler argues that the body cannot be sexed prior to constructed gender since it is precisely gender that provides the conceptual framework for reading the bodys biological determinations The body is the first incontrovertible evidence of the human difference. This biological fact forms the basis of culture and the man/woman opposition is a key part of the development of the processes of meaning in each society. For a long time it was believed that the differences between women and men were due to sexual difference. Today it is known that they are the result of a historical and cultural production. Anthropology has clearly shown that the difference between men and women means different things in different places. Women's position, their activities, limitations and possibilities vary from culture to culture. Gender dictates differentiated spaces, complementary tasks and different attitudes for each sex, and makes it difficult to conceptualise women and men as "equals". Biology is shaped by social intervention and the latter by symbolisation. Sexual difference is just that; a sexual difference. It is not an intellectual or ethnic difference. There are undoubtedly physical, hormonal, procreative, sexual, size and strength differences between men and women. But they are just that; biological differences that should not result in social, political and economic inequality. Today, when the lives of women and men are becoming equal in the areas of employment, politics and culture, there is something dubious about the fact that symbolisations deriving from sexual difference persist and have taken on such importance. Precisely when science and

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technology have made such spectacular advances, the difference relating to sexuality and reproduction is seen to be something irreducible, almost like a distinct "essence" for each sex. Although sexual difference is the basis on which a particular distribution of social roles is established, this allocation is not a "natural" result of biology but requires work from the culture. An example: Motherhood plays an important role in the allocation of tasks, but women are not born knowing how to sew and iron simply because they have the capacity to give birth to children. The difference present in the sexual and reproductive functions does not produce a different intellectual or ethical essence for each sex. Ideas are constructed from biology, but what generates discrimination is not the biological fact in itself but how a social place is allocated on the basis of that fact, and how the tasks and functions "typical" of that sex are defined; in other words, the way in which this biological fact is socially evaluated. Gender differences may not be as great as they rst appear to be Intuitively, when looking at the gender attributes, it is possible simultaneously to recognize the gender stereotypes as familiar while rejecting them as an over simplication. For example, whereas men in general might not readily express vulnerable emotions through crying and admissions of helplessness, many individual men do express such emotions and show such behaviour. Individual women can be just as competitive and aggressive as men, although overall these attributes are associated much less with women than with men. Many studies have attempted to make objective and quantitative measurements of gender differences, through the use of behavioural and cognitive function tests and the use of questionnaires to address attitudes. For most attributes, the degrees of variation within populations of men and of women are so great that the overlap between men and women is too large to produce signicant differences between the sexes. Moreover, rarely if ever do any differences observed have predictive validity: it is not possible from the measurement of a gender attribute in an individual to predict whether that individual is a man or a woman. There are two types of reaction to the evidence that men and women show big overlaps in attributes. One reaction is to focus on those statistically signicant average differences that are observed and to seek to understand their originsthe women are from Venus, men are from Mars approach. This reaction may also be used to justify the perceived different needs/treatments of men/ boys and women/girls in education, health, employment, etc. The alternative approach, while accepting that some average differences do exist between the sexes, is to focus on people rst and foremost, given the overlap between sexes and complex biological and social origins of sex differences. This approach accepts the notion of a less gendered society than hitherto in which people of either sex are freer to ourish without constraint of stereotype. A recent debate about biological sex differences among scientists illustrates these distinctive reactions (see Further reading). These two differing approaches take us into political and social theory, and we simply alert readers to read and interpret the evidence base as objectively as possible despite the strong academic and social reactions that discussion of sex differences evokes. Summary of ndings from a meta-analysis of studies on sex differences in humans 124 traits were analysed in a range of published studies to see whether there were signicant differences between populations of men and women.

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For 78% of these traits, there was effectively no difference. For 15% of them, there was a moderate population difference. Traits observed more frequently in the male population included spatial perception, mental rotation, physical and verbal aggression, assertiveness, body esteem, sprinting, activity level, self-efcacy of computer use. Traits more frequently observed in women included spelling and language skills, and smiling when aware of being observed. For only 6% of traits were large differences observed. Observed more frequently for men were mechanical reasoning, masturbation, permissive attitudes to casual sex, and for women agreeableness. Only 2% of traits showed very large sex differences, throw velocity/distance and grip strength being signicantly more frequent in males. Santrock (1999) states that genuine behavioural differences do exist between the sexes and peoples stereotypes are not entirely inaccurate. But the differences are fewer in number, smaller in size and far more complex than stereotypes suggest. Physical/Biological: From conception on, females are less likely to die than males. Females also are less likely than males to develop physical or mental disorders. Estrogen strengthens the immune system, making females more resistant to infection. Males have twice the risk of coronary disease as females. On average, males grow to be about 10 percent taller than females. Cognitive abilities: In the cognitive domain, it appears that there are three genuine gender differences. First, on the average, females tend to exhibit slightly better verbal skills than males. Second, starting in high school, males show a slight advantage on tests of mathematical ability. Third, starting in the grade school years, males tend to score higher than females on various measures of visual-spatial ability. Social behaviour and personality: First, studies indicate that males tend to be more aggressive than females, both verbally and physically. This disparity shows up in early childhood. Second, there are gender differences in nonverbal communication. The evidence indicates that females are more sensitive than males to subtle nonverbal cues. Females also smile and gaze at others more than males. Third, females appear to be slightly more susceptible to persuasion and conforming to group pressure than males are. Fourth, males are more sexually active than females are, and they have more permissive attitudes about causal, premarital and extramarital sex. Finally, males score higher on assertiveness scales, whereas females score higher on measures of anxiety, trust, empathy and nurturance. Sixth, females are more relationship-oriented than males, and that this relationship-orientation should be prized as a more important skill in our culture than it is currently held to be. Communication: Sociologist Deborah Tannen (1990) distinguishes between rapport talk and report talk. Rapport talk is the language of conversation and a way of establishing connections and negotiating relationships. Report talk is talk that gives information. Males hold centre stage

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through report talk, while females prefer private, rapport talk and conversation that is relationshiporiented. Aggression: One of the most consistent gender differences is that boys are more aggressive than girls. Another is that boys are more active than girls. The aggression difference is especially pronounced when children are provoked. These differences occur across cultures and appear very early in children's development. Biological factors include heredity and hormones. Environmental factors include cultural expectations, adult and peer models, and social agents who reward aggression in males and punish aggression in females. Emotional control: An important skill is to be able to regulate and control your emotions and behaviour. Males usually show less self-regulation than females, and this low self-control can translate into behavioural problems. In one study, children's low self-regulation was linked with greater aggression, teasing others, overreaction to frustration, low cooperation and inability to delay gratification. However, we acquire sex-appropriate preferences, skills, personality attributes, behaviour and self-concept through the process of Sex-typing. Parents (or other relatives) begin shaping the future of infants from the beginning by treating boys and girls differently: they influence childrens behaviour, their play activities including their belief in masculinity and femininity. As per the social learning theory, both gender identity and gender roles are developed through a learning process that involves modelling, imitation, and reinforcement. The theory rests on the assumption that boys learn to be masculine and girls to be feminine because gender-role-appropriate behaviour is rewarded while gender-role-inappropriate behaviour is punished or ignored. As a result, children learn which behaviour is gender-role appropriate by observing and imitating adult and peer models. Attitudes towards gender are also influenced by stereotypes, which can be defined as structured beliefs about the personal attributes of women and men. They are psychological features that people believe to be associated with women and men. Accordingly, men are thought to be more inclined towards self-interest, while women are considered to be more inclined towards communion and concern for others. In addition, women are thought to base their self image on their perception of their feelings and the quality of their relationships. Influenced by gendered relationships, studies and publications mostly concentrate on showing natural sex differences, rather than similarities. As a consequence, studies that show similarities tend to be forgotten, as people watch intently for differences, while studies that discover differences tend to be published more frequently in professional journals. Besides, studies reveal that there is typically a large overlap between womens and mens abilities because sex differences are generally small, and are unlikely to hold true for all kinds of people in all kinds of situations. Studies have exposed that women and men are similar in their general intelligence, learning ability, memory, concept formulation, reasoning, problem solving, and creativity. There is a logic to gender: the complementary nature of men and women. The symbolisation process extrapolates the complementary nature of men and women in reproductive terms to other aspects of life. However, in other aspects of life there is no complementary relationship as in reproduction. Believing that women and men are complementary in these terms has helped to limit the potential of women and restrict the development of certain skills in men. As men are the ones

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who have to carry out certain tasks and functions, these are prohibited for women. Furthermore, the logic of gender discriminates not only against women but also against homosexuals. A culture that considers women and men to be "complementary" does so not only for procreation but also for love and eroticism. The cultural schema created by heterosexual rules thereby discriminates against same-sex couples. Homophobia is a result of the logic of gender. Today in the European Union homosexuality is only just beginning to be granted a symbolic statute similar to that of heterosexuality, whilst in other societies there is serious prejudice and ignorance in this respect. In the face of human diversity, the logic of gender is cruelly anachronistic. Going beyond this logic of gender means taking on the challenge of equality. Discrimination against people because of their sex (or their sexual orientation) persists throughout different social environments (class, age and ethnic groups). Despite indisputable advances in different fields (employment, education and politics) the underlying problem of women's inequality in comparison with men is still women's domestic responsibility. This is part of the gender schema with its private/public separation, underlying the ideological conceptions of what is masculine and what is feminine. The contradiction between the feminine role (the role of mother and housewife) and the new roles of citizen and worker is not easily resolved. It is necessary to pass equality laws but achieving the real "involvement" of women in public life means ending the symbolic identification of women with the family. It is not enough to extend women's framework of action, coming out of the limited family space to join the world of work and civic activity: male participation in domestic tasks and human care has to be encouraged, even enforced, and an extensive infrastructure of social services should be developed that provide support in the care of babies, the elderly, the sick and disabled. This is precisely what the political challenge of today consists of: reconciling work and family responsibilities, for both women and men. Beyond gender How can we construct a common basis for equality by recognising sexual difference? Firstly, we should not fall into the trap of thinking that equality is the same as similarity, or that treating unequals equally will lead to equality; we should do away with the misleading idea that women are the ones who have to become equal with men; we should denounce the demagogical contradiction that places great value on civic involvement but makes it difficult for women to participate as there are no social alternatives to lighten their workload as mothers and housewives. One challenge to be faced is that of moving beyond the traditional definitions of what it means to be a woman and what it means to be a man. An increasing number of people have life experiences that do not fit into the traditional gender schemas. These women and men feel embarrassed by their own identity and subjectivity because of the existing cultural codes and gender stereotypes. Not recognising the multiplicity of subject positions and new identities among women and men reduces the complexity of the problem of human relationships. We need to increase our understanding: there are several possible combinations between the body of a person, their sexual orientation and their gender habitus. In other words, there are many ways of being a woman and many ways of being a man. Accepting the varied forms of social existence of people in the body of a woman or the body of a man offers a new political and ethical conceptualisation of sexual difference and gender. Faced with certain social practices, discourses and representations that discriminate, oppress or violate according to a strict gender schema, today there are increasing democratic demands for equal treatment and opportunities. In democratic societies state structures

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must be adapted to a new formulation of gender. The position of state authority means that there will be sufficient power for this transformation. Deconstructing gender is a process of cultural subversion. How can we think the unthinkable? As people we receive cultural meanings but we can also reformulate them when the gender rules we receive cease to be discriminatory. An egalitarian resignification of gender would mean that there would be a proliferation of the different ways of being a woman and of being a man, beyond the existing binary framework and its unpleasant stereotypes. Only by criticising and deconstructing social beliefs, practices and representations that discriminate, oppress or violate people according to gender will it be possible to reformulate a new definition of the person symbolically and politically. A human being should not be discriminated against because of gender. Gender is culture, and culture is transformed through human intervention. The word gender refers to the constellation of mental and behavioral traits that differ between males and females. How women and men differ in their mental life, cognitive skills, personalities, and sexuality is presented in this chapter. Many gender differences arise early in life. Male and female differences in development may result from biological processes, socialization, or our own efforts to make sense of the world, or the interplay of many factors, such as history, culture, and so on. A persons subjective sense of maleness or femaleness determines their gender identity, which is the core of ones self identity. Gender-related traits have differed markedly between the sexes and among cultures throughout history. For some people, gender is not an either/or or male/female dichotomy.Several theories or approaches to understanding the origins of gender-related traits are discussed, including those having to do with evolution, physiology, socialization, cognitive development, sexism, and feminism. In reality, the development of gender characteristics probably results from a multifactorial interaction of these approaches. How, indeed, does gender work in human social relationships? Why should gender (or sex) give rise to any sort of social classification? Might gender not even code as "difference" was it not for its consequences for social power? Is each of us a "gender" after all? And does each of us "have" sexuality? If one claims sexual difference to exist, such that the female and male body are sites of specificity, does this necessarily imply that one is postulating an "essentialism", in terms of which sexual difference is understood as a-historical and deterministic, thus leaving no room for social change? Are there gender-specific (or sex-specific) forms of artistic, philosophic and scientific expression? Must the framework for thinking about sexual difference be binary? What new forms of gender are possible? What are we to think of the changes wrought to the viability of the sex/gender distinction by recent forms of medical innovation, such as sex change operations and new reproductive technologies? And in what ways does the question of gender intervene in the debates over homosexual marriage (or contractual forms of civil unions proposed in its stead, such as the pacs in France) and adoption? Because so many social statuses have gendered expectations attached to them, people may often find themselves, one way or another, feeling marginal to some sphere of their social lives. This affects the way that they perform their roles and the ways that others interact with them, affecting how they are able to perform their roles. They will have to put more energy into establishing their credentials in each position to be treated as illegitimate occupant of it by others.In sum, most sociologists think that when a persons characteristics conform to societal expectations, it is a result of the social contexts of their earlier experiences and current situations and not due to

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inevitable, biologically determined sex differences. We emphasize the ways that peoples surroundings draw out particular behaviors from what is usually a broader repertoire of an individuals behaviors. Contemporary sociologists view social life itself as gendered: Experiences, opportunities, and burdens are differentially available to males and to females because of social views about maleness and femaleness. The closing off or opening up of opportunities often occurs even for people who do not fit gendered expectations. For example, if nurturance is defined specifically as feminine, men will not have a chance to show that they are sufficiently nurturant to be hired as child care workers. If they do have a chance to show they are nurturant, they may find that higher standards are applied to them, to disprove the gendered expectations. Alternatively, they may be moved quickly into less nurturant administrative jobs, no longer implicitly challenging those gendered expectations. But society cannot be changed by decree. Society is constructed but it can also be modified through the meanings and values of those who live in it. Methods of reasoning and action strategies must be formulated in order for society to move towards freer, more supportive, more democratic and more modern forms of collective behaviour. In other words, the logic of gender must be transformed. In brief Gender refers to widely-shared expectations and norms within a society about male and female behaviour, characteristics and roles. Gender is a culturally ascribed set of characteristics that defines what it is to be a man or a woman in a given cultural context at a given time. It defines what women and men do, how they behave, how they are perceived and how they relate to each other Gender varies within and across cultures, race and ethnicity. It changes over time and other social dynamics influence it, such as age and class Gender roles and behaviour are learned through socialization Sex, on the other hand, is fixed, permanent and universal Power is fundamental to both sexuality and gender. The systemic aspects of the position of two sexes i.e. female and male in the society It signifies the categories of woman and man or a girl and a boy Women and mens gender identity determines how they are expected to think and act as women and men. Gender categories (women-men and girls-boy) help us in locating how different social groups look at sex differences and give them their own meaning in the course of their daily lives Gender is perceived as a matter of social and cultural construction and evaluation Gender attributes are learned behaviors therefore they can and do change over time. Gender is a system of classication based on sex. A gender stereotype is a set of social beliefs about what it means to be a man or a woman. It may include appearance, behaviour, role (social, sexual and employment) and emotional and attitudinal attributes. It provides a shorthand for classifying people socially by sex. A gender identity is an inner state of awareness of ones own identity as a man or a

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woman in society. It is usually congruent with ones sex. Trans people have a gender identity that is not congruent with their sex. Although gender is a bipolar system based on two distinct sexes, when gender differences are measured in populations of men and women they are not found to be bipolar. Indeed, most attributes show large overlap between genders and none are reliably predictive of gender. In non-primate animals, hormones condition sex differences in both brain structure and behaviour. However, the behavioural differences are not absolute but quantitative. In higher primates and humans, there is evidence of differences in brain structure between both the sexes and the genders but these differences are not large and their cause is unknown. Likewise it is not clear whether the differences have any direct effect on behaviour. The hormonal environment of higher primate and human fetuses and neonates has some effects on behaviour in infancy, some of which may persist into adult life. It is not known how these endocrine effects are exerted. It is not clear whether they are exerted directly on the brain, indirectly via effects on, for example, genital anatomy, or by a combination of both routes. The effects are not absolute but quantitative. In humans, the newborn baby is treated differently from the moment of its birth according to its perceived gender. In humans, the behaviour of a baby is interpreted to mean different things depending on its perceived gender. Babies of different sexes seem to show different behaviours quite early in neonatal life, but it is not clear whether the origin of these differences is endocrine, genetic, socially learnt or a mixture of all three. Human infants establish a gender identity by 3 years of age and start to develop a gender stereotype shortly thereafter. They develop a sense of gender constancy by 5 years of age. They then develop the expression of their gender identity by copying the sex-stereotyped behaviour that they observe around them. Gender stereotypes in most societies include reproductive roles and share attributes relevant to these reproductive roles. However, gender stereotypes are not limited to reproduction and reect the fact that in humans sexual activity is not exclusively or even primarily a reproductive activity. There appears to be a large element of social learning in the construction of gender stereotypes and identities, and this forms part of the cultural inheritance that is transmitted transgenerationally. Sexuality involves the erotic and may be classied by the stimulus of erotic arousal. This system of classication is unsatisfactorily rigid. Many people nd a range of stimuli arousing and the range may change with time. Asexual people are not aroused erotically. A sexual stereotype is the constellation of attributes and behaviours associated with people whose erotic arousal is classied according to a particular type of stimulus. The sexual identity of a person describes their inner state of feeling as a sexual being. Genes, brain structure, hormones and social learning have all been implicated in the development of sexuality, but there is no clear evidence directly linking any one element causally to a particular sexual identity. In some societies, attributes of sexuality and gender have been conated implying that heterosexual arousal and a strong sense of gender identity are linked. Anthropological and social studies, as well as studies on trans people, show that it is possible to separate out sexuality from gender identity. 37

The basic human propensity to socially categorize people by sex, age, and race makes gender a salient part of everyones everyday life The diversity of social categories used to socially represent others is captured in the Diversity Wheel where gender is a core, stable attribute Social representations do not capture our essence but rather play a major role in how each of us is perceived by others Using gender as a social category emphasizes difference (gender polarization), which can result in dissimilarity, stereotyping, and disconnection Gender can be conceptualized as a part of who we are (essentialism) as well as what we do (social construction) Gender is our social understanding of essentially biological sex (not to be confused with sexuality) Feminism responds to social categorization based on gender to value women and their experiences, putting values at the core of what we do as individuals and as psychologists The feminist social justice value to end sexist oppression demands that we understand how gender fits into a broader system of inequality that privileges members of in-groups and oppresses out-group members, fundamentally linking gender with power Conferred dominance grants men power over women that is largely invisible to the men privileged Androcentric bias makes men the privileged normative standard against which women are often judged deficient Gender cannot be understood in isolation of other social representations around the Diversity Wheel, but rather intersects with other diverse social categories Gender, as a symbolisation of sexual difference, defines the woman and the man as "complementary" beings, with "natural" differences typical of each. The basis of the construction of gender lies in an archaic sexual division of work that, by virtue of the scientific and technological advances, is now obsolete. And although gender has been constructed and modified over the centuries, there are still distinctions, socially accepted by men and women, which have their origin in this distribution of work. The symbolisation developed on the basis of this division of labour makes the identity of gender strong and coherent. Gender is perhaps the most salient and ubiquitous social category in human societies. The pervasive social importance which gender adopts serves as a powerful incentive for investigation. The change has however not been complete, and much research is still being conducted using modified versions of older, intrapsychic approaches. Important constructs inherited from this paradigm, most notably that of gender-stereotyped personality traits and the conceptions of masculinity and femininity, are often included in research using more recent methods. Gender, by definition, is a historical construction: what is considered typical of each sex changes from period to period. The crude subject of sex and procreation is shaped by this set of social rules today known as gender. Gender therefore becomes a model of social expectations and beliefs that define how collective life is organised and that lead to inequality with regard to the way in which people respond to the actions of men and women. This model means that women and men provide the basis for a system of reciprocal regulations, prohibitions and oppressions that are established and approved by the symbolic order. Women and men both contribute equally to maintaining this symbolic order, reproducing itself and being reproduced with roles, tasks and practices that vary according to the place and time. 38

Theory of Gender Development

Gender development is a fundamental issue because some of the most important aspects of peoples lives, such as the talents they cultivate, the conceptions they hold of themselves and others, the socio-structural opportunities and constraints they encounter, and the social life and occupational paths they pursue are heavily prescribed by societal gender-typing. It is the primary basis on which people get differentiated with pervasive effects on their daily lives. Gender differentiation takes on added importance because many of the attributes and roles selectively promoted in males and females tend to be differentially valued with those ascribed to males generally being regarded as more desirable, effectual and of higher status. Although some gender differences are biologically founded, most of the stereotypic attributes and roles linked to gender arise more from cultural design than from biological endowment For the most part, contemporary theories of gender development are complementary rather than contradictory. That is, most theories either explicitly or implicitly acknowledge the combined influences of socialstructural, interpersonal, cognitivemotivational, and biological influences. Theories tend to differ, however, in how much they stress each of these processes in the transmission of gender. Over the years several major theories have been proposed to explain gender development. The theories differ on several important dimensions. One dimension concerns the relative emphasis placed on psychological, biological, and socio-structural determinants. Psychologically-oriented theories tend to emphasize intra-psychic processes governing gender development. In contrast, sociological theories focus on socio-structural determinants of gender-role development and functioning. According to biologically-oriented theories, gender differences arising from the differential biological roles played by males and females in reproduction underlie gender-role development and differentiation. Sociological Theories The study of social institutions has a central place in the sociology of gender. A social institution is a constellation of activities and ideas that addresses a major area of human need in a particular society. For instance, several basic human needs are addressed primarily and consistently in the institution of the family: sexual activity, reproduction, and the physical care of and early socialization of children. Virtually all people spend their earliest years in family contexts in which they are exposed to the significant cultural meanings of gender and receive their first and most intense lessons in gender relations on the micro-social scale. The specific relations may vary, but they typically fall within a recognizable range of acceptable behavior. These relations are broadly patterned in our culture even though they are acted out by individuals with unique personalities. Members of culturally diverse subgroups are similarly influenced by forces beyond the personalities of their intimates and themselves. Sociology is the study of people in groups; it examines the whole range of social phenomenafrom relationships among individuals in the smallest groups to comparisons of whole societies and patterns of socio-historical developments. In the study of gender, sociologists explore the meanings of maleness and femaleness in social contexts, examining the diversity of gender 39

systems in various cultures and social groups. Sociologists take the view that gender is socially constructed, that is, the differences between females and males are not based in some biologically determined truth. Sociologists investigate the significant impacts that social meanings of gender have on individual and collective experience, finding ways that social forces influence even physical differences between sexes. Contemporary sociologists view social life itself as gendered: Experiences, opportunities, and burdens are differentially available to males and to females because of social views about maleness and femaleness. The closing off or opening up of opportunities often occurs even for people who do not fit gendered expectations. For example, if nurturance is defined specifically as feminine, men will not have a chance to show that they are sufficiently nurturant to be hired as child care workers. If they do have a chance to show they are nurturant, they may find that higher standards are applied to them, to disprove the gendered expectations. Alternatively, they may be moved quickly into less nurturant administrative jobs, no longer implicitly challenging those gendered expectations. In other words, social definitions of gender contribute to the social stratification of society and smaller social groups within it. Social stratification is the differentiation among people (on the basis of their membership in categories socially defined as significant) and the accompanying differences in their access to scarce resources and in the obligations they bear. To varying degrees, sociologists of gender focus on the ways in which particular combinations of gender, race and ethnicity, and social class are socially defined as justifying unequal social treatment. Sociologists also view individuals behavior as leading to changes in the social world. We study individuals agency, or active approach to finding ways to participate in, adapt to, or change their circumstances. Although agency may be limited to creating means to survive within difficult social arrangements, it sometimes produces changes in the environment. Individually or together, people may affect their immediate (micro-social) surroundings. Human history is filled with stories of people changing the patterns in their societies or even globally. These national, multinational, and international levels are macro-social. Thus, sociologists have a fundamental and broad assumption of the primacy of social factors in explaining many aspects of peoples lives. We agree on the impact of socialization, or the process of learning the rules of the social group or culture to which we belong or hope to belong, and learning to define ourselves and others within that setting. We also agree on the impact of social control. Similarly, sociologists agree on the importance of social structure and of culture, a peoples established beliefs and practices, their design for living. Nevertheless, sociologists have widely divergent ideas about the best ways to explain the social world. We do not always agree on the importance of each idea or its relative importance, such as social structure compared with culture, or socialization compared with social control. In sociological theories, gender is a social construction rather than a biological given. The sources of gender differentiation lie more in social and institutional practices than in fixed properties of the individual. Gender stereotypes shape the perception, evaluation and treatment of males and females in selectively gendered ways that beget the very patterns of behavior that confirm the initial stereotypes. Many gender differences in social behavior are viewed as products of division of labor between the sexes that get replicated through socio-structural practices governed by disparate gender status and power.

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Many sociologists reject the dichotomous view of gender, in that the similarities between men and women in how they think and behave far exceed the differences between them. With social changes in opportunity structures and constraining institutional arrangements, gender differences have declined over time. Gender is not a unitary monolith. The homogeneous gender typing disregards the vast differences among women and the similarly vast differences among men depending on their socioeconomic class, education, ethnicity, and occupation. The practice of lumping all men and women into dichotomous gender categories, with men preordained for agentic functions and women for expressive and communion functions similarly comes in for heavy criticism. With regard to the emotionality stereotype, Epstein reminds us that although women are supposedly more emotional than men, in Mid-Eastern cultures, such as Iran, it is men who express emotions most fervently. She maintains that gender theorists who contend that males and females are basically different in their psychological make-up (are contributing to gender stereotyping and polarization. The exaggeration of the nature and extent of gender differences, the theorists argue, promotes the social ordering of gender relations and serves to justify gender inequality, occupational stratification and segregation, and the situating of women in positions of predominately lower status. Viewed from this sociological perspective, the pattern of opportunity structures and formal and informal constraints shape gendered styles of behavior and channel men and women into different life paths. The coupling of gender roles to biological sex status legitimates social arrangements as accommodations to differences attributed to inherent nature. From the moment we are born we are given messages and cues as to how to act in the social world. Socialization is the process by which a societys values and norms, including those pertaining to gender, are taught and learned. In addition to the practical issues such as how to speak, eat, and play with others, we are taught how to do our gender within our interpersonal relationships. West and Zimmerman (1987) first explained that doing or performing our gender is the way we act out the gender role that we are socialized to fulfill. Thus we are rewarded or punished for our willingness and ability (or lack thereof) to comply with our culturally defined gender-appropriate beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. The social construction theory analyzes how gender is practiced and performed through discourse and how individuals actively construct gendered identities through social cues and social definitions particularly of masculine and feminine ideals. Thus, the gender system has changed a great deal. Sociologists of gender focus on the nature of those changes, the forces that lead to them, and the obstacles to change. If we consider that some contemporary realities of the gender system are not fair, then we can learn from past experiences about the ways that struggles for justice have been successful. The sociology of gender is an important aid to developing an accurate picture of the dynamic gender system, its influence on the lives of individuals and groups, and the kinds of human efforts that have led to a reduction of its influence. For a more dramatic example, the very notion that all humans can be clearly and without argument categorized as female or male is a social construction. Some people have chromosomal patterns associated with one sex, and they have primary (genital) sex characteristics or secondary (e.g., facial hair) sex characteristics, or both, associated with the other. Some people have genitalia that are not clearly what our culture labels either male or female. These variations in peoples

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biological characteristics are more common than our cultural beliefs suggest. Indeed, we are unable to know how common these variations are because we are unable (in the case of chromosomal difference) or unwilling (in the case of forcing those with visible characteristics labeled male and others labeled female into one of the two categories) to see the variability in the population. Because so many social statuses have gendered expectations attached to them, people may often find themselves, one way or another, feeling marginal to some sphere of their social lives. This affects the way that they perform their roles and the ways that others interact with them, affecting how they are able to perform their roles. They will have to put more energy into establishing their credentials in each position to be treated as illegitimate occupant of it by others.In sum, most sociologists think that when a persons characteristics conform to societal expectations, it is a result of the social contexts of their earlier experiences and current situations and not due to inevitable, biologically determined sex differences. We emphasize the ways that peoples surroundings draw out particular behaviors from what is usually a broader repertoire of an individuals behaviors. In reference to the social construction of gender, the social constructionist approach analyzes the politics of female sexuality by addressing the cultural and personal meanings of girls race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation in understanding their sexuality. As opposed, for example, to biological determinism, which emphasizes the biological or physiological differences among the sexes to explain behavioral differences, the social construction of gender theory emphasizes the multiple social influences and power relations that influence and shape gender identity. This approach provides an analysis that allows us to examine gender relations and, more specifically, explore how females manage and negotiate their sexuality within a social context. Judith Lorber suggests a new paradigm shift in the feminist analysis of the social construction of gender by viewing gender, as an institution that establishes patterns of expectations for individuals, orders the social processes of everyday life, is built into the major social organizations of society, such as the economy, ideology, the family, and politics, and is also an entity in and of itself. Instead of an emphasis on the individual or the interpersonal aspects of gender, an analysis of gender as a social institution (just as we would explore the social institution of family or education) specifically to explore the way that differences between men and women are created and recreated throughout the institution of gender within our social world. More recently, Barbara Risman (2004) specifically differentiates gender as a social structure as opposed to an institution in order to explain human action in that social structures serve as constraints upon our gendered behavior within our social world. Risman describes the social construction of gender based upon three-tiered multiple integrated levels of the individual (socialization), interactions/cultural expectations, and institutional in order to understand gender in all its complexity and try to isolate the social processes that create gender in each dimension (Risman, 2004:436). While there is no measure of the social construction of gender, we can explore those processes that create gender as Risman suggests. In my analysis, The social construction of gender defines adolescent sexual norms differently for males and females. These societal constructions are based on cultural beliefs about male and female sexuality, bodies and gender relations, social interactions with parents and peers, and personal internalizations (Martin, 2002). The construction of our gendered selves is generally developed within the

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masculine and feminine dichotomy as defined within our culture. The American ideology of masculinity defines men as stronger, smarter, more reasonable, and more responsible than women. Typically, the societal expectations of males or the norms of masculinity, encourage and support the idea that males are expected to be comfortable with their sexuality as well as being experienced, confident, and knowledgeable about sex. However, females are expected to be inexperienced, passive, submissive, and unfamiliar with their sexuality. Female adolescent sexuality is viewed and labeled as problematic and White, male sexuality as no Judith Lorber (2001) organizes contemporary feminisms into three categories: gender-reform, gender-resistance, and gender-rebellion. Gender-reform feminisms acknowledge similarities of women and men and highlight the social differences among the sexes working towards legal and economic equality through reform. These include liberal, Marxist, socialist, and development feminisms. Gender-resistance feminisms highlight the physical and social differences among men and women and work towards ending the oppression and exploitation of women through resisting socially defined gender roles. These include radical, lesbian, psychoanalytic, and standpoint feminisms. Third, gender-rebellion feminisms highlight the interrelationships of inequalities based on race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability and work toward changing socially defined gender stratification, identity development, the gender binary, and gender performance by rebelling against gender norms. These include multiracial, mens, social constructionist, postmodern, and queer theory feminisms. Radical feminist theory is a type of gender-resistance feminism that is based on the concept that men and women have different experiences, which are not based solely on biology but on the inequality of the genders within the current social structure. The key foundation of radical feminism is that at the root of female oppression is male domination (patriarchy), where the main focus is on male control of womens bodies, health care, and sexuality. The structure of patriarchy serves to provide straight, White upper-class men with power over women. These men have many opportunities to control women and therefore benefit from this arrangement because the oppression of women is embedded within our social institutions. Patriarchy is a system in which the privileged (most straight, upper-class, White males) define themselves, their beliefs, their experiences, and their needs as the norm or right way, and they may use these ideals in a dominant and powerful way against those who conflict, differ, or do not conform. A radical feminist analysis explores the question, what maintains this power differential? and works to create solutions to overcome gender inequality. An analysis and rejection of unequal and biased gender roles and structures is crucial in combating womens oppression. Because reproductive freedom has long been a political issue and one that some men use, or try to use, to control women, radical feminism also focuses on the social issues related to womens health and sexuality. Reproductive control (decisions surrounding pregnancy and childbirth) involves sexuality and the body and is viewed not as a personal issue but instead is treated as a political and moral issue involving the right to life, religion, and personal freedom. The majority of men in our society benefit from women not having reproductive freedom because their reproductive control of women reinforces gender roles and male dominance. Women of all ages practicing the freedom to be sexual on their terms, choosing whether or not to be a wife or a mother, and deciding when or when not to have children are often considered a challenge to traditional male-dominated social norms. In order to maintain the gender hierarchy, some men seek to control womens reproduction and maintain gender

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inequality. Specifically, womens sexual autonomy conflicts with societal definitions of femininity and is often perceived as a threat to masculinity. Radical feminism highlights the unequal distribution of rights, power, and privilege determined by ones sex in our society. For this reason, the philosophy questions and challenges oppressive gender roles and social institutions and works towards redefining and rebuilding them to better serve women within society. Multiracial feminism, in addition to a focus on gender, is equally inclusive of race and class to examine structures of domination, specifically the importance of race in understanding the social construction of gender. Multiracial feminism serves as a framework to focus on the interrelationships of inequalities in our society and how they interact with gender because race and class determine how someone is gendered and how they are expected to do gender. More specifically, multiracial feminism focuses on the multiple systems of domination and emphasizes the treatment of race as a basic social division, a structure of power, a focus of political struggle, and hence a fundamental force in shaping womens and mens lives. While culture and social class are important in feminist gender analysis, race is not analogous to ethnic or cultural definitions and is specifically significant in analyzing privilege and oppression. Not all people of the same socioeconomic status, and who live under the same opportunity structures, social controls, familial, educational and community resources and normative climate, behave in the same way. The challenge is to explain adaptational diversity within sociostructural commonalty. As will be shown later, social cognitive theory adopts an integrated perspective in which socio-structural influences operate through self-system mechanisms to produce behavioral effects. However, the self system is not merely a conduit for external influences. People are producers as well as products of social systems. Social structures are created by human activity. The structural practices, in turn, impose constraints and provide resources and opportunity structures for personal development and functioning. Social Constructionist Theory Social constructivists believe that both sex and gender arise in social interaction and have no existence independent of social interaction; i.e., they are not grounded in "nature", the meaning of which is itself socially determined. The "constructedness" of sex and gender is made invisible by the normal workings of social life, so that they appear natural rather than artificial. Recent constructivist theory also points out that the idea of two absolute chromosomal sexes is also a social construction. Recall the film Alien 3, in which the inhabitants of the prison colony are all double-Y chromosomal; thus although they possess many of the secondary sexual characteristics of males, genetically they are not male, nor are they any other category for which we currently have a socially understood name. (Heartfelt thanks again, Ridley!) There belief that gender roles, gender identity, and sex are socially constructed opens a large number of new questions as you analyze the social construction of sex and gender identity as well as the social construction of gender roles. While it is much more, people relate social constructionism to social learning theory from psychology. Social learning theory would say that men and women behave as they do because they are taught through society the way men and women behave.

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SocialStructural Processes Childrens gender development is embedded in a larger societal context. In this regard, the socialstructural approach considers how peoples relative status and power in society shape their personal circumstances; this perspective also addresses the constraints that these institutionalized roles impose on individuals behavior. In addition to gender, other important social-status factors include ethnicity, race, economic class, and sexual orientation. The socialstructural perspective is also compatible with a feminist analysis that emphasizes the impact of gender inequities in power existing in the home, the labor force, and political institutions. Although a feminist socialstructural approach is common in social psychology and sociology, relatively few developmental psychologists have considered gender from an explicitly feminist socialstructural perspective. SocialInteractive Processes Taking into account sexist practices in the larger society when studying childrens development requires linking cultural institutions to individuals situated in their specific environments. In this regard, we borrow ideas from both social cognitive theory and socio-cultural theory. Both theories emphasize the importance of childrens social interactions and daily activities as contexts for the learning of culture. According to socio-cultural theory, the particular skills and orientations that children develop are rooted in the specific historical and cultural activities of the community in which children and their companions interact (Rogoff, 1990, p. vii). Social cognitive theory similarly stresses opportunities to practice particular behaviors as well as the incentives (or disincentives) that follow for repeating those behaviors as important influences. Thus, the different opportunities that girls and boys systematically experience can be interpreted as forms of gender discrimination (Bussey & Bandura, 1999; Leaper, 2000b). As they are repeated over and over again during the course of childhood, gender-typed practices contribute to the development of gender differences in expectations, values, preferences, and skills. Social Cognitive Theory Social cognitive theory acknowledges the influential role of evolutionary factors in human adaptation and change, but rejects one-sided evolutionism in which social behavior is the product of evolved biology, but social and technological innovations that create new environmental selection pressures for adaptiveness have no effect on biological evolution. In the bidirectional view of evolutionary processes, evolutionary pressures fostered changes in bodily structures and upright posture conducive to the development and use of tools, which enabled an organism to manipulate, alter and construct new environmental conditions. Environmental innovations of increasing complexity, in turn, created new selection pressures for the evolution of specialized biological systems for functional consciousness, thought, language and symbolic communication. Social cognitive theory addresses itself to a number of distinctive human attributes. The remarkable capability for symbolization provides a powerful tool for comprehending the environment and for creating and regulating environmental conditions that touch virtually every aspect of life. Another distinctive attribute is the advanced capability for observational learning that enables people to expand their knowledge and skills rapidly through information conveyed by modeling influences without having to go through the tedious and hazardous process of learning by response 45

consequences. The self-regulatory capability, rooted in internal standards and self-reactive influence, provides another distinctive attribute for the exercise of self-directedness. The self-reflective capability to evaluate the adequacy of one's thinking and actions, and to judge one's agentic efficacy to produce effects by one's actions also receive prominent attention in social cognitive theory. The evolved information processing systems provide the capacity for the very characteristics that are distinctly human--generative symbolization, forethought, evaluative self-regulation, reflective selfconsciousness, and symbolic communication. Evolved morphology and special purpose systems facilitate acquisitional processes. Social cognitive theory does not assume an equipotential mechanism of learning. In addition to biological biases, some things are more easily learnable because the properties of the events can facilitate or impede acquisitional processes through attentional, representational, productional, and motivational means. Theories that heavily attribute human social behavior to the rule of nature are disputed by the remarkable cultural diversity. Consider aggression, which is presumably genetically programmed as a biological universal and more so for males than for females. We will see later that gender differences in aggression are much smaller than claimed and further shrink under certain environmental conditions. People possess the biological potentiality for aggression, but the answer to the differential aggressiveness in the latter example lies more in ideology than in biology. A biologically deterministic view has problems not only with cultural diversity, but with the rapid pace of social change. The process of biological selection moves at a snails pace, whereas societies have been undergoing major changes in sexual mores, family structures, social and occupational roles and institutional practices. In the past, a great deal of gender differentiation arose from the biological requirement of women bearing children and caring for them over a good part of their lives. With marked reductions in infant mortality and family size, and technical innovations of household labor-saving devices, women spend only a small portion of their expanded life span in childbearing and rearing. Contraceptive devices provide them with considerable control over their reproductive life. For these and other reasons, educational and occupational pursuits are no longer thwarted by prolonged childbearing demands as they did in the past. Inequitable social constraints and opportunity structures are being changed by social means rather than by reliance on the slow protracted process of biological selection. reminds us that the human species has been selected for learn ability and plasticity of behavior adaptive to diverse habitats and socially constructed environments, not for behavioral fixedness. The pace of social change gives testimony that biology, indeed, permits a range of possibilities. Cognitive Developmental Theory According to cognitive developmental theory, gender identity is postulated as the basic organizer and regulator of children's gender learning. Children develop the stereotypic conceptions of gender from what they see and hear around them. Once they achieve gender constancy -- the belief that their own gender is fixed and irreversible -- they positively value their gender identity and seek to behave only in ways that are congruent with that conception. Cognitive consistency is gratifying, so individuals attempt to behave in ways that are consistent with their self-conception. Once children establish knowledge of their own gender, the reciprocal interplay between one's behavior (acting like a girl) and thoughts (I am a girl) leads to a stable gender identity, or in cognitive-developmental theory terms, the child achieves gender constancy.

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Kohlberg defined gender constancy as the realization that ones sex is a permanent attribute tied to underlying biological properties and does not depend on superficial characteristics such as hair length, style of clothing, or choice of play activities. From least to most mature forms of gender understanding, these are designated as the gender identity, stability, and consistency components of gender constancy. "Gender identity" requires the simple ability to label oneself as a boy or girl and others as a boy, girl, man, or woman. "Gender stability" is the recognition that gender remains constant over time -- that is, one's sex is the same now as it was when one was a baby and will remain the same in adulthood. The final component of gender constancy, "gender consistency", is mastered at about age six or seven years. The child now possesses the added knowledge that gender is invariant despite changes in appearance, dress or activity. Children are not expected to adopt gender-typed behaviors consistently until after they regard themselves unalterably as a boy or a girl, which usually is not achieved until about six years of age. Although Kohlberg's theory attracted much attention over the decades, its main tenets have not fared well empirically. Studies generally have failed to corroborate the link between children's attainment of gender constancy and their gender-linked conduct. Long before children have attained gender constancy, they prefer to play with toys traditionally associated with their gender; moreover, growing awareness of gender constancy does not increase children's preferences for samegender roles and activities The findings of other lines of research similarly fail to support the major tenets of this theory. Although stable gender constancy is not attained until about six years of age, 2-year olds perform remarkably well in sorting pictures of feminine and masculine toys, articles of clothing, tools and appliances in terms of their typical gender relatedness. Children's ability to classify their own and others' sex and some knowledge of gender-role stereotypes is all that is necessary for much early gender typing to occur. These categorization skills are evident in most three- and four-year olds. Clearly, gender constancy is not a prerequisite for gender development. Factors other than gender constancy govern children's gender-linked conduct. In response to the negative findings, the gender constancy measure was modified to demonstrate that the assessment procedure rather than the theory is at fault for the lack of linkage of gender constancy to gender conduct. The modifications included altering the inquiry format, the use of more realistic stimuli, and less reliance on verbal responses More importantly, there is no relationship between children's understanding of gender constancy and their preference for genderlinked activities, preference for same-gender peers, or emulation of same-gender models, regardless of how gender constancy is assessed. Children internalize the cultures notions of gender once they acquire a symbolic capacity. As children form cognitive representations of gender, or gender schemas, they begin to filter the world through a gender lens. This is a fundamental premise of cognitivedevelopmental theory, gender schema theory, socialcognitive theory, social identity theory, and self-categorization theory. As each of these theories emphasizes, children play an active role in their gender development and a process of self-socialization ensues. Girls and boys make inferences about the meaning and the consequences of gender-related behaviors from their observations and social interactions. Also, childrens gender schemas and attitudes influence the type of information they notice and remember. Consequently, girls and boys tend to seek out gender-typed environments that further strengthen their gender-typed

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expectations and interests. In these ways, childrens behavior becomes increasingly regulated by internal standards, values, and perceived consequences. With the acquisition of a gender self-concept, children form a social identity of themselves as member of a particular gender group. As emphasized in social identity or self-categorization theories, being a member of a group typically leads to an in-group bias. Accordingly, several experimental studies have documented that children are more likely to pay attention to objects, activities, behaviors, and social roles associated with their own gender. Conversely, children avoid and devalue what is specifically associated with the other gender. Childrens in group biases are further reflected in their preferences for same-gender peers and avoidance of other-gender peers. As children value their in group membership, they become sensitive to how others view them. For example, Banerjee and Lintern (2000) observed that children were more likely to act in gendertyped ways when peers were present. In this manner, same-gender peer groups tend to promote within-group assimilation. Although children typically internalize most group norms, girls and boys may find that some of their personal interests and values conflict with prevalent peer groups norms. For example, an adolescent girl may enjoy playing basketball despite her friends considering it unfeminine. In such a case, she may decide to play down her athletic accomplishment or otherwise risk being ostracized. Gendered roles and conduct involve intricate competencies, interests and value orientations. A comprehensive theory of gender differentiation must, therefore, explain the determinants and mechanisms through which gender-linked roles and conduct are acquired. In social cognitive theory, gender development is promoted by three major modes of influence and the way in which the information they convey is cognitively processed. The first mode is through modeling. A great deal of gender-linked information is exemplified by models in one's immediate environment such as parents and peers, and significant persons in social, educational and occupational contexts. In addition, the mass media provides pervasive modeling of gendered roles and conduct. The second mode is through enactive experience. It relies on discerning the gender-linkage of conduct from the outcomes resulting from one's actions. Gender-linked behavior is heavily socially sanctioned in most societies. Therefore, evaluative social reactions are important sources of information for constructing gender conceptions. Psychological theories typically emphasize the cognitive construction of gender conceptions and styles of behavior within the familial transmission model. This model was accorded special prominence mainly as a legacy of Freud's emphasis on adoption of gender roles within the family through the process of identification. Behavioristic theories also have accorded prominence to parents in shaping and regulating gender-linked conduct. In theories favoring biological determinants, familial genes are posited as the transmission agent of gender differentiation across generations. Sociologically-oriented theories emphasize the social construction of gender roles mainly at the institutional level. In this perspective, gender conceptions and role behavior are the products of a broad network of social influences operating both familially and in the many societal systems encountered in everyday life. Thus, it favors a multifaceted social transmission model rather than mainly a familial transmission model.

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Most psychological theories treat gender development as primarily a phenomenon of early childhood rather than one that operates throughout the life course. However, rules of gender-role conduct vary to some degree across social contexts and at different periods in life. Moreover, sociocultural and technological changes necessitate revision of pre-existing conceptions of what constitutes appropriate gender conduct. Gender role development and functioning are not confined to childhood but are negotiated throughout the life course. While most theories of gender development have been concerned with the early years of development or have focused on adults, socio-cognitive theory takes a life-course perspective. Psychoanalytic theory posited different processes to explain gender development in boys and girls. Initially, both boys and girls are believed to identify with their mothers. However, between 3 to 5 years of age this changes and children identify with the same-sex parent. Identification with the same-sex parent is presumed to resolve the conflict children experience as a result of erotic attachment to the opposite-sex parent and jealousy toward the same-sex parent. This attachment causes children much anxiety as they fear retaliation from the same-sex parent. The lack of visible genitalia in girls fuels boys' castration anxieties. Girls face a more complex situation. They feel resentment over being deprived of a penis, inferior, and fear retaliation from the mother for their designs on their father. The conflicting relationship is resolved through identification with the samesex parent. The process of identification is depicted as one in which children undertake wholesale adoption of the characteristics and qualities of the same-sex parent. Through this process of identification, children become sex-typed. Because identification with the same-sex parent is stronger for boys than girls, boys are expected to be more strongly sex-typed. Although psychoanalytic theory has had a pervasive early influence in developmental psychology, there is little empirical evidence to support it. A clear relationship between identification with the same-sex parent and gender-role adoption has never been empirically verified. Children are more likely to model their behavior after nurturing models or socially powerful ones than after threatening models with whom they have a rivalrous relationship. Lack of empirical support for classic psychoanalytic theory has led to a variety of reformulations of it. In the gender domain, a notable recasting is offered by Chodorow. In this view, gender identification begins in infancy rather than during the later phallic stage as proposed by Freud. Both male and female infants initially identify with their mother. However, because the mother is of the same sex as her daughter, identification is expected to be stronger between mothers and their daughters than between mothers and their sons. During the course of development, girls continue to identify with their mothers and they also psychologically merge with her. As a consequence, the daughters self-concept is characterized by mutuality and a sense of relatedness that orients her towards interpersonal relationships. This interpersonal orientation is the main reason why women engage in mothering. They seek to re-establish a sense of interpersonal connectedness reminiscent of their relationship with their mother but absent in their adult relationships with men. This pattern of development contrasts with that of boys who increasingly separate themselves from their mothers and define themselves in terms of difference from females. They begin to denigrate femininity in an attempt to establish their own separateness and individuation.

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Gender Schema Theory Several gender schema theories have been proposed to explain gender development and differentiation. The social psychological approaches advanced by Bem and Markus and her associates have centered mainly on individual differences in gender schematic processing of information. Once formed, it is posited that the schema expands to include knowledge of activities and interests, personality and social attributes, and scripts about gender-linked activities. The schema is presumably formed from interactions with the environment, but the process by which gender features that constitute the knowledge structure of the schema are abstracted remain unspecified. Once the schema is developed, children are expected to behave in ways consistent with traditional gender roles. The motivating force guiding children's gender-linked conduct, as in cognitive developmental theory, relies on gender-label matching in which children want to be like others of their own sex. For example, dolls are labeled "'for girls' and 'I am a girl' which means 'dolls are for me'". However, in addition to the lack of specification of the gender-abstraction process, empirical efforts to link gender schema to gender-linked conduct in young children have not fared well. Knowledge of gender stereotypes, which are generalized preconceptions about the attributes of males and females, is similarly unrelated to gender-linked conduct. Children's preferences for gendered activities emerge before they know the gender linkage of such activities. A gender schema represents a more generic knowledge structure about maleness and femaleness. Gender schema theory would predict that the more elaborated the gender knowledge children possess, the more strongly they should show gender-linked preferences. However, this hypothesized relationship receives no empirical support. Adults, for example, may be fully aware of gender stereotypes but this does not produce incremental prediction of gender-linked conduct as such knowledge increases. These various results fail to confirm gender knowledge as the determinant of gender-linked conduct. Gender schema theory has provided a useful framework for examining the cognitive processing of gender information once gender schemas are developed. In particular, it has shed light on how gender-schematic processing affects attention, organization, and memory of gender-related information. Other models of gender schema that focus on adults have similarly demonstrated gender biases in information processing. The more salient or available the schema, the more individuals are expected to attend to, encode, represent, and retrieve information relevant to gender. However, gender-schematic processing is unrelated to either children's or adults gender conduct or the findings are inconsistent across different measures of gender schematization A gender schema is not a monolithic entity. Children do not categorize themselves as "I am girl" or "I am a boy" and act in accordance with that schema invariantly across situations and activity domains. Rather they vary in their gender conduct depending on a variety of circumstances. A further limitation of gender schema theory is that it cannot explain the asymmetry in findings between boys and girls. Boys and girls differ in the extent to which they prefer same-gender activities, emulate same-gender models and play with same-gender peers, yet most studies find no differences in girls' and boys' gender stereotypic knowledge. Both cognitive-developmental theory and gender schema theory have focused on gender conceptions, but neither devotes much attention to the mechanisms by which gender-linked conceptions are acquired and translated to gender-linked conduct. Nor do they specify the

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motivational mechanism for acting in accordance with a conception. Knowing a stereotype does not necessarily mean that one strives to behave in accordance with it. For example, self-conception as an elderly person does not enhance valuation and eager adoption of the negative stereotypic behavior of old age. Evidence that gender conception is insufficient to explain variations in gender-linked conduct should not be misconstrued as negation of cognitive determinants. As will be explained in subsequent sections, social cognitive theory posits a variety of motivational and self-regulatory mechanisms rooted in cognitive activity that regulate gender development and functioning. These include, among other things, cognitions concerning personal efficacy, evaluative standards, aspirations, outcome expectations rooted in a value system, and perception of socio-structural opportunities and constraints. Biological Theories Theories of gender are biological, interpersonal, and cultural. Many gender theorists such as Julia Wood insist that biological theories are compromised because they must focus specifically on sex (male/female), which is innate, and not on gender (masculine/feminine), which is a social construction that designates cultural and social categories. Advocates for biological theories of difference, however, attempt to advance their argument with research showing that hormones play a role in the sex development of a fetus, as well as research that says structural differences in the brain may or may not result in a difference in how males and females process information. According to a recent article in Newsweek, psychiatrist Louann Brizendines book, The Female Brain, argues that advances in neuro-imaging and neuro-endocrinology make it possible to understand real differences in male and female brains. In the article, Brizendine states that different levels of certain hormonessuch as estrogen, cortisol, and dopaminein male and female brains, as well as the increased presence of neurons in the female brain devoted to emotions and memory can result in different male/female responses to stress. Andersen protests that an atmosphere of political correctness makes it difficult to have a truly open discussion of probable biologically based differences. He argues that studies measuring a higher level of nonverbal sensitivity in grade school age females than in their male peers suggest either biological differences or extremely early development, which he views as implausible. Biological theories of difference do not always sit well with social scientists and medical professionals who tend to see such differences as minimal and who embrace the influence of social factors on the development of gender differences. Scientists such as psychiatrist and neuro-imaging expert Nancy C. Andreasen point to extensive evidence that nurture is more important than nature in explaining differences in human behavior. Andreasen views studies that ignore this evidence as flawed by claims for biological differences which are exaggerated insignificance. There is also the belief that such studies are ultimately detrimental to womens attempts to reach equal footing in the workplace and at home. In fact, according to Andreasen, whatever measurable differences exist in the brain are used to oppress and suppress women. In questioning why findings of dimorphic difference are viewed as fundamentally and innately important, Condit responds that studies on brain sex are too often based on bad science. She concludes that hypotheses for brain sex research are framed in such a way that any finding of dichotomous difference outweighs all findings of similarity. Biological factors additionally influence gender development. Wood and Eagly (2002)

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propose the most important biologically based physical attributes that differentiate the sexes are womens reproductive capacity and mens greater strength, speed, and size. Physical sex differences, in interaction with social and ecological conditions, influence the roles held by men and women because certain activities are more efficiently accomplished by one sex (p. 702). Genderdifferentiated roles tend to occur in societies wherein womens nursing and infant care hinder their performance of subsistence activities that require, for example, uninterrupted periods of work or extended time away from home. As Wood and Eagly also note, cultural changes have weakened gender-differentiated roles and patriarchy in many postindustrial societies: Women have gained control over their reproduction, and day care has become common. Moreover, strength, size, and speed are no longer important within these societies for most jobs (particularly those with the highest pay and status). Gender is often discussed in analytic terms as if it is a value free construct, a description of what exists. Yet gender is used to define as well as to describe. Biologically-oriented theories have also been proposed to explain gender development and differentiation. Evolutionary psychology is one such theory that views gender differentiation as ancestrally programmed. The ancestral origin of differences in gender roles is analyzed in terms of mate preferences, reproductive strategies, parental investment in offspring, and the aggressive nature of males. Viewed from this perspective, contemporary gender differences originated from successful ancestral adaptation to the different reproductive demands faced by men and women. Men contributed less to their off-springs chances of survival so they sought multiple partners and were less choosy with whom to mate. In addition, uncertainty of paternity raised the risk of investing resources in children who were not their own. In contrast, women have to carry the fetus and care for their offspring years after their birth. Women adapted to impose role in reproduction and parenting by preferring fewer sexual partners and favoring those who would be good long-term providers of the basic necessities of life for themselves and their offspring. Men, in contrast, attempted to maximize the likelihood of paternity by reproducing with numerous young and physically attractive females, suggestive of high fertility. Because of their size and strength advantage, males resolved problems arising from conflicting reproductive interests by exercising aggressive dominance over females. Coercive force enables males to control females sexuality and to mate with many females. As a legacy of this evolutionary history, women have come to invest more heavily than men in parenting roles. Males, in turn, evolved into aggressors, social dominators and prolific maters because such behavior increased their success in propagating their genes. According to evolutionary psychology, many current gender differences, such as the number of sexual partners preferred, criteria for selecting sexual partners, aggression, jealousy and the roles they fulfill originated from the ancestral sex differentiated reproductive strategies. Not all evolutionary theorists speak with one voice, however. Psychological evolutionists often take a more extreme deterministic stance regarding the rule of nature. Psychological evolutionists are also quick to invoke evolved behavioral traits as cultural universals, whereas biological evolutionists emphasize functional relations between organism and situated environment that underscores the diversifying selection influence of variant ecological contexts. It should also be noted that evolutionary psychology grounds gender differences in ancestral mating strategies, but it does not address at all the developmental changes that occur in gender conceptions and gendered conduct. Nor does it specify the determinants and mechanisms governing developmental changes across the life course.

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Evolutionary psychology is proposed as a superior alternative to more socially oriented explanations of gender differentiation. However, this view, which attributes overriding power to biology, is not without serious problems. It is mainly a descriptive and post hoc explanatory device that lacks the scientific rigor required of evolutionary analyses. What were the environmental pressures operating during the ancestral era when the differential reproductive strategies were allegedly developed? Neither molecular evidence from fossilized human remains nor detailed archaeological artifacts are provided to support the evolutionary storytelling about ancestral environmental selection pressures and the accompanying changes in genetic make-up. The genetic variation on which selection forces could have operated in the past of course remains unknown, but is there any evidence of genetic differences between present-day philanderers and monogamists? What empirical evidence is there that males prefer young fertile-looking females and females prefer richlyresourced males because of different genes? According to evolutionary psychology, the biological basis of gender differentiation has changed little since the ancestral era. Since prehistoric times there have been massive cultural and technological innovations that have drastically altered how people live their lives. A theory positing genetic fixedness over this evolutionary period has major explanatory problems given that contemporary women are markedly different in preferences, attributes and social and occupational roles from the ancestral ones in the hunter-gatherer era. Indeed, for the most part, present day lifestyle patterns and reproduction practices run counter to the speculative scenarios of psychological evolutionism. The heavy biologizing of gender roles also seems divorced from the changing roles of females in contemporary society. Most are combining occupational pursuits with homemaking rather than being confined to childbearing domesticity. The substantial modification in reproduction practices and attendant lifestyle changes were ushered in by technological innovations in contraception not by the slow biological selection. Other analyses of gender differences from a biological perspective have centered on hormonal influences and estimates of heritability. Hormones affect the organization of the neural substrates of the brain, including lateralization of brain function. It has been reported that females show less lateral brain specialization than do males, but the differences are small and some studies find no such difference. Difference in degree of brain lateralization is assumed to produce gender differences in cognitive processing. Although girls generally do better on verbal tasks, and boys do better on some types of mathematical tasks, the differences are small. Moreover, the gender differences have been diminishing over the past decade, which is much too short a time to be genetically determined. However, there are clear and reliable differences in spatial skills favoring males. But this difference has also been diminishing in recent years, most likely as a function of social changes. Although hormones may play a part in spatial ability, the evidence suggests that environmental factors play a central role in the observed differences. Compared to girls, boys grow up in more spatially complex environments, receive more encouragement for outdoor play, and engage extensively in activities that foster the development of spatial skills. In accord with a social source, gender differences in spatial ability are not found in cultures where women are granted greater freedom of action. The search for a hormonal basis for gender differences in social behavior has produced highly conflicting results. Despite considerable research, the influence of hormones on behavioral development and cognitive functioning remains unclear. Drawing on atypical populations in which the developing fetus is exposed to high levels of prenatal male or female hormones, the findings show

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that girls increase engagement in traditionally male- and female-related activities, respectively. The causal link between hormones and behavior, however, has not been established. Because these children often look different from other children of their own sex and parents are very much aware of their atypical condition, hormonal influences cannot be disentangled from social ones. In addition, the lack of relationship between prenatal hormones and gender-linked behavior for boys raises further questions about whether hormonal factors could be the basis for gender-differentiated conduct. Performance Theory Gender performance theorists believe that gender is performed like any theatre work, is independent of sex, and is best understood through performance studies. Performance has been seized on most productively by political activists to make visible the structure of the performance (body position, gesture, facial expression, proxemics, voice modulation, speech pattern, social space, markers of clothing, adornment and cosmetics) and to point up its artificial quality in direct ways. While Riki Wilchins sums up one of the fundamentals ideas of performance theory in her definition of real: "REAL. What any gender is until the exact moment you become aware you're performing it then it becomes drag." his illustrates how performance theorists analyze gender as performed. Discursive theories of gender Discursive theories of gender are those theories which see gender as something that is enacted on a daily basis through discourse. This understanding is in contrast to seeing gender as a property of persons or a set of adjectives associated with a person. Discursive theories of gender are part of wider approaches which see gender as a social construction and they are thus central to understand gender and society. What is unique about discursive approaches to gender is that discourses are seen as producing certain gendered subjects. In this entry different approaches to gender and discourse are presented including a poststructurally inspired approach, an approach which focuses on language and one which combines these two approaches. Discourse is a contested term and many approaches lay claim to the term. The term discourse comes from the Latin word discurrere, which mean literally to run to or through without objective. Discourse can refer to a poststructural definition often linked to Foucauldian theories and to a more linguistic understanding of language in use. In the Foucauldian understanding discourse refers to the regulatory system which creates the order of things in a society through distinctions such as right/wrong, masculine/feminine etc. Discourse is here seen as a large sum of statements which regulate what is accepted as knowledge in a given society. Discourse can also be seen in a more linguistic version as language in use. This means that spoken and written texts can be subjected to an analysis of what is said when and how. Through this analysis it is possible to analyse how the societal order is re-established through the use of language. Discursive theories of gender draw on Foucauldian as well as linguistic definitions of discourse to theorise gender as something that is performed. Judith Butler is one of the most prominent thinkers who use Foucauldian approaches to theorise gender. For Butler gender is something that is done. This is in contrast to other understandings of gender where gender is seen as a property of persons or a set of adjectives. Butler argues drawing on Foucault that discourses, as large sums of statements, make certain subject

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positions available. Subject positions are the basis on which gender identities are formed. Discourse is thus powerful in defining what we understand to be gender and what it means to be a man or a woman in a given society. Gendered subjects are created through responding to or enacting these discourses. Although there are multitudes of discourses, certain discourses are more dominant than other ones, which makes them hegemonic. These hegemonic discourses determine how the ideal man or woman is supposed to be and oppresses other ways of enacting gender. While discursive theories of gender are regarded by Butler as large sums of statements, other discursive theories have focused more on the fine grain detail of talk. Some researchers have recognised that wider and smaller discourses also interact to produce gender. Wendy Hollway analyses how gender differentiated meaning is (re)produced in unconscious dynamics between people. She shows how gender splitting works in the relationship between Will and Beverly to position Beverly as the one who does the feeling and Will as the one who does the coping. This splitting of characteristics functions as a way to construct Wills masculine gender subjectivity and Beverlys feminine gender subjectivity. Other research has explored for instance how young women made sense of their class and gender position in society and how young men position themselves in relation to discourses like feminism and fatherhood. Studies in this vein show that discourses open subject positions which individuals adopt and this often but not exclusively happens through talk. Discursive approaches to gender are a useful approach to explore the social construction of gender. The micro analysis of talk provides insight into how gender is produced in specific interactions. An awareness of large discourses is useful to show which subjects can be formed based on these discourses. Discursive theories of gender can either refer to large discourses or more micro discourses and some research has also combined both views of discourse. Through adopting discursive theories of gender, it is possible to show how the availability and desirability of discourses in society is linked to the subject positions people adopt in talk. The strength of discursive theories of gender is that they are useful to understand how gender is created through the use of talk and the availability of subject positions. Through discursive theories of gender it is thus possible to show how gender is performed in society through discourse. As such discursive approaches to gender are important to understand the social construction of gender and gender in society more generally. As children become more cognitively adept, their knowledge of gender extends beyond nonverbal categorization of people and objects, to explicit labeling of people, objects, and styles of behavior according to gender. As children begin to comprehend speech, they notice that verbal labeling in masculine and feminine terms is used extensively by those around them. It does not take them long to learn that children are characterized as boys and girls, and adults as mothers and fathers, women and men. Gender labeling gives salience not only to sorting people on the basis of gender but also aggregates the features and activities that characterize each gender. Gender labeling takes on considerable importance because a great deal depends on it. It not only highlights gender as an important category for viewing the world, but as the basis for categorizing oneself. Once such self-categorization occurs the label takes on added significance, especially as children increasingly recognize that the social world around them is heavily structured around this categorical differentiation. One's gender status makes a big difference. It carries enormous significance not only for dress and play, but the skills cultivated, the occupations pursued, the functions performed in family life, and the nature of ones leisure pursuits and social relationships.

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Social cognitive theory posits that, through cognitive processing of direct and vicarious experiences, children come to categorize themselves as girls or boys, gain substantial knowledge of gender attributes and roles, and extract rules as to what types of behavior are considered appropriate for their gender. However, unlike the gender constancy and schema theories, it does not invest gender conceptions with automatic directive and motivating properties. Acquiring a conception of gender and valuing the attributes defining that conception are separable processes governed by different determinants. In the preceding sections we have seen how self-regulatory mechanisms operate through perceived self-efficacy, anticipated social sanctions, self-sanctions, and perceived impediments rather than gender labeling itself motivating and guiding gender-linked conduct. Just as having a conception of one's own gender does not drive one to personify the stereotype it embraces, nor does the self-conception of gender necessarily create positive valuation of the attributes and roles traditionally associated with it. Both the valuation of certain attributes and roles and the eagerness to adopt them are influenced by the value society places on them. Societies that subordinate women may lead many of them to devalue their own gender identity. Boys clearly favor male models, but girls, who are fully cognizant of their gender constancy, do not display the exclusive same-gender modeling as the cognitivistic theories would have one believe. For boys there is little conflict between their own valuation of their gender and societal valuation of it. For girls, however, although they may value being a girl and gender-linked activities, they very early recognize the differential societal valuation of male and female roles. Consequently, women have some incentive to attempt to raise their status by mastering activities and interests traditionally typed as masculine. Even at the preschool level, girls show greater modeling after the other gender than do boys. In the social sphere, there are large gender differences in the modeling of aggression, which is widely regarded as a principal attribute of maleness. The heavy aggressive modeling by males is not lost on boys. Even at the very early age preschool boys are higher adopters of modeled styles of aggression than girls, and even more so if it is modeled by males than by females. In their spontaneous comments in the latter studies, the children expressed in no uncertain terms the inappropriateness of a woman behaving aggressively. It is not as though boys are preordained for aggressive modeling, however. When exposed to male models behaving nonaggressively in the presence of provocative cues, boys decrease their aggressiveness. Although boys are more inclined than girls to adopt modeled aggressive styles of behavior, the differences reflect primarily differential restraint rather than differential acquisition. When girls are offered positive incentives to reproduce the novel patterns of aggression they saw modeled, the results show that girls learn just about as much as boys from the aggressive models. The way we are, behave and think is the final product of socialisation. Since the moment we are born, we are being moulded into the being the society wants us to be. Through socialisation we also learn what is appropriate and improper for both genders. This paper will focus on how in particular family and parents attitudes mediate traditional gender roles in our society and the effect on their attitude towards gender roles on youth people. No human trait is so emphasized as gender. We are deluged, even as infants, with "Oh, you're a big boy" or "you are such a pretty little girl" for example. As Freud observed, the first thing we instantly determine, when meeting someone new, is gender. Indeed, it will probably trouble us if we can't tell which gender the person is. Maybe this "need to know" has something to do with "knowing how to act" with this person.

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According to psychologists such as Sandra Bem (1993), one cognitive process that seems nearly inevitable in humans is to divide people into groups. We can partition these groups on the basis of race, age, religion, and so forth. However, the major way in which we usually split humanity is on the basis of gender. This process of categorizing others in terms of gender is both habitual and automatic. It's nearly impossible to suppress the tendency to split the world in half, using gender as the great divider. When we divide the world into two groups, male and female, we tend to see all males as being similar, all females as being similar, and the two categories of "male" and "female" as being very different from each other. In real life, the characteristics of women and men tend to overlap. Unfortunately, however, gender polarization often creates an artificial gap between women and men. As mentioned above, the different ways of males and females interacting fit nicely with differences in men and women's value systems. Women value being sensitive and maintaining good relationships, i.e. attachment over achievement; men value gaining status by following "the rules," i.e. achievement over attachment. Since our society values competition and individuals being successful on their own, women's orientation towards caring for others and/or cooperatively building the community is considered (by the male dominated society) to be of lesser importance. These value differences are reflected in the gender roles established by our culture.

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Gender and Socialization


Socialization Socialization is the process by which we internalize the society around us - particularly the culture. Through socialization we internalize group values and norms. While much of socialization occurs in the early years of life, it is a life long process. Through socialization we internalize the appropriate patterns of interpersonal and group interaction. We internalize the beliefs and values of our group. We develop our sense or individual personhood and world view. When we learn something, we assume that we learned it consciously and can recall the information or skill at will. In learning we assume that, to some extent, we are in control of the process. We are rarely aware of what is happening in socialization, and especially as children, are not in control of the process. Socialization happens through the deliberate and incidental actions of those around us. Sociologists refer to these others as socialization agents. They include: the family, our peers, schools, groups, and media to name a few. While we certainly learn explicit things during socialization many things we learn simply by watching or by inference. Social learning theory on the other hand emphasises observational learning. Children observe other persons and imitate them, and therefore learn something new. Gender roles are belief systems that guide the way we process information, including information about gender. One theory which is considered important to the learning of gender identity is Albert Bandura's Social Learning Theory. According to this theory, gender typing is explained as being neither biologically determined or inevitable, but a result of day to day interactions between the developing child and his or her immediate social environment. Through social learning, children learn behaviours which are considered appropriate for their sex through observations of others, such as a same sex parent; as well as, through messages communicated by the media. Research on social learning theory, and the learning of sex roles, supports the view that children learn by imitation, as children learn what behaviours and roles are expected of them by observing others' behaviour being reinforced or punished. Seeing someone reinforced for a behaviour, such as a girl playing with a doll being reinforced for being nurturant, may be expressed as being what is appropriate, reinforcing behaviour for a female. Therefore, a girl may associate reinforcement with that behaviour, which may make that behaviour appear positive for a female. The process by which the individual learns and accepts roles is called socialization. Socialization works by encouraging wanted and discouraging, sometimes even forbidding, unwanted behavior. These sanctions by agencies of socialization such as the family, schools, and the media make it clear to the child what the behavioral norms it ought to follow are. The child follows the examples of its parents, siblings and teachers. Mostly, accepted behavior is not produced by outright coercion. The individual does have some choice as to if or to what extent he or she conforms. Also, typical encouragements of gender role behavior are no longer as powerful as they used to be a century ago. Statements like "boys don't play with dolls" could typically be questioned by a "why not?" young women would say "I don't want to become like my mother." After all this is said about the way we are brought up, there is still the question about biological differences. Often gender roles are defended by biological differences of sexes, and it is true that differences exist. It is true that males are from birth more physically active and irritable than

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females. This difference is also seen in other primates. Also in every culture males commit more violent acts than females. This evidence would verify that boys are predisposed toward physical aggression, which is even enhanced by the male sex hormones. But however socialisation would seem to magnify this predisposition as boys are given toy swords and guns, while the aggression in girls is discouraged and they are given cooking sets and dolls as toys. In contrast what should be done is that males should be reared in a way that would not emphasise aggression. That way, the biological predisposition could be fought with socialisation, and perhaps less violent crimes would be committed. Socialisation is the process, through which the child becomes an individual respecting his or hers environment's laws, norms and customs. Gender socialisation is a more focused form of socialisation, it is how children of different sexes are socialised into their gender roles and taught what it means to be male or female. The traditional gender roles help to sustain gender stereotypes, such as that males are supposed to be adventurous, assertive aggressive, independent and taskoriented, whereas females are seen as more sensitive, gentle, dependent, emotional and peopleoriented. The way we are, behave and think is the final product of socialisation. Since the moment we are born, we are being moulded into the being the society wants us to be. Through socialisation we also learn what is appropriate and improper for both genders. This paper will focus on how in particular family and parents attitudes mediate traditional gender roles in our society and the effect on their attitude towards gender roles on youth people. No human trait is so emphasized as gender. We are deluged, even as infants, with "Oh, you're a big boy" or "you are such a pretty little girl" for example. According to psychologists such as Sandra Bem, one cognitive process that seems nearly inevitable in humans is to divide people into groups. We can partition these groups on the basis of race, age, religion, and so forth. However, the major way in which we usually split humanity is on the basis of gender. This process of categorizing others in terms of gender is both habitual and automatic. It's nearly impossible to suppress the tendency to split the world in half, using gender as the great divider. When we divide the world into two groups, male and female, we tend to see all males as being similar, all females as being similar, and the two categories of "male" and "female" as being very different from each other. In real life, the characteristics of women and men tend to overlap. Unfortunately, however, gender polarization often creates an artificial gap between women and men. Gender socialization can be read like a relational process To speak about challenges and resources in gender socialization, means therefore to simplify the reality, to circumscribe a point of view from which to observe a phenomenon, but always holding account that is a relational phenomenon, in which more dimensions are intersected. Therefore, identifying the challenges, a groupt of factors is identified, that, in relation to the resources are shaped as selected opportunities, and circumscribing the resources, a network of elements that appear strategic in relation to the challenges is defined. Consequently gender socialization process is divided in two orders of factors, that they make head one to the challenges and the other to the resources, in the hypothesis that behind every phenomenon are however the intentions of the actors who arrange in a more or less balanced way,

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with reference to the context of options that delimits the action, objects to reach and strategies of participation. Gender socialization takes shaped as risky and is imagined like an interlace in which challenges and resources must be arranged; the challenges are those shown from a context in which gender indifferentiation is shuffled with the persistence of some stereotypes and in which a stable identity seems to be at least a difficult task and the resources are those predisposed in the relationship with the family and the school and also the own gender culture learned in different situations. Socialisation is the process, through which the child becomes an individual respecting his or hers environment's laws, norms and customs. Gender socialisation is a more focused form of socialisation, it is how children of different sexes are socialised into their gender roles and taught what it means to be male or female. The classical example of gender socialisation is the experiment done with a baby that was introduced as a male to half of the study subjects and as a female to the other half. The results are interesting and quite disturbing at the same time. When the participants thought they were playing with a baby boy, "he" was offered toys, such as a hammer or rattle, while if the participants thought they were playing with a baby girl, "she" was offered a doll. The participants also touched the baby differently. It was found that baby boys are often bounced, thus stimulating the whole body, whereas girls are touched more gentler and less vigorously. In another study it was found out that words such as "sturdy", "handsome" and "tough" are used to describe boy infants and "dainty", "sweet" and "charming" for girl infants, although there was no differences in the sizes of the infants. Girls are treated differently since their birth, because they are, and that contributes to how the child feels about his or hers gender in the future. Many times the children also see the people around them acting according to the traditional gender roles, which they observe and imitate, as described by the social learning theory. In addition to that, schools and media pose an image how people of different sexes are supposed to act and peers might reinforce this image. Thus finally the child learns through reinforcement and imitation to act according to the norms he or she is presented, which are often gender stereotypes. In short, the children are socialised to think that there are certain expectations and limitations for both genders. However in the past years there has been slight changes towards a non-sexist environment, at least in the western culture, where children are brought up to believe that their gender should not be a barrier or limitation to any kind of activity or way of life. Some studies have already shown to positive effects of androgynous child rearing, and parents have chosen to bring up their children in a non-sexist environment. Furthermore, as more mothers go to work outside home and fathers start doing duties at home, children will be socialised to think that gender is not a restricting variable for any kind of job or duty. Also media and schools have started to change their attitudes, slowly, but steadily. In conclusion, it could be hypothesised that in the future, the gender stereotypes would hinder as the result of non-sexist child rearing and environments that are favoured today. Gender serves as one of the most significant identifying labels throughout the life span. While originally a childs sex is based primarily on chromosomal and genital distinctions, this category will follow the child from the birthing room, operating as a life-long functional tag that will influence virtually every aspect of her or his experience. Our society uses sex categories to divide names, public restrooms, pronoun usage, school lines, toys, room decor, clothing and appearance options, hobbies, and occupations. Given societies insistence on the functional use of sex categories, a childs physical, social, cognitive, and emotional milestones will all develop under a gendered umbrella.

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During some aspects of development, a childs gender tag will be at the forefront of experience while, other times, it will fade into the background providing minimal cues and effects to the 1 situation. Regardless of the degree of salience, an individuals gender has meaningful consequences that need to be considered when tackling issues related to child development. From the moment of birth, a childs gender influences the opportunities she or he will experience. Within a few years of life, children begin to form their own ideas about gender that subsequently guide the types of activities they practice, what they find interesting, and the achievements they attain. As children develop, their gender self-concepts, beliefs, and motives are informed and transformed by families, peers, the media, and schools. These social contexts both reflect and perpetuate gender roles and gender inequities in the larger society. Like everyone else, our birth was marked by a certain set of circumstances. Maybe it was an event anticipated with joy, maybe not. The fact is that family and friends have different types of expectations depending on whether the baby is a boy or a girl. When we were born the first thing they did was look at our genitals. Probably they bought us the right color clothes (either pink or blue) and began thinking about our future. From that moment on, our path in life was set. If we are female, they gave us dolls and toy dishes, and little by little we learned how to sweep, dust, wash the dishes, and serve papa his dinner. If we are male, we probably had a toy car and a wooden horse, and little by little we will go with papa to work and one day, to the local bar. Even when we comprehend that this form of gender organization is unfair and that there are deeply rooted attitudes and behavior patterns that are hard to change, we generally act in ways that reinforce this unjust order. Why do we do this? After we are born, our knowledge and perception of the world are shaped by the environment that surrounds us. We learn from oral tradition, example, life experience and the historical context in which we live. The unequal order between women and men on which our identity is built was already structured from the moment of our birth. Being a woman or being a man gave us a social position of superiority or inferiority, not because we decided that way but because we learned it as children. Women learn that not everything is permitted them; men learn that almost everything is. In other words, we learn the boundaries of what we can do and what we are. Language, the mass media, and social norms are only a few factors that influence stereotypes which intern influence social behaviour. An individual may also consider environmental factors, such as living conditions, as another influence to social behaviour. Language provides a basic mechanism by which individuals are categorized into groups, and by which stereotypes are shared with others. (A shared stereotype is simply the same stereotype that is held by more than one person). Language also consists of processes, which involve naming, labelling, and categorizing. The role of language, in reference to stereotypes, leads to a direct focus on the content of the category labels and the stereotypes (Macrae, Stangor, & Hewstone). Some examples of category labelling are blacks, homosexuals, women, nerds, etc. It is these labels and the context that they are used in that determine the reaction an individual may have to a person fitting the category. Their social behaviour may be negative or positive depending on how they interpret the given label. Starting from birth, mothers attribute different characteristics to male infants than to female infants. Thus, when individual adults are handed the same baby, having been told variously that it is a

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girl or a boy, their play, handling of and communication with it differ according to their perception of its sex. This sort of study shows that babies of different sexes are likely to be treated differently simply because they are of different sexes. A second example makes an additional point. When adults are shown the same video sequence of a child playing, and some are told that it is a boy and others a girl, their interpretations of its behaviours depend on the sex that they believe it to be. For example, when the child was startled and believed to be a boy, it was perceived more often as being angry, whereas the same startled behaviour, when believed to be that of a girl, was perceived as fearful distress. This sort of study tells us that expectations about how a male or female baby should behave can lead adults to interpret the same behaviour very differently. It raises the possibility that some behaviours may be reinforced or responded to in different gender-specic ways as a result of the expectations of others. Several studies have shown very clearly that the expectations that adults have of a boy differ from those expected of a girl; and men tend to be much more prone to gender stereotyping in this regard than women. Thus, girls are expected to be softer and more vulnerable and are played with more gently. They are also expected to be more vocal and socially interactive, and parents spend more time in these sorts of behaviours with girls. Boys in contrast are encouraged to do things, are less directly communicated with and are disciplined or roughly handled more often. These sorts of observations emphasize how important and subtle gender stereotypes are and how they are applied to children from the moment of birth. Indeed, parents seem quite anxious to encourage differences between boys and girls by the types of toys they offer them, the clothes they provide for them, and the activities they encourage and discourage. Rewards and approval are offered when children conform to parental gender stereotypes. These parental gendering activities are particularly marked for the rst 23 years of a childs life. It is precisely over this period that a child develops its own sense of gender identity. By 2 years children label themselves consistently as male or female, and soon thereafter reliably associate certain sorts of behaviour and activities with males and females. They appear to have both a gender identity and a gender stereotype. They also by 5 years of age seem to realize that gender is xed and cannot be changed across time or situation: they have a sense of gender constancy. Indeed, if 36-year-old children are shown a video of another child, their descriptions of its behaviour are very different if told that it is a boy than if told it is a girl. They actually seem to be even more rigidly gender stereotyping than their parents when performing the same task! Since children spend a lot of time with one another, they are likely to reinforce gender stereotypes in each other: peer pressure in action. Children are, of course, cognitive beings. They do not simply absorb subconsciously impressions of the world around them, although that does occur. They see and hear what goes on around them in the household, in the media, at school. They see men and women and what they do and dont do. Models of male and female behaviour are provided all round them. So there may also be a copying element in the development and elaboration of their growing gender identity and the ways in which they express it. However, copying a model implies identication with that model in the rst place and so it is likely that copying is a secondary process that may relate more to the expression of a gender identity than its initial establishment. Thus, a lot of evidence supports the view that gender stereotypes are applied to babies and children very early in life, and that children also use them and apply them to their world from an early age. The childs environment is thus immersed in gender stereotyping. Does this mean that the way in which babies are treated and gender stereotyped causes their own gender to develop? It is

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entirely plausible to suggest that at least some gendered patterns of behaviour that develop in boys and girls may be induced differentially by the way in which they are treated by others and as a result of the expectations of others. In effect, the gender stereotype of a society may be taught to its children by the way they are treated. If this were so, it might be suggested that ambiguity on the part of parents about the sex of their child could affect the development of gender identity. Cases of transgendering might be associated with a sexually ambiguous childhood: for example, parents treating their son more as a girl, clothing him in dresses and not reinforcing boyish activities in play and sport. The evidence on this suggestion is far from clear. Just because a suggestion is plausible, it does not mean that it is true. What is the evidence? Gender socialisation begins at the moment we are born, from the simple question "is it a boy or a girl? We learn our gender roles by agencies of socialisation, which are the "teachers" of the society. The main agencies in our society are the family, peer groups, schools and media. In respect with gender socialisation, each of the agencies could reinforce the gender stereotypes. Gender differences result from socialization process, especially during our childhood and adolescence. For instance, before we are 3 years old, there are fascinating differences between how boys and girls interact. Boys attempt to dominate, to control, to find out "Am I better than you?" They do this by little contests or by being aggressive, if necessary. They establish their status and then continue to try to use power to improve their position in the "pecking order In contrast, girls and women try to establish and improve their relationships, as if they were always asking "Do you like me?" Because boys and girls want to do different things, boys and girls start avoiding each other at 3 or 4. By age 6, girls so dislike the rough competitive play and domination by boys that they choose girls over boys as playmates 10 to 1. Little boys don't like "girl's games" either. Indeed, if asked, boys will express horror at the idea of suddenly becoming girls; girls aren't horrified of becoming a boy, they quickly recognize the advantages of being a boy. Boys constantly want to win at active, competitive activities and seem less interested in "winning friends." Several studies have also found that older boys will comply with a male peer's suggestion but will stubbornly not comply with the same suggestion from a female peer. This is especially true if other males are watching. The Psychoanalysts believe little boys 3 to 6 undergo great turmoil as they must give up their identification with a close, nurturing mother and switch it to a father. In this process, boys may be unwittingly taught to dislike, even disdain female (mother's) characteristics in order to give them up; thus, the "hatred" of women's ways (and little girls) may be generated in little boys. Gendered behaviour may affect the way that they are treated In an earlier section, the evidence that exposure to androgens during fetal or neonatal life might inuence gendered behaviour was reviewed. The evidence was consistent with there being a possible inuence on childhood play patterns. There are indeed claims of intrinsic behavioural differences between newborn male and female babies, although these are not yet strong enough to convince. However, it is at least plausible to suggest that just as babies may respond differently to adults who show gender-specic behaviour towards them, so sex differences in baby behaviour might induce different responses in adults. Clearly, the experiments described above, in which adults were (correctly or incorrectly) told the sex of a child and responded in ways typical for the believed gender, cannot be explained in this way. However, in these experiments when a male baby was handled by adults, half of whom thought it was male and the other half of whom thought it was

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female, and they were then asked about their experiences, there were differences. Thus where reality and belief were congruent the adults had felt more comfortable than when there was conict. This may mean that they were picking up on inconsistencies in the babys behaviour that conicted with expectations. What this may be telling us is that adults are sensitive to the babys behaviour as being boy-like or girl-like. It does not, of course, tell us whether these sensed differences in behaviour were due to hormonal inuences on the baby or to previous social learning by it. Here is the core of our dilemma. From the moment of birth, boys and girls are likely to be treated differently, so how can we separate cleanly the effects of hormones from those of learning? This process of configuration as people and members of society is called socialization. We human beings are constituted according to psychosocial processes in which gender is one determinant of our identity. Our grandmothers and grandfathers, aunts and uncles, mother and father or the people who raised ussignificant figures because of their closeness during our first years of lifenourished a very important part of our process of formation as people, making them our referents in terms of gender behaviors. These people are called others references. Can you recall how family members treated women and how they treated men?

What gender characteristics did the men and women have who accompanied you in your first years of life? What did you learn from these men and women?

In this process of socialization, behavioral codes and valuations of inequality are transmitted to us. We internalized these, because we were taught that it was natural to behave in these ways. We were scolded or even subjected to physical violence every time we tried to deviate from this scheme of things, and we were rewarded every time our behavior fit the pattern established for our gender. Social groups are constantly transmitting gender formation, and this process takes place from generation to generation through multiple media that act simultaneously and are mutually reinforcing. We learn from the behavior of others. We see what women do and what men do, where they go to, what they do with their time, what decisions they participate in and the resources they control. We also observe whose name goes on the deed to the house, what responsibilities are assumed, and by whom. We perceive all these gender practices in the family, in school, at work, in institutions, in development projects, in the government, in business and in all the other social institutions that people can join. Gender Learning Distinction between sex and gender leads us to the understanding of gender but gender is also a process of learning by way of coaching and training. It is a process of becoming a girl or a boy and a woman or a man to acquire the necessary characteristics and skills to become gendered human beings. Gender learning starts from birth and continue till death. One of the most important ways in which a human baby becomes a girl or a boy is through the method of Gender Socialization. Another method that has become significant is that of recruitment to Gender Agents of Socialization

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. . . . . .

Parents Family members School Peer group The media Symbolic agents

Role of culture: Gender is the set of beliefs, prescriptions and attributions that are socially constructed and based on sexual difference. This social construction works as a kind of cultural "filter" through which the world is interpreted, as well as a kind of armour with which people's decisions and opportunities are limited according to whether they have the body of a man or a woman. All societies classify what is "typical" of women and "typical" of men, and the social obligations of each sex are established based on these cultural ideas, with a series of symbolic prohibitions. Culture is a result but it is also a means. The symbolic is the establishment of cultural codes that govern human existence by means of fundamental prescriptions, such as those of gender. The socialisation and individuation of humans are the result of a unique process: that of their humanisation, in other words their gradual emergence from the biological order and their transition towards culture. Symbolic thought represents the very heart of culture. All human beings have to face the same fact in all societies: sexual difference. Each culture creates its own symbolisation of the difference between the sexes and engenders many versions of the man/woman dichotomy. What characterises human beings is speech, involving a symbolising function, and it is fundamental for us to become social subjects and beings. Speech has a structure that is beyond the control and consciousness of the individual speaker, who does, however, make use of this structure, which is present in his or her mind. Language is a basic element of the cultural matrix, in other words the parent structure of meanings by virtue of which our experiences become intelligible. Human beings symbolise sexual difference with a mental structure that includes the unconscious and by using language, which is universal even though it takes different forms. This symbolisation is today known as gender. There are many different symbolisations of the constant biological universe of sexual difference. In other words, there are many different gender schemas. This cultural symbolisation of an anatomical difference takes the form of a set of practices, ideas, discourses and social representations that influence and condition people's objective and subjective behaviour according to their sex. By establishing gender, society thereby manufactures ideas of what men and women should be. Gender attributes "feminine" and "masculine" characteristics to spheres of life, activities and behaviour. From childhood we perceive representations of "the feminine" and "the masculine" through language and the material expressions of culture (objects, images, etc.). As regards information, gender precedes information relating to sexual difference in a child's cognitive development. Between the ages of two and three, girls and boys learn to refer to themselves in feminine or masculine terms, even if they have no clear idea of what the biological difference consists of. Many of them do not even register the anatomical difference, but they are able to differentiate the clothes, toys and the most obvious symbols of what is typical of boys and what is typical of girls. It can be assumed that irrespective of culture, people form gender schemata, which include

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differentiated ideas about how men and women are supposed to act, what occupations they are supposed to hold, and what they ought to look like. The gender roles deemed appropriate for men and women can vary depending on culture. However, in every culture, with few exceptions, women are considered to be the subordinate sex and are assigned restrictive gender roles that largely diminish their power. Sex differences in how children spend their time are striking and include differences in the kinds of play and leisure activities in which girls and boys participate and their choices of companions for their everyday activities. Indeed, research on gender development suggests that sex differences in childrens activities appear earlier and are more pervasive than sex-typing in other domains such as personality or cognition. Cross-cultural analyses likewise highlight sex differences in childrens daily activities that correspond to womens and mens gender roles within a particular society. Such observations have led investigators to hypothesize that sex-typing in childrens everyday activities may lead to individual differences in the sex-typed abilities, interests, and personalsocial characteristics that develop during childhood and early adolescence, characteristics that may have important implications for opportunities and choices later in life. Gender is perhaps the most salient and ubiquitous social category in human societies. As Maccoby (1988) points out, its influence is observed within all known languages, past and present, and serves to distinguish role differences pan-culturally. Indeed, gender can be seen as the primary basis for human differentiation. The pervasive social importance which gender adopts serves as a powerful incentive for investigation. Parental Impact on Subsequent Gender Development The family is " the social and symbolic place in which the difference, in particular the sexual difference, is assumed like founding and at the same time constructed ". In particular, in the family the gender characterization reflects the individualities of the parents. The family is therefore a gender relation. In the family, the relation with the father and the mother assumes therefore one fundamental importance in the definition of the gender belonging, because first experiences of relation with male and female. In the relationship parents and sons that gender identities are socialized, are created the expectations towards male and female roles; and such expectations are today various and new compared with the past. It was implicit that the boy realized himself although and also against the familiar ties, while the girl had, in some ways, to accept and to conserve them. This difference has always favoured that the young women lived desires of autonomy with guilt senses and desires of independency with intolerance. As a whole, there is no question whether boys and girls are treated differently since their birth, because they are, and that contributes to how the child feels about his or hers gender in the future. Many times the children also see the people around them acting according to the traditional gender roles, which they observe and imitate, as described by the social learning theory. In addition to that, schools and media pose an image how people of different sexes are supposed to act and peers might reinforce this image. Thus finally the child learns through reinforcement and imitation to act according to the norms he or she is presented, which are often gender stereotypes. In short, the children are socialised to think that there are certain expectations and limitations for both genders. However in the past years there has been slight changes towards a non-sexist environment, at least in the western culture, where children are brought up to believe that their gender should not be a barrier

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or limitation to any kind of activity or way of life. Some studies have already shown to positive effects of androgynous child rearing, and parents have chosen to bring up their children in a nonsexist environment. Furthermore, as more mothers go to work outside home and fathers start doing duties at home, children will be socialised to think that gender is not a restricting variable for any kind of job or duty. Also media and schools have started to change their attitudes, slowly, but steadily. In conclusion, it could be hypothesised that in the future, the gender stereotypes would hinder as the result of non-sexist child rearing and environments that are favoured today. By age five, most children have learned to be boys or girls: to play with trucks or dolls; to wear blue or pink; to strike out or to cry. The gender roles that a society assigns to its children will have a determining effect on their future: their access to food and education; their labour force participation; their status in relationships; and their physical and psychological health. More attention is now paid to the early years of children's lives. This attention must include a gender focus if barriers to girls' development are ever to be removed. These barriers stem from both structural inequalities and concious decisions by parents and others, including government, educators and the media. While biological evidence contributes in our understanding of the origin of gender differences, the study of gender socialization helps in the learning of gender roles through social factors. Gender socialization begins as soon as a child is born. All of us know that we immediately classify a newborn baby by sex. However the way we welcome a newborn baby, we also simultaneously assign gender to it. Adults when asked to assess the personality of a newborn baby give different answers when they observe the child is a girl or a boy. In this way, societies begin the process of gender coaching. Through this regulation, a child learns to behave to become a part of the society in which it is born. This is called gender socialization. Many studies have also been carried out to know the degree to which gender differences are the result of social influences. Studies of mother-baby Interaction also confirm the differences in the treatment given to boys and girls. These differences are created with which the child is addressed, handled, treated and clothed. From the above experiment, you can conclude that the child learns gender because of differential treatment given to girls and boys through the process of their upbringing. Boys are encouraged to display male traits (and the girls vice versa) through the toys given to them (guns for boys, dolls for girls). Through this regulation of addressing, handling, clothing and treatments a child learns to behave the way it is trained to become a part of the society in which it is born. This is called Gender Socialization. Different social agencies are involved in the process of socialization of children. The process of gender socialization begins in the context of the family. It is in this environment that a child is introduced to the world and to the expectations that their gender demands. It is widely held that the parents act as the principle socializing agents of a childs gender roles. The literature on the influence of parents however is riddled with differences of opinion and often contradicting theory support. The two main schools of thought that emerge most often are the identification theories and the social learning theories. Identification theories emphasize a childs identification with its same-sex parent as the most important factor in the childs development of gender roles. On the other hand, social learning theories Parents tend to respond more favorably to their children when they display genderappropriate behaviors, and in so doing, parents demonstrate a type of positive reinforcement that increases the likelihood of the childs repetition of the behaviors. In this way, parents are believed to

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shape their childrens gender-related behavior. Children also learn gender roles through modelling, which involves observation and imitation of behavior. Children imitate models they perceive to be similar to themselves, which usually translates into imitation of a same-sex parent. The information they receive through modelling is then incorporated into their schemata of gender. A new direction in the examination of parental gender socialization emphasizes the need to move beyond the traditional paradigms that hold the limited view of the parents as the sole important familial socializing agents to a consideration of the overall structure of the family environment and family subsystems. The structure of the family environment refers to the presence or absence of male and female family influences (i.e. single-mother families versus dual-parent families). Family subsystems encompass the influences of siblings and the marital dynamic of the parents. McHale et al. (2003) propose that a combination of approaches, including aspects of identification theories and social learning theories are necessary in determining the familys role in gender development. Parents who are educated, mothers who are employed, and parents who display egalitarian gender role attitudes in their sharing of housework and decision-making have all been found to be determinants of egalitarian gender role attitudes in children. These socialization factors are represented by the headings: marital roles, maternal employment, maternal education, division of housework, and sibling roles. Parents have a unique position of shaping a childs life because of their power over the child. They generally have their own view of the appropriate behavior for children of each sex. Even parents who believe that they treat their children equally opt to react differently to girls and boys. Parents impart gender socialization to their children in following ways: Differential Treatment Identification Differential Treatment Parents give differential treatment to girls and boys in terms of the choice of clothes, behavioral displays, work activities and verbal appellations. This helps the child to achieve his/her gender identity. What the child learns from her/his parents other family members also constantly transmit aspects of gender characteristics directly/indirectly in the way they talk to these young children. Through this kind of differential treatment, you can make out the interests of girls and boys differently. They also develop different capabilities, attitudes, aspirations and dreams. Familiarity with certain objects gives them directions to their choices of being a female in girls and of being a male in boys. The toys, pictures books and television programmes that young children come across all tend to emphasize differences between female and male attributes. Even some toys that seem neutral in terms of gender are not so in practice. For example, soft toys such as toy kittens and rabbits are recommended for girls, while aggressive toys such as lions and tigers are seen as more appropriate for boys. This learning process is strengthened to greater extent as the child grows and in adolescent age when the child moves into peer group in the school. Cultural traditions or customs and media re-enforce the gender attributes and characristics. Thus, this conveys the importance and

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difference given to each gender in the society. The majority of research on parental gender socialization has focused on the parents active direction of childrens gendered behavior. The passive learning experience that children receive from observation of their parents marital dynamic may be just as significant. Marital relationships can differ greatly in the distribution of power between parents and in the degree of traditionalism of the parents gender roles. Following the modelling principle of the social learning theories, it is possible to assume that a childs experience of a non-gendered, non-traditional parental relationship could result in a less gender stereotyped child (i.e. possession of more egalitarian gender role attitudes) than a childs experience of a gendered, traditional parental relationship. To move a step further, it can be said that the more gender egalitarian the parental relationship is, represented by the nature and division of housework, childcare, employment, decision-making power, and gender role attitudes, the more gender egalitarian the children in the family will be. This view has gained substantial empirical backing. It is said before that parents are the primary influence on gender role development in early years of life. Parents encourage children to participate in sex-typed activities, such as playing with dolls for girls and playing with trucks for boys. In addition to that, parents might send subtle messages to children on what they think is acceptable for each gender. Parents even speak and play differently with their male and female children. Parents also use punishment, by expressing disapproval, if children intent to break the norms of gender roles, such as when a boy plays with a dolls house and boys are usually discouraged from showing emotions. Even if the parents would not intentionally send any messages, children will soon enough notice the differences between sexes by observing adults, therefore noticing how they are "supposed" to act. Men are supposed to be tough and aggressive, while women are expected to be submissive and more emotionally expressive than men. It can also observed that women and men have different kind of jobs, men going out to work, while women often work as unpaid housewives, so children's future goals are being restricted from very early on. In the domestic chores, parents sometimes expect children of different gender perform different kind of tasks; boys are assigned to do maintenance chores, such as moving the lawn and girls are assigned to do the cooking or doing the laundry. This segregation of tasks by gender lead children think that some tasks are more male and some more female. A childs parents are some of the first socialization agents he or she will come into contact with. Parents teach stereotypes through different ways and behaviour: the way they dress their children, they way they decorate their children's rooms, the toys they give their children to play with, their own attitudes and behaviours Our parents start teaching us our roles shortly after birth, e.g. boys are cuddled, kissed, and stroked less than girls while girls are less often tossed and handled roughly. In playing with their infants, mothers mirror the young child's expressed emotions. But mothers play down the boy's emotions (in order to keep the boys less excited) while they reflect the baby girl's expressions accurately. Could this possibly be an early cause of adolescent boys denying emotional experiences and not telling others how they feel? We don't know. In addition, remember that boys between 4 and 7 must shift their identities from Mom to Dad. In that process, boys are chided for being a sissy ("like a girl") and we start shoving them on to bicycles and into sports activities; they are praised for being tough; boys start to think they are superior or should be. From then on, schools, churches, governments, entertainment, and employers reinforce the idea that males are superior.

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The process of gender socialization begins in the context of the family. It is in this environment that a child is introduced to the world and to the expectations that their gender demands. It is widely held that the parents act as the principle socializing agents of a childs gender roles. The literature on the influence of parents however is riddled with differences of opinion and often contradicting theory support. The two main schools of thought that emerge most often are the identification theories and the social learning theories. Identification theories emphasize a childs identification with its same-sex parent as the most important factor in the childs development of gender roles. On the other hand, social learning theories The school Looking at schools and classrooms as key sites for the formation of beliefs about femininity and masculinity has necessitated close attention to everyday practices: teacher talk, peer culture, curriculum content, and school messages. Such attention has shifted from a strong focus on the individual to examining the role of social contexts in the process of identity formation. It has further necessitated observation and analysis of subtler social phenomena, often involving biased and unconscious practices. School research on gender today explicitly addresses issues such as the construction of masculinities and femininities, forms of violence such as bullying and homophobia, and the active role of peers in the formation of school cultures. Given that schools are social settings where gender and sexual identities are constructed, negotiated, and officially sanctioned, the overall educational environment offers influential messages about gender. Gender segregation in elementary school is a significant component of childhood socialization. Teachers use space arrangements that emphasize gender separation, though left to their own discretion, students also chose to be separated by gender. In many countries, students sit in same-sex pairs or groupings in the classroom. Girls and boys often sit in separate parts of the classroom and play in separate groups at recess. In some instances, as in Yemen, girls are usually seated at the rear of the classroom, but in others, such as Ghana, girls are not seated in back but dispersed around the classroom, either in small clusters or isolated among the boys. Sexual identity builds on cultural practices and unconscious identification processes during adolescence and early adult years. In the U.K., having a girlfriend is taken for granted in the last years of primary school and this fosters the creation of a heterosexual culture for boys from which to exercise authority and autonomy. As students move into high school, peer cultures encourage the sexualization of girls, the demonstration of heterosexual skills by boys, and the active policing by peers of boys who are not perceived to occupy appropriate forms of masculinity. Also in the British context, research has identified that two main forms of heterosexual regulation of sexual morality and identity are the homophobic bullying of boys by boys and the misogynistic bullying of girls by boys, most of which accomplished through verbal remarks. Boys who attempt to develop alternative masculinities (less aggressive and more caring identities) face social and emotional costs. Often, it is these boysas young as 10 years of agewho defend their masculinity in front of their peer group by repudiating girls and feminine values. Through post-structuralism, there has been a growing recognition of the centrality of language in the development of subjectivity. Discourse contains normative views about how people should be and shapes their actions. The process of identity formation in schools emerges from the interplay of

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expectations (roles that students are supposed to play in the future), attitudes (feelings toward them), and behaviors (practices in the classroom). A definition of gender identity establishes it as: "A persons own feeling about their genderwhether they are male, female, both or neither. In the construction of gender identities, there is recognition of the interplay of several other factors, primarily race and social class; thus, certain students are positioned in schools in ways that can produce cumulative disadvantaged. Socialization is a central concept social theorists use to explain both cultural maintenance and cultural change. Socialization links the individual to collective life by molding members into compliance and cooperation with social requirements. At the same time, the process is not predetermined, because individuals may question and reject certain cultural features. In other words, the process is fluid and contingent on multiple factors; thus, some scholars consider that the term identity formation captures more the dynamic nature of the socialization process. Socialization clearly occurs in multiple institutions and settings, some of which, as the mass media and peer networks, are acquiring unprecedented levels of influence. Socialization in the schools, which touches substantially on the informal (hidden) curriculum is a critical dimension of schooling through which educational settings may introduce changes in social perceptions or, conversely, continue to reproduce traditional values and attitudes. This socialization covers a wide array of practices, ranging from administrators and teachers attitudes and expectations, textbook messages, peer interactions, and classroom dynamics, to the greater environment. Impact of Educational Practices on Gender Development The school functions as another primary setting for developing gender orientations. With regard to shaping gendered attributes, teachers criticize children for engaging in play activities considered inappropriate for their gender. As in the case of parents and peers, teachers foster, through their social sanctions, sharper gender differentiations for boys than for girls. Teachers also pay more attention to boys than girls and interact with them more extensively. From nursery school through to the early elementary school years, boys receive more praise as well as criticism from teachers than girls. The nature of the social sanctions also differ across gender. Boys are more likely to be praised for academic success and criticized for misbehavior, whereas girls tend to be praised for tidiness and compliance and criticized for academic failure. This differential pattern of social sanctions, which can enhance the perceived self-efficacy. School is the place where children expand their knowledge and competencies and form their sense of intellectual efficacy essential for participating effectively in the larger society. The selfbeliefs and competencies acquired during this formative period carry especially heavy weight because they shape the course of career choices and development. Even as early as middle school, children's beliefs in their occupational efficacy, which are rooted in their patterns of perceived efficacy, have begun to crystallize and steer their occupational considerations in directions congruent with their efficacy beliefs. Stereotypic gender occupational orientations are very much in evidence and closely linked to the structure of efficacy beliefs. Girl's perceived occupational efficacy centers on service, clerical, caretaking, and teaching pursuits, whereas boy's judge themselves more efficacious for careers in science, technology, computer systems, and physically active pursuits. The gender bias in the judgment and cultivation of competencies operates in classrooms as

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well as in homes. Teachers often convey, in many subtle ways, that they expect less of girls academically. Teachers are inclined to attribute scholastic failures to social and motivational problems in boys but to deficiencies of ability in girls. Girls have higher perceived efficacy and valuation of mathematics in classrooms where teachers emphasize the usefulness of quantitative skills, encourage cooperative or individualized learning rather than competitive learning, and minimize social comparative assessment of students' ability. Even for teachers who do not share the gender bias, unless they are proactive in providing equal gender opportunities to learn quantitative and scientific subjects, the more skilled male students dominate the instructional activities, which only further entrenches differential development of quantitative competencies. Thus, for example, computer coursework for children designed to reduce gender differences in computer literacy superimposed on a pervading gender bias raises boys' selfefficacy about computer use but lowers girls' self-efficacy and interest in computers (Collis, 1985). Clearly, it requires concerted effort to counteract the personal effects of stereotypic gender-role socialization and the social perpetuation of them. Teacher-Based Dynamics The majority of time at school is spent with teachers, so they are influential role models. In many rural schools in developing countries, there are no books, in which case the role of the teacher becomes extremely important. Teachers send multiple gendered messages through the curriculum and organizational decisions. How do teachers value the work of girls and boys? What differential attitudes and expectations do they hold toward them? How are students treated in the classroom? How do students react to the prevailing messages and practices? Many teachers express the viewpoint that they treat boys and girls equally and that their gender is irrelevant. This position is called gender-blindness; it provides a false sense of objectivity and impartiality, often at variance with actual practice. Teacher attitudes may reflect biases toward girls and boys. Biases are subtler than visible discrimination and may result in unconscious behaviors that give more careful attention either to girls or boys. These behaviors may foster among the less favored students a sense of alienation and hinder personal, academic, and professional development (Davis, 1993). Sexist attitudes introduce inequalities and hierarchies in the treatment individuals receive based on sex differences. Impact of Peers on Gender Development As children's social world expands outside the home, peer groups become another agency of gender development. Peers are sources of much social learning. They model and sanction styles of conduct and serve as comparative references for appraisal and validation of personal efficacy. In the social structuring of activities, children selectively associate with same-gender playmates pursuing gender-typed interests and activities (Huston, 1983). Gender segregation can increase the influence exerted by peers by creating highly differentiated environments for boys and girls. Some studies find that the segregation occurs earlier for girls than for boys, although other studies find no gender differences in when it begins . For school-age children, the segregation occurs not only in playgroups but in the choice of friends.

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In these peer interactions children reward each other for gender-appropriate activities and punish gender conduct considered inappropriate for their gender. They apply the same negative sanctions for playing with peers of the other gender. Consistent with parental practices, peer's negative sanctions for other-gender conduct and playmates are stronger for boys than for girls. Girls generally respond more positively to other girls than do boys regardless of the gender linkage of the activity in which they are engaged. Boys, like girls, also react more positively to members of their own sex, but differ from girls in that they are less approving of boys who engage in female-linked conduct. Moreover, boys are much more likely to be criticized for activities considered to be feminine than are girls for engaging in male-typical activities. Evaluative reactions from boys such as, "You're silly, that's for girls".... "Now you're a girl"..... "That's dumb, boy's don't play with dolls," provide strong disincentives to do things linked to girls or spend much time playing with them. In some of the current theorizing, the peer group is singled out as the prime socializing agency of gender development. The view of the peer group as the ruling force is coupled with the disputable claim that parents do not differ in their gendered practices with sons and daughters. The peer group is not an autonomous agency untouched by familial and other social influences. Indeed, the findings are quite consistent in showing that all of the social subsystems -- parents, teachers, peers, mass media and the workplace -- engage in a lot of gender differentiation and that the differential treatment is stronger for boys than for girls. Clearly, the peer group is neither the originator of societal gender stereotypes nor the unique player in the process of gender differentiation. Both the gender differentiation and stereotyping have a much earlier and socially pervasive source. Peer affiliation does not disembody a child from the family. Parents encourage peer associations that uphold parental standards and support valued styles of behavior in contexts in which the parents are not present. Moreover, children who have developed their efficacy to manage peer influences, talk with their parents about their social experiences when they are out on their own with their peers. The parents, in turn, provide further guidance and support on how to deal with predicaments that arise with their peers. These findings support a transactional influence process rather than one in which gendering influence only flows unidirectionally from peers. The interaction among peers constitutes a major determinant in the gender socialization process in schools. Student constructions of their identities take place not only in relation to teachers and the official curriculum but also in conversations with classmates, activities in the playground and through their engagement in related extracurricular activities. Peer interactions can reinforce or contradict messages about gender emanating from the school curriculum. Often, peer networks are more supportive of traditional gender arrangements than are school personnel (Goetz & Grant, 1988). In the 1980s, children of both sexes were found to bring to school rather rigid stereotypes of sexappropriate adult roles (Finn et al., 1980). Today, with a much greater exposure to mass communications and Western ideas of femininity and masculinity, students receive more mixed messages about gender. Some messages are racially based, such as the notion of uncontrollable black masculinity; others contradict school agendas (Connell, 1996); but others advance ideas of gender equality. Observers of adolescent interactions find that boys peer talk constantly uses sexuality to establish hierarchies. Widespread verbal harassment of girls by boys is embedded in the collective construction of masculinity. Both boys and girls agree that boys are more likely to exhibit physical

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aggression, but verbal insults are the most frequent adverse behavior in same-sex interactions as well as in boys-girls interactions. One of the forms of aggression includes relational aggressiondefined as manipulations of peer relationships by asking peers to exclude someone from the group, asking them to stop liking a particular student, ignoring or not talking to someone, telling friends that you will not like them anymore unless they do what you say, keeping someone out when engaging in play or some other activity. Girls engage more in relational aggression and verbal insults, boys more in physical aggression and verbal insults. Girls avoid physical aggression because it may hinder goals important to them such as the generation or maintenance of close connections with others. Children do view relationally manipulative acts as aggressive intending to harmand victims of relational aggression experience higher levels of depression and loneliness than non-victimized children. The next environment that children are entering is the school, where a conscious socialization is happening. Again, looking through the school books from the very beginning gender stereotypes are present and reinforced. The images that small kids receive from these books are women with babies in their hands, or women preparing food, or women working in the field, or, at the high end women nurses, women teachers. In the same time men are usually soldiers, playing some prestigious sport, executing some heavy job, and, of course, leaders. Somehow the perception that being a soldier and carrying weapons is more important than giving birth and taking care of life is induced in the minds since the very beginning of the conscious life of children. And this leads to further divisions, stereotyping and to the perception that women have to give and to accept and men have to take and to impose. Looking again at school manuals we will find images or small texts, where boys are those, who are good in mathematics: they are helping their little sisters in solving the problems and girls they are good in reading, singing etc. When teaching practical skills boys will be the ones learning to operate machines or computers and girls will be taught to be dactylos or similar. The process of socialization starts even before school with tales and toys. It was strange to discover during and literature exercise with boys that tales for the smallest were full of violence and gender stereotypes. And if stereotyping was more or less understandable, the discovery of violence was shocking. Somehow children become familiar with violence and the tales since the early childhood help them to accept as something normal the coercion, the harassment, the cruelty and the violence. When [within the exercise] the students had to think and discuss this theme, they themselves discovered, that the society unconsciously was imposing a way of thinking, leading to easier acceptance of violence and gender division. The patriarchal society is a violent one. But violence is something that is learnt. And to combat it we need another learning and a space for discussing it openly. This space is missing both to boys and girls. In order to change these patterns, it is necessary a complete rethinking of the process of socialization and initial education and much more attention to be paid to teaching equal values both to boys and girls. Boys also can cry, and girls need to be strong. Therefore the engagement of men and boys in achieving gender equality requires much greater attention to gender stereotypes and expectations about mens roles and responsibilities, and how these expectations influence male behavior. Such stereotypes continue to place greater emphasis, as well as greater value, on the role of men and boys in public life and in the work place, as opposed to womens role in unpaid family labor, care giving and community work.

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Even before children can label themselves and others by gender, which does not occur until shortly after the second year of life, they can differentiate the sexes and act in ways consistent with traditional gender-linked practices. During the first year of life infants can distinguish between the two sexes and by the second year they engage in gender-linked conduct and prefer activities associated with their own gender. Because gender is such a significant category for societal organization, it takes on special importance from birth. Children learn to categorize people on the basis of their gender from a very early age. By 7 months infants can discriminate between male and female faces. Hair length and voice pitch are distinguishing features for such discriminations. By 9 months, infants begin to show intermodal gender knowledge. When presented with pairs of male and female pictures they attend more to female faces when they hear female voices, and by 12 months they attend more to male than female faces when they hear male voices. Consider the pervasive social forces that are brought to bear on the development of gender orientation from the very beginning of life. Parents do not suspend influencing gender orientations until children can identify themselves as girls and boys. On the contrary, parents begin the task at the very outset of development. They do so by the way they structure the physical environment and by their social reactions around activities. From the moment of birth, when infants are categorized as either male or female, many of the social influences that impinge on them are determined by their gender. Parents reveal strong gendered beliefs about their newborns even when there are no objective differences in size or activity. Parents of newborn girls rate them as finer featured, weaker, softer, and more delicate than parents of newborn boys. For most children, both their physical and social environments are highly gendered. Names, clothing, and decoration of infants' rooms are all influenced by their categorization as either female or male. Boys are adorned in blue and girls in pink. Boys are attired in rugged trousers, girls in pastel jeans or skirts. They are given different hair styles as well. Children come to use differential physical attributes, hair styles, and clothing as indicants of gender. Play Much early role learning occurs in play. The forms play takes are structured and channeled by social influences. Parents stereotypically stock their sons' rooms with educational materials, machines, vehicles, and sports equipment, and their daughters' rooms with baby dolls, doll houses, domestic items, and floral furnishings. Boys are provided with a greater variety of toys than girls. These play materials orient boys' activities and interests to gender roles usually performed outside the home. By contrast, girls are given toys directed toward domestic roles such as homemaking and child care. Parents are also more likely to purchase gender-traditional than gender-nontraditional toys requested by their children. The amount of time spent playing with toys traditionally linked to ones gender or the other gender is highly related to the types of toys parents provide. Thus, the genderlinked play materials arranged for children channels their spontaneous play into traditionally feminine or masculine roles. The differentiation of the sexes extends beyond the realm of attire, make-believe play, and other playful activities. Whenever appropriate occasions arise, parents and others instruct children in the kinds of behavior expected of girls and boys and provide evaluative feedback when it is performed. Mothers respond more negatively when their children engage in gender-atypical than gender typical activities. Although not all parents are inflexible gender stereotypers in all activities,

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most accept, model, and teach the sex roles traditionally favored by the culture. Social sanctions bear heavily on gender-linked conduct even in the earliest years. Parents convey to their children positive and negative sanctions through affective reactions and evaluative comments. Affective communication through intonation patterns, smiles and frowns are highly salient events that direct infant's behavior when their verbal skills are limited. Positive affective reactions promote approach behavior, whereas negative affective reactions promote avoidant forms of behavior. Shaping and sustaining of Gender differences: When a child is born, it is not only classified by its biology but is also assigned a gender. The welcome of a new born child is different. There is a preference for males in some cultures because of the connotation attached to the males as bread-winners, the ones who should inherit, control resources and properties. The girls are considered as a responsibility and liability. This is followed by the difference with which they are addressed, handled, treated, clothed, and socialized to be part of the society. They later internalize this gendering or gender indoctrination. This process of socialization, according to Ruth Hartley is mainly through four processes namely manipulation, channelization, verbal appellation and activity exposure. Manipulation is the way one handles a child. Boys are treated as strong autonomous beings and girls as pretty, cuddly beings right from the beginning in most cultures. These physical experiences of early childhood shape the self-perception of boys and girls. Channelization involves directing the attention of male and female children to objects or aspects of objects such as Barbie dolls for girls, cars, and soccer balls for boys. In some countries, the girls get real babies (their brothers and sisters) to play mother to. Through this differential treatment, the interests of girls and boys are channelized differently and they in fact develop different capabilities, attitudes, aspirations and dreams. Different Verbal appellations are used for boys and girls. We often tend to say to girls "How pretty you are!" and to boys "How strong you look!" Research show that such remarks construct and reinforce the self-identity of girls, boys, men and women. Different activity exposure to traditional masculine and feminine activities reinforce the learning of masculine and feminine behavior that is internalized unconsciously. Social and economic sanctioning and ostracization help keep them into this sphere of behavior. For example, boys go fishing with their father or to watch games while girls are encouraged to help in household chores. Religion as an identity giver and identity fixer Religion plays a very important role as an identity giver and identity fixer. The interpretations of the texts in the hands of a few who have gained authority over religious structures have the opportunity to shape the thinking and behavior of the masses. Institutionalized religions have not favored women so much as it had men though feminist interpretations and theologizing have attempted to overcome these disparities. In spite of these corrective measures, we are not making headway because in addition to this shortcoming, we have two new merging trends. On the one hand there is an increase in extremism and right wing movements that want to prescribe stereotyped roles

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and behaviors for men and women as an outcome of a backlash against womens movements, On the other hand, religion based morality has no place in economics, science or technology in the current age. The market defies centuries of religious morality, which in principle at least exalted altruism, and selflessness while it condemned covetousness and greed. In the old times, commerce was tainted with dishonor and lending money at interest was denounced. The new market defies all these standards and proves that market can only be won by some at the price of others and there is no room for human affection, generosity or loyalty. Women are further marginalized first, because there is less space for them in the order of hierarchy, second because of the reestablishment of gender division of labor that confine them to the private and reproductive sphere and the third with less access to resources they cease to have any bargaining capacity in the market. The family as a gendered relationships: influences on gender socialization process It is said before that parents are the primary influence on gender role development in early years of life. Parents encourage children to participate in sex-typed activities, such as playing with dolls for girls and playing with trucks for boys. In addition to that, parents might send subtle messages to children on what they think is acceptable for each gender. Parents even speak and play differently with their male and female children. Parents also use punishment, by expressing disapproval, if children intent to break the norms of gender roles, such as when a boy plays with a dolls house. Even if the parents would not intentionally send any messages, children will soon enough notice the differences between sexes by observing adults, therefore noticing how they are "supposed" to act. Men are supposed to be tough and aggressive, while women are expected to be submissive and more emotionally expressive than men. It can also observed that women and men have different kind of jobs, men going out to work, while women often work as unpaid housewives, so children's future goals are being restricted from very early on. In the domestic chores, parents sometimes expect children of different gender perform different kind of tasks; boys are assigned to do maintenance chores, such as moving the lawn and girls are assigned to do the cooking or doing the laundry. This segregation of tasks by gender lead children think that some tasks are more male and some more female. A childs parents are some of the first socialization agents he or she will come into contact with. Parents teach stereotypes through different ways and behaviour: the way they dress their children, they way they decorate their children's rooms, the toys they give their children to play with, their own attitudes and behaviours Our parents start teaching us our roles shortly after birth, e.g. boys are cuddled, kissed, and stroked less than girls while girls are less often tossed and handled roughly. In playing with their infants, mothers mirror the young child's expressed emotions. But mothers play down the boy's emotions (in order to keep the boys less excited) while they reflect the baby girl's expressions accurately. Could this possibly be an early cause of adolescent boys denying emotional experiences and not telling others how they feel? Parents play an active role in setting the course of their children's gender development by structuring, channeling, modeling, labeling and reacting evaluating to gender-linked conduct. As children's verbal and cognitive capabilities increase, parents broaden the conception of gender by instructing their children about gender-linked styles of conduct and roles that extend beyond merely classifying objects, people, and discrete activities into male and female categories. Behavioral styles

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represent clusters of attributes organized in a coherent way. Girls are encouraged to be nurturant and polite and boys to be adventuresome and independent. Parental conversations with children are extended to emotions, and these discussions take different forms for sons and daughters. Not only do mothers talk more to their daughters than to their sons, but they use more supportive forms of speech with their daughters than with their sons. In addition, they are more likely to encourage daughters when they make affiliative and supportive remarks to others. In contrast, mothers are more likely to encourage autonomy and independence in their sons than their daughters. Mothers rarely discuss anger with their daughters but often do so with their sons and are quick to attribute this emotional state to them. It is interesting to note in passing that emotiveness is regarded as a prime characteristic of women but anger, which men emote freely quite often, gets ignored in the gender comparisons of emotional proneness. In addition, parents self-reports often underestimate the extent of their differential treatment of boys and girls. Observational studies of parent-infant interactions show that parents tend to treat male and female infants differently and offer them gender-linked toys even when they say they do not behave differently on the basis of gender. The infants enlisted for these studies are arbitrarily dressed either as a male or female and given a male or female name so it is the attributed gender not the infants behavior that activates the differential reactions in adults. Indeed, gender stereotypes are so deeply ingrained culturally that they can be activated automatically in people who profess gender non-bias. Dress Codification Dress codes also give identification to know who is a girl or boy: who is a woman and man. Girls and boys, women and men dress differently in most societies, for girls wear frock or skirt and boy wears nicker or trouser. Women wear saree, salwar/kameez where as men wear shirt/trousers/loongi. In some places, this difference may be minimal, at others very large. In some communities, women cover their bodies from top to toe, including their faces whereas in other societies there are no such restrictions. The dress code does influence the mobility, sense of freedom, dignity of people and identity of gender. Use of Language The use of gendered language further helps people to identify themselves with a set of cultural norms and practices. Women and men use separate vocabularies. In many Indian languages, men often use abusive vocabulary, which has high overtones of sexual connotations. If a man uses such, abusive language society considers it normal, but if women use the same language, they are admonished as uncouth and uncultured beings. We often teach girls and women to speak softly and in a more tender language. This gendering of language has an overall detrimental effect on women because they are discouraged to participate in mainstream public life where men predominate. This helps to further marginalize women. Our social science literature is also full of terms, which are seemingly innocuous but loaded with cultural sets of meaning. For example, the use of such words as Mankind, Chairman, Head of the Household, or even the word Development convey gendered meanings and reflects the

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structural differences that exist in our society. This seems to appear as gender neutral, but actually loaded with cultural meanings. Through their everyday use of such language, people begin to identify themselves with a particular set of norms. In this way, we can say that gender learning is the result of social influences on human being. When an individual starts perceiving her or himself as a female or a male, she/he is supposed to have developed a Gender Identity and in real sense becomes a social animal. Gender identity also refers to the psychological development of individuals and the manner in which they learn to play their social roles. Later on, culture gives directions about the kind of discipline a girl/woman or a boy/ man is to assume in their life. For example, we identify a homemaker as a woman and an earner as a man. Thus, you can say that gender is a process of Learning and Identification and becoming a girl or a boy: a woman or a man. It is also a process of acquiring the necessary characteristics and skills to become gendered human beings. This is the reason that human being is also called a social animal because nature produces females and males; but society turns them into women and men; feminine and masculine. Society and gender roles: different expectations for males and females The way we are, behave and think is the final product of socialisation. Since the moment we are born, we are being moulded into the being the society wants us to be. Through socialisation we also learn what is appropriate and improper for both genders. No human trait is so emphasized as gender. We are deluged, even as infants, with "Oh, you're a big boy" or "you are such a pretty little girl" for example. As Freud observed, the first thing we instantly determine, when meeting someone new, is gender. Indeed, it will probably trouble us if we can't tell which gender the person is. Maybe this "need to know" has something to do with "knowing how to act" with this person. According to psychologists such as Sandra Bem (1993), one cognitive process that seems nearly inevitable in humans is to divide people into groups. We can partition these groups on the basis of race, age, religion, and so forth. However, the major way in which we usually split humanity is on the basis of gender. This process of categorizing others in terms of gender is both habitual and automatic. It's nearly impossible to suppress the tendency to split the world in half, using gender as the great divider. When we divide the world into two groups, male and female, we tend to see all males as being similar, all females as being similar, and the two categories of "male" and "female" as being very different from each other. In real life, the characteristics of women and men tend to overlap. Unfortunately, however, gender polarization often creates an artificial gap between women and men. As mentioned above, the different ways of males and females interacting fit nicely with differences in men and women's value systems. Women value being sensitive and maintaining good relationships, i.e. attachment over achievement; men value gaining status by following "the rules," i.e. achievement over attachment. Since our society values competition and individuals being successful on their own, women's orientation towards caring for others and/or cooperatively building the community is considered (by the male dominated society) to be of lesser importance. These value differences are reflected in the gender roles established by our culture.

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Gender stereotypes are related to cognitive processes because we have different expectations for female and male behaviour. A classic study focused on adults' interpretations of infants' behaviour. Condry and Condry (1976) prepared videotapes of an infant responding to a variety of stimuli. For example, the infant stared and then cried in response to a jack-in-the-box that suddenly popped open. College students had been led to believe that the infant was either a baby girl or a baby boy. When students watched the videotape with the jack-in-the-box, those who thought the infant was a boy tended to judge that "he" was showing anger. When they thought that the infant was a girl, they decided that "she" was showing fear. Remember that everyone saw the same videotape of the same infant. However, the ambiguous negative reaction was given a more masculine label (anger, rather than fear) when the infant was perceived to be a boy. Women are encouraged to be good mothers they need, therefore, to first attract a man to depend on; they are expected (by our culture) to be giving, emotional, unstable, weak, and talkative about their problems; they are valued for their looks or charm or smallness but not their strength or brains; they are considered unfeminine ("bad") if they are ambitious, demanding, and tough or rough; they are expected to follow "their man" and give their lives to "their children," and so on. We tend to believe the male experience to be normative. A gender difference is therefore typically explained in terms of why the female differs from that norm. For example, research often shows a gender difference in self-confidence. However, these studies almost always ask about why females are low in self-confidence, relative to the male norm. They rarely speculate about whether females are actually on target as far as self-confidence, and whether males may actually be too high in selfconfidence. Here we will deal with the opposite male dominance and feeling superior to women. ( besides gender, humans use several other bases for feeling superior: looks, wealth, education, status, job, race-ethnic group, nationality, religion, morals, size, talent, etc.) Of course, not all men have power and arrogantly dominate women; indeed, according to Farrell, many men are dominated by "the system" and considered disposable. Also, women are given certain advantages and "protected" in many ways that men do not enjoy. Farrell contends that believing (falsely) that men have all the power and advantages leads to women feeling oppressed and angry. As a result of women's unhappiness and criticism, men feel unappreciated. Altogether, the misunderstandings between the sexes are keeping the sexes apart. This is an important thesis. Clearly, each sex has and utilizes power in certain ways and we are getting more equal, but, clearly, the sexes aren't equals yet. Within the two career families of today, the women-are-inferior attitude is muted and concealed, but the archaic sex role expectations are still subtly there. The old rules still serve to "put down women and keep them in their place." Sixty years ago, Margaret Mead told us, based on what is done in other cultures, that it wasn't innate for men to be decision-makers and breadwinners or for women to be subservient and raise children. Nevertheless, our culture continues to pressure to conform to these gender roles and do what women are "supposed to do"; the cultural, family, and friends' expectations become internalised as our own self-expectations; guilt may result if we don't follow the prescribed roles. Gender roles limit what both males and females can do. In effect, these sex roles enslave us force us to be what others want us to be. The most recent suggestion is to completely disassociate gender from all personality traits. Just define what each personal trait, such as submissiveness, involves in terms of actions and feelings and let each human

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being decide how submissive or cooperative he/she is and wants to be. The future can be different. A recent survey found that three out of four mothers, even of young children, like or love their work outside the home. Why should our children not be gender socialised? Gender role stereotypes have some benefits, such as providing a sense of security and facilitating decision-making. However, these stereotypes also bring limited opportunities for both boys and girls. In contrast, androgynous individuals seem to have higher self-esteem, higher levels of identity achievement, and more flexibility in dating and love relationships. Also, children whose mothers work outside home are not as traditional in sex role orientation as those whose mothers stay at home. It has been noted that preschool children whose mothers work outside home acknowledge that they can make choices, which are not hindered by gender. And as mothers go to work, fathers have to become more active in child rearing, best solution being that both mother and father work outside home and share household duties. This way rigid gender roles are hindered already at home and children learn that there are no specific jobs for different genders, but the options are open for everyone. But it is not that simple to rear a child in a non-sexist environment. Even if parents would like to bring up a child without buying him or her gender-typed toys, the relatives usually do not respect this wish when giving presents to the child. Otherwise, finding toys that are not gender-typed might be hard, because the society's norm is that girls play with dolls and boys with guns. Even most children's stories show men and women in stereotyped activities. Although nowadays there are storybooks that have girls in non-traditional roles, but boys are still usually shown in the traditional roles. Otherwise, even if the rigid gender roles would be questioned at home, children are bombarded with contradicting information from various other sources, such as the media and other families. Stereotypes are assigned to a group or an individual with the intent to categorize that group or individual in either a positive or negative way. Unfortunately, the stereotype is more often negative than positive and is misused. An example of a negative stereotype would be classifying an individual as a nigger or saying that they are a loser. An example of a positive stereotype would be classifying an individual as intelligent or wealthy. There are many more stereotypes, but the previous stereotypes are only used to demonstrate what a negative or positive stereotype is like. The negative effects of stereotyping stem from an individuals social reality perspective, which simply means the way this particular individual views the stereotype. The individuals view is developed from their conception of the target object; in this case it is the stereotype. Researchers have also linked motivation as an important factor in why, when, and how stereotypes become negative. Social psychologists have discovered that the more a person is disliked, the more evidence is needed to convince the perceiver of the existence of a positive characteristic. The same level of convincing applies to positive stereotypes. The more an individual is liked, the harder it is to find evidence linked to negative characteristics. As for the future, the traditional gender roles seem to be changing in respect with all the socialisation agents. The family as a gendered relationships: influences on gender socialization process It is said before that parents are the primary influence on gender role development in early

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years of life. Parents encourage children to participate in sex-typed activities, such as playing with dolls for girls and playing with trucks for boys. In addition to that, parents might send subtle messages to children on what they think is acceptable for each gender. Parents even speak and play differently with their male and female children. Parents also use punishment, by expressing disapproval, if children intent to break the norms of gender roles, such as when a boy plays with a dolls house and boys are usually discouraged from showing emotions. Even if the parents would not intentionally send any messages, children will soon enough notice the differences between sexes by observing adults, therefore noticing how they are "supposed" to act. Men are supposed to be tough and aggressive, while women are expected to be submissive and more emotionally expressive than men. It can also observed that women and men have different kind of jobs, men going out to work, while women often work as unpaid housewives, so children's future goals are being restricted from very early on. In the domestic chores, parents sometimes expect children of different gender perform different kind of tasks; boys are assigned to do maintenance chores, such as moving the lawn and girls are assigned to do the cooking or doing the laundry. This segregation of tasks by gender lead children think that some tasks are more male and some more female. A childs parents are some of the first socialization agents he or she will come into contact with. Parents teach stereotypes through different ways and behaviour: the way they dress their children, they way they decorate their children's rooms, the toys they give their children to play with, their own attitudes and behaviours Our parents start teaching us our roles shortly after birth, e.g. boys are cuddled, kissed, and stroked less than girls while girls are less often tossed and handled roughly. In playing with their infants, mothers mirror the young child's expressed emotions. But mothers play down the boy's emotions (in order to keep the boys less excited) while they reflect the baby girl's expressions accurately. Could this possibly be an early cause of adolescent boys denying emotional experiences and not telling others how they feel? We don't know. In addition, remember that boys between 4 and 7 must shift their identities from Mom to Dad. In that process, boys are chided for being a sissy ("like a girl") and we start shoving them on to bicycles and into sports activities; they are praised for being tough; boys start to think they are superior or should be. From then on, schools, churches, governments, entertainment, and employers reinforce the idea that males are superior. We not only represent and store information about other people, but also about ourselves, although in a more complex and varied way. Most people have a complex self-concept with many self-schema. These include an array of possible selves, or future-oriented schema of what we would like to be (our ideal-self). Visions of future possible selves may influence some of the decisions we make, such as career choices. We learn about ourselves through introspection and observations of our behaviour, and then organize this information into self-schema. We also interpret our past using schema and theories about how our attitudes and behaviours are likely to change. As important as these sources of selfknowledge are, though, there is still something missing. These views portray people as solitary seekers of self-knowledge, with no consultation with or comparison to other people. The two ways in which gain self-knowledge that are entirely social, in that we rely on other people to learn about who we are, are the looking glass self and social comparison.

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GENDER IDENTITY: MASCULINITY/FEMININITY

What Is Gender Identity? Gender is a primary category in which individuals both identify themselves and are identified by others. Gender is not a set of binary categories, but rather a spectrum. The concept of gender can be restrictive in many ways. People are generally expected to identify as a particular gender, the one which has been assigned to them, and act in specific ways deemed accordingly. While gender roles are the expectations a culture has of one's behavior as appropriate for male or female, gender identity is the individual's actual subjective sense of belonging to the female or male category or neither of the two. Some people discover that their gender identity does not match the gender role they have been assigned, a condition traditionally referred to as gender dysphoria. In other circumstances, children may be born with both sets of genitalia, a condition referred to as being inter-sexed. However, bipolar definitions of gender with the assumption of them matching one's biological sex can create an either/or situation in which people fail to see the existence of an in between. There are severe ramifications. People who do not identify as the gender they have been assigned face the threat of violence, actual physical attacks, verbal assaults, in the worst cases murder, and at the very least mockery and scrutiny. Gender identity refers to how one thinks of one's own gender: whether one thinks of oneself as a man (masculine) or as a woman (feminine.) Society prescribes arbitrary rules or gender roles (how one is supposed to and not supposed to dress, act, think, feel, relate to others, think of oneself, etc.) based on one's sex (whether one has a vagina or a penis.) These gender roles are called feminine and masculine. Anyone who does not abide by these arbitrary rules may be targeted for mistreatment ranging from not being included in people's circle of friends, through the cold shoulder, snide comments, verbal harassment, assault, rape, and murder based on one's (perceived) gender identity. Gender should not be understood merely as a synonym for women and/or men. Contemporary gender research does not primarily focus on women and men, but how femininities and masculinities are constructed as unequal dichotomies, especially where distribution of (material) resources and power is of central importance. The construction of gender is linked to societal processes that involve inter alia class, sexuality, age and ethnicity. Gender Identity is how people think of themselves and identify in terms of being male or female, or being more masculine or more feminine. Gender identity is a psychological quality. Unlike biological sex characteristics, it can't be observed or measured (at least by current means), only reported by the individual. However, there is current medical research to support that gender identity may reside in certain structures in the brain which develop based on instructions from certain genes during embryonic development. Women and men learn how society values us because this is demonstrated to us. We also form our own sense of value and ideas about what we can and cannot do. This means recognizing, as well as developing, our capabilities and potential. If we are constantly being told how dumb we are, if we do not receive support and motivation and have no experiences that help us to recognize what we can do as people or opportunities to correct our errors, very probably our perceptions of ourselves will be very poor and very low. Each person has an identity representing the content of what that person is. Who am I? Gender socialization places greater obstacles to the construction of good self-esteem in women,

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and these impacts on the image they have of themselves. Generally this identity corresponds to the identity assigned by society. We constantly see and hear messages about what the male and female genders do, the places they can and cant go to, the hours they can go out, how they can dress and the image they need to give to the rest of society, the things they can learn and the things they can talk about, the way we express our sexuality, the resources and benefits to which we have access, the decisions we can make and the ones we cannot. The existence of the female gender occurs in function of the male gender, which appears as the only model of human existence. Women are undervalued and men are overvalued. Nonetheless, although the male gender is privileged, this does not mean that male stereotypes help men attain happiness. Nor does this scheme of power relations guarantee that they can resolve problems and constraints for the entire population in order to achieve their wellbeing and development. To the contrary, being of male gender means renouncing all sensitivity in order to maintain ones toughness of character, as well as a constant attitude of aggressive competition, and always being on guard to defend what belongs to you. The fulfillment of the male identity implies oppression of other persons of groups. Clearly this construction offers no real alternative for the comprehensive development of either people or society, since it is founded on inequality. The dominator-dominated system offers no alternative for the sustainability of current societies. Its concentration of resources and decisions excludes the great majority and exhausts resources and relations, essential elements for social development. We are taught how we must be, based on our physical differences. We are separated and obliged to learn a predetermined identity that constructs an inequality (male over female) that prevents us from seeing ourselves as people in equality of condition, with the same possibilities for thinking, feeling, and doing things, even though we may be different physically. Like biological sex, gender identity is a continuum between male and female with space in the middle for those who identify as a third gender, both genders (bi-gendered or two-spirit), neither gender, or something else entirely. We might expect that if the observable, physical body can be a mix of sex-related characteristics, then the brain and therefore a persons identification might also reflect such a mix. However, we lack language for this intermediate position because our culture assumes that there is no continuum, only male and female gender identities (and that there will be a 100% match between biological sex and gender identity). In fact, many people feel that they have both masculine and feminine qualities. Femininity and masculinity or one's gender identity refers to the degree to which persons see themselves as masculine or feminine given what it means to be a man or woman in society. Femininity and masculinity are rooted in the social (one's gender) rather than the biological (one's sex). Societal members decide what being male or female means (e.g., dominant or passive, brave or emotional), and males will generally respond by defining themselves as masculine while females will generally define themselves as feminine. Because these are social definitions, however, it is possible for one to be female and see herself as masculine or male and see himself as feminine. Beginning at birth, the self-meanings regarding one's gender are formed in social situations, stemming from ongoing interaction with significant others such as parents, peers, and educators. While individuals draw upon the shared cultural conceptions of what it means to be male or female in society

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which are transmitted through institutions such as religion or the educational system, they may come to see themselves as departing from the masculine or feminine cultural model. A person may label herself female, but instead of seeing herself in a stereotypical female manner such as being expressive, warm, and submissive, she may view herself in a somewhat stereotypically masculine fashion such as being somewhat instrumental, rational, and dominant. The point is that people have views of themselves along a feminine-masculine dimension of meaning, some being more feminine, some more masculine, and some perhaps a mixture of the two. It is this meaning along the feminine-masculine dimension that is their gender identity, and it is this that guides their behavior. From a sociological perspective, gender identity involves all the meanings that are applied to oneself on the basis of one's gender identification. In turn, these self-meanings are a source of motivation for gender-related behavior. A person with a more masculine identity should act more masculine, that is, engage in behaviors whose meanings are more masculine such as behaving in a more dominant, competitive, and autonomous manner. It is not the behaviors themselves that are important, but the meanings implied by those behaviors. The most social of the theories of gender identity development are the learning theories. In these theories it is the social environment of the child, such as parents and teachers that shapes the gender identity of a child. Here, the parent or teacher instructs the child on femininity and masculinity directly through rewards and punishments, or indirectly through acting as models that are imitated. Direct rewards or punishments are often given for outward appearance as in what to wear (girls in dresses and boys in pants), object choice such as toy preferences (dolls for girl and trucks for boys), and behavior (passivity and dependence in girls and aggressiveness and independence in boys). Through rewards and punishments, children learn appropriate appearance and behavior. Indirect learning of one's gender identity emerges from modeling same-sex parents, teachers, peers, or samesex models in the media. A child imitates a rewarded model's thoughts, feelings, or behavior because it anticipates that it will receive the same rewards that the model received. These are terms often used within the sexual identity and gender identity communities. Self-identification terms are often spelled with initial caps to emphasize that they refer to how one thinks of oneself, rather than how someone else labels one. Obviously, this is not meant to be an exact description of how people acquire their identity. But the fact remains that from the moment they find out what sex we are, differences in physical characteristics have a value determined by the social group to which we belong. Women and men are differentiated first of all because of the physiological and sexual characteristics with which we were born. These are natural and do not. These differences have to do with what we call sex. We are also differentiated because each society and each culture has given a distinct value and meaning to these differences of sex and has formulated ideas, conceptions and practices about being a man and being a woman. This set of social, economic, political, cultural, psychological and legal characteristics and norms are what is called gender). As a result, there are two genders: female and male. In other words, I am taught to be a man or a woman depending on what characteristics my body has and what kind of external genitals I have. For example, just think for a moment what would have happened in our lives if we had been born as the opposite sex. Norms, practices, symbols and values are socially formulated and shaped within each culture and consequently, they are created by people themselves in their culture. As such,

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(gender) is by definition dynamic, created, changing, and modifiable to the extent that it is maintained and reproduced in the symbolic spheres of culture. It is possible that in some places, what is female and what is male is the reverse of what it is for us, according to the dictates of that particular culture. Gender construction varies from one culture to another, and also changes over time within that culture. Gender construction is interrelated with other objective and subjective conditioners in each persons life. These involve their culture, ethnic group, social class, age, membership in a religious community, political leanings, and community and family history. How does a gender identity develop? We could ask ourselves the following questions: . . . . . . Who am I? What is my identity? What things was I not allowed to do? What limits were placed on me? What freedoms were given to me, and in what was I supported? What limitations have I placed on the development of others?

Biological: Supporters of a biological approach to gender development argue that males and females are biologically programmed for certain kinds of activities compatible with male and female roles. . Humanistic theory: Rogers assumes that each person responds as an organized whole to reality as he or she perceives it. Rogers emphasized self-actualization, which he described as an innate tendency towards growth that motivates all human behaviour. To Rogers, personality is the expression of each individual's self-actualizing tendency as it unfolds in that individual's unique, perceived reality. Central to Rogers theory is the self, the part of experience that a person identifies as I or Me. . Sociobiological theory: Sociobiologists (evolutionary theorists) argue that gender has gradually evolved over the course of human development as part of our broader adaptation to the environment. The relatively greater physical strength and lung capacity of males make them better suited to hunting and defending territory and family. The child-bearing and milk-producing capacities of females, however, make them ideally suited to childcare and other nurturant roles. . Psychoanalytic theory: Freuds theory is related to his explanation of moral development. Up until the resolution of the Oedipus complex, gender identity is assumed to be flexible. Resolution of the Oedipus complex occurs through identification with the same-sex parent, and results in the acquisition of both a superego and gender identity. As well as a weaker conscience, Freud also saw the development of gender identity as being weaker in girls than boys. . Social learning theory: According to social learning theory, one reason girls and boys learn to behave differently is that they are treated differently by their parents. Social learning theory emphasizes the roles of observational learning and reinforcement. By observing others behaving in particular ways and then imitating that behaviour, children receive reinforcement from significant others for behaviours considered to be sex-appropriate. . Cognitive-developmental: The cognitive-developmental approach emphasizes the

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childs participation in developing both an understanding of gender and gender-appropriate behaviour. Childrens discovery of the fact that they are male or female causes them to identify with members of the same sex (not the other way around as psychoanalytic and social learning theories suggest). According to cognitive-developmental psychologists, young children acquire an understanding of the concepts male and female in three stages: . Gender labelling or basic gender identity: This occurs somewhere around age three and refers to the childs recognition that it is male or female. . Gender stability: By age four or five, most children recognize that people retain their gender for a lifetime. However, there are limitations, in that children rely on superficial signs such as the hair length to determine the gender. Gender constancy: At around age six or seven, children realize that gender is immutable. Gender constancy represents a kind of conservation and, significantly, appears shortly after the child has mastered conservation of quantity. Masculine and feminine are terms laden with meaning. Boys are dressed in blue, girls in pink, not because they look better that way but in order to signify their gender and so ascribe to them the meanings that are attached to their gender position. Assumptions that such terms are natural have set up therapeutic expectations of normal gender development that in turn have affected how therapists have assessed, understood, and treated their clients. Not subscribing to gender norms has been seen as indicative of pathology and conformity to the norms as indicative of well-being. These constraints bear little relation to lived lives that, once one is even a few inches under the surface, defy efforts to categorize too neatly experiences of the self. When children are born intersex - that is, having sexual characteristics that are both male and female, or having primary sexual characteristics of one gender but later developing the secondary characteristics of the other the medical response is to assign to the infant a sexed category based on the dominant visible sexual characteristic, in the conviction that raising the child in the assigned gender, and offering corrective surgery at a later date for sexual characteristics that develop inconsistent with the assigned gender, will assure a psychological gender identity that is aligned with the decided physical one. The interesting thing here is the assumption that it is not possible to live a life without a clear gender assignation that it is better to artificially modify and neaten the edges of experience, than to make room for the untidiness of gender and see what might be learned from it. Sexual identity refers to how one thinks of oneself in terms of whom one is sexually and romantically attracted to, specifically whether one is attracted to members of the same gender as one's own or the other gender than one's own. Society prescribes arbitrary rules that one should be sexually and romantically attracted to members of the other gender than one's own, and should not be attracted to members of the same gender as one's own. Anyone who does not abide by these arbitrary rules may be targeted for mistreatment ranging from not being included in people's circle of friends, through the cold shoulder, snide comments, verbal harassment, assault, rape, and murder based on one's (perceived) sexual identity. When one's sex and one's gender identity are different, one may base one's sexual identity on either one. Alternatively, one may have two sexual identities, one as a man and one as a woman. This is why all of uswomen and men of different ages, cultures, ethnic groups, social classes and placeshave an experience of gender. We are born into a social group that determines what we

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must be, according to our sex. Even so, not all of us live out the same experiences of gender. In themselves, differences do not lead to inequality. However, the moment a social group assigns a value to these differencesto the gendersthis situation changes, producing inequality in the development and well being of women and men. The inequality resulting from this social valuation keeps both genders from having the same access to opportunities for personal and collective development. People do not decide by themselves to live in conditions of superiority or inferiority; their formation according to gender assigns them a place in one of these two positions. No one is exempt from this process of identity formation, which determines the opportunities and obstacles to ones full personal development. This includes access to resources, capacity for decision-making and possibilities to create and propose efficient ways of doing things. Norms, practices, symbols and values are socially formulated and shaped within each culture and consequently, they are created by people themselves in their culture. As such, (gender) is by definition dynamic, created, changing, and modifiable to the extent that it is maintained and reproduced in the symbolic spheres of culture. It is possible that in some places, what is female and what is male is the reverse of what it is for us, according to the dictates of that particular culture. Gender construction varies from one culture to another, and also changes over time within that culture. Gender construction is interrelated with other objective and subjective conditioners in each persons life. These involve their culture, ethnic group, social class, age, membership in a religious community, political leanings, and community and family history. This is why all of uswomen and men of different ages, cultures, ethnic groups, social classes and placeshave an experience of gender. We are born into a social group that determines what we must be, according to our sex. Even so, not all of us live out the same experiences of gender. In themselves, differences do not lead to inequality. However, the moment a social group assigns a value to these differencesto the gendersthis situation changes, producing inequality in the development and well being of women and men. The inequality resulting from this social valuation keeps both genders from having the same access to opportunities for personal and collective development. People do not decide by themselves to live in conditions of superiority or inferiority; their formation according to gender assigns them a place in one of these two positions. The construction of genders leads to the subordination of one of them, the female gender, in relation to the domination and power of the other, the male gender. As a consequence, this social mandate promotes the development of certain characteristics for the female gender and others for the male gender, but bestows greater value on the male than on the female. These characteristics are manifested in gender identities. No one is exempt from this process of identity formation, which determines the opportunities and obstacles to ones full personal development. This includes access to resources, capacity for decision-making and possibilities to create and propose efficient ways of doing things. But it also determines the possibilities for the collective sustainable development of the group in which the person develops. Gender identity describes the personal concept of me as a man or a woman We have a social view that there are two genders dened broadly by the gender stereotypes of our society. Each of us is part of that society. It therefore follows that each of us has a view of ourselves as being masculine or feminine and of conforming to a greater or lesser degree to the stereotype. The extent to which each individual feels condent of his or her position within this bipolar gender spectrum is a measure of the

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strength and security of their gender identity. Most individuals have gender identities that are fully congruent with their sex. Thus, most women and men who are physically female and male, respectively, have strong gender identities. Some individuals may feel less certain about their gender identities, although they nonetheless identify congruently with their physical sex: they may be said to have weak gender identities. A few individuals may feel that their gender identities are totally at variance with their otherwise congruent genetic, gonadal, hormonal and genital sex. Such people are described as being transsexual or transgendered. Transgendering may occur in either direction, the male-to-female transgendered consider themselves to be females with a female gender identity and brain but with otherwise male bodies, whereas the female-to-male transgendered feel themselves to be men in an otherwise womans body. Traditionally, more male-to-female transgendered individuals have been identied than female-to-male, although this may represent differential reporting more than real prevalence. The transgendered may adopt the gender roles of the physically different sex, and some may undergo surgical and hormonal treatments so as to bring their bodies and their bodily functions (their sex) as closely congruent to their gender identity as is possible (females becoming trans men and males becoming trans women. Transgendered men and women provide us with perhaps the strongest justication for making the distinction between sex and gender. The powers of domination are social, group, and personal, making it possible to alienate, exploit and oppress others. They are evidenced in processes with interwoven forms of intervening in the life of others from a place of superiority (value, hierarchy, and authority). Powers of domination are a set of capacities that permit one to control the life of others, expropriate their goods, subordinate them, and direct their existence. Domination implies having the capacity to judge, punish and, finally, pardon. Relations of domination are characterized by dependence. By occupying hierarchical positions and superior ranks, those with powers of domination in turn become the possessors of truth, reason and force. Gender systems can be comprehended through the way they distribute power. In the patriarchal system asymmetric relations are established between men and women, and the male gender and men are assured of a monopoly in powers of domination. The female gender and women remain in subjugation. Consequently, men can regulate, direct and, control women with almost no questions asked. Men make the rules and women are supposed to follow them. As judges, men can evaluate womens deeds, conduct and thoughts; they can discriminate against them, find them guilty and even pardon them. They employ social and personal criticism to judge women and can coerce them in diverse ways using the laws, and even eroticism and love, as well as through suppression of goods and violence. In patriarchal societies power relations include those between the genders (men over women) and within genders (among men and among women). Both are conditioned by other factors, such as the race, ethnic group, age group, and social class to which the individual belongs.

Inequality of identity Studies and theory on gender have made it possible for us to understand the contents of inequality. We can see these contents expressed in different ways and forms in all the spaces in which women and men relate to one another and in all the actions we carry out. Some of the ways these inequalities are expressed include the following

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Just because they are men, the male gender has power over the life of women. Men can control womens lives and make decisions about their health, their body, their education, their resources and their income. The exercise of this power turns women into perennial children viewed as minors and dependents, even when they are adults. The social construction of gender creates inequality detrimental to women, given that very early on, men must learn to make decisions and take care of themselves without consulting anyone else. They are taught that they must decide and then take responsibility for the consequences of those decisions. Women, on the contrary, learn that other people make the decisions and act for them. The social construction of gender grants many more social freedoms to the male gender than to the female gender: freedom to move about, to make decisionsboth personal and collective to access and make use of resources, and to represent groups. Cutting back womens freedoms increases their condition of vulnerability, or in other words, increases the number of difficulties they must face in order to live a successful life. The argument is that the reason for limiting social freedoms is not to restrict women but to protect them from the dangers that can exist in the street. This position assumes that men are allpowerful beings and are practically invulnerable. Such an idea is actually hazardous to men, because it obliges them to take unnecessary risks in order to prove their capability. The prevalent causes of illness and death in men (accidents and other violent causes) provide the most telling evidence of their exposure to risk. In addition to the lack of opportunities in education, work, health, recreation, and other areas, the female gender is also subjected to a situation of violence that is socially sanctioned and hidden, silenced, and muffled by families, communities, couples and institutions. It is not recognized that the aggression women suffer is a factor that limits their development. There are many types of aggression, which can be verbal, physical, psychological, sexual or directed against womens ownership of things. Construction of what is male and female based on power and subordination foments the exercise of violence by the dominating party. Because it is not denounced, punished or prevented, this violence is legitimized, and even comes to be accepted as normal. Violence is also harmful to men, who generally have been socialized to assault and exercise physical violence. The patriarchal paradigm bestows an authoritarian power on whoever has it, concentrated in one or a few people. In this type of relation, the people who exercise power over the dominated group are distanced from the others, and this hinders their capacity for making decisions that suit the needs and conditions of the persons they represent. This situation produces inequality in access to power for other men, as well as women, and impedes the formation of democratic and sustainable societies. The Impact of Gender Identity The gender identity of an individual can have an incredible impact on his/her life experiences. For example an individual might maintain the gender identity which conflicts with the gender role s/he

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is assigned. In this case gender, one category generally perceived as simplistic and bipolar, becomes an area of extreme confusion and discontent. Aside from genitalia, which remains generally unexposed, society maintains certain expectation of what each gender should look, sound, and act like. Any deviation from these rigid models opens a person up to at the very least ridicule. Challenging gender roles is often the source of harassment. Adolescence is a period of growth and development already filled with feelings of awkwardness. Understanding of these concepts open doors to a world of greater understanding and possibly even compassion. Presently, there is little space for those who do not fit within a specific set of gender definitions and regulations. There is a need to look beyond what we see or think we know about other people and start listening to what they know about themselves. The gender identity of an individual can have an incredible impact on his/her life experiences. For example an individual might maintain the gender identity which conflicts with the gender role s/he is assigned. In this case gender, one category generally perceived as simplistic and bipolar, becomes an area of extreme confusion and discontent. Aside from genitalia, which remains generally unexposed, society maintains certain expectation of what each gender should look, sound, and act like. Any deviation from these rigid models opens a person up to at the very least ridicule. The gender identities of women and men are closely interlinked. One way this is evident is in the division of labour by gender. Certain tasks and responsibilities are allocated to women and others to men --the division of labour itself creates interdependence. Changes for women thus also mean changes for men. More broadly, equality between women and men cannot be achieved by changes in the roles and responsibilities carried by women. To date, too few men have been involved in considering what a more equal society would look like and in working as partners with women to define and pursue strategies for equality. In part, this can reflect resistance to the implications of change. However, it can also be argued that more efforts must be made by equality advocates to develop alliances with those men who support efforts to construct a more equal society.

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Constructing Masculinity

To understand men you have to understand it is nurture, not nature that rules their lives Dr. Stephen Whitehead Introduction The distinction between sex and gender, understood as a distinction between biologicallygiven assignations of "femaleness" or "maleness" and the socially constructed roles and character traits associated with the categories of "man" and "woman", "masculinity" and "femininity", was to become crucial, in the 1970s, to the long-standing feminist effort to counter the claim that anatomy is destiny. The notion of "gender" highlighted the fact that allegedly "natural" roles and character traits are culturally variable and subject to change. Yet this term was very quickly to become the site of contested meanings and, concomitantly, evaluations. As early as the eighties, many feminists, as well as sociologists and philosophers, criticized "gender" for its overly sociological determination, maintaining that it tacitly assumes a passive body on which specific codes are imprinted and ignores the role played by sexuality in the constitution of subjectivity. Further, many theorists have more recently argued that, rather then viewing sex as biologically determined and gender as culturally learned, both sex and gender should be understood as socially constructed products. In this perspective, gay and lesbian theorists (often writing within the ambit of "queer studies") have criticized "gender" for naturalizing the notion of "sex" and, as a consequence, promoting the norm of heterosexuality. Claiming that gender itself is a mechanism by which the binary notions of masculine and feminine are produced and naturalized, many queer theorists proffer a transgressive view of sexuality that would exceed and displace gender, aspiring, in this sense, to what has been characterized as "a utopian life beyond gender". At the same time, however, the term "gender" has attained such acceptance in social, legal and political discourse in English-speaking countries that it has now almost supplanted the term "sex" such that one speaks of "gender discrimination", for instance, instead of "sexual discrimination". How, indeed, does gender work in human social relationships? Why should gender (or sex) give rise to any sort of social classification? Might gender not even code as "difference" was it not for its consequences for social power? Is each of us a "gender" after all? And does each of us "have" a sexuality? If one claims sexual difference to exist, such that the female and male body are sites of specificity, does this necessarily imply that one is postulating an "essentialism", in terms of which sexual difference is understood as a-historical and deterministic, thus leaving no room for social change? Are there gender-specific (or sex-specific) forms of artistic, philosophic and scientific expression? Must the framework for thinking about sexual difference be binary? What new forms of gender are possible? What are we to think of the changes wrought to the viability of the sex/gender distinction by recent forms of medical innovation, such as sex change operations and new reproductive technologies? And in what ways does the question of gender intervene in the debates over homosexual marriage (or contractual forms of civil unions proposed in its stead, such as the pacs in France) and adoption? By examining both the history of the notion of gender and the debates that have framed the

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different meanings it has assumed, this course aims at allowing students to acquire a basic understanding of the main arguments and concepts in the primary texts and to enable them to reflect critically on the processes by which sexed identities are not only formed but also open to resistance, transformation and, perhaps, even creation. Femininity and masculinity or one's gender identity refers to the degree to which persons see themselves as masculine or feminine given what it means to be a man or woman in society. Femininity and masculinity are rooted in the social (one's gender) rather than the biological (one's sex). Societal members decide what being male or female means (e.g., dominant or passive, brave or emotional), and males will generally respond by defining themselves as masculine while females will generally define themselves as feminine. Because these are social definitions, however, it is possible for one to be female and see herself as masculine or male and see himself as feminine. It is important to distinguish gender identity, as presented above, from other gender-related concepts such as gender roles which are shared expectations of behavior given one's gender. For example, gender roles might include women investing in the domestic role and men investing in the worker role. The concept of gender identity is also different from gender stereotypes which are shared views of personality traits often tied to one's gender such as instrumentality in men and expressiveness in women. And, gender identity is different from gender attitudes that are the views of others or situations commonly associated with one's gender such as men thinking in terms of justice and women thinking in terms of care. Although gender roles, gender stereotypes and gender attitudes influence one's gender identity, they are not the same as gender identity. Beginning at birth, the self-meanings regarding one's gender are formed in social situations, stemming from ongoing interaction with significant others such as parents, peers, and educators. While individuals draw upon the shared cultural conceptions of what it means to be male or female in society which are transmitted through institutions such as religion or the educational system, they may come to see themselves as departing from the masculine or feminine cultural model. A person may label herself female, but instead of seeing herself in a stereotypical female manner such as being expressive, warm, and submissive, she may view herself in a somewhat stereotypically masculine fashion such as being somewhat instrumental, rational, and dominant. The point is that people have views of themselves along a feminine-masculine dimension of meaning, some being more feminine, some more masculine, and some perhaps a mixture of the two. It is this meaning along the feminine-masculine dimension that is their gender identity, and it is this that guides their behavior. A central problem in the literature, however, is the issue of what constitutes masculinity and what is its relationship to notions of man and manhood. Too often, masculinity (as well as femininity) is used unproblematically as a description of men, and this has implications for the study of organizational behaviour. Field, for example, argues that for most mammals (including humans), the basic body plan is female and stays that way until told otherwise by masculine hormones. This not only suggests that masculinity is a biological entity but that we would have little to gain by understanding the processes by which masculinity is developed. On the other hand, social constructionist accounts are often problematic where they make a simple connection between masculinity and males. From the social constructionist perspective, masculinity is an achieved status. People learn what behaviors and attitudes they should have according to their label male or female. Further, when a male is acting in culturally condoned gender-appropriate ways, he is viewed as masculine, and when a female is acting in gender-appropriate ways, she is seen as feminine. Although

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this approach it is valuable in focusing attention on what is considered gender-appropriate behavior in a given organization or society, and how that might impact discriminatory practices, it is nonetheless problematic in suggesting that males acquire masculinity, without exploring the contexts in which labels develop and change.

The Development of Femininity and Masculinity There are at least three major theories that explain the development of femininity and masculinity: psychoanalytic theory, cognitive-developmental theory and learning theories that emphasize direct reinforcement and modeling. In all of these theories, a two-part process is involved. In the first part, the child comes to know that she or he is female or male. In the second part, the child comes to know what being female or male means in terms of femininity or masculinity According to psychoanalytic theory, one's gender identity develops through identification with the same-sex parent. This identification emerges out of the conflict inherent in the oedipal stage of psychosexual development. By about age 3, a child develops a strong sexual attachment to the opposite-sex parent. Simultaneously, negative feelings emerge for the same-sex parent that is rooted in resentment and jealousy. By age 6, the child resolves the psychic conflict by relinquishing desires for the opposite-sex parent and identifying with the same-sex parent. Thus, boys come to learn masculinity from their fathers and girls learn femininity from their mothers. A more recent formulation of psychoanalytic theory suggests that mothers play an important role in gender identity development. According to Chodorow, mothers are more likely to relate to their sons as different and separate because they are not of the same sex. At the same time, they experience a sense of oneness and continuity with their daughters because they are of the same sex. As a consequence, mothers will bond with their daughters thereby fostering femininity in girls. Simultaneously, mothers distance themselves from their sons who respond by shifting their attention away from their mother and toward their father. Through identification with their father, boys learn masculinity. Cognitive-developmental theory is another psychological theory on gender identity development. As in psychoanalytic theory, this theory suggests there are critical events that have a lasting effect on gender identity development, but they are cognitive rather than psychosexual in origin. Unlike psychoanalytic theory and learning theory that is next discussed, the development of a gender identity comes before rather than follows from identification with the same-sex parent. Once a child's gender identity becomes established, the self is then motivated to display gender-congruent attitudes and behaviors, well before same-sex modeling takes hold. Same-sex modeling simply moves the process along. Kohlberg identifies two crucial stages of gender identity development: 1) acquiring a fixed gender identity, and 2) establishing gender identity constancy. The first stage begins with the child's identification as male or female when hearing the labels "boy" or "girl" applied to the self. By about age 3, the child can apply the appropriate gender label to the self. This is when gender identity becomes fixed. By about age 4, these gender labels are appropriately applied to others. Within a year or two, the child reaches the second critical phase of gender constancy. This is the child's recognition

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that her gender will not change despite her change in outward appearance or age. The most social of the theories of gender identity development are the learning theories. In these theories it is the social environment of the child, such as parents and teachers, that shapes the gender identity of a child. Here, the parent or teacher instructs the child on femininity and masculinity directly through rewards and punishments, or indirectly through acting as models that are imitated. Direct rewards or punishments are often given for outward appearance as in what to wear (girls in dresses and boys in pants), object choice such as toy preferences (dolls for girl and trucks for boys), and behavior (passivity and dependence in girls and aggressiveness and independence in boys). Through rewards and punishments, children learn appropriate appearance and behavior. Indirect learning of one's gender identity emerges from modeling same-sex parents, teachers, peers, or samesex models in the media. A child imitates a rewarded model's thoughts, feelings, or behavior because it anticipates that it will receive the same rewards that the model received. The Development of Masculinity When boys enter adolescence, they are faced with the arduous task of assuming and effectively adopting the sociocultural masculine meanings that are embedded in their surrounding micro and macro environments. This constitutes a crucial turning point in the boys lives since the success of their adopting the prevailing masculine ethos will determine many of their life chances and successes, both in the personal arena of intimate relationships and the public arena of business competition and market relations. The developmental event of turning adolescent boys to young men is a process inherent in which is: the implication that there will be qualitative different normative expectations in the role content of [personal and] family relationships as a result of the event. For example, when a male adolescent turns 18 in the Greek-Cypriot society (his birthday signifying the event), there are government and military institutional laws that require the adolescent to enter the military for the duration of 26 months. This is a mandatory draft and no one is exempted except boys with a physical or mental disability or those whose fathers died during the 1974 war. The military culture is an extremely masculine oriented culture and for the young rookie, the real battle is to be fought in the battlefield of masculinity, especially during basic training. Upon entering boot camp, there exist strict military training institutional laws and norms that significantly alter the personal and interpersonal lifestyle of the rookie, from matters of personal demeanor to the role content of his interpersonal relationshipsbetween him and his family, friends, relatives, and all his significant others. He is no longer allowed to live in any private dwelling but is forced, instead, to reside in military barracks, wake-up and go to bed at specified hours, wear uniform, and perform all duties assigned to him by his superiors. In addition, his family and friends have limited visitation hours and he is only allowed to visit them once or twice a month. Gender and masculinity. Gender constitutes one of the organizing principles of social life a mechanism by which power and resources are distributed. Typical masculine values accorded to the male gender include: (a) increased importance on independence, rationality, and aggression; (b) the exercise of emotional control at the expense of emotional attachment (c) the overt externalization of inner feelings and desires; and (c) the celebration of physical strength as well as the glorification of violence. Such cultural values help create the generic guidelines for male behavior, which are being

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written and re-written according to the specific time, place, and socioeconomic circumstances. The historical, social, and cultural contexts advocating masculinity, accord considerable importance to the male gender prescribing power over women, other men, and children. Men are socialized to think of themselves as all mighty and powerful, and, consequently, to feel entitled to such illusionary feelings. Illusionary because in reality, most men tend to enjoy only limited amounts of power, and, instead, use dominance, authority, and emotional distancing to socially construct and maintain images of themselves as powerful. Such sociocultural constructions of male power tend to negatively affect men by: (a) limiting their access to vital social support networks, (b) weakening their nurturing capabilities, mainly, their providing support to others, and (c) discouraging, inhibiting, or altogether preventing viable alternative forms of sexual expression, such as kissing, holding, and caressing. Instead, such constructions elevate the male sexual response cyclewith its exclusive emphasis on penile erection and ejaculationat the highest echelons of male sexual expression. In general, masculinity refers to all those culturally defined male gender dictates (the dos and donts) that come to constitute a male human being within the contexts of the prevailing historicosocio-cultural environment within which he is born and socialized. It is an active state of doing male gender and it is both intrapsychic and socially dependent in nature. Masculinity is socially constructed as an outside entity, privately experienced as an inside intra-psychic state, and shared through social actions in the everyday field of human social interactional exchanges. Furthermore, masculinity is a considerably valued achieved state of being that comes to distinguish the fit, strong, and dominant few from the frail, weak, and submissive many, including the masses of women, children, the elderly, the physically and mentally disabled, ethnic and racial minority men, and, above all, gay and bisexual men. The few/many dichotomy arises because masculinity constitutes a continuum of power, superiority, and dominance with only the few ever achieving it at its maximum and actualizing its endless potential. According to traditional beliefs and socialization practices, males need to be molded into the masculine role hence masculinity is not ascribed but achieved: The idea that a man behaves in a certain way because he needs to prove his masculinity has a powerful emotional resonance for many people. That this notion [of viewing masculinity as an achieved state] is so widely accepted is one of the core truths about masculinity in American culture. By contrast, the analogous idea that women act to prove their femininity would sound odd and alien. men need to prove their manhood [masculinity] (a) because men are socialized to believe that their masculinity is something they have to prove, or (b) because it is mens essential nature that their masculinity can never be fully established, as womens femininity is. The Roots of Femininity/Masculinity In western culture, stereotypically, men are aggressive, competitive and instrumentally oriented while women are passive, cooperative and expressive. Early thinking often assumed that this division was based on underlying innate differences in traits, characteristics and temperaments of males and females. In this older context, measures of femininity/masculinity were often used to diagnose what were understood as problems of basic gender identification, for example, feminine males or masculine females. Femininity and masculinity are not innate but are based upon social and cultural conditions. Anthropologist Margaret Mead addressed the issue of differences in temperament for males and females in Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies. This early study led to the conclusion that there are no necessary differences in traits or temperaments between the sexes. Observed

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differences in temperament between men and women were not a function of their biological differences. Rather, they resulted from differences in socialization and the cultural expectations held for each sex. Femininity: One is not born a woman, but rather becomes one (De Beavoir, 1988:295) Femininity and feminism is very much part and parcel of the gender discourse in development studies. It should be noted, however, that feminism and femininity are two different concepts and they should not be regarded as synonymous.Often, masculinity and femininity are described as two poles on a spectrum, where masculinity is associated with aggression, physical strength and a strong sexual drive, and femininity is associated with passivity, physical weakness as well as sexual reserve. This can go even further where the powerful man is contrasted with the powerless woman. Androgyny: We have seen what it means to be masculine and what it means to be feminine, but it is clear that not all men and women concur with these prescribed traits. Where will these groups of men and women then fit in? In the 1970s the term androgyny was created from andros, the Greek word for man, and gyne the Greek for women. The androgynous individual rejects rigid sex roles and the qualities considered by culture as exclusively masculine or feminine. In androgyny, both men and women are allowed to take qualities from both masculinity and femininity and adopt it for themselves. In this way, nobody is restricted to the social prescriptions of gender. The aim of androgyny is the fusion or integration of positive feminine and masculine traits in one individual. Such a person can be effective in all types of situations since they are not held back by stereotypical feminine or masculine traits. Androgyny does not, however, refer to sexual orientation but to personality traits. Petersen describes androgyny as the emergence of a transgendered society. This is also described as gender-blending, where the anatomical features as well as the male and female traits of individuals are taken into account to describe them. Social Constructionism and masculinity The social constructionist approach to masculinity grew out of the recognition that how men behave as men is culturally and historically defined, being a man or a woman, then, is not a fixed state. It is a becoming, a condition actively under construction Men are believed to be active agents in the gender construction process, not passive recipients of an all powerful gender socialisation system. Thus, the emphasis shifts from a view of individuals as respondents to processes of reinforcement and punishment (i.e. social learning) to a view of individuals as active agents who construct particular meanings of masculinity in particular social contexts. The process of gender construction is not static; it continues and evolves. Constructions of masculinity are revealed though actions and behaviours, thus masculinity may be defined as what men do rather than who men are. In the social construction approach, an attempt is made to understand this complex process across different cultures and contexts and with different groups of men (e.g. gay,

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straight, young and old) and acknowledges differences of social power between different masculinities and between men and women. The social constructionist perspective to studying masculinity and masculinities, places the focus on the processes of construction. Of interest are the underlying structures and forces that create and define different masculinities. Thus, masculinity may be defined as the way in which the male gender is constructed in social interaction. M. Kimmel and Messner define gender as the complex set of social meanings that are attached to biological sex, and the way in which they are enacted: We believe that men are also gendered, and that this gendering process, the transformation of biological males into socially interacting men, is a central experience for men Social Determinism The opposite of biological determinism is social determinism. This approach suggests that it is social interaction and social construction that determine individual behaviour. As with behavioural determinism, if taken to its logical conclusion social determinism would establish that the human being acts in accordance with his/her social conditioning, as opposed to any genetic predisposition. Socially constructed gender difference is also responsible for determining if an individual can realize their potential for a long and healthy life. Examination of both doctrines would reveal that they are too general in scale to be reliable explanations of, and for, human behaviour. The nurture/nature dichotomy is problematic: what characterizes human behaviour and development is that they are an array of many interacting as well as intersecting causes. Both approaches are inadequate when attempting to understand or explain the diversity of masculinities. Neither theory is able to provide a satisfactory explanation of, or for, the broad range of behaviours among men and women, parochially or globally. The nurse must be aware of the mix of both biological and social pressures in order to improve understanding and care for men and boys as there is unlikely to be one single explanation for issues that face men with respect to their health and well-being. Femininity and masculinity or one's gender identity refers to the degree to which persons see themselves as masculine or feminine given what it means to be a man or woman in society. Femininity and masculinity are rooted in the social (one's gender) rather than the biological (one's sex). Societal members decide what being male or female means (e.g., dominant or passive, brave or emotional), and males will generally respond by defining themselves as masculine while females will generally define themselves as feminine. Because these are social definitions, however, it is possible for one to be female and see herself as masculine or male and see himself as feminine. It is important to distinguish gender identity, as presented above, from other gender-related concepts such as gender roles which are shared expectations of behavior given one's gender. For example, gender roles might include women investing in the domestic role and men investing in the worker role. The concept of gender identity is also different from gender stereotypes which are shared views of personality traits often tied to one's gender such as instrumentality in men and expressiveness in women. And, gender identity is different from gender attitudes that are the views of others or situations commonly associated with one's gender such as men thinking in terms of justice and women thinking in terms of care Although gender roles, gender stereotypes and gender attitudes influence one's gender identity, they are not the same as gender. From a sociological perspective, gender identity involves all the meanings that are applied to oneself on the basis of one's gender identification. In turn, these self-meanings are a source of

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motivation for gender-related behavior (Burke 1980). A person with a more masculine identity should act more masculine, that is, engage in behaviors whose meanings are more masculine such as behaving in a more dominant, competitive, and autonomous manner. It is not the behaviors themselves that are important, but the meanings implied by those behaviors. Beginning at birth, the self-meanings regarding one's gender are formed in social situations, stemming from ongoing interaction with significant others such as parents, peers, and educators. While individuals draw upon the shared cultural conceptions of what it means to be male or female in society which are transmitted through institutions such as religion or the educational system, they may come to see themselves as departing from the masculine or feminine cultural model. A person may label herself female, but instead of seeing herself in a stereotypical female manner such as being expressive, warm, and submissive, she may view herself in a somewhat stereotypically masculine fashion such as being somewhat instrumental, rational, and dominant. The point is that people have views of themselves along a feminine-masculine dimension of meaning, some being more feminine, some more masculine, and some perhaps a mixture of the two. It is this meaning along the feminine-masculine dimension that is their gender identity, and it is this that guides their behavior. The Social Construction of Gendered Bodies Social construction feminism singles out gender as one of the most significant factors in the transformation of physical bodies to fit cultural ideals of feminine beauty and masculine strength. This feminist view argues that bodies are socially constructed in material and cultural worlds, which means they are physical and symbolic at one and the same time. To say that bodies are socially constructed is not to deny their material reality or universality. Bodies are born, and bodies die. Female breasts are usually able to produce milk for nursing infants, whereas male breasts usually cannot. Female mammals gestate and give birth; male mammals do not. Male bodies usually have less fat and more muscle than female bodies. But when we ask which womens and mens bodies are beautiful, or what are the physical capacities of human men and women in physical labor and sports, we are asking questions about social practices and judgments that vary by culture and ethnicity, time and place, and are different for the rich and the poor. Social practices exaggerate and minimize differences and similarities among people, creating, through physical labor, exercise, sports, and surgery, the various masculine and feminine bodies social groups admire. Cultural views about the body are more than aesthetic; they are also moral judgments. When a persons body contradicts social conventions regarding weight, height, and shape, that person may be viewed as lacking in self-control and self-respect. Conversely, people whose bodies comply with valued conventions are admired, praised, and held up to others as ideals to be emulated. In short, by judging, rewarding, and punishing people of different body sizes, shapes, weights, and musculature, members of a social group persuade and coerce each other to construct socially acceptableand similar-lookingbodies. Gender is one of the most significant factors in the transformation, via social construction dynamics, of physical bodies into social bodies. Because our bodies are socially constructed in deeply gendered societies, they will of necessity be gendered because a gender-neutral or androgynous or unisex body is anathema in a world in which people must know quickly and precisely where to place others they encounter for the first time or in brief, face-to-face interactions. How you look to the other

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person (masculine or feminine) is tied to who you are (woman or man). Your social identity is a gendered identity, and all your identity papers and bureaucratic records document your gender over and over again. Who you are is therefore gendered. We will never know how much of this gendering is biology and how much is social construction unless we have a degendered society, one that does not produce or exaggerate differences through markedly different treatment and expectations of boys and girls. Biological Destiny or Cultural Construction? While both schools of thought believe that masculinity is a useful tool to explain men, these polarized propositions diverge in their account of what determines mens masculinity: nature or nurture? As biological destiny, masculinity is used to refer to the innate qualities and properties of men that distinguish men from women. In this view, masculinity is mens nature, and as such helps to explain not only differences but also inequalities between men and women. Mens political, economic and cultural privileges arise from their masculine advantage, as variously reflected in genetic predisposition to aggression (in contrast to the passivity of femininity), physical strength (in contrast to the weakness of femininity) and sexual drives (in contrast to the sexual reserve of femininity). The problem with biological determinism is the arbitrary nature of the fixing of mens essential masculinity, which can range across a whole spectrum from mens innate physicality/animality to mens innate rationality. Feminist scholarship and practice has long critiqued the political convenience of explaining gender inequality and hierarchy in terms of mens natural superiority. But development institutions and practitioners have been slower to take such biological determinist thinking about men and masculinity into account. As such, many have failed to grasp how the resurgence of such thinking has likely come in response to diverse threats to mens power posed by geo-political, economic and cultural changes, some of which have favored the advancement of women Defining masculinity in terms of its cultural construction offers ways to re-think mens relationship to gender in/equality. For some, this means displacing responsibility for womens oppression from men onto masculinity. There are dangers in this displacement, however, related to the extent to which cultural constructions of masculinity are regarded as determinants of mens actions in the world. Heise poses the question: What is it about the construction of masculinity in different cultures that promotes aggressive sexual behaviour by men?. She concludes that it is mens insecurity about their masculinity that promotes abusive behaviour toward women and continues: Masculinity, to the extent that the term can be briefly defined at all, is simultaneously a place in gender relations, the practices through which men and women engage that place in gender, and the effects of these practices in bodily experience, personality and culture. Pluralizing masculinity into masculinities is more than a way to explain there are many ways to be a man. It is useful for understanding the connections between masculinities and the distribution and effects of power and resistance among the different forms of masculinity. This has significant implications for development work on men and gender equality. It suggests that such work should not be confined by a concern to work on masculinity in order to reform the male identity and offer men better ways of being a man, however useful such work may be to specific individuals. An understanding of the politics of masculinity indicates that the values and practices (individual and

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institutional) that create gender inequality are also intimately involved in the creation of other hierarchies of oppression. Challenging these values and practices implies working with both women and men, at the policy and programme level, to mobilize constituencies for change in which gender equality goals are integral to movements and coalitions for social justice. Biological Determinism Biological differences allow the classication of men and women; these are predominantly related to reproductive function. Biological determinism is based on the belief that all differences (or characteristics) of men and women are a result of biology. This approach is also known as genetic determinism. This approach asserts that certain behaviours are acceptable because boys will be boys this is natural and is often genetically determined. Gross asserts that this principle has the ability to remove guilt and responsibility, for example, it is in my genes. Biological factors, in both sexes, have an inuential impact on health; it has to be remembered, however, that this is not conned to reproductive characteristics alone. Doyal points out that there are a wide range of genetic, hormonal and metabolic inuences that play a signicant part in shaping distinctive male patterns of morbidity and mortality, for example, cancer of the prostate. Little consideration is given to the wider variety of behaviours associated with masculinity or femininity or how masculinity or femininity relate to each other when in different settings. Biological determinism is powerful, and has the potential to undermine how men and women behave. Taken to its logical conclusion biological determinism dissociates the environmental and social factors associated with human nature. Social Masculinity Vs. Natural Masculinity The masculinity with which boys are born, is natural masculinity. This is given by nature. However, society has created a mechanism whereby it does not acknowledge this natural masculinity. It has instead created its own version, which we shall call social masculinity. Social masculinity is not naturally endowed, but has to be granted by society. Society does not accept a person as a man unless he fulfils certain pre-conditions of roles or expectations of society, referred to as male gender and sexual roles, or social masculinity roles. Social masculinity or social manhood can be described as the status of being a man socially, as against his biological maleness/masculinity. A person is not considered a man without social manhood. This social mechanism is designed to control male behaviour, especially male sexual behaviour. The result is silent severe oppression of men. It harms them in several ways. Its benefit to the society is also controversial. It only gives unlimited, unreasonable and undeserved exploitative social power to a handful of people. Ironically, the things required from men to be socially masculine may be contrary to the essence of natural masculinity. Some may even be closer to femininity. These things are falsely propagated as masculine, to unethically influence male behaviour. To be real men, mens goal should be natural masculinity and not social masculinity. Because only natural masculinity is real. A man needs to be in touch with his natural masculinity (and femininity) to live a happy and healthy life. Natural masculinity provides inner power and strength. It makes the person self-dependent. If it is removed or blocked, the man becomes dependent on the society for his masculinity. Only social power that is earned through natural masculinity is stable and deserved and real. Thus, although you may think the natural physiology and anatomy of female and male bodies

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dictates the ways womens and mens bodies look and are used, social constructionist feminist theory argues that the ideal types of bodies that all are encouraged to emulate are the product of societys gender ideology, practices, and stratification system. Western societies expect men to be aggressive initiators of action and protectors of women and children; therefore, their bodies should be muscular and physically strong. Women are expected to be nurturant and emotionally giving, willing to subordinate their own desires to please men and their own interests to take care of children. Therefore, womens bodies should be yielding and sexually appealing to men when they are young, and plumply maternal when they are older. Degendering Social Bodies Feminists do not deny that bodily differences between women and men exist; rather, they claim that many, if not most, of the uses of these differences are ideological. They oppose the use of bodily differences to benefit men and exclude or oppress women. Changing the social construction of gendered bodies is difficult because our identities are tied up with how our bodies look and act or perform. Self-identity as a woman or man and self-esteem are translated into bodily markers. Sometimes, self-pride is exaggeratedwe talk of strutting, swaggering, preening, and flaunting it. The playing field is not level for women and men, however: For men, as for women, the world formed by the body-reflexive practices of gender is a domain of politicsthe struggle of interests in a context of inequality. Men have the advantage because all mens bodies are stereotyped as bigger, stronger, and physically more capable than any womans body. Realistically, we know that a well-trained woman, a tall and muscular woman, a woman who has learned the arts of self-defense, a woman soldier, or a woman astronaut is a match for most men. If women and men of the same size and training are matched, men may not necessarily be physically superior because women have greater endurance, balance, and flexibility. The type of competition makes a difference; most sports are made for men that is, they are organized around mens bodily capacities. Although feminists have different views regarding how much and in what ways mens and womens bodies differ, all object to claims that bodily differences between the sexes confirm mens superiority. Feminists who believe that womens and mens bodies are different tend to view women as superior in some ways and men as superior in others. They challenge assertions that differences between women and men require them to occupy different social positions or have different opportunities in society. They view claims about bodily differences between women and men as social rather than biological in character, meaning that, like the clothing individuals put on to cover their bodies, cultural beliefs about bodies are put onor imposedby society onto the bodies of women and men, through gendered beliefs and practices, as part of the societys gender order. A second theme of feminist analysis of the body is dominance with regard to questions of power, gender hierarchy, privilege, and oppression. Feminists assert that most of the naming, depicting, and promoting of the images of women are done by powerful, privileged men. Although only some meneconomically privileged, powerful, middle-aged, and ostensibly heterosexualcreate cultural images of women, all men benefit if the images influence most women to seek mens approval, cling to one man to receive protection from the rest, doubt their physical abilities because of their feminine limitations, or quit trying to get high-paying jobs in construction, mining, and truck 102

driving. The political implications of the biological determinism that accompanies such fundamentalism have directed much attention toward other explanations of men and their masculinity. That gender is constituted in and by society and culture, rather than nature and biology, is of course a basic tenet of feminism, the womens movement and, subsequently, GAD policy and practice. But this understanding, at least in development institutions and practice, has usually been applied to programmes concerned with the advancement of women, and rarely to work with men. However, there is an increasing interest in gendering men and this interest has centered on an exploration of cultural constructions of masculinity. This exploration still seeks to explain men and their behaviour in terms of their masculinity, but a masculinity which is defined as an embodiment of the cultural norms and social pressures that help to determine the roles, rights, responsibilities and relations that are available to and imposed upon men, in contrast to women. Accounts of the cultural constructions of masculinity often conceive and describe it in metaphors of roles, performances and scripts. Such conceptions and metaphors give rise to a number of insights that are of use to development practitioners seeking to work with men toward gender equality goals. For example, separating men from their masculine roles creates a space within which their gender, and the process of their gendering, can become more visible to men themselves. Making men more conscious of gender as it affects their lives as well as those of women is a first step towards challenging gender inequalities. Defining masculinity in terms of its cultural construction offers ways to re-think mens relationship to gender in/equality. For some, this means displacing responsibility for womens oppression from men onto masculinity. There are dangers in this displacement, however, related to the extent to which cultural constructions of masculinity are regarded as determinants of mens actions in the world. Heise poses the question: What is it about the construction of masculinity in different cultures that promotes aggressive sexual behaviour by men? In line with biological and sex role socialization theory literature participants indicate that they hold to tightly restrictive masculine gender roles. There is a close association in the responses of most participants between the biological characteristics of masculinity and the sets of actions or roles that are appropriate to the masculine expression. A few participants note that there has been some change and widening of the gender roles. In addition participants in their traditional understanding of masculinity perceive the male sex and the masculine gender as one and the same phenomenon, and as being different from the female sex and the feminine gender. The majority of participants has an understanding of masculinity as being equivalent to male sexuality. Masculinity is one half of a natural duality with the other half of this natural duality resting in the feminine. If the masculine is characterised by being large, muscular, dominant, powerful and engaging in manly activities then the feminine is associated with being small, soft, weak and engaging in other feminine activities. Participants demonstrate that on the whole they hold to the assumption that to be masculine is of more value than to be feminine. Characteristics that they associate with the opposite half of the gender duality they name as undesirable masculine qualities. These include emotional and physical weakness, softness and dependence. It was also noted that for many participants, homosexuality is an undesirable masculine quality and consequently associated more with the feminine half of the natural duality.

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Gender and Power Power can be defined as the ability to make free and informed choices about our lives. Where to live, how to live, who to live with, things as basic as what to eat and when to sleep; when we are able to make our own choices about these things, we are on our way to becoming empowered human beings. Social systems construct power, and usually, this power is distributed unequally. A society that practices gender inequality distributes power unequally between women and men, boys and girls, and the young and old. Usually, men have power over women. Grown-up children (adults) often have power over their older parents. The power to be loved for who you are, not for what you have; to be able to trust the one you love, and to live together in peace and harmony, is a great power. It is also a basic human need. This need is rarely fulfilled in a society that practices gender inequality. In societies that practice gender inequality, human relations, particularly in institutions like marriage and the family, have been the great losers. Suspicion and distrust have become the order of the day. In a society where gender inequality prevails, it is important to pretend that this is normal, even the only possible way of doing things. So, for gender inequality to survive, it was considered vital to make it seem the natural way of life. This process is called the normalization of gender inequality. If women and men started thinking that gender inequality was wrong, and that there must be a better way of organizing society, then they might work to end gender inequality. This is, in fact, what has begun to happen in a number of countries. But for those efforts to continue, it is important that we de-normalize gender inequality. Feminist scholar Dsire Lewis has put it as follows: Patriarchal attitudes and relationships present distinct obstacles. Traditions of silencing women, of rendering invisible their reproductive labour and restricting their participation in spheres of public decision-making have led to firm beliefs that only mens contributions and masculine values and attitudes are valuable in public life. This naturalization of womens subordination explains why gender oppression exists despite the rapid proliferation of progressive legislation and policy-making for women. In particular, it helps explain why local governments, which often reflect naturalized patriarchal relations in communities, often prove to be less women-friendly than national and provincial government. Some critical issues such as those dealing with womens rights, gender equality and human rights, etc. tend to enjoy higher profiles and broader political space at the national and provincial level than they do at the local level. These tiers of government often tend to command lobbyists that are not always active or visible to the same political extent at the local level. The naturalizing of mens power is one of the main functions performed by discourses of masculinity. The masculine/feminine duality rests on and supports a whole set of dual associations that contrast the powerful male with the powerless female: hard/soft, active/passive, productive/reproductive, warrior/nurturer. Such associations ease mens, and inhibit womens, access to and control over political, economic and cultural power. Mens relationship to such patriarchal arrangements of power must be a critical area of concern to development programmes that seek to involve men in gender equality work. Irrespective of mens power vis--vis other men, it is clear that: Men gain a dividend from patriarchy in terms of honour, prestige and the right to command. They also gain a material dividend.

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But it is equally clear that mens patriarchal dividend is mediated by economic class, social status, race, ethnicity, sexuality and age (to name some of the more salient modifiers). Patriarchy becomes a less useful concept when applied to questions of intra-gender equity and equality. Despite the dividend, most men remain disempowered in relation to the elites (composed of men and women) that wield political and economic power in societies and communities throughout the world. It is this experience of disempowerment that potentially connects some men and women across the patriarchal divide, and offers the possibility of linking a gender politics that challenges patriarchy with a wider politics of social transformation. But the politics of masculinity inhibits the social and policy changes that are required to encourage and enable men to renegotiate roles and redistribute burdens across the productive and reproductive spheres. The effects of such a politics are evident in the benefits that men draw from the cultural prohibitions on their involvement in social reproduction and the grounding of masculine identities in being the provider, the breadwinner. These benefits are reinforced by macroeconomic development frameworks and poverty reduction strategies. Their male breadwinner bias, for example: Power and Masculinity Power, indeed, in the key term when referring to hegemonic masculinities. There are, of course, different ways to conceptualize and describe power. Political philosopher C.B. Macpherson points to the liberal and radical traditions of the last two centuries and tells us that one way weve come to think of human power is as the potential for using and developing our human capacities. Such a view is based on the idea that we are doers and creators able to use rational understanding, moral judgment, creativity, and emotional connection. We possess the power to meet our needs, the power to fight injustice and oppression, the power of muscles and brain, and the power of love. All men, to a greater or lesser extent, experience these meanings of power. Power, obviously, also has a more negative manifestation. Men have come to see power as a capacity to impose control on others and on our own unruly emotions. It means controlling material resources around us. Although we all experience power in diverse ways, some that celebrate life and diversity, and others that hinge on control and domination, the two types of experiences arent equal in the eyes of men for the latter is the dominant conception of power in our world. The equation of power with domination and control is a definition that has emerged over time in societies where various divisions are central to the way weve organized our lives: one class has control over economic resources and politics, adults have control over children, humans try to control nature, men dominate women, and, in many countries, one ethnic, racial, or religious group, or group based on sexual orientation, has control over others. Whatever the forms of inequality, in all cases, these societies relations of power are structured into social and cultural, political and economic institutions. There is, though, a common factor to all these societies: all are societies of male domination.. The equation of masculinity with power is one that developed over centuries. It conformed to, and in turn justified, the real-life domination of men over women and the valuation of males over females. Individual men internalize all this into their developing personalities because, born into such a life, we learn to experience our power as a capacity to exercise control. Men learn to accept and exercise power this way because it gives us privileges and advantages that women or children do not

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usually enjoy or, simply, because it is an available tool that allows us to feel capable and strong. The source of this power is in the society around us, but we learn to exercise it as our own. This is a discourse about social power, but the collective power of men rests not simply on transgenerational and abstract institutions and structures of power but on the ways we internalize, individualize, and come to embody and reproduce these institutions, structures, and conceptualizations of mens power. When we argue about men as part of the GAD discourse, men are often seen as the problem in the equation. The power that men have is regarded as the source of the gender crisis. Yet, according to Cornwall, we often assume that it is only men that have power in society, and that all those who have power must be male. Cornwall argues further that most often that is the case, but we have to realise that some men dont have power, just as some women do have power. This is why gender, and not sex, is important in analysis. Also, class, race, etc. interact with gender to influence who has power. The feminist definition of power should also be considered here. Power is defined as power to, power over and power within. How power is used determines the effect of that power in peoples lives. Power seems to be the centre of masculinity as we know it. They state that men still occupy the most positions of power in society as well as in the household. In their view, masculinities are structured in dominance and this helps to maintain and reproduce the dominance of men.

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GENDER ROLES

Gender Roles Gender roles refer to expected duties and responsibilities, rights and privileges of women and men that are shaped by society. Due to the differences in attitude towards sexes, different roles are assigned to women and men, and are learnt through the process of socialization. The roles are stereotyped and reflected in the different rights, activities, attitudes and behaviour of women and men that are influenced by religion, economy, cultural norms, and values as well as, political systems. Gender roles are justified and normalized in different ways, internalised by children through the process of sex-typing, where children learn/adapt the skills they have to develop and the way they are expected to act. Due to the fact that children are born without knowing how the world works, the world is interpreted (explained) by the people with whom they live. This may be done deliberately, by telling them what people expect from them, or else they learn how to act simply by reacting to what is around them. Gender roles vary from one culture to another, in different ethnic groups and within society, according to age, social class and ethnic/religious affiliation. The way gender is interpreted and the roles people are expected to play are defined by the culture and values with which they live. The interplay of these factors determines what kind of clothing is appropriate for both females and males. It also decides on the amount of food necessary for each, the type of work they should perform, the time and the type of place they are supposed to be at, the type of groups they can join, etc. In most cases, boys are supposed to be tough and physical games, while girls are encouraged to be quite, sweet, gentle, and look pretty. Additionally, it is considered to be appropriate for women to eat less, slowly, and take a small bite at a time, while men are encouraged to eat more, faster and take big morsel at each go. Indeed, in rural areas of the country, mothers take it as their responsibility to feed their husband first, their sons second, , their daughters next and themselves last. In resourcepoor households, this may mean that females go without or have only little food. However, the gender roles or set of behaviours socially defined as appropriate for ones sex are not static, but change over time. This is evident in that things considered inappropriate for men as well as women of earlier generations are accepted and practiced by both sexes these days. Gender roles in society: Since the 1970s there has been a focus by researchers and policy makers in the West on the different sex roles of men and women in society. The aim of this was to analyse the different social positions of men and women and to explain how they were shaped for these positions as well as changes and conflicts in everyday life. The sex role framework attempts to explain sexual differentiation and how these roles were internalised by men and women. The problem with sex roles however, is that this explains what is expected from people by society, and not what they necessarily do in reality. 107

Men and women have different roles in society. As we have already seen, these roles are prescribed by the community in which a person grows up, as well as the community where a person lives during adulthood. Richmond-Abbot makes it clear that we have to distinguish between sex roles and gender roles. Sex roles are determined by biological aspects and include functions such as menstruation, pregnancy and seminal ejaculation. These are biological functions of men and women, but society determines sex roles according to these functions. Gender roles, however, are socially created expectations of the behaviour of men and women, based on biological differences. Rivers and Aggleton argue that gender roles are not natural, but rather constructed by society, in other words, culturally produced. Cleaver states that gender roles are not fixed. Her research into gender roles in rural Zimbabwe has shown that roles can change according to the circumstances of the household and the wider community. Gender roles change over time as situations change (Rivers and Aggleton, 1999:2). UNICEF notes that gender roles are not always the negative concept that we see in academic writing. Many of these gender roles exist purely because of practical reasons. Yet they can be seen as potentially harmful if they are used to discriminate against a certain group, or to dominate a certain group. Richmond-Abbot also highlights this aspect and concludes that gender roles are very often based on power. This power more often than not lies in the hands of men over women. If the use of specified gender roles in the household and also on other levels, like community and society, lead to a devaluation of the women, then the use of gender roles should be questioned. Gender roles are often linked to the social roles and positions of men and women in society. This creates stereotypes of men and women, how they should act and the types of jobs they should do. These roles are linked to their sex, in other words being a man or a woman, and not to their inherent ability. The roles of women in society are very diverse. They differ over continents, countries and in rural and urban areas. The roles of women also differ over cultures and time. This discussion will focus on the roles of women in rural areas, more than the roles of women in urban areas. This links to my case study that focuses more on rural experiences than on urban areas. Some of these roles do overlap, and that must be taken into account. According to Lopata we should only talk about the social roles of women, since there is no such thing as sex roles. But, as most text refers to sex roles, I will reluctantly use the term. We can rather describe these roles as the gender identity of women. This gender identity influences how women act towards others, how a woman sees herself as well as the allocated status that this person enjoys in society. The social roles of women are very often stereotyped as the status or set of expectations women experience in society, but Lopata argues that there should be a clearer definition for the term social roles. She explains the social role of women as a set of patterned, interrelated social relations between a person and members of that persons social circle. This social role will involve certain duties as well as certain rights. Milimo states that the roles and responsibilities of women are very specific in most families. Family, politics, religion as well as economic systems influence the roles that various women in Third World countries play in their society. The power and influence of women can also change as they get older, or as their marital status changes. Being married or widowed has an effect on the roles women play, or are allowed to play in society. Being married gives women a higher status in some rural societies. Being widowed without bearing a male child, reduces the status as well as changes the

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roles of women. We must also take into account that the roles of women within one community can also differ. Roles differ within households, for example where there is more than one woman in a household. The manner in which roles is acted out also differs among women. In her book, The dialectic of sex, Firestone analyses the biological role of women in society. Her argument is that womens reproductive role and the fact that they are able to bear children are used to oppress women and form the basis of patriarchy. All other roles of women are connected to their reproductive role. The reproductive work of women is all work synonymous with the household and can include cooking, cleaning and caring for children. In different societies there are different roles attached to the domestic sphere. For example, in India, caring for cattle and, in Africa, tending to crops and livestock are seen as domestic chores. Gender roles of men in society: The roles of men in society are generally seen as much easier to discuss. In traditional society, their only roles are productive, and therefore have an economic value that is measured. According to Wade, the main role of a man in the Colombian society is to support all children bearing his surname. This indicates that men are responsible for their children to some extent. In some secular societies, men are getting more involved with the reproductive chores such as child minding and other household chores. Men play roles in the economy, in the community as well as in the family. Mostly their roles are defined by the gender privilege that they experience, for being male. This gender privilege is based on the power structures within society). The primary role of men in the household is that of provider. This is not seen as an option for men, but as an obligation. This is the biggest responsibility of men, and according to Cohen this responsibility extends outside the family itself as well. This is conducted within the community. Men in society are involved in different types of work. Both mental and manual labour are often seen as the responsibility of men. The productive roles of men in rural societies include mainly ploughing and preparing the fields for planting. As breadwinners, men also sell their labour as farm workers as well as other types of employment. It is often assumed that the only aspect of the reproductive role of men in the household is the production of sperm. We have to realise that this is not the only aspect of the reproductive role of men. Some men are resistant to becoming involved in childcare and other household tasks, since it is considered womens work. This is associated with a lower status, lack of power and poor remuneration. Other men do take responsibility within the household as part of their reproductive role. In recent years, the concept of the new father or the new man emerged. This created a situation where some men accepted some part of responsibility of the nurturing of children. The roles of men have changed over time, just as the roles of women have changed. With women expanding their productive role in the paid labour force, men were forced to accept more responsibilities within the household explains even further that a man also has the role of social fatherhood. It is more complex than the role of provider and states that fathers should be involved in their childrens social development. Sternberg, in his research among Nicaraguan men, has found that some men are involved in the domestic responsibilities of the household. Tasks such as child-care, feeding, bathing and sometimes even washing and ironing are in some instances performed by men. The community roles of men differ across societies. According to Foreman, an Indian man would

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fulfil his community role if he is a married man with sons. In other communities, men play a role in committees in the community. Gender-based divisions of labour are assigning some roles to women and others to men as designed through the socialization process. The division of labour varies from one society and culture to another. The gender-based division of labour that resulted from the socially ascribed gender roles have made women primarily responsible for tedious, repetitive, tiresome, timeconsuming and economically unrewarding activities. Moreover, women are made responsible for the activities of supporting and feeding those who go out to work, which consumes most of their time and ties them to the household and its immediate surroundings. This has limited the access of women to outside information that has in turn constrained their interaction with the external environment. Conversely, men benefited from this gender division of labour that has made them responsible for only some seasonal activities, allowing them to predominate in the public spheres, to perform activities which are economically rewarding and to maintain their dominance of gender relations. Essentially, culture, religion, tradition and customs form the basis of peoples belief system that greatly influences gender relations in a society, which is also known as the analytical concept of gender. As gender power relations are skewed in favour of men in most societies, different values are ascribed to womens tasks and mens tasks. Due to womens low status in a community, the activities they perform tend to be valued less than mens, and in turn, womens low status is perpetuated. In most cases, boys are supposed to be tough and physical games, while girls are encouraged to be quite, sweet, gentle, and look pretty. Additionally, it is considered to be appropriate for women to eat less, slowly, and take a small bite at a time, while men are encouraged to eat more, faster and take big morsel at each go. Indeed, in rural areas of the country, mothers take it as their responsibility to feed their husband first, their sons second, their daughters next and themselves last. In resourcepoor households, this may mean that females go without or have only little food. However, the gender roles or set of behaviours socially defined as appropriate for ones sex are not static, but change over time. This is evident in that things considered inappropriate for men as well as women of earlier generations are accepted and practiced by both sexes these days. Gender is the way in which we classify ourselves in social terms as male or female. It is the social interpretation of sex. If sex is innate and predetermined, gender is acquired, constructed or assigned. Hence it is less distinct than male and female. People can be strongly feminine or strongly masculine but most people have a mixture of these traits. Gender role refers to the behaviours, attitudes and expectations that correspond to our gender. Gender role stereotypes are beliefs about what masculine and feminine people are supposed to be like. In perceiving others this is often run together with their sex and so amounts to sex-role stereotyping too, expecting males to behave, feel etc. in masculine ways and females to behave, feel etc. in feminine ways. This can lead to sex-typing where males and females are treated differently. The interesting question is whether sex-typing leads to gender differences or whether sex differences lead to gender differences, assuming that there are measurable gender differences. The gender roles are quite powerful. Gender roles have long been a staple of the nature/nurture debate: "folk" theories of gender usually assume that one's gender identity is a natural given. For example, it is often claimed in societies that women are naturally fit to look after children. The idea that differences in gender roles originate in differences in biology has found some (controversial) support in parts of the scientific community. 19th-century anthropology sometimes

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used simplistic descriptions of the imagined life of Paleolithic hunter-gatherer societies for evolutionary explanations for gender differences. For example, the need to take care of the offspring may have limited the females' freedom to hunt and assume positions of power. More recently, sociobiology and evolutionary psychology have turned to this problem to explain those differences by treating them as adaptations. This too is quite controversial. Due to the influence of (among others) Simone de Beauvoir's feminist works and Michel Foucault's reflections on sexuality, the idea that gender was unrelated to sex gained ground during the 1980s, especially in sociology and cultural anthropology. A person could therefore be born with male genitals but still be of feminine gender. In 1987, Connell did extensive research on whether there are any connections between biology and gender role and concluded that there were none. However, the debate continues to rage on. Simon Baron-Cohen, a Cambridge Univ. professor of psychology and psychiatry, argued that "the female brain is predominantly hard-wired for empathy, while the male brain is predominantly hard-wired for understanding and building systems." Relying on a distinction between sex (as a natural attribute) and gender (as a system of social meaning ascribed to physical difference), gender roles refers to social practices associated with masculinity or femininity what an earlier generation termed sex roles. The term is useful for challenging discrimination which is not specifically sex-based; for example, feminists use the concept to demand that employed women (see work, women and) need both maternity leave (which is sexbased) and provisions to manage their on going responsibilities to children and family members (based on their gender roles). Nevertheless, gender roles suffers from the same problems that bedevil all role theory: it is prescriptive; roles are conceived of as static and unchanging; it assumes that the person voluntarily and freely plays her part; and also naively implies that individualistic change is all that is required for a person to switch roles. Gender-role learning requires broadening gender conceptions to include not only appearances, but clusters of behavioral attributes and interests that form lifestyle patterns and social and occupational roles. Knowledge about gender roles involves a higher level of organization and abstraction than simply categorization of persons, objects, and activities in terms of gender. To complicate matters further, the stylistic and role behaviors that traditionally typify male and female orientations are not uniformly gender-linked. Many men are mild mannered and some females are aggressive. As a result, children have to rely on the relative prevalence of exemplars and the extent to which given activities cover with gender. If children routinely see women performing homemaking activities, while males only occasionally try their hand at it, homemaking readily gets gender-typed as a woman's role. But if they often observe both men and women gardening, it is not as easily linked to gender. In all societies, women and men undertake typical tasks and responsibilities. When people are faced with the issues of allocation, such as, who will do what, they generally divide them into two important categories, the female work or the male work. These tasks are allocated according to traditions and accepted norms in a particular culture. This determines masculine and feminine roles. On the basis of this, you find division of labor in terms of womens work and mens work. Gender role is composed of several elements. A person's gender role can be expressed through clothing, behaviour, choice of work, personal relationships and other factors. Gender roles were traditionally divided into strictly feminine and masculine gender roles, though these roles have

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diversified today into many different acceptable male or female gender roles. However, gender role norms for women and men can vary significantly from one country or culture to another, even within a country or culture. People express their gender role somewhat uniquely.Gender role can vary according to the social group to which a person belongs or the subculture with which he or she chooses to identify. Historically, for example, eunuchs had a distinct gender role.It should be noted that some societies are comparatively rigid in their expectations, and other societies are comparatively permissive. Some of the gender signals that form part of a gender role and indicate one's gender identity to others are quite obvious, and others are so subtle that they are transmitted and received out of ordinary conscious awareness. While ones sex does not change, gender roles are learned and change over time. They vary from culture to culture, and often from one social group to another within the same culture according to class, ethnicity, and race. Factors such as education, technology, economics, and sudden crises like war and famine cause gender roles to change. Gender is considered a social construct because it is socially determined and supported by societal structures. Gender is a basic organizing principle of societies, particularly in the division of labor in families, communities, and the marketplace. Although gender roles limit both women and men, they generally have had a more repressive impact on women. Women frequently have responsibilities related to their reproductive role, including childrearing and the associated tasks such as maintaining the family and household. Both women and men are involved in productive labor, which includes wage employment and production of goods. However, their functions and responsibilities differ. Womens productive work is typically less visible and lower paid than mens. In some cases, work done primarily by men becomes lower paid and less prestigious when women begin to do it, and womens work earns higher pay when done by men. Similarly, women frequently earn less than men in the same job. At the community level, men may tend to have formal leadership roles and perform high-status tasks while women often do the organizing and support work. There are many messages that we are given as we grow up. Boys and girls receive a lot of pressure to conform to their gender roles from a young age. Many of the messages we received as children make it look as though it is natural for women to be submissive and for men to be powerful. This social conditioning can come from family, friends, the school, tradition, media, interpretations of cultural practices and religion. Even childrens songs and games are often gendered. Many men grow up believing that it is okay to use force and aggression (and that they may even be expected to use force or they may be humiliated) to show might. They also grow up believing that is okay to sexually tease women and be the one to initiate sexual relations. Women on the other hand are taught never to resist but to accept that this is the life they have to accept and that in relationships, the male members of the family are the ones who will make the decisions. Words like motherhood or phrases like it is natural for women to want to have children, men are naturally more hot-tempered, men who enjoy cooking are abnormal, and women are romantic and emotional are what are termed gender values and norms. To challenge these limitations, we have to begin questioning these phrases. We need to ask ourselves are there women who do not like children, are there women who are hot-tempered as well, are there women who do not enjoy cooking, are there men who are romantic and emotional? Some social expectations result in severe gender bias and discrimination against women. For example, in some communities, women are denied access to basic needs such as education because they are thought of

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as not needing education since they will be married anyway and need to look after the house. Their sense of self-worth is often attached to whether they will marry soon or not. Son and male preference in some communities also result in girls and women being denied nutrition, selective abortions of female fetuses, etc. Gender roles are learned behaviour in which people are taught to perceive activities, tasks, and responsibilities as male or female. For example, men and women are said to be good at certain jobs. Some even say that a man to be involved in tough jobs (technician, professionals, the boss, driving big machinery, supervisory) while the a woman is to be gentle, nurturing, caring, soft-spoken and be suited for more sedate work (home-makers, teachers, nurses, social workers). It is important to remember that the social construct of gender is produced by each persons experience of gender in each culture. These experiences are different for everyone and none of them exactly matches the social model of gender we have been taught. That is why we insist on the need to recognize the particular case of each person in a community, no matter whether that person is a woman or a man. The generic organization establishes the type of activities that men and women can do and their rank in society. There is gender division in labor, but also in sports, politics, the economy, the culture and all other spheres of activity in society. The division of labor is a process of differentiation regarding the tasks to be carried out, the spaces where they are carried out, the responsibilities established for whether tasks are completed or not, the resources for carrying them out, and control over the benefits derived from these activities. Gender attributes certain skills and abilities to women and men, leading to the assignment of particular tasks and responsibilities according to their assigned identity: the role of family provider, for the male gender, and the family reproducer role, for the female gender. This division of labor is also culture-specific within a communitys given geographic situation, depending on economic conditions and access to resources for production and reproduction. The genders basically carry out three types of activities: Activities involving biological reproduction, as well as those related to maintaining the family and its capacity for work, socialization and education of children, health care, nourishment, and all the tasks this implies. These tasks are assigned to women, who carry out domestic activities, housework, care and education of children, and care of the elderly and sick. There are few occasions when men have responsibility for or perform household chores. Within the female and male gender construction, such activities are prohibited for men. These activities generate income or benefits for self-consumption or for sale in the market, and ensure family reproduction. The social construct of gender assigns these activities to men, who are expected to procure resources outside the private setting in order to maintain their families and satisfy their role as providerin other words, to generate resources for meeting the needs of the family. Although society assigns these activities to men, in reality women, girls and boys also participate in productive work. It is important to mention that in conditions of poverty, many men are pressured to perform certain kinds of work that are more profitable than others. Nonetheless, these conditions are not due to societal gender discrimination, but to other types of social oppression. In the case of women, gender discrimination, along with the exigencies of poverty, causes displacement toward poorly paid productive activities. The social construct of gender determines the type of productive activity women can engage in, and this is compounded by the fact that men control their

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lives, decisions and resources. These are all activities carried out in the community in relation to social organization. They include work in committees or groups of a social nature, and require members to dedicate time and resources. In general, women and men carry out such community activities separately, and mens groups receive greater social recognition. As we can see, due to gender construction activities carried out by women are considered complementary. Youre in charge of the house and Ill provide the bread and butter. However, these activities are not valued equally. No social or economic value or recognition is given to tasks of social reproduction, while productive tasks are overvalued. There is a belief that men are the ones who work and sustain the family, and that women and children simply help out. Income generated from productive activities usually stays in the hands of men who make decisions and control spending, and sometimes permit a part of these resources to be used for reproductive activities. This coincides with the formation of the male identity of being for oneself before being for others. In many cases, daughters assume these chores, or other women help out, including relatives, grandmothers and neighbors. It is not easy to obtain womens full participation in a development process, precisely because they need the time and opportunity to be able to participate, possible only if there is consensus about changes between women and men in a given community. This presupposes an understanding that we are trying to develop the entire community, not just some of the people who live in it. The time dedicated to community activities is also important because it represents a potential recognition by the community for the work performed by women (let us recall that society already grants men such recognition). However, the only time available is what is left after reproductive and productive activities have been carried out. These activities also have implications concerning the social position of women and men with respect to the spaces and situations where power is exercised, and where decisions are made about access, control and use of resources. The way our communities are generally organized and how we exercise power is conceived more in terms of the conditions of the male gender than those of the female gender. As a result, in processes of empowerment for women and men it will be necessary to modify these structures and make changes in the way we have been making decisions. If we think about it, the places we are allowed to be are also different. Women generally are located in more private spaces: the home, and within the home itself, in the kitchen. Men have more possibilities for moving within public spaces, and they do not have to account for their time, as women do. When they go out, they can come back laterwomen cannot. Generally, men are the ones who are assigned decision-making at the community level. This is to be expected, if we look at who has more experience in this sphere and in the type of activities carried out. Women make decisions related to their more immediate context, about which they have more knowledgesuch as household decisions and things that are close to what goes on in their home. These does not mean that women are not capable of giving an opinion about what goes on in spheres to which they have not been assigned, but they have less experience in handling these. This can cause women to be more fearful about being criticized about the quality of their participation, particularly in public spaces. In addition, we come back to the social value placed on the work of women and men. There are an increasing number of women engaged in productive and community activities, but there is little evidence of the reverse, that men are occupying spaces in the reproductive field. For the man,

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performing reproductive activities not only implies a loss of the social status awarded his gender, but could even be interpreted as a change of sex, and not being very macho or manly. This can increase his fears and his rejection of carrying out such activities. The gender system is thus an excluding system that does not provide equal opportunities of personal development for women and men. It is an inequitable system from its very roots. In some cases, the conditions lived by women and men require them to carry out activities that society attributes to the other gender. However, it should be clarified that this has to do with their specific situation. Gender conception at the societal level does not change immediately in response to a particular circumstance. Our objective is for both genders to have the same opportunities for development, without this implying that we are changing sex. Gender and sex are so much a part of our conception of the world that some people have believed that performing activities assigned to the other gender will change our sex. In reality, what is being changed is the social construction, not our physical characteristics. These activities in turn determine what kind of experience people will have as they live out certain spaces and social spheres. We are obliged to specialize in certain types of activities, without comprehending that we can develop skills in others. Our access to and control of income is circumscribed, as are our belongings and resources, our opportunities for training and mobilization, our enjoyment of life, our possibilities for improvement in the area of health, and decision-making about our own existence. Gender equity perspective analyzes the reasons why inequality in the living conditions of women and men produces inequity, unease and a lack of well being for everyone, both women and men. These are unwritten norms that generate law based on traditions and customs. This term concerns the different attributes conventionally assigned to the capacities and skills of women and men, and consequently to the distribution of different tasks and responsibilities in social life. For example, men are customarily given the role of family provider and women the reproducer role, responsible for the home and for raising the children. Division of work by gender is specific to each particular culture and historical moment. It is flexible and can be adapted to the changing conditions of the home (illness or absence of a key member, changes of income or in the need for money), as well as in natural resources, or due to the impact of a local development project, education or other factors. Moreover, we watch television programs, listen to the radio, go to religious place where women and men perform many different roles and carry out activities, occupy spaces, use resources, and decide about situations assigned to each gender. The legends, stories, jokes, music, art, history and everything cultural that can be imagined has gender content shaped by the same social group, where there are stereotypes that can express inequality. Gender construction is possible thanks to the oral, symbolic and official transmission of the various social institutions, the examples they drill into us and the experiences to which we have access, according to our gender: Our identities are constructed during this process of socialization: female identity, male identity and forms of relating between them. Our identities are constructed in relation to what we should feel, do, think and even imagine, all previously established for our gender. Nonetheless, this also depends on other conditions in the world where we evolve: the culture we belong to, the social class or group that determines our material conditions of life, and our identity according to age, religion or politics.

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Traditional Gender Roles Those with traditional gender role attitudes believe that women and men should ideally fulfill complimentary and distinct roles. Thus, traditionally minded individuals consider the good provider role to be appropriate for men and the homemaker role to be proper for women describes the good provider as a man who furnishes food, clothing, and other necessities and luxuries for his family. Good providers are solely responsible for the economic support of their families; their wives do not work. In this way, the good provider role is defined in terms of its direct opposition to and complementary relationship with the homemaker role. Providing men are required to demonstrate achievement and success in their employment, and their worth is measured in terms of wages and their relative position in the labor market. This culture of success is revealed in the use of the term breadwinning, which suggests that providers are involved in a competition for earnings. Dispensation of emotional expressivity to spouses and children is not required of male providers. Rather, their family responsibilities are fulfilled via their job responsibilities. A family man is defined in terms of his ability to provide for the material needs of his family, rather than through the quality of his interpersonal relationships with family members or through the provision of kindness, loving support, or emotional involvement. In fact, a mans job responsibilities are primary and paramount over his familial duties. Men continue to attach significance to the breadwinner role as the primary way of producing a masculine identity. Much of this attachment is due to the idealization of male employment, and the fact that paid employment is most often the only source of masculine identity available to men. Provision is greatly valued in our capitalistic society, as demonstrated in its strong association with achievement, success, and status. Womens traditional role as the child-centered housewife, which was idealized in the 1950s, originated during the industrialization of the nineteenth century. As men were drawn into the workplace, and the family wage grew in importance and incidence, women were relegated to the home. Due to the establishment of a mass system of compulsory education and the creation of laws prohibiting the exploitation of childrens labor, childhood and adolescence were extended in length and made more leisurely. These developments augmented womens responsibilities as child rearers, and facilitated the creation of an idealized and mystical notion of true motherhood. True motherhood, which later transformed into the wider cult of domesticity, avowed that women were naturally and exclusively endowed with the nurturing emotional capacities required to manage the private sphere and rear children properly, protecting them and societys moral fabric from the corrupting influence of industrialism. Thus, motherhood came to be regarded as every womans primary responsibility and paramount achievement, and the home came to be viewed as womens proper place. The traditional female role, in which the woman performs housework and engages in childcare, is associated with low levels of prestige and negative values in comparison to the role of men. Much of this results from homemakers dependency upon breadwinners that occurs within capitalism. Because women in traditional roles are excluded from the job market, they can gain access to cash-mediated markets only through the money provided to them by men. Womens dependency is reinforced even as they become involved in paid work, due to their concentration in jobs associated with low levels of prestige and pay. The widespread participation of women in occupations emphasizing care work recreates much of their traditional role.

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Egalitarian Gender Roles The adoption of egalitarian gender ideals involves new roles for both women and men. For women, new responsibilities involve greater participation in paid employment, and a greater share in providing the familys financial needs. A corresponding decrease in their obligatory engagement in childcare and housework should also be observed. For men, anticipated behavior includes increased household duties and acceptance of additional responsibility for child rearing. Other demands on men include greater expressiveness, nurturance, and intimacy. Overall, an egalitarian pattern consists of a more equal distribution of labor market participation and household and childcare responsibilities. However, Potuchek (1992) asserts that the emergence of the dual-earner pattern within marriages does not necessarily correspond with a rise in egalitarian gender role attitudes. Many wives undertake employmentand many husbands allow their wives to become employeddue to financial needs rather than ideological impulses. Therefore, it is mandatory that sociologists separate the gendered behavior of men and women from their gender role attitudes, as they often are conflictual. Other indicators of egalitarian gender role attitudes include the approval of married womens employment, the framing of womens income as important to families, agreeing that working mothers can have quality relationships with their children, and refuting the assertion that men alone should make important family decisions. An egalitarian viewpoint rejects the assertion that manhood is the opposite of womanhoodthat masculine is equivalent to not feminine. Instead, egalitarianism posits that the sexes are more similar than different. Not only are differences between the sexes more modest than traditional views suggest, they are also more malleable and largely undesired. Sex Differences in Gender Role Attitudes While role transformations should operate for both sexes, Gerson argues that the differential rewards and values attached to feminine and masculine traits encourage members of both sexes to adopt the more highly esteemed masculine attributes. Though women may be rewarded for demonstrating traditional feminine behavior, they are simultaneously commended for certain types of masculine properties. Women are therefore likely to incorporate a mixture of feminine and masculine traits. Men, however, receive encouragement for masculine behavior and are criticized for acting in a feminine manner. The ambiguity involved in the socialization of females often results in their development of egalitarian gender role attitudes, while the consistent messages conferred upon males cause them to adhere to and support the traditional male role. Womens acceptance of egalitarian gender ideals has occurred largely as an attempt to mitigate their subordinate status vis--vis men. Theories of structural restraint, which derive from conflict theory, emphasize the ways in which womens choices and behavior are constrained by social institutions constructed and administered by men. These structural constraints on women are created through patriarchy, as well as through the capitalist organization of labor. Patriarchy, as defined by Hartmann, is the set of social relations which has a material base and in which there are hierarchical relations between men, and solidarity among them, which enable them to control women. Patriarchy is thus the system of male oppression of women. The organization of labor contributes to the exploitation of women as unpaid workers by reinforcing womens dependency upon providing

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men. By viewing women as a reserve labor force expected to participate in the paid labor force according to the needs of male employers and workers, and by relegating women to occupational positions affording low levels of prestige, pay, and advancement opportunities, the market division of labor enables the exploitation of women as paid workers. Throughout history, and particularly during the last fifty years, women have struggled against the legacy of patriarchy, and have endeavored to establish a more equitable organization of female and male labor. Due to the fact that positions of power and status were traditionally withheld from women and held by men, it has been necessary for women to prove themselves to be like men in order to acquire such positions. Therefore, it can be argued that the feminist movement occurred and continues through the masculinization of women, through which they incorporate and display masculine traits such as rationality, independence, competitiveness, and assertiveness. However, women have not sacrificed their traditional roles for male roles. Instead, they have assimilated elements of the traditional male and female roles into an egalitarian gender role. Womens and mens discrepant acceptance of egalitarianism is explained in part through the work of Chodorow, who argues that feminine and masculine personalities result from womens mothering and the unconscious psychological processes that occur early in a childs development between the child and her/his mother. Girls are hypothesized to form continually close relationships with their mothers, and are thus in a position to learn how to be feminine and nurturing like their mothers. Through this mechanism, females adopt the desires and capacities to mother that they later enact upon and utilize in their families of procreation. In contrast, mothers develop more distant relationships with sons, and instead encourage boys to differentiate themselves and adopt a male role. Because fathers are predominantly more aloof and uninvolved in childcare, boys are unable to appropriate masculinity through close associations with their fathers. Instead, a male child comes to reject his mother and define masculinity in largely negative terms, identifying it as that which is not feminine or involved with women. He does this by repressing whatever he takes to be feminine inside him, and, importantly, by denigrating and devaluing whatever he considers to be feminine in the outside world. These effects are reinforced by the structure found in the larger society. Teaching, day care provision, and other mothering roles are most often filled by women. Men rarely are in occupations that provide contact with young children. Thus, girls acquire femininity through association, but boys adopt a masculine identity by rejecting femininity. In consequence, men are more likely to resist and disparage egalitarian gender roles than women. The feminine aspects of egalitarianism are cognitively incompatible with mens conceptions of masculinity, while the incorporation of masculine traits is much less problematic for women. Men are often unwilling to abandon their traditional role in favor of a new egalitarian role due to societys dichotomization of gender roles, and the differential values associated with these categories discusses the salience of gender status beliefscultural beliefs that deem one sex to be typically superior and considerably more competent than the other. In American society, gender status beliefs create substantial advantages for men over equivalent women. Men often desire to perpetuate these beliefs, so as to also preserve their favorable treatment. Individuals must acknowledge inconsistent or disconfirming information in order to develop an individuated perception of the other that surpasses initial, prescribed categorization. The degree to which one incorporates such information is dependent upon that persons motivations. Consequentially, men are less likely to observe, and more likely to discredit if they do observe, information about other or

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self that may cause gender status beliefs to be questioned and thereby negatively impact their greater rewards. When limited to a dichotomy of gender, anything that is not masculine must therefore be identified as feminine. As such, individual men are unable to establish a new, legitimate form of masculine identity, and must accept the traditional role of provision contends that the positing of masculinity and femininity as polar opposites causes femininity to be seen as the antithesis of masculinity, and compels men to view womens work as demasculinizing. Men also perceive womens work to be a chore that lowers their worth, as the feminine role is less valued than the male role. For these reasons, men are antipathetic not only to womens work, but also to the sphere of womenthe private sphere. And, aside from the nature or value of the work, egalitarianism confers additional responsibilities and demands upon men, thereby causing men to perceive it as an unfavorable alternative. Riley asserts that the egalitarian gender role is understood to be a gender-neutral, rather than a masculine, role. Because of this, men who engage in the egalitarian role are not viewed as men, and often revert to the good provider role in order to assert their masculinity. Furthermore, the construction of egalitarianism as gender-neutral and provision as masculine posits them as noncompetitive alternatives, and allows the simultaneous acceptance of both without the critical questioning of the provider role. Mens lack of support for egalitarian gender roles can further be explained by the culturally framing of manhood as something that must be achieved or accomplished, most often through a successful career or family provision. In contrast, womanhood is perceived as something that is natural. Nurturing is thought to be intrinsic to each womans being. Due to this cultural framework, men feel the necessity to prove their masculinity. Such proof entails the avoidance of departures from the masculine norm and the constraint of feminine attributes. Subscription to or support for egalitarian gender roles may be construed as evidence against a mans masculinity, and is therefore suppressed.Thus, past research suggests that women and men maintain dissimilar viewpoints. In this study, significant differences in the gender role ideology of male and female respondents are anticipated. More specifically, women are predicted to respond to measures of gender role attitudes in a way that is more congruent with egalitarian gender ideology, while men are anticipated to reply in a way that corresponds to traditional views of gender. Finally, in the work force these stereotypes persist, more men become doctors, construction workers, mechanics, pilots, bankers and engineers and more women become secretaries, teachers, nurses, flight attendants, bank tellers and housewives. This can be seen from the statistics, how some labour force areas still are male and female oriented. Traditionally, men are supposed to earn a living to support their families. They are to be aggressive and in charge. Women belong at home cooking, cleaning, and caring for children. They are to be submissive and weak. Gender stereotypes such as these pervade society today. Though they are quite obvious among adults, gender stereotypes do not seem like an issue that adolescents would have to face. This is most definitely not the case. Younger people, in fact, hold stricter to stereotypes than do adults.

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Media Representations of Gender Roles The exaggerated gender stereotyping extends to the portrayal of occupational roles in the televised world. Men are shown pursuing careers often of high status, whereas women are largely confined to domestic roles or employed in low status jobs. For both sexes, these occupational representations neither fit the common vocations of most men nor the heavy involvement of women in the workplace in real life. In the modern computerized workplace, men appear as managers and experts, whereas women appear as clerical workers or as merely attractive attendants in computer work stations. The gender stereotypes are replicated in television commercials as well. Women are usually shown in the home as consumers of advertised products. Men, in contrast, are more likely to be portrayed as authoritative salesmen for the advertised products. Even when men do not appear in commercials, they are often presiding over the depicted scenarios in the voice-overs. When women do make it into the televised sales roles, they generally promote food and beauty care products rather than computers, stocks and bonds or automobiles as do their televised male counterparts. Although there have been some changes so that the gender occupational differentiation is less pronounced, much stereotyping still remains in the occupational roles of men and women portrayed in the televised and print media. In the social domain, some of the flagrant gender stereotypes in televised portrayals have been toned down. However, rather than modeling common capabilities, aspirations and roles by both sexes, women are being portrayed as emulating the more abrasive features of the masculine stereotype. Efforts to close the gender gap in the televised world seem to be taking the form of promoting masculine caricatures. From the early preschool years children watch a great deal of television day in and day out. Considering the media representations of gender in diverse spheres of life, heavy viewers of television are exposed to a vast amount of stereotypic gender role modeling. Not surprisingly, those who have a heavy diet of the televised fare display more stereotypic gender role conceptions than do light viewers.

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GENDER PREJUDICE AND STEREOTYPES

Prejudice Prejudice and discrimination based on ethnicity and gender influence the every day lives of people all over the world. They affect our thinking about other people and ourselves, which in turn may give us different opportunities and different behaviours. Prejudice can be shown as an intergroup phenomenon that inhibits contacts between different social groups. Inter-group contacts and prejudice will also have different effects if the groups are equal in social and economic status or if they are on different levels in a social hierarchy. This is because social hierarchies make discrimination of subordinated groups possible. Hierarchies and prejudice may have various shapes and effects in different cultures but psychologically they share the same underlying mechanisms and they shape our every day reality. Prejudice can be defined as a negative (or positive) attitude against other people based on beliefs about their social category membership. Prejudice is an affective attitude and it can be directed towards any social group or human category. As with other attitudes, prejudice can be thought of as consisting of three components: cognitive, affective and behavioural. The beliefs that make up the cognitive component of prejudice are called stereotypes. Stereotypes are categories of cognitions concerning the members of a particular group. These cognitions are usually simple, often over generalized, and frequently inaccurate. Stereotypes are not simply abstractions about group categories. They can act as cognitive filters through which we select what information to use, what to ignore, and how to interpret it. The cognitive component in prejudice, stereotyping, is a part of the categorization function we need to store and retrieve the multitude of social information we meet every day. Stereotypes mirror the cultural context of the individual but they are also based on personal beliefs. Therefore, a single individual may not share all the common stereotypes of his or her culture, and he or she may even have few personal stereotypes. As an automatic cognitive function, stereotypes work swiftly and partly outside our span of awareness. Fortunately, just having stereotypes does not automatically lead to prejudice, inter-group hostility or discrimination. People seem to be able to control their prejudice when they have strong reasons to do so. Prejudice also varies for a number of reasons, like personal factors, such as gender, personality, and social dominance orientation as well as situational factors. A crucial factor in prejudice appears to be the affective component. Stereotypes do not exist in isolation. They are accompanied by emotions, which are usually expressed in terms that can be distributed along a continuum ranging from the intensely negative to the very positive. Discrimination represents the physical component of prejudice. As society becomes more sensitive to racial issues, many people will resist expressing prejudicial attitudes. In fact, some may go so far as to behave in a manner that implies that they are more tolerant than they really are. This process is known as reverse discrimination.

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Social cognition: When we follow heuristics or mental shortcuts, we sometimes make errors of judgement. These mental shortcuts also play a role in the development of prejudice. Two fallacies that promote the formation of prejudicial stereotypes are the illusory correlation an apparent correlation between two distinctive elements that does not actually exist and out-group homogeneity belief that members of a group to which one does not belong are very similar to one another. Prejudices about individuals or groups are usually developed on the basis of perceived differences of one or more characteristics or traits. These differences may be physical, sexual, racial, national or religious, or may pertain to such particulars as language, accent, social status or age. Once persons have identified themselves as belonging to one group (the in-group) and others as belonging to another group (the out-group), regardless of the original reasons for this social categorization, they will expect to find intergroup differences and will go so far as to create them if necessary. Scapegoat: The tendency for individuals, when frustrated or unhappy, to displace aggression onto groups that are disliked, visible and relatively powerless. Attribution errors: One reason stereotypes are so insidious and persistent is the human tendency to make dispositional attributionsthat is, to leap to the conclusion that a persons behaviour is due to some aspect of his or her personality rather than due to some aspect of the situation. This is known as the fundamental attribution error. Self-esteem: The tendency to perceive ones own group as superior and that of others as inferior may be based on a need to enhance ones own self-esteem. Thus, people who belong to groups that preach racial hatred tend to be those whose own social status is rather low. Frustration/aggression: According to Dollards (1939) frustration-aggression hypothesis, frustration always gives rise to aggression and aggression is always caused by frustration. Frustration (being blocked from achieving a desirable goal) has many sources. Self-fulfilling prophecies: A self-fulfilling prophecy is a stereotype that induces a person to act in a manner consistent with that stereotype. Such a tendency is especially insidious because the behaviour of the person who is the target of the stereotype then tends to confirm the stereotype. Affiliation: Apparently, affiliation and prejudice are two sides of the same coin. That is, along with the tendency to identify with and feel close to members of our own group or clan goes the tendency to be suspicious of others. Groupthink: The tendency for group members, especially elite groups, to assume that the group invariably has the right answer. It occurs when a group seeks a solution to a problem without fully considering all the possible alternatives. Media Attitudes can be influenced by the media through selective or biased reporting in newspapers or by the repetition of stereotypes in television shows.

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Social norms: Social norms are rules that regulate human life, including social conventions, explicit laws and implicit cultural standards. Social learning Role of the parents: Parents have a powerful influence, not only because they play a role in what the child learns from day to day, but because this learning forms the foundation for all subsequent experience. For prejudicial attitudes to be acquired, children must first become racially aware. In the early years ethnic attitudes are based on emotions and needs. The child then moves on to a second stage in which perception is dominant. The third, cognitive, stage is reached by the age of seven or eight. It is at this point that the child learns that members of an ethnic group have psychological as well as physical and behavioural characteristics. Operant conditioning: Most of the reinforcements associated with acquisition of prejudice are likely to be verbal or nonverbal indications of approval, such as the comment those people are dirty followed by a smile and a nod which the child then makes it a part of his or her belief system. Modeling: Not all learning involves the active intervention of a rewarding or punishing agent. Children often copy behaviour they have observed. Models, usually individuals with whom the child identifies, such as parents or teachers, have been shown to be highly effective in teaching attitudes and prejudice. The prejudiced personality: Parents who have authoritarian traits teach their children that status is very important. In this case, prejudice is incorporated into a belief and value system that forms a personality in which the world is perceived in categorical black/white, superior/inferior, us/them terms. Peer groups: Like parents, the members of peer groups are effective in influencing attitudes and behaviour because they offer information, reward conformity and punish nonconformity. Social categorization: Several studies have found that people favour their own group over others. According to social categorization theory, this is because people tend to divide the social world into two categories, us (the in-group) and them (the outgroup). This division is both necessary and sufficient for discrimination. Social Identity: Social identity theory sees group membership as providing individuals with a positive self-image, consisting of personal identity and social identity. The more positive the image of a group to which one belongs, the more positive is ones social identity and hence selfimage. The more favourable social comparisons are with other groups, the higher members selfesteem will be. This results in social competition, since every group is similarly trying to enhance self-esteem. Conformity: Conformity is a frequent part of social life, whether we conform to gain information, or to fit in and be accepted. Again, a relatively innocuous social behaviour,

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conformity, becomes particularly dangerous and debilitating when we enter the realm of prejudice. Many people hold prejudiced attitudes and engage in discriminatory behaviours in order to conform to, or fit in with, the prevailing majority view of their culture. Competition: Most social psychologists believe that competition is an important factor in the development of prejudice. The competition need not be for tangible goods, it can be motivated by a desire for social superiority . Economic Resources: When times are tough and resources are scarce, members of the in-group will feel more threatened by members of the out group, and will therefore show more of an inclination toward prejudice, discrimination and violence toward the latter. Relative deprivation: According to relative deprivation theory, the discrepancy between our expectations (the things we feel entitled to) and actual attainments produces frustration. When attainments fall short of rising expectations, relative deprivation is relatively acute and results in collective unrest and prejudicial attitudes. Realistic conflict: The realistic conflict theory proposes that inter-group conflict arises when interests conflict. When two distinct groups want to achieve the same goal but only one can, increased prejudice and discrimination is produced between them. Cultural Nationalism: In modern history, a movement in which the nation-state is regarded as paramount for the realization of social, economic, and cultural aspirations of a people. Nationalism is characterized principally by a feeling of community among a people, based on common descent, language, and religion. Ethnocentrism: The belief that one's own ethnic group, nation or religion is superior to all others . Discrimination Whereas prejudice is an attitude, discrimination has to do with overt situational behaviour. Social discrimination occurs when someone gets a better or harsher treatment than others because of her or his social group membership. An example of discrimination is the landlord who chooses to ignore applications from people of a certain ethnic group. Social psychologists have usually examined discriminatory behaviour in connection with studies of its psychological background, like stereotypes. This research has often been carried out in social systems where discriminatory behaviour may take place, like the justice system. Discrimination takes different forms depending on the source of the discrimination. It can be institutional, aggregate and individual. Discrimination of social groups can be institutional and societal when the lives of certain groups are surrounded by special laws that limit their lifestyles or

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human rights. In western democracies this is officially not accepted but the legal construction of the societies sometimes leads to effects that create difficulties for social groups who do not fit into the majority norm. This is called an aggregate situation and is not the same phenomenon as discrimination made by individual choice. The human tendency to build and maintain hierarchies among individuals and groups is constantly influencing the life of people in complex societies all over the world. This may be seen as a mere result of group interest or as a social and political phenomenon, evolved from historical reasons or differences in economic status and education. But there are a number of psychological factors involved in the prejudice and status thinking that lies behind the construction and maintenance of social hierarchies. These factors are cognitive, and person-ality-based. A social hierarchy is also a social situation that will either enhance or diminish prejudice and discrimination among the people involved. In this thesis, two central hierarchies are examined the hierarchies of ethnicity and gender. They are universally found all over the world and they are in many ways central for shaping opportunities, behaviours, social life, and personal experiences for both groups and individuals. How do we reduce prejudice? Berry (1986) states that in plural societies there are two important intergroup issues: the strength of the desire to maintain one's cultural distinctiveness, and the strength of the propensity for interethnic contact. There are four possible outcomes: Assimilation occurs when a group surrenders its cultural identity and is absorbed into the larger society (the melting pot concept). groups. In those cases where intergroup contact is unwelcome and cultural integrity is maintained, the outcome will either be segregation or separation. The final possibility, marginalization, results when the traditional culture is lost and there is little contact with the larger society. Sociocultural researchers emphasize the importance of changing peoples circumstances, rather than waiting around for individuals to undergo a moral or psychological conversion. They have identified four conditions that must be met before conflict and prejudice between groups can be overcome: Both sides must have equal legal status, economic opportunities and power. Integration is the result when the group maintains its culture but also interacts with other

The larger cultureauthorities and community institutionsmust endorse egalitarian norms and thereby provide moral support and legitimacy for both sides.

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Both sides must have opportunities to work and socialize together, formally and informally. Both sides must cooperate, working together for a common goal.

Why does enhanced contact reduce prejudice and discrimination? By enhancing or increasing contact between separated or segregated groups, prejudice and discrimination may be reduced for at least four reasons: Increased contact might be effective because it leads people to realize that their attitudes are actually more similar than they assumed. The recognition of similarity between people leads to increased liking and attraction. Increased contact may have benefits through the mere exposure effect, according to which, the more we come into contact with certain stimuli, the more familiar and liked they become. Favourable contact between two groups may lead to an opportunity to disconfirm the negative stereotypes held about them. Increased contact may lead to a reduction in outgroup homogeneity, because the outgroup members lose their strangeness and become more differentiated. As a result, they are seen as a collection of unique individuals rather than interchangeable units Why does enhanced contact reduce prejudice and discrimination? By enhancing or increasing contact between separated or segregated groups, prejudice and discrimination may be reduced for at least four reasons: Increased contact might be effective because it leads people to realize that their attitudes are actually more similar than they assumed. The recognition of similarity between people leads to increased liking and attraction. Increased contact may have benefits through the mere exposure effect, according to which, the more we come into contact with certain stimuli, the more familiar and liked they become. Favourable contact between two groups may lead to an opportunity to disconfirm the negative stereotypes held about them. Increased contact may lead to a reduction in outgroup homogeneity, because the outgroup members lose their strangeness and become more differentiated. As a result, they are seen as a collection of unique individuals rather than interchangeable units Stereotypes What are stereotypes?

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A stereotype is a set of beliefs about the personal attributes of a group of people. Stereotyping is a cognitive activity, related to making, learning, and remembering distinctions between various groups of people. In contrast, people who display prejudice, or a negative attitude toward members of other groups, are engaging in an emotional activity. Finally, discrimination, a behavioral activity, is exhibited in how people treat members of other groups and in the decisions they make about others. We have reason to be concerned about all three of these phenomena. All of us may be targets of stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. In addition, we may engage in stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. In fact stereotypes are representative of a societys collective knowledge of customs, myths, ideas, religions, and sciences. It is within this knowledge that an individual develops a stereotype or a belief about a certain group. Social psychologists feel that the stereotype is one part of an individuals social knowledge. As a result of their knowledge, or lack of knowledge, the stereotype has an effect on their social behaviour. People are very ready to characterise groups of people on the basis of a small number of basic attributes, such as whether they are male or female, young or old, British, American, Singaporean or another nationality. These simplied evaluations of social groups and their members may be positive or negative and they are widely shared. The content of stereotypes often includes such characteristics as physical appearance, personality traits, typical interests and aspirations, and preferred activities and occupations. Some may be based on fact often in exaggerated form although others are unfounded. Because stereotypes are generalisations about the supposed characteristics of groups, they are not necessarily predictive of the characteristics or behaviour of any member of those groups. Stereotypes are often acquired at an early age, before the child has direct knowledge of the target groups to which they refer. They are relatively stable and slow to change and any changes that do occur often reect wider, social, political and economic changes. Stereotypes become more prominent and more hostile when there are social tensions and conict between groups. Stereotypes can be thought of as shared schemas about social groups which guide our processing of information about members of those groups. Stereotypes contribute to cognitive economy they simplify the world around us but may be misleading and can contribute to prejudice and discrimination.Stereotyping is the process by which we assign identical characteristics to any member of a social group, regardless of the actual variation among members of that group. Stereotyping is not an intentional act of abuse but it is important to recognise that stereotypes held about a subordinate or minority group are commonly negative. Stereotyping Processes Geis points out that gender stereotypes enhance perceptions, interpretations, and memories that are consistent with stereotypical attributes and obscure, diffuse, or cause us to disregard or forget information that is inconsistent with them. Much like attitudes, stereotyping influences what is and is not perceived and processed by individuals in their social environments, with a strong tendency to favour stereotype congruent and affirming information. Meta-analytical studies of several research findings reveal strong support for this thesis as well as the selective favouring of memory recall of stereotype confirming information.

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The social cognitive principles which govern such processes of improved recall for stereotype-congruent information are thought to partially explain why gender stereotypes remain persistent throughout time and prove to be remarkably resistant to change. Indeed, much evidence has been gathered to suggest that cultural stereotypes of women and men have not changed significantly since the seventies. The processes which maintain stereotyping and make it resistant to change are multifarious and complex, and while a comprehensive explication of these fall outside the purview of this study, a brief description of them will punctuate several important facets of the social cognitive characteristics of stereotyping. Firstly, societal culture provides individuals with relatively continuous and comprehensive exposure to its stereotypes about various groups beginning at an early age, thus increasing the chances that adults will already have become experts at recognising and utilising gender stereotypes. Additionally, stereotyping allows for efficient, albeit often inaccurate, social information processing. Consequently, there may be little motivation for change, given the benefits of allowing stereotyped thinking to organise ones social world. Another very important maintaining factor is that stereotyping, as a form of social judgement, tends to reify its claims. This well researched dynamic, commonly known as the self-fulfilling prophecy, leads to individuals overestimating the accuracy of their stereotypic judgements and eliciting these judgements in others. What follows is a brief description of this phenomenon. The pervasive presence of stereotypes in especially the media as well as cultural practices and beliefs, combined with the fact that biological gender is a highly visible and salient social category means that gender is constantly primed for individuals within their social milieu. And, as Hilton and von Hippel (1996) note, consistent priming of social categories predispose individuals to perceive, interpret and store novel information in terms of these primed categories. To summate, the salience of gender in social interactions is likely to activate social categorical assumptions, which in turn give way to the interpretation of individual behaviour in terms of these assumptions. These processes have the implication that expected covariation between various stereotyped attributes will be detected in perceived targets, often at an automatic level of consciousness. The next step in this process is the reification of stereotyped expectations of others. As the above mentioned process involves various levels of biased attention, perception and recall, it often follows that these factors will inform actions taken toward members of the relevant gender group, which in turn will elicit a response in the target of the action, which confirms the stereotyped belief of the perceiver. Men are viewed as stereotypically more instrumental than women. Thus if an individual male who may not be strongly instrumental is perceived stereotypically in terms of this trait, it follows that an expectancy will have been created for instrumental behaviour. Not only will what little instrumental behaviour this target displayed be better attended to, but it will also be better remembered. As these factors inform the perceivers actions, it is likely that the perceivers behaviour will be modified accordingly. In this example, the perceiver, expecting instrumental behaviour from the target, may defer decisions or actions requiring assertive risk-taking to the target, who in turn may act on the contextual demands which have now been put in place, especially if the perceiver controls rewards or if the expectancy is made publicly known.

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We're all real people and we can experience the full range of emotions, including happiness and sadness, love and anger. The bottom line is that stereotypes are destructive because they limit our potential! Yet how many guys do we know who try hard to act like the stereotype, without even a second thought? What damage do we do to ourselves and others? Boys are not born to be violent, or to have unhealthy attitudes towards girls. We learn these attitudes and behaviors through the stereotypes of what society thinks it means to "Act Like a Man," and we can free ourselves from the restrictions of these boxes once we see them as unrealistic ideals. Then we can start the process of change. The problem is that we are told that we must perform these roles in order to fit in. It is important for all of us to make our own decisions about what we do. A stereotype rigidly confirms the belief that if you are a girl or a boy, or a woman or a man, you must perform these specific roles, and do them well. This belief takes away our personal choices in determining our own interests and skills. The concepts of acting like a man or being ladylike do not only relate to attitude. There are also physical expectations which are connected with these stereotypes, many of which are unrealistic. When we unconsciously try to live up to the standards of these stereotypes, we can do physical and emotional harm to ourselves. Often, we don't notice this because we tend to mold ourselves to fit these stereotypes as a matter of course. This can be damaging. A boy with a very slight build who wants to be muscle bound is fighting against himself if he tries to change his physique to match that of the stereotypical male. A girl who has an angular nose can fall into the same trap if she listens to her friends and/or relatives who are trying to convince her she needs a nose job. It takes conviction and self assurance to accept oneself despite of the judgements of others. The first step is seeing that aspirations towards stereotypical ideals stem from a weak sense of self. Being accepted by others, as desirable as it may be, is not as important as self acceptance. The activities in this lesson are designed to help students see the harmful effects of accepting gender stereotypes. The stratified gender system that results in material inequality between women and men is buttressed by social definitionsthat is, a set of gender ideology, norms, and stereotypes. These serve to devalue women and support traits and behaviors for men and women that reinforce the gender division of labor and male power. Gender ideologies justify the gender imbalance in power and resources. Gender stereotypes describe the ways in which men and women presumably differ, usually in ways that justify to some extent the gender division of labor. And finally, gender norms specify acceptable behavioral boundaries for women and men, congruent with the gender division of labor and male power. Inculcation of these norms results in negative consequences attached to acts that transgress defined gender boundaries. Those consequences may be in the form of social stigma. Also, Violation of ones gender identity can lead to anxiety and distress. How are stereotypes acquired? Stereotypes can be learned through personal experience with group members. Such stereotypes may be biased because of inaccurate perceptions or undue inuence of extreme instances. For example, because a minority of group members behave in a radical or otherwise immoderate manner, all of the group may be perceived in the same way. The content of stereotypes can be affected by the emotions generated by interaction with members of a group. For example, interacting with someone from an ethnic group other than your own may generate uncertainty, apprehension and

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anxiety these feelings will feed into your stereotype of this group. Also, the behaviour of group members is often inuenced by their social roles but is attributed to the inner characteristics this process is known as correspondence bias. For example, in many societies, the lowest socio-economic group, irrespective of its nationality or ethnicity, is seen as lazy, dirty, ill-educated and so on. These characteristics reect the social role rather than the dispositions of the group members. Stereotypes can also be acquired indirectly through interactions with family or friends and via the media. Many stereotypes are deeply ingrained in the social norms of a culture that is, they reect the generally accepted ways of thinking, feeling or behaviour in a society. This means that as people grow up, they are exposed to derogatory group labels, jokes about particular groups and other simplied over generalisations. They therefore learn the stereotypes which underlie such words and actions and the associated prejudices. The media (television, newsprint, magazines, lm and drama) also reect and reinforce prevalent stereotypes. Stereotypes are frequently formed in situations where not much is known about the target group. So, we have stereotypes about a group of which we are not members (i.e. out-group) not about a group to which we belong (i.e. in-group). One feature of stereotyping is the accentuation effect. This is the process by which categorisation of people (or objects) into different categories results in the accentuation or overestimation of certain perceptual similarities and dissimilarities on the dimensions associated with the categorisation. The accentuation effect involves both an overestimation of perceptual similarities among people in the same category and an overestimation of differences between people from different categories on those dimensions seen to be related to the categorisation i.e. stereotypical dimensions. For example, the classication of people into young and old may lead to an overstatement of the degree to which the young are seen as interesting, noisy and up-to-date and the degree to which the old are seen as boring, quiet and out-of-touch. At the same time, the extent of the differences between the two groups on these stereotypical dimensions will be inated. This exaggeration of stereotypical similarities within groups and differences between groups is one consequence of the process of social categorisation (i.e. the classication of people as members of different social groups). Social categorisation has been shown to play a fundamental role in intergroup behaviour and has led to the development of social identity theory. This theory of intergroup-relations argues that our membership of social groups provides us with a social identity and that we seek a positive social identity by comparing the group to which we belong (in-group) with the group of which we are not members (out-group) (see Chapter 10). Members of the out-group are typically perceived as the same or more homogeneous than is actually the case, while in-group members are seen as more differentiated. This is known as the relative homogeneity effect. One explanation for its occurrence is in terms of the degree of familiarity of the two groups: we are less familiar with the out-group and so are less able to differentiate among the group members. However, the effect also appears to be affected by the majorityminority status of the in-group. There is some evidence that while majorities display the usual out-group homogeneity effect (i.e. they rate the out-group as more homogeneous than the ingroup) minorities do the reverse and display an in-group homogeneity effect.

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The impact of stereotyping Once established, stereotypes are activated by obvious cues (e.g. skin colour), use of group labels (e.g. students), or the presence of a group member, especially as a minority in a social situation or work setting (e.g. the only female at a company meeting). But, some stereotypes are used so often that they come to mind automatically. Stereotypes can lead to snap judgments or quick decisions about group members, especially when we feel under pressure because of time constraints or the complexity of the information we have to process. We are also more likely to rely on stereotypes when we are affected by strong emotions, such as anger or anxiety. Even when we put time and effort into our decisions, we are inuenced by stereotypes. People tend to look for evidence to support their stereotypical views, rather than for evidence that is not consistent with these views. Also, they tend to interpret ambiguous evidence to t the stereotypes they hold we tend to see what we want or expect to see. So, people tend to feel condent that their stereotypes are correct because the information they collect produces apparent consistency and because socially shared stereotypes are seen as validating our views. Stereotypes can also become self-fullling prophecies, by leading people to act in ways that conrm their expectations. For example, when we ask a man about soccer or his job and a woman about fashion or her family we are eliciting stereotype-conrming behaviour. Self-fullling prophecies operate in education, the workplace and social settings.
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Stereotyping can have both psychological and practical consequences. Some of these outcomes are benecial, while others may be harmful. By simplifying our social environment through contributing to cognitive parsimony and the reduction of uncertainty stereotyping can be a valuable aid in processing and interpreting information about the world around us. Gender Stereotypes Gender stereotyping provides social shorthand for classifying people by sex We are presented with a bewildering array of social information. Part of the process of our development as children is to learn how to interpret the world around us. Sex differences are an important part of that world. By learning a gender stereotype, or indeed any other stereotype (ethnicity, race, class, age, employment), one is provided with a social shorthand or sketch that enables some rapid preliminary assessments to be made of each individual encountered. Recognizing someone as male or female allows us to associate the various attributes of gender stereotypes and thereby conditions our immediate behaviour patterns in ways that are socially appropriate for our and their gender. Of course, this process will tend to reinforce the gender stereotype of the society. It does not, however, preclude later reactions to the individual as an individual. If you doubt the importance of social sketching of this sort, consider your reaction on being introduced to someone whose sex and gender are not immediately obvious. How comfortable are you, and how does it affect your behaviour? Or consider how you react when, in a different culture, you nd that the accepted gender stereotypes conict with those of your own culture: for example, men holding hands or kissing in public or women being excluded from public life? Humans are social beings and the rules by which societies function are therefore very important.

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Expectations about what it means to be a man or a woman, which are an integral part of most children's socialization, leave many adults ill prepared to enjoy their sexuality or protect their health. Gender has such a powerful influence on sexual behavior that some experts believe challenging traditional views of masculinity and femininity is essential to promoting sexual health.Gender stereotypes of submissive females and powerful males may restrict access to health information, hinder communication, and encourage risky behavior among women and men in different, but equally dangerous, ways In fact stereotypes are representative of a societys collective knowledge of customs, myths, ideas, religions, and sciences. It is within this knowledge that an individual develops a stereotype or a belief about a certain group. Social psychologists feel that the stereotype is one part of an individuals social knowledge. As a result of their knowledge, or lack of knowledge, the stereotype has an effect on their social behaviour. Stereotypic behaviour can be linked to the way that the stereotype is learned, transmitted, and changed and this is part of the socialization process as well. The culture of an individual influences stereotypes through information that is received from indirect sources such as parents, peers, teachers, political and religious leaders, and the mass media. In order to understand stereotyping, an individual must first be made knowledgeable about the definition of a stereotype. A stereotype is defined as an unvarying form or pattern, specifically a fixed or conventional notion or conception of a person, group, idea, etc, held by a number of people and allows for no individuality or critical judgment. However, social psychologists have a somewhat different approach to defining a stereotype. Social psychologists define a stereotype as being a cognitive structure containing the perceivers knowledge, beliefs, and expectancies about some human social group. Gender expression can also be destructive when roles become stereotypes ... when people start to believe that a whole group of people is alike (or should be). Then, people feel they have to make themselves fit the description, even if it isnt really them ... or they feel they cannot let themselves fit the description, even if it is really them. Suppose a woman really doesnt care for children or enjoy nurturing others, but feels she should be a mother anyway, because her feelings are somehow unnatural ... all women are supposed to like taking care of people. Suppose a guy would really make a wonderful nurse, but he doesnt let himself go into nursing because only women are supposed to enjoy or be good at taking care of others. At its most destructive, trying to be something one is not, or not to be something one is, can lead to unhappiness, depression, or even suicide. A persons subjective sense of maleness or femaleness determines their gender identity, which is the core of ones self identity. Gender-related traits have differed markedly between the sexes and among cultures throughout history. For some people, gender is not an either/or or male/female dichotomy. Stereotyping occurs all the time in society. People stereotype others for many different reasons. Individuals get stereotyped because of their gender. If you are a male, you are to be strong and the breadwinner of the family. Women are to take care of the children and to clean the house. People of different ages get stereotyped. Older adults do not think younger adults could possibly understand what is like to have responsibility. Therefore, younger adults are irresponsible. Younger adults do not think older adults listen or respect them because of their age. Different characteristics that we stereotype are: races, cultures, clothing styles, economic statuses, hair styles, mannerisms/behaviours, languages, jobs, weights, etc. Stereotyping is how we perceive each other,

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especially individuals outside our group. What we believe to be normal is associated with who we are hanging out with. Which are usually our friends and social networks? Obviously males and females are somewhat different creatures. The truth of the matter, however, is that they are not really as different as most perceive them to be (Burn, 1996). By nature, men and women have some biological differences, but it is life experience that reinforces or contradicts those differences. The truth lies in differential socialization, which claims that males and females are taught different appropriate behaviours for their gender. This begins at such an early age that children fully understand how to act according to their gender by age five or six. Language, the mass media, and social norms are only a few factors that influence stereotypes which intern influence social behaviour. An individual may also consider environmental factors, such as living conditions, as another influence to social behaviour. Language provides a basic mechanism by which individuals are categorized into groups, and by which stereotypes are shared with others. (A shared stereotype is simply the same stereotype that is held by more than one person). Language also consists of processes, which involve naming, labelling, and categorizing. The role of language, in reference to stereotypes, leads to a direct focus on the content of the category labels and the stereotypes. Some examples of category labelling are blacks, homosexuals, women, etc. It is these labels and the context that they are used in that determine the reaction an individual may have to a person fitting the category. Their social behaviour may be negative or positive depending on how they interpret the given label. There are many men and women who challenge these gender stereotypes, sometimes out of necessity, sometimes as a conscious choice (men in child-care, women engineers, for example). However, this does not always sit well with sectors of society as these people defy the men and women boxes that have been created by society Gender expression can also be destructive when roles become stereotypes ... when people start to believe that a whole group of people is alike (or should be). Then, people feel they have to make themselves fit the description, even if it isnt really them ... or they feel they cannot let themselves fit the description, even if it is really them. Suppose a woman really doesnt care for children or enjoy nurturing others, but feels she should be a mother anyway, because her feelings are somehow unnatural ... all women are supposed to like taking care of people. Suppose a guy would really make a wonderful nurse, but he doesnt let himself go into nursing because only women are supposed to enjoy or be good at taking care of others. At its most destructive, trying to be something one is not, or not to be something one is, can lead to unhappiness, depression, or even suicide. These and many other factors are responsible for the construction of gender stereotypes, i.e., the set of structured and socially well-accepted beliefs about the particular behaviors and characteristics pertaining to men and women. The childrens perception of these stenotypes leads to a preferential engagement in activities considered to be more compatible to their gender and to a progressive withdrawn from those perceived as non-compatible. There is strong evidence that gender stereotypes are present at the play level. An excellent summary of the gender stereotypes in physical activities may be found in Pomar & Neto: competition, physical contact and interaction games involving strength, resistance and power, with the prevalence of propulsion actions and in larger social groups, with exhaustive use of spaces, are characteristic of the male activities and games. On the other hand, girls privilege aesthetic-related activities, with highly complex and well controlled movements, frequently

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associated with rhythmic activities, with few participants and in smaller spaces. The female gender is characterized by the prevalence of verbal and non-verbal communication, reduced physical contact and little aggressiveness. To illustrate the extremes of the stereotypes, just consider the fact that football, basketball, tree climbing, surf and cups and thieves are predominantly male activities, while hopscotch, rubber band jumping, rhythmic beating and jumping rope are predominantly female. Stereotypic behaviour can be linked to the way that the stereotype is learned, transmitted, and changed and this is part of the socialization process as well. The culture of an individual influences stereotypes through information that is received from indirect sources such as parents, peers, teachers, political and religious leaders, and the mass media (Macrae, Stangor, & Hewstone, 1996). In order to understand stereotyping, an individual must first be made knowledgeable about the definition of a stereotype. A stereotype is defined as an unvarying form or pattern, specifically a fixed or conventional notion or conception of a person, group, idea, etc, held by a number of people and allows for no individuality or critical judgment. However, social psychologists have a somewhat different approach to defining a stereotype. Social psychologists define a stereotype as being a cognitive structure containing the perceivers knowledge, beliefs, and expectancies about some human social group. Stereotyping occurs all the time in society. People stereotype others for many different reasons. Individuals get stereotyped because of their gender. If you are a male, you are to be strong and the breadwinner of the family. Women are to take care of the children and to clean the house. People of different ages get stereotyped. Older adults do not think younger adults could possibly understand what is like to have responsibility. Therefore, younger adults are irresponsible. Younger adults do not think older adults listen or respect them because of their age. Different characteristics that we stereotype are: races, cultures, clothing styles, economic statuses, hair styles, mannerisms/behaviours, languages, jobs, weights, etc. Stereotyping is how we perceive each other, especially individuals outside our group. What we believe to be normal is associated with who we are hanging out with. Which are usually our friends and social networks. Obviously males and females are somewhat different creatures. The truth of the matter, however, is that they are not really as different as most perceive them to be (Burn, 1996). By nature, men and women have some biological differences, but it is life experience that reinforces or contradicts those differences. The truth lies in differential socialization, which claims that males and females are taught different appropriate behaviours for their gender. This begins at such an early age that children fully understand how to act according to their gender by age five or six. Gender stereotypes are related to cognitive processes because we have different expectations for female and male behaviour. Women are encouraged to be good mothers they need, therefore, to first attract a man to depend on; they are expected (by our culture) to be giving, emotional, unstable, weak, and talkative about their problems; they are valued for their looks or charm or smallness but not their strength or brains; they are considered unfeminine ("bad") if they are ambitious, demanding, and tough or rough; they are expected to follow "their man" and give their lives to "their children," and so on. These sorts of observations emphasize how important and subtle gender stereotypes are and how they are applied to children from the moment of birth. Indeed, parents seem quite anxious to

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encourage differences between boys and girls by the types of toys they offer them, the clothes they provide for them, and the activities they encourage and discourage. Rewards and approval are offered when children conform to parental gender stereotypes. These parental gendering activities are particularly marked for the rst 23 years of a childs life. It is precisely over this period that a child develops its own sense of gender identity. By 2 years children label themselves consistently as male or female, and soon thereafter reliably associate certain sorts of behaviour and activities with males and females. They appear to have both a gender identity and a gender stereotype. They also by 5 years of age seem to realize that gender is xed and cannot be changed across time or situation: they have a sense of gender constancy. Indeed, if 36-year-old children are shown a video of another child, their descriptions of its behaviour are very different if told that it is a boy than if told it is a girl. They actually seem to be even more rigidly gender stereotyping than their parents when performing the same task! Since children spend a lot of time with one another, they are likely to reinforce gender stereotypes in each other: peer pressure in action. Children are, of course, cognitive beings. They do not simply absorb subconsciously impressions of the world around them, although that does occur. They see and hear what goes on around them in the household, in the media, at school. They see men and women and what they do and dont do. Models of male and female behaviour are provided all round them. So there may also be a copying element in the development and elaboration of their growing gender identity and the ways in which they express it. However, copying a model implies identication with that model in the rst place and so it is likely that copying is a secondary process that may relate more to the expression of a gender identity than its initial establishment. Thus, a lot of evidence supports the view that gender stereotypes are applied to babies and children very early in life, and that children also use them and apply them to their world from an early age. The childs environment is thus immersed in gender stereotyping. Does this mean that the way in which babies are treated and gender stereotyped causes their own gender to develop? It is entirely plausible to suggest that at least some gendered patterns of behaviour that develop in boys and girls may be induced differentially by the way in which they are treated by others and as a result of the expectations of others. In effect, the gender stereotype of a society may be taught to its children by the way they are treated. If this were so, it might be suggested that ambiguity on the part of parents about the sex of their child could affect the development of gender identity. Cases of transgendering might be associated with a sexually ambiguous childhood: for example, parents treating their son more as a girl, clothing him in dresses and not reinforcing boyish activities in play and sport. The evidence on this suggestion is far from clear. Just because a suggestion is plausible, it does not mean that it is true. What is the evidence? Often we tend to use indifferently those two terms even if there is a great difference between them, particularly in relation to the concept of gender. In fact stereotypes are representative of a societys collective knowledge of customs, myths, ideas, religions, and sciences. It is within this knowledge that an individual develops a stereotype or a belief about a certain group. Social psychologists feel that the stereotype is one part of an individuals social knowledge. As a result of their knowledge, or lack of knowledge, the stereotype has an effect on their social behaviour. Stereotypic behaviour can be linked to the way that the stereotype is learned, transmitted, and changed and this is part of the socialization process as well. The culture of an individual influences stereotypes through information that is received from indirect sources such as parents, peers,

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teachers, political and religious leaders, and the mass media. In order to understand stereotyping, an individual must first be made knowledgeable about the definition of a stereotype. A stereotype is defined as an unvarying form or pattern, specifically a fixed or conventional notion or conception of a person, group, idea, etc, held by a number of people and allows for no individuality or critical judgment. However, social psychologists have a somewhat different approach to defining a stereotype. Social psychologists define a stereotype as being a cognitive structure containing the perceivers knowledge, beliefs, and expectancies about some human social group. These two definitions could highlight the different aspects of stereotyping. Stereotyping occurs all the time in society. People stereotype others for many different reasons. Individuals get stereotyped because of their gender. If you are a male, you are to be strong and the breadwinner of the family. Women are to take care of the children and to clean the house. People of different ages get stereotyped. Older adults do not think younger adults could possibly understand what is like to have responsibility. Therefore, younger adults are irresponsible. Younger adults do not think older adults listen or respect them because of their age. Different characteristics that we stereotype are: races, cultures, clothing styles, economic statuses, hair styles, mannerisms/behaviours, languages, jobs, weights, etc. Stereotyping is how we perceive each other, especially individuals outside our group. What we believe to be normal is associated with who we are hanging out with. Which are usually our friends and social networks. Obviously males and females are somewhat different creatures. The truth of the matter, however, is that they are not really as different as most perceive them to be. By nature, men and women have some biological differences, but it is life experience that reinforces or contradicts those differences. The truth lies in differential socialization, which claims that males and females are taught different appropriate behaviours for their gender. This begins at such an early age that children fully understand how to act according to their gender by age five or six. Basow points out that the majority of research on gender stereotypes has focused on personality traits and utilised self-report measures with the result that the true complexities of these stereotypes have not emerged. A more comprehensive understanding of gender stereotypes reveals that they are often interlinked with other elements of gendered thinking and invoke several different facets of social information. It is important to note that, although the discussion in this section and others focuses on gender stereotypes, the reality of stereotype structure is more complex and diverse. Ample evidence exists to suggest that gender, racial, and physical appearance/attractiveness stereotypes mutually implicate one another and serve to facilitate the maintenance of stereotypical thinking. Gender stereotypes content range further than traditional research has suggested. The following dimensions are often stereotypically viewed as gender discriminant: role expectations (e.g. men are viewed as doers, women as nurturers), occupations (e.g. men tend to be viewed as occupying more important positions), capabilities (e.g. men tend to be viewed as more capable instrumental agents, women as more capable nurturers), emotional expression (e.g. men are seen as less emotionally expressive than women), physical characteristics (e.g. men are considered taller, hardier, and stronger than women), personality traits (e.g. men are viewed as instrumental and nonexpressive, women are viewed as expressive and non-instrumental), and behaviours.

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Although the content of gender stereotypes has altered only minimally in the last thirty years, some evidence suggests that the valence associated with stereotypical conceptions of men and women has changed, with stereotypical male attributes becoming less desirable, and stereotypical female attributes more desirable. The social cognitive principles which govern such processes of improved recall for stereotype-congruent information are thought to partially explain why gender stereotypes remain persistent throughout time and prove to be remarkably resistant to change (Basow, 1992). Indeed, much evidence has been gathered to suggest that cultural stereotypes of women and men have not changed significantly since the seventies. The processes which maintain stereotyping and make it resistant to change are multifarious and complex, and while a comprehensive explication of these fall outside the purview of this study, a brief description of them will punctuate several important facets of the social cognitive characteristics of stereotyping. Firstly, societal culture provides individuals with relatively continuous and comprehensive exposure to its stereotypes about various groups beginning at an early age, thus increasing the chances that adults will already have become experts at recognising and utilising gender stereotypes.Additionally, stereotyping allows for efficient, albeit often inaccurate, social information processing. Consequently, there may be little motivation for change, given the benefits of allowing stereotyped thinking to organise ones social world. Another very important maintaining factor is that stereotyping, as a form of social judgement, tends to reify its claims. This well researched dynamic, commonly known as the self-fulfilling prophecy, leads to individuals overestimating the accuracy of their stereotypic judgements and eliciting these judgements in others. What follows is a brief description of this phenomenon. The pervasive presence of stereotypes in especially the media as well as cultural practices and beliefs , combined with the fact that biological gender is a highly visible and salient social category means that gender is constantly primed for individuals within their social milieu note, consistent priming of social categories predispose individuals to perceive, interpret and store novel information in terms of these primed categories. To summate, the salience of gender in social interactions is likely to activate social categorical assumptions, which in turn give way to the interpretation of individual behaviour in terms of these assumptions. These processes have the implication that expected covariation between various stereotyped attributes will be detected in perceived targets, often at an automatic level of consciousness. Gender stereotypes are ubiquitous aspects of social experiences, and they have been shown to be powerful predictors of peoples attitudes, perceptions, and expectations about others behavior. Investigations of gender stereotypes have consistently found people to associate females with qualities such as emotional, excitable, weak, whiny and people-or socially-oriented, whereas males are associated with qualities such as adventurous, courageous, unemotional, unexcitable, and socially independent. When encountering physical pain or injury, males are tough; females in contrast are expected to be highly distressed and emotional. Even from birth, girls are seen by parents as delicate and fragile whereas boys are seen as hardier and tougher. Children as young as 5 are aware of many of these stereotypes. Do parents reect these stereotypes when they talk about the experiences of their boys versus their girls? Specically, when they narrate about events in which their children got injured, do their narratives about their sons versus their daughters differ in ways that are consistent with gender

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stereotypes? To our knowledge, no research has yet addressed this question; consequently, an exploratory study that begins an examination of this issue is needed. This is the purpose of the present investigation. Current Gender Stereotypes Basow (1992) points out that the majority of research on gender stereotypes has focused on personality traits and utilised self-report measures such as the BSRI, with the result that the true complexities of these stereotypes have not emerged. A more comprehensive understanding of gender stereotypes reveals that they are often interlinked with other elements of gendered thinking and invoke several different facets of social information. It is important to note that, although the discussion in this section and others focuses on gender stereotypes, the reality of stereotype structure is more complex and diverse. Ample evidence exists to suggest that gender, racial, and physical appearance/attractiveness stereotypes mutually implicate one another and serve to facilitate the maintenance of stereotypical thinking. Gender stereotypes content range further than traditional research has suggested. The following dimensions are often stereotypically viewed as gender discriminant: role expectations (e.g. men are viewed as doers, women as nurturers), occupations (e.g. men tend to be viewed as occupying more important positions), capabilities (e.g. men tend to be viewed as more capable instrumental agents, women as more capable nurturers), emotional expression (e.g. men are seen as less emotionally expressive than women), physical characteristics (e.g. men are considered taller, hardier, and stronger than women), personality traits (e.g. men are viewed as instrumental and nonexpressive, women are viewed as expressive and non-instrumental), and behaviours (e.g. men are viewed as behaving in more socially salient and venturesome ways than women. Although the content of gender stereotypes has altered only minimally in the last thirty years, some evidence suggests that the valence associated with stereotypical conceptions of men and women has changed, with stereotypical male attributes becoming less desirable, and stereotypical female attributes more desirable. Social definitions thus play an important role in reducing resistance to gender inequality in favor of men. To the extent that social definitions instill an acceptability of gender gaps in everyday behavior, there is less need to employ overt forms of power to maintain gender hierarchies. Such norms and stereotypes affect not only adults, but perhaps more importantly, also childrens socialization, with children internalizing the boundaries placed on their behavior and the behavioral expectations they learn.Social psychologists feel that the stereotype is one part of an individuals social knowledge. As a result of their knowledge, or lack of knowledge, the stereotype has an effect on their social behavior. Stereotypic behaviour can be linked to the way that the stereotype is learned, transmitted, and changed and this is part of the socialization process as well. The culture of an individual influences stereotypes through information that is received from indirect sources such as parents, peers, teachers, political and religious leaders, and the mass media. In order to understand stereotyping, an individual must first be made knowledgeable about the definition of a stereotype. A stereotype is defined as an unvarying form or pattern, specifically a fixed or conventional notion or conception of a person, group, idea, etc, held by a number of people and allows for no individuality or critical

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judgment. However, social psychologists have a somewhat different approach to defining a stereotype. Social psychologists define a stereotype as being a cognitive structure containing the perceivers knowledge, beliefs, and expectancies about some human social group. Stereotyping occurs all the time in society. People stereotype others for many different reasons. Individuals get stereotyped because of their gender. If you are a male, you are to be strong and the breadwinner of the family. Women are to take care of the children and to clean the house. People of different ages get stereotyped. Older adults do not think younger adults could possibly understand what is like to have responsibility. Therefore, younger adults are irresponsible. Younger adults do not think older adults listen or respect them because of their age. Different characteristics that we stereotype are: races, cultures, clothing styles, economic statuses, hair styles, mannerisms/behaviours, languages, jobs, weights, etc. Stereotyping is how we perceive each other, especially individuals outside our group. What we believe to be normal is associated with who we are hanging out with. Which are usually our friends and social networks. The traditional gender roles help to sustain gender stereotypes, such as that males are supposed to be adventurous, assertive aggressive, independent and task-oriented, whereas females are seen as more sensitive, gentle, dependent, emotional and people-oriented. In the same way, males are expected to major in sciences or economics in college, while women should study arts, languages and humanities. Finally, in the work force these stereotypes persist, more men become doctors, construction workers, mechanics, pilots, bankers and engineers and more women become secretaries, teachers, nurses, flight attendants, bank tellers and housewives. This can be seen from the statistics, how some labour force areas still are male and female oriented. Traditionally, men are supposed to earn a living to support their families. They are to be aggressive and in charge. Women belong at home cooking, cleaning, and caring for children. They are to be submissive and weak. Gender stereotypes such as these pervade society today. Though they are quite obvious among adults, gender stereotypes do not seem like an issue that adolescents would have to face. This is most definitely not the case. Younger people, in fact, hold stricter to stereotypes than do adults. This paper will discuss the formation of gender stereotypes in adolescence,. Overall, socialization does not end with childhood, but rather women and men age within a gender-typed culture that often limits choices by subtly channeling individuals along gendered paths of least resistance Although cohorts share common histories, individuals carve out a life course that is highly individualized The cross-over model of increasing androgyny with age is challenged by changes in social attitudes within cohorts Girls adolescent development is commonly marked by challenges to self-esteem, identity formation and moral development, social development, and occupational choices, which are influenced by expectancies, values, and gendered proximal contexts affected by language, occupational gender ratios, and how jobs are presented Although much research focuses on adults, womens young adulthood in particular is commonly distinguished by family/work decisions Gersons research concludes that situational pushes and pulls, not childhood aspirations, best predict womens family/work outcomes and that homemakers and childfree careerists, unlike

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combiners, share traditional attitudes that do not challenge traditional family/work norms To successfully blend heterosexual marriage with career, women need to anticipate and plan for conflict Although aging is frequently associated with biological decline, richer surveys of mid-life and older women find both pluses and minuses related to aging Successful aging often depends on financial security and strong social networks

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SYNDICATE FOR GENDER MAINSTREAMING

Vision : Our Vision is of a humane and equitable society where gender justice is realized Mission: Our Mission is to restructure gender relations through research, training and development, capacity building and networking & advocacy SGM believe and promote dignity of all human beings irrespective of caste, creed, religion, gender and age through peaceful endeavors. Our focus is on equality and indiscrimination to create a safe and secure society for women and girl child. We work towards optimization of womens access to various economic, social, legal and political resources. We help organize womens collective action through training, and research and development activities. AIMS & OBJECTIVES OF SOCIETY:

To mainstream gender perspectives in planning and development process To eliminate gender based discrimination and violence To promote rights of women and girl children To promote survival and development of girl child

To strengthen the capacity building and empowerment process of women and girl children in all spheres of life

To promote access to health, education, employment and other support services

To develop advocacy and networking with various civil society institutions for gender mainstreaming and

To build capacity of civil society institutions in gender mainstreaming.

FUNCTIONS: For realization of its objective the center will: i. Conduct research and documentation in the field of gender mainstreaming and development. ii. Conduct training on issues relating to gender and empowerment of women and girl child. iii. Take integrated measures to eliminate all forms of discrimination and violence against women iv. Undertake the activities relating to reproductive rights, health and HIV/AIDS. v. Promote education and vocational training among girls. vi. Enhance womens capacity in political participation, governance and decision making. vii. Start self help groups in order to promote economic opportunities and income generating activities for women. viii. Undertake campaign against feticides, trafficking, violence and other forms of exploitation of women. ix. Promote capacity building of peoples institutions with the focus on gender planning and development. x. Print and publish literature relating to gender and development. xi. Do all such other lawful deeds as are conducive or incidental to the attainment of the above objects and to invest and deal with funds and money of the society.

Contact us E-mail: gendermainstream@gmail.com

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