Gender Expectations

GenderExpectations

Gender,unlike sex,is a culturalcategorization, aimingto differentiatebetween femininityandmasculinity.Unlike commonbeliefs,genderdoesnot flauntindividuals’sexualorphysicalattributes,butratherbehavioral anddistinctiveperceptionsrelatingto masculinityandfemininity.Thesebehavioral characteristicsare sociallystratified, with thesocietydefiningtheexpectednormsandbehaviorsof eachgender(Andersen&amp Howard 34). Assuch,genderinvolvesbehavingin suchwaysprojectedandperceivedto be thecorrectmodeof behaving of suchgenderby individuals’culturalsetting.Conversely, sexis thenaturallyassignedphysicalgeneticsorbiologicalcharacteristicsof individuals.Unlike genderthat isdualistically classifiedinto masculinityand femininity,sexis categorizedinto three male,femaleandtheUnisex. Despite thedistinctionbetween genderandsex,individuals’sexcategorization is usedto stratifythem into theestablishedgenderclasses,masculineandfeminine(Johnson27). Further,culturalsettingsstratifyrolesbasing them on perceivedgenders,expectingindividualsto actaccordingto thesetnormsof their ascribed gender(Tannen 1).Thispaperexemplifiestheextentto which genderexpectations limitandliberatemenandwomenin thesociety,andoffersrecommendationson appropriatestrategiesthat can be usedto changethesituation.

Societiesare structured around stablepatternsthat determinehowsocialinteractionsare carriedout, includingpeople`sstatusin thesociety.Since birth,thesocietystratifiesthenewborns into statusset,which havedevelopedto beknownas genders(Tannen1). Unlike otherstatusthat are attainedlaterin life,theascribed socialsets,genders,affectallhumanaspects,categorizingrolesandbehaviorsaccordingto individualgender,a processreferredto as socialstratification.Thisleadsto vulnerability of theassumedinferiorgenderto socialstigma,discrimination,andevenprejudice.Genderstratificationstartsat themomentwhenone isbornbeginningwith thesimplequestion,“is ita girlora boy?”(Johnson 35). Through socialstratification,childrenare furthertaughttheir genderrolesandexpectations, which are passedon through culturalpractices.Nearlyallindividualsare fullystratified accordingto their gender,fullyawareof their rolesandexpectations in their adultlife,which theythenpasson to their childrenonce theybecomeparents(Marmom13).

Thesocialstratificationprocessis both automaticandhabitual,wherebythesocietydividesallindividualsinto eitherfemaleormale.Further,through thedivision,malesare expectedto behavein a similarway,andsoare thefemales.However,thecategoriesare expectedto behavedifferentlyfrom eachother.Themalegenderis expectedto assumetheperceivedmanlyroles,responsibilitiesandexpectations, andthewomenthefemaleroles(Andersen&amp Howard 45). Itis theconformityto theseestablishedmanlyandfemalerolesthat categorizesindividualsto eitherfeminine ormacular genders.Assuch,genderis interpretedalong behaviorpattern,involvingtwo inter-related facets,builton acceptanceorrejectionof pre-set culturalpatterns.Itis an externalperceptionthat is developedby individualsandmentionedthrough socialactivitiessuchas socialeducationandinteraction.Theestablishedgenderexpectations playa hugerolein limitingtheroles,responsibilitiesandexpectations of menandwomenin thesociety.Thefemalegenderis limitedto behavein expectedfemalebehavior,andin manysocieties,assumewomenrolessuchas thehouseholdchores(Marmom10). Thefemalegenderis furtherexpectedto searchforemploymentin areasculturally stratified to favorwomen,a factorthat has ledto their discriminationin employment.Evenin developedcountries,thefemininegenderis perceivedweakerthan themalegenderandis discriminatedin jobopportunities(Denmark&amp Michele 79). Itisevidencedthatwomenare likelyto be denieddeservingjobsorevenpromotions,unlike their malecounterparts.Researchattests thatwomenare limitedto juniormanagementpositions,owingto theculturalperceptionthattheyare incapableto lead.On theotherhand,themalesare expectedto be hardyandrelativelycourageousandaggressivecomparedto thefemalegender.Themasculinegenderis perceivedto be courageous,andaggressive,whereasthefemininegenderis perceivedto be submissiveemotionalandempathic. Thisculturalexpectation has ledto their hardening,denyingtheir chancesof emotionalexpressions(Andersen&amp Howard 53).

Atbirth,childrenare blankslates andare writtenthrough interactionwith their environment,suchas theparentsandsocietal members.Evidently,parentsplaya hugerolein genderstratificationprocessby socializing their childrento theculturally setmasculineandfemininerolesandexpectations (Denmark &amp Michele 79). Parentsutilizeconventionalreinforcementssuchas rewardingtheir childrenforbehavingin gender-appropriate behaviors.Conversely, theypunishchildrenforengagingin gender-deviant behaviors,thusbuildingan impenetrablewalldividingtheexpectations androlesof thetwo genders.Through interactions,fathersare likelyto connectwith their sonsmorethan their daughters.Fathersare morelikelyto engagetheir sonsin roughphysicalgamesandgivethem perceivedmanlytoyssuchas carsandguns(Tannen1). Thisplaysa significantrolein cultivatingaggressiveness andcourageamong their sons,which isamplifiedthroughout their lives.On theotherhand,mothers,to a greaterextentengagetheir daughterin fewerphysicalgamesandofferthem toys,which helpin cultivatingfemininedesiredtraitssuchas fairness.Additionally, parentsadmonishtheir children,constantlyremindingthem their genderappropriatebehaviors(Johnson 78).Since thesetraitsandbehaviorsareentrenchedin childrenin their younglives,theystickthrough their adultlife.In thelaterlife,theestablishedgenderrolessignificantly limitbehaviors,rolesandresponsibilitiesof individuals,as theyconformto thepre-set genderroles.Theselimitationsarisefrom thefactthatindividualsfrom eachgenderstriveto particulargender-appropriate behaviors,rolesas wellas responsibilities.Thisdeniesthem thecapacityto choosetheir personalrolesorresponsibilitiesthat are not predeterminedby culture.Italsoleadsto prejudiceanddiscriminations,which furtherlimitthefreewill of menandwomenin thesociety(Denmark&amp Michele 113).

Gender-basedexpectation isevendeeplyentrenchedin socialactivitiessuchas games,as wellas socialsetups,suchas marriages.Boysandgirlsare morelikelyto playwith childrenof similargender,than of theoppositegender,which isthentranslatedinto workplaces andmarriages.In workplaces, womensocialize morewith otherwomenemployees,as itis with men(Tannen1). In marriages,menandwomenassumedifferentrolesandexpectations as definedby their gender.Womenregardtheintimacyandtalksto be importantfabricsof relationshipsandexpectstheir husbandsto be intimateandtalkative,a newerversionof bestfriend(Marmom16). Conversely, boys`bondsare lessintense,based on fewertalksandmorewords.Assuch,menfailto providetherequired‘talk’fabricto their femalecounterparts.Malebonding involvesstruggleto avoidinsubordination(Denmark&amp Michele 79). Thisiscontinuedin marriagewheremalelistenless,leadingto continued complaintsfrom their wives.Somemenfailto listento their wivesleadingandassumethebossy positionascribed by their gender(Tannen1).

Amongthemostappropriatestrategyto challengegender-based limitationsis restructuring thesociety,suchthatitis not stratified into femininityandmasculinity.Thesocietyshould be reorganizedto viewindividualson their ownaccord,ratherthan femalesormales.Additionally, thesocietyshould stopusingindividuals’sexto stratifythem to eitherfeminine ormasculine (Andersen&amp Howard 108). Further,parentsandteachersshould playthevitalroleof edifyingtheequityof menandwomendespite their gender.Theyshould ceasestratifying behaviorsaccordingto individuals’sex,butratherteachappropriatebehaviorstheir children.Theyshould identifyandpromoteappropriatebehaviorsamong their childrenwithout admonishingtheseeming gender-deviant behavior(Denmark&amp Michele 113). Membersof thesociety,includingemployers,should promoteequityamong menandwomentherebyhelpbringdown thegenderstratificationwallthat has significantly limitedrolesandresponsibilitiesof women(Tannen1).

Fromtheaforementioned, genderis a culturalstratification,which divideshumanbeingsinto eithermasculine orfemininegender.Thestratificationisattainedthrough culturalsettings,wherebyparentssocialize their childrento predeterminedgenderappropriatebehaviorsbased on their gender.Themalesare socialized to assumethemasculinegenderrolesandresponsibilities,assumingtraitssuchas courageandaggressiveness. On theotherhand,theladiesare socialized to assumethefemininegender,andwereexpectedto assumetraitssuchas fairness.Thesocialstratificationprocessstartsat birthandissocializedthrough gamesandgiftsissuedto thechildrenas theygrow.Additionally, parentsrewardchildrenforbehavingin gender-appropriate behaviorswhileadmonishinggender-deviant behaviors.Thiscreatesan impenetrablegenderwall,which limitseachgenderto its predeterminedrolesandresponsibility.Thisisfurtheramplifiedin laterlivesthrough discriminationsandprejudiceagainst thepresumedweakgender.Theaptestwayof resolvingtheproblemis campaigningforgenderequityat allsociallevels. Parentsshould elucidatetheir childrenon equitybetween sexesandemployersandothersocietymemberspromotinggenderparityin all their undertakings.

WorksCited

Andersen,Margaret L, and Howard F. Taylor. Sociology:Understanding a Diverse Society.Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, 2008. Print.

Denmark,Florence, and Michele A. Paludi. Psychologyof Women: A Handbook of Issues and Theories.Westport, Conn: Praeger, 2008. Print.

Johnson,Doyle P. ContemporarySociological Theory: An Integrated Multi-Level Approach.New York: Springer, 2008. Print.

Marmom,Leslie Silko`s &quotYellowWoman and the Beauty of the Spirit&quot1986. Retrievedfromhttp://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/engl484jj/SilkoPuebloEcol.pdf

TannenDeborah. Sex, Lies and Conversation Why Is It So Hard for Men andWomen to Talk to Each Other? TheWashington Post, June 24, 1990. Retrievedfrom http://faculty.georgetown.edu/tannend/sexlies.htm

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