Gendered through Life

How is gender classified?

The classification of gender is determined by creating artificial divisions among humans. Gender is femininity or masculinity, the roles, activities, values and behaviors attributed to and deemed appropriate for women or men. It is culturally determined and assigned according to one’s sex.

Gender is learned through socialization, the continuing process in which children and adults gain knowledge, language, social skills and cultural values, norms and roles from others around them. The picture and examples below show how early this socialization begins.

Ex 1) a baby born with an identifiable penis is described as “tough” because toughness is attributed to and deemed appropriate for boys and men

Ex 2) a baby born an identifiable penis is wrapped in blue swaddling because the color blue is attributed to and deemed appropriate for boys and men

In the above examples, a girl may be either tough or enjoy the color blue. She may also be considered “boyish” for these preferences and attributes. The cultural determination that toughness and blue are for boys and men is both arbitrary and restrictive.

In summary, gender creates an artificial division among humans. We divide and characterize normal human traits as either female or male, but the stereotypical traits of femininity and masculinity are found in both women and men. What we consider feminine is not only found in females and what we consider masculine is not only found in males.


References

http://opentextbc.ca/introductiontosociology/chapter/chapter12-gender-sex-and-sexuality/

Pictures from https://www.google.com/search?q=gender+roles&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAmoVChMIj-22tZGGyQIVSDs-Ch0quwxr&biw=1387&bih=806#imgrc=_

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