Gender Roles

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Gender Roles

March 23, 2013

Lubna Amro

“There is more difference within the sexes than between them.” (Compton-Burnett, 2005, p187). Recently a new light has been shed on gender roles; a gender role is the paradigm of emotions and actions considered normal or abnormal for a person based on his / her gender. Research has shown that biological effects, social effects, and gender identity each play a role in determining the gender roles; However, there is debate on which contributes more to gender roles.

First, in order to determine the importance of biological effects on gender roles, study into biological effects must be executed. Several researchers including Mc Cubblin and Dahl (1985) contend, “Certain behavioral differences are due to male and female hormones” (p191). Granted, studies have shown that men and women have the same hormones but at different levels; however a study conducted by John Money revealed how early exposure of girls to excess male hormones made them enjoy tough games, show exceptional physical activity, and prefer trucks to dolls. In other words, a slight change in the levels of these hormones can cause a dramatic change in behavior. Similarly, Kantrowitz and Kalb (1998) claim that the “Higher levels of Testosterone and the lower levels the neurotransmitter serotonin (which inhibits aggression and impulsivity)” that boys possess explain why more males Commit suicide, become alcoholics, and commit violent crimes, while still under the age of 18. In contrast, Tannen (1990) finds that “ growing up in different worlds” (p211) and not hormonal differences gives rise to gender roles. It is an indisputable fact that there are biological differences between men and women; however, as mentioned by Cubblin and Dahl (1985), controversy arises when these biological differences are linked to differences in behavior between the genders.

Second, study into the social effects must be studied in order to pinpoint the magnitude of...
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