Research Paper of Gender and Identification

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  • Topic: Gender, Gender role, Gender identity
  • Pages : 8 (2731 words )
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  • Published : April 11, 2013
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How Gender Socialization Shapes Gender and Sexuality, the Consequences LGBT Adolescents Face in Schools and Mitigation Solutions
Joseph Gulino
Monmouth University

Gender socialization begins at birth and is the process of learning cultural roles according to one’s biological sex (Unicef, 2009). Boys and girls are treated differently by members of their environment and learn gender expectations (Unicef, 2009). The socialization begins with a child’s parents when boys are taught to be assertive and strong, girls are taught to be accommodating and lady-like (Unicef, 2009). Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals receive unequal treatment from families and their peers. Many actions must be implemented in schools creating safer lifestyles for the minority youth and their mental health. This article covers the gender socialization of children and prospective adults, analyses adolescent sexuality & mental heath and looks at measures of increasing the socio-acceptance of LGBT individuals. The focus of this paper is to define how gender socialization shapes both gender and sexual identities; the consequences LGBT adolescents face in school and how we can mitigate these problems.

Harold Garfinkle (1917-2011) coined the theoretical perspective of ethnomethodology based on three core assumptions. First, all people are epistemologists, people create knowledge and meaning in their everyday lives, and therefore we find subjectively in human affairs. This basically means that knowledge and meaning is derived and intuitively understood through socially constructed lessons. Second, language provides meaning to objects and social conditions; therefore discriminatory language against people is socially constructed symbols that have meaning only to the defendant. Lastly, objects have an indeterminate quality, because we get to determine what they’re used for. Furthermore, objects have many purposes, an individual should use that object in the means he feels most comfortable such as your mind and body. Ethnomethodology is based on the belief that you can discover the normal social order of a society by disrupting it(Garfinkel, 1967)

Fixed Roles and Situated Actions by Murray Webster Jr. and Lisa Rashotte explain how two visions have shaped research and theory on gender socialization. The first vision is considered the older of the two theories describing how the family bases gender with the roles of functionality with the father being an instrumental leader(Webster, 2009). Instrumental activity entails giving orders, evaluating performance and exerting influence(Webster, 2009). On the contrary, the mother focuses on social-emotional activity; expressing feelings, nurturing, helping others manage feelings and keeping up with family traditions(Webster, 2009). Each role either instrumental or expressive roles are equally valuable and rewarded, both involving their own capabilities within the family(Webster, 2009). When socializing a child within the nuclear family using the functional role system, the offspring must learn either the instrumental or expressive role(Webster, 2009). Parents and relatives are responsible for identifying a child using gender appropriate belongings and reinforcing behaviors that conform to society’s norms(Webster, 2009). Since socialization has been practiced repetitively, roles have managed to become over-learned and individuals struggle to display the opposite of their own role(Webster, 2009). Hence, the reason for unharmonious communication styles due to the narrow scoped minds of opposite genders(Webster, 2009). If society were to change gender-role norms regarding male instrumental leading and female expressiveness, it would require the change immediately from birth and would need to involve all children to change society(Webster, 2009). Gender-roles are entangled deep within our social structures and highly resistant to change(Webster, 2009). If...
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