Does Gender or Sexuality Affect a Young Person's Transition to Adulthood?

Pages: 7 (2476 words) Published: June 20, 2013
Does gender or sexuality affect a young person’s transition to adulthood? What is the theoretical background for your answer? Illustrate your position with examples.

In this essay there will be a discussion about whether or gender effects the transition to adulthood. There will be a brief definition of gender and transition. There has been great debate over gender but there has been little about masculinity and femininity and the transition to adulthood. It will look at the transitions that gender goes through in relation to that of the past and present day. Then which will be compared if they have changed or continuously stayed the same. There will be theoretical discussion of the psychoanalytic and biosocial theory and how this helps us to understand if gender effects the transitions to adulthood. Being in school and going into the workforce will be examples of how these theories can be applied and explain again if the transitions to adulthood are effect by gender. Then to finished there will be a conclusion.

When we think of gender we normal think of the sex of the person, so whether they are female or male. According to Mackenzie (2001:150) gender “relates to social divisions associated with notions of masculinity and femininity and such divisions vary according to changing contexts”. But is it as simple as this?! Gender is not just determined by whether you are male or female; it is a lot deeper than that as has a variety of aspects. These are gender assignment, gender role, gender identity and gender attribution. To become an adult there is considered to be five core transitions that a young person goes through. These are leaving home, completing school, entering the workforce, marriage and having children. This process is prolonged and varied compared to that of half a century ago. In comparison to then it takes longer for young adults to gain economic and psychological autonomy. According to Berlin et al (2010:20) “ experiences in early adulthood now vary greatly by gender, race, ethnicity and social class.

In industrial society’s most men make the transition to adulthood by be able to go out and work. In comparison to some world cultures who make their transition through rituals. However, the passage form boy to man has become more complicated and hard to determine, which has cause issues which they are not mentally and physically prepared for flood et al(2007:666). Today there is contradiction and problems in relation to what it is to be a man is on the upraise and this is practically noticeable where there has been conflict, for example, in Northern Ireland (ibid). In Northern Ireland there is a tradition for men to live up the masculinity that was presented by other before them which has put pressure of the youths to be just the same. The homicide rates between 1969 to 2001 are a reflection of the phenomena that is associated with the transition of youth into adulthood and violence.

There has been more studies on the gender norms is not new however there is significant difference in the amount of research on female and males. Morgan 1981 argues that ‘taking gender seriously’ means bring men back in. he stresses that if we accept that men is not the norm women the deviation and if we want to fully understand the life experiences and chances of all men and women we need to consider the social construction of both femininity and masculinity and focus our research and women and men experiences”. Marchbank& Letherby( 2007:28) . Although it was not until the 20th century that subcultures were recognised as male due to the youth movement but still masculinity was not studied flood et all (2007:666). It is the belief of feminist that males disempowered women, according to McKinnon that there is system of power in which male dominances that oppresses women. Therefore, masculinity was seen as a problem. (Mackinnon, C. (1993) However Hearn argues that “In particular, it refers to the way in which...

Bibliography: Flood,M, Gardnier ,J Pease,b& Pringle ,K(2007) Encyclopedia of Men and Masculinities. Routledge:oxon
Goodwin, M
Lowu,da (2007 ) human development. Cape town: kagiso tertairy
Mackinnon, C
marchbank,j & Letherby ms g (2007) Introduction to gender: social sciences perspectives. Pearson essex
Jones, P. (2009) Rethinking childhood. London: Continuum
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