Gender and Communication
When we think of gender, we often think of male or female; that's only half of understanding gender. The denotations of male and female actually refer to biological and physiological sex. Gender is a sociological construct of values, ideals, and behaviors about what it means to be either male or female, and are often regarded in terms of masculine or feminine, respectively. Many people use sex and gender interchangeably, but one does not have to be male to identify as masculine, and vice versa. we have both a biological, physical characteristic;sex with a superimposed cultural construct gender. The same applies to both race and culture, respectively. Race refers to groups of people who are distinguished by shared physical characteristics, such as skin color and hair type. Culture refers to the customs, habits, and value systems of groups of people. People of the same race may not share the same culture; similarly, a culture isn't necessarily comprised of people of the same race. Women and men communicate most effectively when they understand the “invisible rules” unique to each gender. Research presented by Dr. Pat Heim in her video, “The Invisible Rules: Men, Women and Teams,” indicates that each gender is a “culture” in itself, raised with invisible rules of conduct instinctively known to all adult members of that gender. Therefore, men and women behave according to two separate sets of rules about what “right” is. I. Consequently, behavior that seems natural and appropriate to one gender culture can seem baffling, hurtful or wrong to others. When we work with someone of the opposite gender and he or she does something that seems a bit strange, we often become intolerant and defensive. We do not realize that men and women come from different cultures, even if they are raised in the same homes, educated in the same schools and live in the same country. II. The two gender cultures are different in many ways....
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