Through human culture, we can see how life chances (political theory of the opportunities each individual has to improve his or her quality of life) and the life experiences of a human being are a mere social construction according to their sex, gender identity and role they play in society. This creates inequality between people in society. ‘Sex depends on whether you were born with distinct male or female genitals and a genetic program that released either male or female hormones to stimulate the development of your reproductive system. Gender is your sense of being male or female and your playing masculine and feminine roles in ways defined as appropriate by your culture and society. Gender identity is one’s identification with, or sense of belonging to, a particular sex – biologically, psychologically and socially. And gender roles are widely shared expectations about how males and females are supposed to act’ (Kirkman, Alison 2012, p.354). Knowing this, how does gender affect someone’s life chances and life experiences? Depending on the way individuals present themselves to society!
“Human beings are either male or female, and children learn at an early age to identify themselves as one or the other. At the same time, they also learn to behave in a way that is considered typical of males or females. In short, they learn to adopt a masculine or feminine gender role. When a child is born, the parents, relatives, friends and neighbours first try to find out whether it is a boy or a girl. One look at the baby’s external sex organs normally supplies the answer, and this answer has immediate social consequences” (Haeberle, Erwin J. 1983).
“Adults are more likely to praise baby boys for his strength, in most cultures they are dressed in blue colours, they are presented with different toys and encouraged to play different games. Boys are given different names than girls and their