Images of Gender in the Media

Topics: Gender, Gender studies, Gender role Pages: 3 (1258 words) Published: April 13, 2005
Finding a simple or concrete definition of gender maybe near impossible. Gender roles are what men and woman learn and internalize as the way they are supposed to act. These roles are commonly thought of as natural rather than a construction of culture. Gender is thought to flow from sex, rather then being a matter of what the culture does with sex. This theory is widely and exhaustively debated, according to Wood "Sex is based on biology; Gender is socially and psychologically constructed" (Wood 19). This statement suggests that culture's discourses and ideologies form the complexities of gender and gender roles. It is easy to say that girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice and boy are made of snips and snails and puppy dog tails, but we are actually more intricate then that.

To understand gender, it is necessary to understand the distinction between sex and gender. Sex is defined by the physical body and is characterized by the initial biological structure from birth. The characteristics of each male or female body maybe different but the make ups are the same. Gender on the other hand according to Wood is unstable; it is a category or a means by which we understand the body. The cultures ideologies and discourses surrounding us make sense of the body and determine our gender in multiple ways. It gives us a social, political, symbolic, and economic understanding of our bodies and how they are similar and dissimilar from other bodies. Because culture is a living entity and is always advancing it allows gender roles the ability to change with the culture. The idea of what a woman should be and how and what she can do has changed. Women are now able to do things such as vote and support their own families in our modern culture when in the past it was thought to be inconsistent with the expected behaviors of the gender. Culture also varies greatly from one to another and there for so does the idea of gender throughout the world....
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