Sex and Gender, a Sociological Perspective

Topics: Gender, Transgender, Gender role Pages: 4 (1592 words) Published: March 31, 2011
1.Sociologists reject the idea that behavioural differences between men and women are biologically determined. Outline the key grounds for this rejection and discuss what this means for a sociological understanding of gender. First of all I am going to begin with defining sex and gender. Sex in a sociological perspective is defined as the biological and physiological differences between men and women which are contrasted in terms of reproductive function(Abercrombie et al 2000 :313). On the other hand gender is sociologically conceived as the social roles allocated to men and women in society that is to say gender is learned not innate. However previously it was believed that sex determined gender thus the differences between men and women’s roles and occupations were seen as ‘natural’ .This discourse explained away disparities in power and status via ‘natural’ imperatives. We have however come to learn that society has a huge influence on how people behave due to its expectations. When a baby is born , if it is a girl, the parents and relatives will buy her pink clothes and if it is a girl, they buy him blue clothes. According to society, pink is soft and feminine which is how girls are expected to behave , blue is bold and masculine which is how boys are expected to behave. Gender differences between male and female are based on but are not the same thing as ,biological differences between the sexes. The social learning theory tells us that “children gradually internalise the social norms and expectations which are seen to correspond with their sex”( Giddens 2001 Page 108) Gender is rooted in societies’ beliefs that the sexes are naturally distinct and opposed social beings. (Amott and Matthaeai 1991:13) In England, girls used to be taught how to be ladies, from a very young age. Ladies don’t talk very loudly, ladies do not physically fight and ladies eat in a very mannered way. Boys are then brought up believing that a man does not cry and he has to be...

References: Abercrombie et al,Ammott and Matheiae(Race , Gender and Poverty), Judith Butler(Gender Trouble), Aldous and Sereemongkonpol( Lady boys)
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