The biological difference between male and female human
The biological difference between male and female human beings is referred to as sex. For one to determine some one else’s sex, it is easy especially when one looks at the physical characteristics of that person whose sex us to be determined. Broad chest, reproductive sex organs and broken voice are some key characteristics that males develop as they grow older and approach maturity. The women have soft voice, large breasts, female reproductive organs and broad hips among others. The human body is made up of genetic components that determines sex.
These genetic components enables an individual to develop the appropriate anatomical characteristics. (http://www. answers. com/topic/sex-determination-system ) Gender is different from sex. It refers to socially acquired behaviors. Every society has its own expectation in which the members should strictly adhere to. These expectations are used to determine on individual’s masculinity or femininity. Gender identity is therefore acquired through interaction between an individual and the other members of the society in which the concerned person belongs. (http://wcentral.
blogspot. com/2005/04/rebuttal-to-friend. html ) It is not possible for an individual to talk about gender and sex without including culture. Culture includes both material as well as non materials that human beings creates. Culture involves beliefs, norms knowledge or any other individual’s capabilities that are acquired socially. It can also be seen as the way of life that people lead as dictated by the immediate environment. It should be noted that no person is born with culture. Culture is simply transmitted from one generation to another in the event of socialization.
Due to the dynamic nature of culture, people need to be adaptive to any form of environmental conditions. (Misra U, 1991, pp. 225) Sociology of sex and gender therefore examines the three concepts, that is, gender, sex and culture. This is because sex is used in many cases to determine gender roles. Gender roles are culturally determined by members of society. Transmission of culture practices form the older society members to the younger generation is also determined by the cultural practices of particular society. Gender and culture are both acquired socially but dictated by sex of the new member of the society.
This paper examines the discipline of sociology of gender and sex, it’s is development, some theoretical perspectives and some important concepts that relate to gender, sex and culture. The issue of gender ad development can be traced back in 1970’s. During this period, the western countries had a clamor for human rights with special attention to women. In North America, women criticized structures of the legal administration that were currently in place because they disfavored them. They demanded freedom to enable them to participate in the economic system.
As a result the WID (Women in Development)n paradigm was developed. The major aim of this paradigm was to fight against women discrimination in all production sectors. They expressed their dissatisfaction on trickling down of benefits that favored men and disadvantaged women. This paradigm however did not consider racial and cultural differences among the different societies and as a result it did not achieve much. This gave way to WAD (Women And Development). This was mainly concerned with ensuring equity in international structures. Following its failure in 1980’s, GAD (Gender And Development) was put in place.
It mainly focused on gender and social relations. According to this paradigm men were perceived to be women’s potential supporters and vice versa. Female solidarity was highly emphasized and sensitive men were welcomed. Women were seen as change agents. It also emphasized development for all. According to this paradigm, every person has a right to opportunity equity. Human beings must be empowered to utilize their full human potentials in order to benefit fully from the available resources. ( http://www. peak. sfu. ca/the-peak/97-2/issue13/femfeat. html ) Gender theories highly relate sex, gender and culture.
In the social learning theory, gender is just like all behaviors since it is learned. The theory indicates the importance of rewards, reinforcements as well as punishments. Sex however comes in when a baby boy receives rewards simply because of behaving “boyishly”. He is also punished when he behaves in a “girlish” way. A girl is also expected to behave in a girlish way. This indicates that every child is expected to imitate the older people of it’s sex. It should however be noted that what a man or a woman should do is determined by cultural practices of the society.
Culture is therefore an important aspect in this theory. (http://www. trinity. edu/~Mkearl/gender. html ) According to cognitive theory, gender disparity emerges as a result of categorization process. Sex characteristics directs boys to categorize themselves as masculine while girls categorize themselves as feminine. The issue of sex is in this case merged with gender. After categorizing themselves according to their specific gender , they make a step further to organize all their experiences to match with societal expectations and cultural practices surrounding their respective gender. (http://users. ecs.
soton. ac. uk/harnad/Papers/Py104/anderson. every. html ) According to the psycho dynamic theory, S. Freud brings in the idea that emotional struggles leads to gender differentials. Such struggles take place between an infant and those who take care of it in its early years of life. Boys will experience a conflict between loving their mothers and fearing their fathers and vice versa. Such a conflict must be solved in the most successful way ever because it may be carried forward to the future and possibly lead to a big problem in a family. Gender inequality has been a major concern in gender relations.
This inequality has been favoring men. In most cases women don’t access quality education. Those who are lucky enough to join a learning education face so many challenges that they end up under performing. Gender discrimination is also seen in traditional customs, legal frame works and promotion procedures which are unfair. Few women in educational institutions results to limited employment opportunities for women. This is highly reflected in jobs, earnings as well as formal labor dominated by men. Cultural norms and value prevent women from owning property in most societies.
Some societies even deny women from engaging in income generating activities. This results to poverty which is legally induced which arises from legally legitimizing those privileges that unduly impoverish women. Some cultures even support wife battering and ignore men who are victims of gender violence. Culture plays a major role in social stereotyping. These are just descriptions of people which are oversimplified. They can also be seen as any expectations that are culturally defined and the respective behaviors that males as well as females must stick to. In all social institutions gender roles plays a key role.
Majority of the societies highly believe in patriarchal society and this is reflected in political institutions and families. Male dominance is taken to be a normal issue. All world religions are also patriarchal in nature. Such religions believes in male gods at their cosmological center. Economically women are also disadvantaged. They are only given lower salaries and lower job status. Sociology of gender and sex must therefore be encouraged to ensure that equity and equality is achieved in all social institutions. Both sexes should be considered without ignoring any particular group.
According to Butler in her book entitled, “Gender trouble” (1990), it is not fair to deny people the chance to choose whether to identify with feminine or masculine gender. She criticized feminism and blamed it for creating a major disparity in human race by forming two distinct groups. These groups comprise of men and women. These groups affect gender relations by disadvantaging women in many ways. (B. Judith, 1990, pp. 87-92) Works cited Butler J, Salih S, The Judith butler reader(1990), Blackwell publishing Gender and society: a matter of nature or nurture, Retrieved from http://www. trinity. edu/~Mkearl/gender.
html on 28th march, 2008 Sex determination, Retrieved from http://www. answers. com/topic/sex-determination-system on 25th April, 2008 Misra U, Nation building and development in North East India, India, Dibrugarh University, 1991 Shiraz Ramji, many faces of women in development, retrieved from http://www. peak. sfu. ca/the-peak/97-2/issue13/femfeat. html on 25th April, 2008 Social Learning Theory retrieved from http://teachnet. edb. utexas. edu/~lynda_abbott/Social. html on 25th April, 2008 cognitive theory of every day life, Retrieved from http://users. ecs. soton. ac. uk/harnad/Papers/Py104/anderson. every. htmlSample Essay of Custom-Writing