Question: How do you define gender?

What is the real definition of gender?

Gender is defined as the socially constructed roles and behaviors that a society typically associates with males and females. ... Ones identity as female or male or as neither entirely female nor entirely male.

How do you explain gender?

Gender is used to describe the characteristics of women and men that are socially constructed, while sex refers to those that are biologically determined. People are born female or male, but learn to be girls and boys who grow into women and men.

What is gender in simple words?

Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, expressions and identities of girls, women, boys, men, and gender diverse people. It influences how people perceive themselves and each other, how they act and interact, and the distribution of power and resources in society.

What gender is a boy?

Men determine the sex of a baby depending on whether their sperm is carrying an X or Y chromosome. An X chromosome combines with the mothers X chromosome to make a baby girl (XX) and a Y chromosome will combine with the mothers to make a boy (XY).

What is gender and its importance?

Introduction. Gender is an important consideration in development. It is a way of looking at how social norms and power structures impact on the lives and opportunities available to different groups of men and women. Globally, more women than men live in poverty.

What is it called when a girl dressed like a boy?

Transvestism is the practice of dressing in a manner traditionally associated with the opposite sex.

What is common gender?

noun. in English, a noun that is the same whether it is referring to either gender, such as cat, people, spouse. in some languages, such as Latin, a noun that may be masculine or feminine, but not neuter.

What do u call a female doctor?

doctoress, lady doctor, woman doctor, female doctor.

The gendered social order is based on and maintains these differences. Gender is a social institution as encompassing as the four main institutions of traditional sociology—family, economy,and symbolic language. Like these institutions, gender structures social life, patterns social roles, and provides individuals with identities and values.

And just as the institutions of How do you define gender?, economy, religion, and language are intertwined and affect each other reciprocally, as a social institution, gender pervades kinship and family life, work roles andthe rules of most religions, and the symbolism and meanings of language and other cultural representations of human life. The outcome is a gendered social order.

The source of gendered social orders lies in the evolution of human societies and their diversity in history. The gendered division of work has shifted with changing means of producing food and other goods, which in turn modifies patterns of child care and family structures. Gendered power imbalances, which are usually based on the ability to amass and distribute material resources, change with rules about property ownership and inheritance. As an underlying principle of how people are categorized and valued, gender is differently constructed throughout the world and has been throughout history.

In societies with other major social How do you define gender?, such as race, ethnicity, religion, and social class, gender is intricately intertwined with these other statuses. As pervasive as gender is, it is important to remember that it is constructed and maintained through daily interaction and therefore can be resisted, reformed, and even rebelled against. The social construction perspective argues that people create their social realities and identities, including their gender, through their actions with others—their families, friends, colleagues.

These social restraints are amenable to change—but not easily. Gender is deeply rooted in every aspect of social life and social organization in Western-influenced societies. Not all societies base gender categories on male and female bodies— Native Americans, for example, have biological males whose gender status is that of women.

Some African societies have females with the gender status of sons or husbands. Others use age categories as organizing principles, not gender statuses. Even in Western societies, where there are only two genders, we can think about restructuring families and workplaces so they are not as rigidly gendered as they are today.

Why Gender and Not Sex Gender was first conceptualized as distinct from sex in order to highlight the social and cultural processes that constructed different social roles for females and males and that prescribed sex-appropriate behavior, demeanor, personality characteristics, and dress. More recently, gender has been conceptually separated from sex and also from sexuality. Each is socially constructed but in different ways.

Gender is an overarching category—a major social status that organizes almost all areas of social life. Therefore bodies and sexuality are gendered—biology and sexuality, in contrast, do not add up to gender.

Conceptually separating sex and gender makes it easier How do you define gender? explain how female and male bodies are socially constructed to be feminine and masculine through sports and in popular culture. In medicine, separating sex from gender helps to pinpoint how much of the differences in longevity and propensity to different illnesses is due to biology and how much to socially induced behavior, such as alcohol and drug abuse, which is higher among men than women.

The outcome is a greater number of recorded illnesses but longer life expectancy for women of all races, ethnicities, and social classes when compared to men with the same social characteristics.

How do you define gender?

Socially, however, gendering begins How do you define gender? soon as the sex of the fetus is identified. At birth, infants are How do you define gender? in one of two sex categories, based on the appearance of the genitalia. Borrowing from Freudian psychoanalytic theory, Nancy Chodorow developed an influential argument How do you define gender?

the gendering of personalities in the two-parent, heterogendered nuclear family. Because women are the primary parents, infants bond with them. Boys have to separate from their mothers and identify with their fathers in order to establish their masculinity. They thus develop strong ego boundaries and a capacity for the independent action, objectivity, and rational thinking so valued in Western culture. Women are a threat to their independence and masculine sexuality because they remind men of their dependence on their mothers.

However, men need women for the emotional sustenance and intimacy they rarely give each other. Their ambivalence toward women comes out in heterosexual love-hate relationships and in misogynistic depictions of women in popular culture and in novels, plays, and operas.

Girls continue to identify with their mothers, and so they grow up with fluid ego boundaries that make them sensitive, empathic, and emotional. But because the men in their lives have developed personalities that make them emotionally guarded, women want to have children to bond with. Thus, psychological gendering of children is continually reproduced.

To develop nurturing capabilities in men and to break the cycle of the reproduction of gendered personality structures would, according to this theory, take fully shared parenting. There is little How do you define gender? on whether the same psychic processes produce similarly gendered personalities in single-parent families, in households where both parents are the same gender, or in differently structured families in non-Western cultures.

Children are also gendered at school, in the classroom, where boys and girls are often treated differently by teachers. Boys are encouraged to develop their math abilities and interests; girls are How do you define gender? toward the humanities and social sciences. The result is that women students in the United States outnumber men students in college, but only in the liberal arts; in science programs, men still outnumber women.

Men also predominate in enrollment in the elite colleges, which prepare for high-level careers in finance, the professions, and government. This data on gender imbalance, however, when broken down by race, ethnicity, and social class, How do you define gender? more complex. In the United States, upper- and middle-class boys are pushed ahead of girls in school and do better on standardized tests, although girls of all social statuses get better grades than boys.

In the context of an unresponsive educational structure, discouraged teachers, and crowded, poorly maintained school buildings, the pedagogical needs of marginal students do not get enough attention; they are also much more likely to be treated as discipline problems. On playgrounds, girls and boys divide up into separate groups whose borders are defended against opposite-gender intruders. Within the group, girls tend to be more cooperative and play people-based games.

Boys tend to play rule-based games that are competitive. The workplaces in industrialized societies are either gender-segregated or composed of all one gender. During the 1970s and 1980s, decades in which women were thought to have made inroads into many occupations previously dominated by men in the United States, about 6 percent of occupations saw an increase of women workers that was significantly greater than the increase of women overall in the paid labor force during that period.

Rather than desegregating occupations, most of the new women workers went into occupations where most of the employees were women, and those who went into occupations where the employees were predominantly men soon found that their coworkers became predominantly women.

When women and men work in nontraditional occupations, gender typing is often maintained symbolically, as when policewomen view their work as social work and men nurses emphasize the technical and physical strength aspects of what they do. The processes that sort women and men of different racial and ethnic groups into different types of work include a matching of ranked workers and jobs, or queues of workers and jobs.

Workers are ranked by employers from their first picks to their last. Jobs are ranked by workers similarly. Lower-ranked workers get the chance to move into better jobs than they have held in the past when these jobs are abandoned by favored workers or there are too few of these workers to go around, such as in wartime.

The process works the other way, too; when there are too few of the best jobs for the preferred workers, as in a recession, only the best qualified or experienced among them will be hired; those with fewer credentials and less seniority move down the queue, bumping out lower-ranked workers. When workers are moving up, the most preferred on the basis of race, ethnicity, and gender usually get the better jobs.

Workers rank jobs on the basis of payoff for and experience in salaries and also in fringe benefits, prestige, autonomy, security, and chances of promotion.

For some workers, having any job may be an improvement over economic dependency. Some will rank gender and race above qualifications; others will choose the most highly qualified of the preferred race and gender and then go down the line, looking for the most qualified each time. Another variable employers factor in is the going pay scale for the workers they want; they may have to settle for less preferred workers to see more of a profit or sacrifice some profits to avoid protests from highly paid entrenched workers.

Although worker demographics, industry growth, and employer preferences produce changes in occupational gender composition, the main factor that redistributes workers of different races and genders is change in the structure of the work process and in the quality of particular jobs within occupations, which can be manipulated by employers.

That is, jobs can be automated and deskilled or made part time or home based to justify reducing labor costs, with a few better-paid workers retained in supervisory positions. During shifts of labor queues up and down the job ladder, the potential for conflict between women and men as well as between members of dominant and subordinated racial and ethnic groups is How do you define gender?.

Gender segregation of jobs is historically the way employers have kept their men workers satisfied, while expanding the number of cheaper women workers. Such job divisions undercut unions that want to organize women and demand the same pay for them as similarly situated men workers. In a growing or stable job market, dominant men are much less resistant to incoming new types of workers, since they do not see them as competition.

In those cases, the job may come closer to being integrated along lines of gender and race. Occupational gender segregation does not result in separate but equal jobs. Workers themselves rate jobs where most of the employees are women as inferior to jobs where most of the employees are men. The criteria are number and flexibility of hours, earnings, educational requirements, on-the-job training, having a union contract, extent of supervision and place in the hierarchy, repetitiveness, risk of job loss, and being a government employee.

Sex vs. Gender: What’s the Difference? Definition, Characteristics, More

Nor is there a trade-off of pay for compatibility with child care—most full-time jobs held by mothers are incompatible with parenting demands; flexibility of schedules and control and timing of work-related tasks are the prerogatives of men managers, not their women secretaries.

Women workers are felt to be entitled only to supplementary wages, whether they are married or single, because they are not considered legitimate workers but primarily wives and mothers.

In actuality, research has shown that married women with children work harder and are more productive than married men with children. By the 1970s in the United States, adolescent girls were considerably less likely than in previous years to plan on entering an occupation in which most of the workers were women, especially if they lived in a woman-headed household. But they continued to value working with people, helping others, using their abilities, and being creative; boys wanted jobs with status, high earnings, freedom from supervision, and leadership potential.

The jobs women are likely to end up in are more gender typed and less fulfilling than their occupational aspirations, but ambitious and hard-working men can often reach their early goals.

Women of all educational levels and men disadvantaged because of race, immigrant status, lack of education, or outmoded job skills are profitable workers because they tend to receive low wages; they also get promoted less frequently and therefore receive fewer raises. Many work part time and get no benefits. They can be paid little because the pool of such workers is larger that of privileged men workers. The size and social characteristics of the pool of low-waged workers are affected by state policies encouraging or discouraging the employment of women, the influx of immigrants, and the flight of capital from one area of a country to another or offshore.

Other processes that segregate and stratify occupations are segmentation and ghettoization. Segmented occupations are horizontally or vertically divided into sectors with different educational or credential requirements for hiring, different promotion ladders, different work assignments, and different pay scales.

Typically, these segments are gendered and frequently also exhibit racial and ethnic clustering. However, occupations in which almost all the workers are of one gender can also be segmented.

For instance, in the United States, doctors and nurses are gender-segregated segments in hospitals. Physicians are segmented between those in primary care and those who are hospital-based specialists, who have more prestige and power and higher incomes.

Women physicians are often found How do you define gender? primary care. Men who go into nursing tend to specialize in the more lucrative specializations and become administrators. The assumption is that the skills, competence, strength, and other qualities needed to do a job are tied up with masculinity and femininity, but gendered identities as workers are constructed in the gendered organization of the workplace and reinforced in training and organizational sociability, such as company golf games and sports teams.

Within gender-typed occupations, jobs or specialties may be gender typed in the opposite direction. For example, the majority of physicians are men in How do you define gender? United States and women in Russia, but the same specialties are seen as appropriate for one gender—pediatrics for women and neurosurgery for men. In both countries, neurosurgery pays better and has more prestige than pediatrics. Both structural segmentation How do you define gender?

gender typing that puts some jobs into a low-wage ghetto have the same results. They limit the extent of competition for the better positions, make it easier for privileged workers to justify their advantageous salary scales, and create a group of workers whose lack of credentials or requisite skills legitimate their lower pay. In addition, femaleness and maleness are stereotypically linked to certain capabilities, such as finger dexterity and physical strength; gender then becomes the discriminant criterion for hiring, not what potential employees can actually do with their hands, backs, and heads.

Promotion ladders are also gender segregated. Women and men who are not of the dominant racial or ethnic group tend not to rise to the top in their work organization, unless practically all the workers are women or men of the same racial or ethnic group. White men tend to dominate positions of authority whether or not they are numerically predominant. In occupations where the majority of the workers are women, positions of authority tend to be held by How do you define gender? school teachers are predominantly women in the United States, but principals and superintendents are predominantly men.

This parallel phenomenon has been dubbed the glass escalator. These pervasive patterns of occupational segregation and stratification are the result of deliberate actions and also inaction on the part How do you define gender?

governments, owners and managers, and organized groups of workers—and change has to come from the same sources. Since gender segregation involves occupations and professions, job titles, and specific work sites, integration has to involve more than simply increasing How do you define gender?

numbers of women. True occupational gender equality would mean that women and men would have the same opportunities to obtain professional credentials and occupational training, and would be distributed in the same proportions as they are in the paid work force across workplaces, job titles, occupations, and hierarchical positions.

Instead, in most industrialized countries, women are overrepresented in clerical and service jobs, low-prestige professional and technical work, and sales.

In developing countries, and in areas of industrialized countries where there are concentrations of poor people and recent immigrants, women tend to be concentrated in labor-intensive factory work, agriculture, and the informal off-the-books economy.

This gendered organization of paid labor dovetails with the gendered organization of domestic labor. Low pay, uninteresting jobs, and the glass ceiling encourage single women to marry and married women to devote energy and attention to child rearing and domestic work. The job market encourages women to be a reserve army of labor— available for full-time work in times of scarce labor, but fired or put on part-time schedules How do you define gender?

there is less work.

How do you define gender?

Better job opportunities are offered to men of the dominant racial and ethnic groups to encourage them to give their all to the job. This pool of paid domestic labor historically is made up of the least advantaged women—native poor and recent immigrants of a variety of racial and ethnic groups. Gender Inequality Gender inequality takes many different forms, depending on the economic structure and social organization of How do you define gender?

particular society and on the culture of any particular group within that society. Although we speak of gender inequality, it is usually women who are disadvantaged when compared to similarly situated men. In the job market, women often receive lower pay for the same or comparable work and are frequently blocked in their How do you define gender?

for advancement, especially to top positions. There is usually an imbalance in the amount of housework and child care a wife does compared to her husband, even when both spend the same amount of time in waged work outside the home.

When women professionals are matched with men of comparable productiveness, men get greater recognition for their work and move up career ladders faster. On an overall basis, work most often done by women, such as teaching small children and nursing, is paid less than work most often done by men, such as computer programming and engineering.

Gender inequality also takes the form of girls getting less education than boys of the same social class. It often means an unequal distribution How do you define gender?

health care services between women and men, and research How do you define gender? that focus on diseases men are more likely to get than women. Gender inequality takes even more oppressive and exploitative forms.

Throughout the world, women are vulnerable to beatings, rape, and murder—often by their husbands or boyfriends, and especially when they try to leave an abusive relationship. The bodies of girls and women are used in sex work—pornography and prostitution. They undergo cosmetic surgery and are on display in movies, television, and advertising in Western cultures. In other cultures, their genitals are mutilated and their bodies are covered from head to toe in the name of chastity.

They may be forced to bear children they do not want or have abortions or be sterilized against their will. In countries with overpopulation, infant girls are much more often abandoned in orphanages than infant boys. In cultural groups that value boys over girls, if the sex of the fetus can be determined, it is girls who are aborted.

Gender inequality can also disadvantage men. In many countries, only men serve in the armed forces, and in most countries, only men are sent into direct combat.

It is mostly men who do the more dangerous work, such as firefighting and policing. Although women have fought in wars and are entering police forces and fire departments, the gender arrangements of most societies assume that women will do the work of bearing and caring for children, while men do the work of protecting them and supporting them economically. Most women in industrial and postindustrial societies do not spend their lives having and caring for babies, and most women throughout the world do paid and unpaid work to supply their families with food, clothing, and shelter, even while they are taking care of children.

The modern forms of gender inequality are not a complementary exchange of responsibilities, but a social system within which women are exploitable.

The major social and cultural institutions support this system of gender inequality. Religions legitimate the social arrangements that produce it, justifying them as right and proper.

Laws support the status quo and also often make it impossible to redress the outcomes—to prosecute husbands for beating their wives, or boyfriends for raping their girlfriends. Much scientific research assumes that differences between women and men are genetic or hormonal and looks for How do you define gender? to support these beliefs, ignoring findings that show gender overlaps or input from the social environment. In the social sciences, gender is entered into research designs only as a binary, erasing the effects of racial, social class, and ethnic variations.

Except for the Scandinavian countries, which have the greatest participation of women in government and the most gender-equal laws and state policies, most governments are run by socially dominant men, and their policies reflect their interests. Equality and justice for all usually means for men only. Women have never had their revolution because the structure of gender as a social institution has How do you define gender? been seriously challenged. Gender inequality is deeply ingrained in the structure of Western, industrialized societies.

It is built into the organization of marriage and families, work and the economy, politics, religion, sports, the arts and other cultural productions, and the very language we speak. Making women and men equal, therefore, necessitates social, not individual, solutions. Changing Gender Changing a gendered society entails structural and institutional change. Attitudes and values must change, too, but these are often altered when social policies and practices shift.

Which changes have occurred since the beginning of the feminist movement of the early 1970s and which have not? What kind of programs target institutions and social structures? What is still needed for gender equality? Affirmative action and comparable worth pay scales were two efforts to effect structural change— one to desegregate occupations and the other to distribute economic rewards for work on a gender-neutral basis.

Affirmative action hiring women in occupations dominated by men and men for work usually done by women was widely implemented in the United States and did desegregate some occupations, but without continuous effort, gender segregation reestablishes itself as jobs and work organizations change.

Another effort to establish gender-neutral work policies was comparable worth pay scales—assessing the characteristics of the job and paying on the basis of type of work done, not on who does the work. Women have entered the professions, especially medicine and thein large numbers and have moved up career ladders, but in most large-scale corporations and professional How do you define gender?, the top positions of authority are still held by men.

In Europe, but not in the United States, subsidized parental leave for either parent and child care for every mother has changed mothering from a full-time occupation to something that can be combined with paid work out of the home without a constant struggle. A radical effort at restructuring government has taken place How do you define gender? France—a proposed program for mandating equal numbers of women and men representatives at the national level of government.

Parity is not likely to How do you define gender? a widespread policy, but even redressing gender imbalance would give women and men a more equal opportunity to make laws and influence social policy. Gender differences in voting patterns in the United States indicate that women do have a different perspective on many issues.

For women to be elected in greater numbers, powerful men now in politics would have to encourage young women to consider a career in politics, foster their advancement through mentoring, nominate them for national offices, and campaign with them and raise money for them when they run for office.

Paradoxically, it has seemed easier for women to become heads of state than for these same states to vote in an equal number of women and men in their governing bodies. It has also been easier for women to become heads of parliamentary governments, where a party chooses the prime minister.

The appointment of women to high positions, such as Madeleine Albright as U. Secretary of State, has also been welcomed. Yet when it comes to directly putting women into leadership positions of great authority, whether in government or in major corporations, there is still a public reluctance to grant women as much power as men.

On a more personal level, some people have structured their families to be gender-equal on every level—domestic work, child care, and financial contribution to the household economy. Other heterosexual couples have reversed roles—the woman is the breadwinner and the man cares for the children and keeps house.

Here, the problem is that the domestic world is so gendered that male househusbands suffer from ostracism and isolation, as well as from a suspicion of homosexuality.

Oddly, lesbian and gay couples who have reared children in a variety of family arrangements have blended more easily into hetero-coupled social worlds, at least in some communities. Corporate How do you define gender? government policies that How do you define gender? health insurance and other benefits to any couple in a long-term household arrangement have also helped to restructure family life in ways that do not assume heterosexuality and marriage.

Note, however, that communal domestic households have waned in popularity in Western countries, although they are the norm in polygamous cultures. Least amenable to change have been the gendered divisions of work in the global economy.

Financed by capital from developed countries, work organizations around the world exploit the labor of young, unmarried women under sweatshop-like conditions, while reserving better-paid jobs and support for entrepreneurship to men.

In sum, to change gendered social orders to be more equal or, alternatively, less gendered will take individual effort and modification of gender-stereotyped attitudes and values, but most of all, a restructuring of work and family through the policies and practices of large-scale corporations and the governments of dominant nations. New York and London: Routledge. Berkeley: University of California Press. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky. Berkeley: University of California Press.

McKenna 1978 Gender: An Ethnomethodological Approach. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Chicago: University How do you define gender? Chicago Press. New York and London: Verso. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Gender and Breadwinning in Dual-Earner Marriages. New York and London: Routledge. Roos 1990 Job Queues, Gender Queues.

Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. New York and London: Routledge.

San Francisco: Black Scholar Press. New York and London: Routledge.

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