Is it a boy or a girl? The life of a person begins with this most common question by everyone. Sex, a biological and psychological characteristic determines whether the new born is a male or a female and on the basis of sex the concept of masculinity and femininity is built, that refers to the roles, anticipations, manners and activities in the society which is called as Gender. Although many people use the words sex and gender interchangeably, the two terms do not have the same meaning, sex is a biological concept and gender is a social construct (Ferrante, Wallace 268). Some examples of Sex are females have breasts and vagina, whereas males have a penis. Males cannot get pregnant whereas females can get pregnant because they have a womb. Women can breastfeed whereas men cannot. Some examples of the features of gender are men are considered to work outside and run the family, and women take care of the house, children and do more household work. Some countries follow the rule that women must cover their head and face except the eyes when they step out the house.
With the gender, the gender roles are associated for male and female. Though there are traditional differences in the roles, it is difficult to define various roles for each gender. It is not only the males who are threatened by the changing roles but also the women who have acknowledged the obsolete roles and any changes as a threat. Many countries still do not provide support for a girl to study, and prominence is always given to the boy child. The male and female are perceived differently that has created a huge difference in the gender roles. The society in many countries is yet to believe that gender roles can perform all tasks equally except for biological expectations. People are very slow in accepting this fact; however there are many instances where the society has started to accept the various gender roles.
The boys and girls are socialized differently and this gender socialization is very much visible in family, profession, education, and career. A few examples of gender socialization can be related to the brain. The females use both the sides of the brain and are very active, they communicate well compared to the males who use only the left side of the brain. Family influences the gender socialization in many ways starting from the birth of the child. The pink color is associated with a baby girl and blue color is considered for baby boy. For example, when parents buy toys they knowingly or unknowingly buy dolls for girls so that they learn to love and care and get trained to be future mothers. Boys are usually antagonistic and they are given cars or any other toys that don’t require love and care.
In the early education system more prominence was provided to boys rather than girls and boys were expected to excel in science and mathematics considering that boys have good analytical skills; however this trend has changed now and there are many examples in schools where boys are failing miserably and turned out to be drop outs. Girls have picked up in almost all the fields and pose a challenge to their opposite sex. For example, boys make a lot of noise in the class and disrupt the studies of others, and are punished and not allowed to enter the classes that results in poor scores and dropping out of school.
As mentioned earlier, the opinions of public changes slowly than the reality of gender roles. The parents and the society must address the gender roles from the birth of the child. Teachers and Parents can play an important role in teaching and viewing the gender roles equally with proper support from the society. Gender roles are culturally prohibited, and these roles form critical disagreement in the women’s libber theory of sociology or philosophy.
Ferrante, Joan. Wallace Ferrante, Joan. Sociology: A Global Perspective. (7 ed, Illustrated). Cengage Learning, 2008. Print.