Gender differences have their origin from sex in terms of basic biological characteristics of males and females, cognitive dispositions and social capabilities. Before understanding the context of sex, one cannot sort out men and women or males and females. Sex refers to the biological differences between males and females in terms of their reproductive systems. For instance, women are different from men in that they have the capacity and the womb which can carry and nurture infants while boys do not have this ability. So their reproductive system defines their sexual differences. The terms sex and gender are in essence synonyms since the boundary line is very thin and infinite. (Friedman, Keane and Resick 208)
Biologically, gender differences diffuse with sex differences to give a clear distinction. Before gender can be actually defined, one must first of all identify who is a female and who is a male. This can only be ascertained biologically. Males generally have deep voices, develop and grow beards and widen their chests while girls develop shrill voices, breasts and their hips also widen. These are clear marks of gender differences. These biological differences are clearly manifested during puberty. Puberty is a period of quick significant and concurrent changes that occur in boys and girls at the age of about ten years. These transformations are biological, psychological and social in nature. This is the stage of growth that marks the significant differences between boys and girls or males and females. (Hayward 105)
Social gender differences are also evident in romantic relationships. The ways in which girls perceive romantic relationships differ from the boys partake. According to Gore (2007), boys or men gain status in a romantic relationship by having sexual intercourse with their female partners. On the other hand, women believe that the more they stay away from sexual activities with their male partners, the more dignified and integral they are. In this sense therefore, boys would summit to their ego and have sex with their partner while girls or women would strive to play safe as much as possible. (Gore 21)
The meaning and practice of gender differences echoes well in its cultural context. As I mentioned earlier, gender differences are simply societal in nature. Gender differences therefore examine the variations in the roles and responsibilities that the society bestows upon men and women. Socially, there are some duties or activities that men are not expected to do while some roles are also specifically set aside for women. The differences in gender are highly magnified in its cultural context. Despite the fact that both males and female are born and nurtured in the same culture does not necessarily mean that they have the same roles and obligations. Before early and modern civilization, gender differences were strictly upheld by most if not all societies. In fact, some societies made activities or duties a taboo for some members of the society.
In conclusion, gender differences have existed from as early as the beginning of the world. Biblically, God created man first before woman. This is gender diversity. However, gender diversity is coming being faced out today. Some members of the society specifically women, have broken the cultural barriers that for time immemorial have denied them freedom. Today, gender differences are majorly biological in nature. Many women are involved into tasks that were specifically set for men. For example, world’s major leadership positions are today filled by women. African countries like Liberia have elected President Sirleaf Helen Johnson twice as the head of state. Other countries such as Germany have also had a woman chancellor. Such female leaders have actually performed more than their male counterparts whom they succeeded.
Gore, Kurt Alan. Social Integration and Gender Differences in Adolescent Depression: School
Context, Friendship Groups, and Romantic Relations. USA: ProQuest, 2007.
Hayward, Chris. Gender Differences at Puberty. illustrated. United Kingdom: Cambridge
Matthew J. Friedman, Terence Martin Keane, Patricia A. Resick. Handbook of PTSD: Science
and Practice. reprint. New York: Guilford Press, 2010.