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Thread: Sex and Gender

  1. #1
    canlie is offline Newbie
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    Default Sex and Gender

    hey guys..
    i'm totally new to this forum.... at first i never realize that there is such thing as using English forum exist... i guess i'm really lucky to find this site...

    here is my essay, and i kept getting comments back from my ESL instructor and she said that i need help in writing, and most of my classmate are at the same level as i am... can you plese help me and tell me what is wrong with it? Please help me take out any sentence(s) that is awkward or doesn't belong in this essay


    thank you
    smile~~ ^_^
    Canlie



    Sex and Gender

    Gender has been a modern phenomenon that forces people to consider whether they are in the wrong body or not. So what if these expectations do not exist? Would these individuals perform more freely in society? Or are there still other drawbacks on how a particular sex should act? Otherwise, would sex and gender become meaningless to society if these expectations did not exist? Sex is biological and is categorized by chromosomes and genitalia. Gender, on the other hand, is socially constructed by how a person performs through dress, speech, and occupation (West and Zimmerman 150). The relationship between sex and gender is affected by society; gender is not based on sex but on what you do. For instance, a man has to act strong, where a woman has to be expressive. These are the common expectations of society and under no circumstances that these rules shall be violated. However, these rules are violated all the time, especially when genders become more talked about.
    Before the term gender is being used, people’s identities usually revolve around sex and biological classification. Yet, under the consideration of a person’s behaviors, researchers have gotten into things that they had never thought about. For example, in the past researchers would never have thought about the concept that there are men who feel like they are women and vice versa. According to people’s social needs the term gender has become more talked about than the term sex. Gender is how a person is being performed, through dress, speech, and occupations, by displaying genders, people around them can easily identify their sex (West and Zimmerman 150).
    Further into these considerations, we can see that there are certain drawbacks in our societies that states performing gender is unavoidable, and why it needs be enforced. For example, men and women think differently; where women usually spend more time than men in the bathroom. Although, this does not apply to every single woman, but the majority of women do spend more time than men in public bathroom. It is really based on the person’s psychological needs, and not many of their physical needs. In another words, men might spend more time in bathroom at home than in public. This is why gender becomes more talked about, because when society started to categorizing people into groups, they should take it into account that people should classified into psychological difference and not biological difference. Sex may be the same but everyone’s psychological needs are different. Where there are particular male who would like to use female products. Although it sounds weird and gross, it is the true that based on a person’s psychological needs, they would do everything to comfort and fulfill their needs. For example, transgender who worn bras, skirt, nail polish, etc., it is not necessary, but it is what their psychological needs. Therefore, society should not segregated people by sex.
    According to Judith Lorber, in her essay “Believing Is Seeing: Biology as Ideology”, men and women have different psychological and biological needs. Lorber best explained with an example of bathroom use,
    Most buildings that have gender-segregated bathrooms have equal number for women and for men. Where there are crowds, there are always long lines in front of women’s bathrooms but rarely in front of men’s bathroom. The cultural, physiological, and demographic combinations of clothing, frequency of urination, menstruation, and child care add up to generally greater bathroom use by women than men.(22)

    In this example, Lorber shows the common needs of women, as well as women’s cultural, physiological, and the combination demographic. For instance, women would spend more time in the bathroom than men in public, not because of their biological needs, but also because of their psychological needs, and the cultural expectation that is putting on women. Where women spend time in the bathroom for doing makeup, combing their hair, fixing their outfits, and child care, which is weird for men do in public. Through this example, it provides facts as to why gender takes a huge role in society where men and women are socially different from each other. With a clear view of biological needs and psychological needs, we would have a greater understanding of why society separated people into two different groups, men and women. On the other hand, this example, we can clearly understand that classifying people into groups of men and women is because of psychological and biological needs, and it is not stereotyping.
    With many other examples Lober has point out in her article, women and men are different from each other is also due to the factor of their personality, and the ways of how they perceive society’s expectation. Based on Lober’s saying we can see how society changes one another, mentally and physically. Such another example that has point out about men are the one focus in building their masculinity, and being who they are as the man in society. Most likely, as Dunning et al had said, “Competitive sports have become, for boys and men, as players and as spectators, a way of constructing a masculine identity, a legitimated outlet for violence and aggression, and an avenue for upward mobility” (qtp. Lober 17). Once again, according to this example it really shows us that men act the way they act, because they want to identify themselves as man in society, which means men not always have to be aggressive, masculine, competitive nor violence. However, all men seem to be like that because that is how society looks at men, where men have to be this or that, and women have to be feminine etc. Through these examples, we can see how society looks at one another, which made sex and gender socially constructed

  2. #2
    canlie is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Please help!

    Nevertheless, sex is biological and gender is behavioral. However, both of them are socially constructed, in the ideas of how society expects sex and gender are being performed. Although, sex is what a person is born with, through today’s technology, people had the option to have their sex changed, accordingly to what the person’s gender is. The essay, “Doing Gender” by Candace West and Don H. Zimmerman, claims that gender is performed at an early age. In the following example of a 55-month-old boy draws an extremely concrete insight of how society expects a certain sex should act.
    A 55-month-old boy (D) was attempting to unfasten the clasp of a necklace when a preschool aide walked over to him. A: Do you want to put that on? D: No, Its for girls. A: You don’t have to be a girl to wear things around your neck. King wear things around their necks. You could pretend you’re a king. D: I’m not a king. I’m a boy. (Cahill 1986a, p. 176)(162-163)

    Although the little boy has no idea what a king is, the first thing that came into his mind would be that he’s nothing else but a boy, and he should do what a boy does. These insights were built in a sense by the people that are surrounded him. For instance, what if no one around this 55-month-old boy would have told him that boys don’t wear things around their neck, would he put the necklace around his neck? The answer is unknown. For instance, if a person around this little boy told him that men should wear necklaces around their neck to show their power, then would he still refuse to put it on? I believe the answer is no, and he would put it on. However, I’m not trying to say that all boys would put it on. Gender is influenced by society, where these insights are embedded into people’s mind since they were young. With these ideas in mind, I believe the surroundings of a child can greatly affect the roles of their gender.
    In the same way, Anne Fausto-Sterling, in “The Five Sexes: Why Male and Female Are Not Enough”, confirms that sex and gender are socially constructed, through an intersex person’s real life experiences. In the essay, Sterling point out an interview between the author of the book Gentlial Abnormalities, Hermaphroditism and Related Adernal Disease, Hugh H. Young and a hermaphrodite named Emma. In this interview Young suggested Emma to have her vagina removed and become a full man. However, Emma objects to this saying, “I don’t know about that because that’s my meal ticket. If you did that, I would have to quit my husband and go to work, so I think I’ll keep it and stay as I am. My husband supports me well, and even though I don’t have any sexual pleasure with him, I do have a lots with my girlfriends” (347).
    In this example, we can analyze and come to a result that sex and gender are socially constructed. First of all, let’s take a close look into their conversation, and break it into lines. Emma says, “because that’s my meal ticket” in other words she says that her vagina is equal to a meal ticket. Therefore she needed to keep it because she does not want to go work. What if she’s the one who needed to support the family? Would she willing to get rid off his/her vagina or penis? The answer is unknown; once again, her gender is switching back and forth according to her social needs. One more thing, which gives us an idea as why sex and gender are socially constructed and not what you born with, is all based on a line where Emma says that “even though I don’t have any sexual pleasure with him, I do have a lot with my girlfriends”. It’s clearly stated that Emma is more attracted to women than men. At the same time, she had clearly given the idea to readers that as long as she is able to fit into the biological criteria for being a woman then she can be a woman whenever she wishes to. Similarly, she can be a man whenever she wishes to, too. We can simply conclude that sex and gender are socially constructed, which means that according to your social needs your sex and gender can be changed in particular situations.
    A similar example that is given in the essay “Doing Gender” by Candace West and Don H. Zimmerman, “Garfinkel’s (1976, pp.118-40) case study of Agnes, a transsexual raised as a boy who adopted a female identity at age 17. underwent a sex reassignment operation several years later, demonstrates how gender is created through interaction and at the same time structure interaction” (154). In this particular example, it proved with the facts as why sex and gender are unstable, as long as that is what the person needed, they can have their sex changed to fit into their gender. Although, she’s not fully a female and doesn’t have the needs of naturally born female does; the idea that was presented here is that sex and gender are something that can be adjusted by environment and social needs.
    Sex and gender are highly formed throughout social construction, in which people often view gender through the person’s dress, speech, and occupation, etc. (West and Zimmerman 150). On the contrary, fewer people would interest in a person’s genitals really are, because people usually prejudged on a person’s sex through their physical appearance and performance. Once again “Believing Is Seeing”, what you see is what you believe; commonly by viewing a particular person’s appearance and performance would help others to determine a person’s sex. Similarly, people often misinterpreted other’s sex through their physical appearance and performances (appearance and performance can be a lie). I conclude sex and gender are meaningless if everyone have the option to change their sex as they needed (as long as financing is not a problem). What if by getting rid off all these classifications, would there be less people having their sex changed? And would there be less discrimination between sexes? However, the answer is an unknown, since society has to separate people in different groups, people have to suffer for these unwanted classification, similarly if society does not view sex and gender as important as it is, then there would be less people have to suffer for their unwanted sex. The most important point of this is that society categorizing people into female and male would force people to have their sex change.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Please help!

    Quote Originally Posted by canlie View Post


    Sex and Gender

    Gender has been a modern phenomenon that forces people to consider whether they are in the wrong body or not.
    The concept of gender is a modern phenomenon. "Am I in the wrong body?" is not a question that people used to pay attention to.

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    Default Re: Sex and Gender

    Quote Originally Posted by canlie View Post
    So what if these expectations do not exist?
    What if these expectations didn't exist?

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    Default Re: Sex and Gender

    Quote Originally Posted by canlie View Post
    Would these individuals perform more freely in society? Or are there still other drawbacks on how a particular sex should act? Otherwise, would sex and gender become meaningless to society if these expectations did not exist?

    How would things be different? Would people behave differently?
    Quote Originally Posted by canlie View Post
    Sex is biological and is categorized by chromosomes and genitalia. Gender, on the other hand, is socially constructed by how a person performs through dress, speech, and occupation (West and Zimmerman 150)
    Quote Originally Posted by canlie View Post
    . The relationship between sex and gender is affected by society; gender is not based on sex but on what you do. For instance, a man has to act strong, where a woman has to be expressive. These are the common expectations of society and under no circumstances should these rules shall be violated.



    Quote Originally Posted by canlie View Post
    However, these rules are violated all the time, especially when genders become more talked about.



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