Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

The Social Construction of Gender/Judith Lorber

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In this article, Lorber describes just how much gender is socially constructed. She says that based on their genitalia, children are put into a sex category and so begins the gender construction. From there children are named, dressed, and expected to act a certain way based on that gender. Along with our different gender we have different roles and career expectations. Women are more likely to work lower wage jobs and raise the children. While men, Lorber states, can earn more, sometimes doing a similar job, because in a male dominated society people value men’s work more.

A particular part that I found rang true is when Lorber stated, “Gendered norms and expectations are enforced through informal sanctions of gender-inappropriate behavior by peers and by formal punishment or threat of punishment by those in authority should behavior deviate too far from socially imposed standards for women and men.” This is common in gay/lesbian affairs; such as, when they are socially tormented when they act “differently”. Women as preachers also generate some serious objections. In a male-dominated society there are socially accepted norms for woman and men, and it is often difficult to go against these traditions unscathed.

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