Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

Is Gender Socially or Biologically Constructed?

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In class we were talking about gender, and a topic that stuck out to me was the question of gender being socially or biologically constructed. The first thing that pops into my mind and probably many others, is that gender is biological mainly because males and females have different anatomy, and we clearly have different roles in reproduction. And then once I started thinking about it, it is obvious that gender is not biological but actually determined but by what society thinks. I think the key point most people miss is that sex, which is whether a person is male or female, and gender, whether a person acts masculine or feminine, are two very different things. Our gender seems to be an outcome of what society thinks gender is; society pushes their beliefs on what gender should be onto everyone, and most people do not even notice it.  From birth is it constantly told to us that girls like pink, boys blue, and girls have long hair, boys short, and so on and so on. It seems as though people have no choice in what their gender is, when in reality you should be able to act however you want and not be categorized. Once a person understands exactly what gender is and realizes how everything is decided for them, it is obvious that the main determinate of someone’s gender is not whatever a person wants it to be, instead it is whatever society wants it to be.

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