Gender Performance

After studying the assigned reading Sociology: The Social Construction of Gender and considering the concept of “gender as socially constructed,” answer the following questions and prompts.

A) How does media create meanings about gender?

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B) Provide examples of how this is manifested in our everyday lives.

C) Provide a link to a commercial/ad that stereotypes gender. Even though it is natural to find humor in some of these portrayals, in what ways is this problematic.

Also, consider that sex is a system of classification based on biology and physiology, while gender reflects the cultural meaning that is ascribed to a person’s sex, thus resulting in labels of “masculinity and femininity.” Furthermore, our biology is not distinctively male or female and a significant number of people are born “intersex” with variations in chromosomes or sexual organs. Most biological researchers agree on the estimation that intersex people are about as common as encountering someone with green eyes.

It is important to understand that masculinity and femininity are not oppositional, although it seems to be portrayed so in media. In Western society (such as in the U.S. and Western Europe) we typically adhere to certain ideas and values that define masculinity and femininity as we perform the roles. What if the list was different? All of us, in honesty, could reveal that we interchange among the qualities. Take a look at the list and answer the following questions:

Masculinity

 

Femininity

 

strength
dominance
aggression
independence
empowerment
active
rational thought
production
breadwinner
subject
outdoors
technology

weakness
submission
compliance/vulnerability
dependence
disempowerment
passive
emotion
consumption
nurturer
object
indoors
nature

 

Provide answers to the following questions or prompts in your assignment submission.

D) How is the list being currently challenged?

E) What traits do you have that are typically considered “on the list” of the other sex?

F) What examples do you see in your daily life of people challenging the historic list?

G) What about examples in media of characters or people challenging the list?

H) Finally, do you agree or disagree that gender is socially constructed? Provide evidence that backs your opinion.

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