Gender Behavior: Nature Or Nurture Essay

1548 words - 6 pages

Gender is the general identity that defines a person's biological differences as well as their sociological differences used to emphasize the distinctions between males and females. Gender roles are the stereotypes that are assigned to a specific gender by the general culture; these roles help people distinguish their gender differences but at the same time create inequality between the two sexes. A strong example of gender roles implemented by society is children and their awareness of their own gender identification. Children's striving for appropriate behavior according to their stereotypes is largely influenced by their parents and early surroundings. In the given articles about gender roles along with my personal experience as a female and my brother's experience as a male, gender behavior is culturally conditioned, we are not automatically born with gender roles instead they are learned.Beginning with birth of children, their environment is instantly influenced by the gender stereotypes in the culture. Because the parents wish for their babies to be masculine or feminine, boys are never dressed in pink as it is considered to be a feminine color. We can also distinguish gender though their name. In a traditional Chinese family, people think two different names before the baby is born, one is for girl and one is for boy. Male usually are named "Wai", "Kei"and "Man" which mean grandeur, preeminence and intelligence. Female usually likes to call "Yan", "Mei" and "Yee" which mean flourish, beauty and good carriage. In addition, parents usually buy different kinds of toys for their male and female children. For example, they buy trucks or guns for boys and buy dolls or cooking sets for girls.In "Girl," Jamaica Kincaid frames a story as a mother's advice to her daughter. The mother constantly orders her daughter how to be women that accepted by the society and further presents what a contemporary daughter must take on to become a woman. I learned gender roles from my parents. When I was a little girl, my parents always bought dolls and cooking sets for me. As Holly Devor states, "Both males and female are popularly thought to be able to do many of the same things, but most activities are divided into suitable and unsuitable categories for each gender class" (418). I remember once I asked my mother to buy me a remote controlled vehicle and she refused to buy it. She said that this kind of toy was not suitable for girls to play with. This experience made me realize that my mother was not keen to buy toys for me that boys like. Besides, my mother is a music teacher; she always thinks that playing the piano is the best thing for girls to do in their leisure time. Furthermore, she believes that playing the piano can make a girl become gentle. For this reason she taught me how to play the piano although I didn't like it. She wanted me to be gentle, not like my brother who plays lots of sports.In Devor's article "Becoming Members of Society," the author...

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