Gender Roles And Society, By Stephen Mays

1718 Words7 Pages
Before you are even born, would you like to have expectations set up for you based on your determined sex? When you look up the definition for gender roles, the Oxford Dictionary provides the definition as “the role or behavior learned by a person as appropriate to their gender, determined by the prevailing cultural norms”. In “What about Gender Roles in Same-Sex Relationships” by Stephen Mays, the author discusses the discrimination that same-sex relationships face as well as gender inequality. Additionally, in “Learning to be Gendered” by Penelope Eckert and Sally McConnell-Ginet, the authors argue the impact of society on gender roles from before birth. Similarly, in “Gender Roles and Society” by Amy M. Blackstone, the author discusses…show more content…
Eckert and McConnell-Ginet go deeply into this topic in the excerpt from their book. The authors do a good job of discussing how gender roles are set in place as soon as people find out the sex of a child (736). The confusion between sex and gender causes people to believe that as soon as they know the sex that means they have to buy pink or blue clothing, throw pink or blue themed baby showers, and pick a gender specific name. (737-738). Blue is associated with boys while pink is associated with girls because it is a more delicate color (738). Not only are the roles implemented by acquaintances, but also parents. Power discusses how parents’ behavior toward their children “by their expectations about how their children should behave and act, and by the toys they buy for them” impact the gender roles the child takes on and feels pressured to follow from a young age (2). In addition, West and Zimmerman explain that gender is fixed and established by around age five (126). Kids are so imprinted on and influenced that before even knowing what they truly want they are pressured to believe and follow whatever their parents and peers place on…show more content…
Power discusses how kids are constantly bombarded with different tv shows, toy commercials, and programs that depict only gender stereotypical examples (2). Blackstone further explains that children perceive these “messages as “real life” which shapes their reality, behavior, and expectations of their gender role” (2). The social construction of gender does not just happen once, nor does it stop with children. West and Zimmerman discuss how the pop culture stretches to books and magazines that portray stereotypical relationships between men and women (135). When people grow up seeing and having these gender roles shoved in their faces they begin to follow them and tend to judge people who do not. For example, Mays uses his personal experience to show how people are so used to typical relationships that when they see a same-sex relationship they begin to question it (719). In this case, using pathos to support his argument was the right thing to do to help get in touch with the reader's emotions. Furthermore, Eckert and McConnell-Ginet explain how the different treatment really does cause boys and girls to learn to be different by showing different studies done on kids (740). The authors choice to use logos and ethos in this argument helps show the reader exactly how children are taught differently. They are not taught to
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