Heteronormartive Notions of Gender

2265 Words10 Pages
Heteronormartive notions of gender create challenges and issues that require a complex process of resolving gender inequalities. In particular, one of the challenges is resolving the inequalities that are reinforced by male and female gender norms. The notion of gender creates a dichotomy in male and female roles. Through socialization processes, we learn to identify specific behaviours as 'masculine' or 'feminine', and boys and girls are taught to perform and display these traits, which become a dominant part of their identities. Western society has constructed gender roles that promote and maintain notions of suitable behaviours and expectations. For instance, males and females are required to act a certain way according to their situational and contextual location. Moreover, gendered behaviour can be seen in the context of families because parents continue gender roles into families, preserving the idea of “doing gender” (West & Zimmerman, 2011). “Doing gender” refers to the process of socially guided perceptions, which make us believe that male and female behaviours are “natural.” Further, these perceptions are routinely embedded within our everyday interactions that claim a specific gender (West & Zimmerman, 2011). Although parents in Western society continue to hold onto traditional roles of parenting, they are slowly recognizing methods that have no gender boundaries. Ideas of masculinity and femininity are reinforced in families to form practices and customs that create an imbalance among genders (Coltrane, 2011). Within heterosexual families, gender role inequalities are reinforced through household labour and domestic work. Furthermore, it is important to analyze this topic in order to understand the problematic notions ... ... middle of paper ... ...rison, D. and Albanese, P. (2011, in press) Parental Military Deployments and adolescent's housework. Studies in Political Economy, 88 (1). Margolis, M.L. (2009). Putting mothers on the pedestal. Ontario: Oxford University Press. Shaw, S.M. (1988). Gender Differences in the Definition and Perception of Household Labour. Family Relations 37(3), 333-337. Silverman E.L. (2011). The Last Best West: Women on the Alberta’s Frontier, 1880-1930. In M. Kimmel (Ed.), A. Aronson (Ed.), A. Kaler (Ed.), The Gendered Society Reader. (pp. 186-197). Ontario: Oxford University Smith, D. (1993). The standard north American family. Journal of Family Issues. 14(1), 50-65. West, C, & Zimmerman, D.H. (2011). Doing Gender. In M. Kimmel (Ed.), A. Aronson (Ed.), A. Kaler (Ed.), The Gendered Society Reader (pp. 28-42). Ontario: Oxford University Ontario: Oxford University Press.

    More about Heteronormartive Notions of Gender

      Open Document