How Does Culture Influence Society

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It is common knowledge that gender is greatly influenced by culture, thus creating gender roles. While gender is not necessarily the biological sex that a person is born with, society often raises children as either a boy or a girl based on the parts they are born with. Growing up, everyone experiences the typical influence of what is appropriate for boys and what is appropriate for girls. Solomon exemplifies his mother’s pressure to make him more masculine when he was a child. He had asked for a pink balloon but “[his] mother counter that [he] didn’t want a pink balloon and reminded [him] that [his] favorite color was blue” (Solomon 374). Under her glare he took the blue balloon, and he conformed to the archetypes of of “straight” and “boy”…show more content…
Sexual identity can be defined as what gender(s) a person is romantically, and sexually attracted to. Cultural influence emerges from the idea that people are one or the other, gay or straight. However, people neglect to account for the impact of heteronormativity on individuals in a society. Heteronormativity assumes that heterosexuality is the only sexual orientation, or at least the most normal. The normalization of heterosexuality forces coercive archetypes onto all sexual identities. For example, the “gay” stereotype typically assumes a man to be frail and flamboyant, and assumes gay women to be manly and butch. Often, people do not fall into these categories by accident. Solomon was forced to “learn gay identity by observing and participating in a subculture outside the family” (Solomon 370). He learned his role and his label by looking to others to know how to be “be gay”. Gay men are portrayed as more feminine and lesbians as more masculine because society labels how a person should act when they’re attracted to a particular gender. For a homosexual man or woman in society, the archetypes are conflicting and they end up being forced to make a clean-cut choice between masculine or feminine
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