Gender And Gender Roles And Behavior Essay

Gender And Gender Roles And Behavior Essay

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Much of society is based on, and influenced by, the ideas of sex and gender. While the two are dissimilar in many ways, they are often thought of as interchangeable and are in a way connected. While gender is the biological makeup of one’s physical body, including chromosomes, hormones, gonads, genitals, and a variety of secondary characteristics, such as facial hair or breasts, gender is a socially constructed concept that influences social roles and behavior. However, one must ask how society can function properly, when a factor which influences social structures so heavily is inaccurately represented.
Typically, it is understood that men are people with male bodies, and women are people with female bodies. However, these lines can get blurred when one’s gender identity does not coincide with their sex. An example of this is a transgender person, a person whose gender identity does not match their biological sex. Another lesser known example involves intersex people. Intersex people are biologically neither male or female, instead having traits from each sex. There is no gender for these people to adopt that accurately represents them, and therefor are forced to chose to identify in a way that may not be accurate. Since a large majority of how society functions is dependent on the idea of males and females, those who fit into neither category can deal with issues regarding their identity, while those observing may be intolerant of these differences.
Fausto-Sterling offers a solution to this problem, and challenges norms in her two pieces entitled “The Five Sexes” and “The Five Sexes, Revisited.” In these essays, Fausto-Sterling argues that in order to more accurately categorize and describe people, there needs to be at least fi...


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...ategories altogether, so that people who are intersex, transgender, or even cisgender can freely express themselves and identify as whatever they feel most comfortable with, without societal constraints. Eliminating the categories of hermaphrodite and pseudo-hermaphrodite is also constructive as these terms are often derogatory and do not fully encompass the extent of human differences. By eliminating, or at the very least expanding the categories of sex, society would benefit as a whole. Accurately describing peoples sex would make government policies regarding sex and gender more valid, and would give people an outlet to express themselves healthily without society pressuring them to change their identity or have unnecessary surgery in order to fit in. Expanding these categories would help to make the world more accepting of differences and inclusive for everyone.

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