Gender and Sexuality Essay

Gender and Sexuality Essay

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Gender has been around throughout history; however, within recent years, gender has separated itself from the traditional view of sex, e.i., male or female, and has become centered on ones masculinity or femininity. Of course gender is more than just ones masculinity or femininity, gender has become a way for one to describe, he or she, in a way in which they are different from everyone else. Gender has turned into a sense of identity, a way for one to feel different and fulfilled among all of those around them. Of course gender’s sense of freedom would seem outside of structure and only affected by one’s own agency, however, structure is a key component in establishing gender. We can look into both ethnic Mexican’s culture practices regarding sexuality, children songs and games, and see that cultural traditions still heavily influence gender, creating what is masculine and what is feminine and what is the role of each gender, as well as challenging the notions that gender is solely based on agency.
Sexuality has become one of the key determining factors in one’s gender. While many want to initially say that gender is solely based on sexual orientation fail to take in to account many cultural practices, which not only influence gender, but create certain gender roles. The initial creation of Mexican gender roles, as Gloria Gonzalez-Lopez suggests, is the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church “over the course of almost five hundred years,” created beliefs that virgins are desirable and that a non-virgin is of a lower moral class (38). From this Mexican women began maintaining their virginity, not because of the moral implications, but because of social mobility. Virginity has been created to be something beautif...


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...ninity. Thus, through sexuality alone, gender is not purely established by agency, there is a social structure which has a great influence on it. Children songs, further this notion of social structure, through its ability to become a demonstrator for what each genders role is. The songs establish femininity as the nurturer and housekeeper, while it shows masculinity as the provider and laborer. Thus, we can see that agency fails to fully establish gender; social structure plays a huge part in creating gender through demonstrating gender roles. Both sexuality and children’s songs become self-fulfilling prophecies as well as examples of what true femininity and masculinity are. Ultimately, without social structure aiding in the development of gender, the very idea of gender and gender roles could not exists as there would be no basis for creation of such a concept.

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