The Social Environment Essay

The Social Environment Essay

Length: 1595 words (4.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

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The social environment, in which individuals are born into, influences language, thinking, and behavior. Culture is an influential determinant that shapes individual’s emotional and behavioral reactions to the world around them. The culture that one develops into alters their perception of the world. The perception of roles based on gender is contingent on the environment. Helgeson defined gender roles as the “role or behavior learned by a person as appropriate to their gender, determined by the prevailing cultural norms”( Helgeson, V. S. 2012). This paper addresses the topic of multiple genders and the associated roles within various cultures.
In 1825, a lone white traveler stumbled upon a group of Cherokees. In the midst of the conversation, the traveler learned of men who dressed and performed duties of women their entire life. Confounded the traveler recounted the tale of the odd social practices. Puzzled many different groups attempted to comprehend the indigenous social interactions and practices that were woven in the Native American culture. The existence of the berdache was found in some Native American cultures. Gender classification exceeds from simply male and female into a third and fourth category of male berdache and female berdache. Helgeson wrote, “The male berdache is biologically a male but takes on characteristics of both women and men in appearance and manner” (Helgeson, V. S. 2012). These men, instead of being warriors, took interest in the care of the children. Their sexual orientation is predominantly homosexual. This gender construction was regarded as sacred and exceedingly respectable. In the 1990s, the term berdache was modified, “two spirits, in its simplest form, defines a person with both a male ...


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...r roles based on physical space and assigned areas. The atypical feature of space defining one’s gender made Morocco stand out. Another distinctive gender role feature is seen in the Philippians. Agta Negrito open the doors of hunting to include women by proving that active participation would not endanger the women’s maternal responsibility. Gender equality is a difficult concept to maintain, but Tahiti seems to have figured out how to equalize both males and females. This society can be labeled as androgynous, a culture that does not worry with gender labels. Lastly, The United States of America was observed as being a strict enforcer of gender roles at one point, but now exhibits signs of progressive thinking. These five vastly different cultures illuminate the core idea that gender is a social construction that can be manipulated throughout different societies.

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