Sociological Concepts Surrounding Gendered And Sexual Norms Essay

Sociological Concepts Surrounding Gendered And Sexual Norms Essay

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We participate in societal norms that divide the world into ways that serve some people’s interest over others (Katz 87), and I find that it is crucial to examine our own lives to realize how we do so. We either support, reject, rebel against, challenge, question, or uphold societal norms through the decisions we make from how we interpret situations to how we interact with others. A large part of how we participate in this system comes from how we have been socialized. According to Howard and Alamilla (2016), socialization tells us that “we learn what behavior is appropriate to our gender, race, class, age, and sexuality from our environment through various learning processes” (p. 166). We uphold how we have been socialized when we refuse to question it, act in alliance with it, and, thus, teach others how to act in accordance with it. In this paper, I will discuss numerous sociological concepts surrounding gendered and sexual norms. I will inform these theories with various instances in which I have participated in enforcing norms, and comparative examples from Dude, You’re a Fag. I begin with how I was socialized by different forces during my high school years, and then discuss how I continue to participate in and uphold norms. Although I split my paper into separate subheadings for the convenience of the reader, it is important to note that my socialization and my participation don’t have a cause and effect relationship; they are both existent and thrive because of each other. I argue that I have strongly participated in supporting gendered and sexual norms throughout my life course through the ways in which I was socialized to perform my identity and interact with others as a white, heterosexual upper-class woman.

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...the more social backlash they received. According to Stombler and Baunach (2014), men who are very sexually active are generally not subject to shame and sometimes lauded for sexual behavior, whereas women with “too many” partners are stigmatized (p. 71). While men are socialized to present their masculinity through sexuality, women grow up learning about all the negative consequences of sexuality. Nestle’s My Mother Liked to Fuck highlights the social consequences that come along with being a woman who is open about enjoying having sex (1983). Such consequences include harsh judgement, social exclusion, and even rape. Lorde’s The Uses of the Erotic present that sexualty is something women are taught to hide (2016). I can recall being told I was a “slut” for making out with someone and sleeping on the same couch with him when I was 14, whereas he received high-fives.

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