Women And Men Are Born Not Raised

1908 words - 8 pages

Women and Men are made not born. Debate.

Human differentiation on the basis of gender is a phenomenon that affects every aspect of person’s daily life. Women and Men are neither born nor raised, but instead are a complex tangle of biology and sociology. Firstly, the term ‘gender’ refers to the socially constructed categories of ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ and the attributes and behaviours that are assigned to the categories by society. Conversely, ‘sex’ refers to the universal distinction between men and women based on biological and physical differences as characterised by internal and external sex organs, hormones and genetics. Gender development is a fundamental issue ...view middle of the document...

For example certain behaviours can be justified because 'boys will be boys' or visa versa. The idea that hormonally caused differences in the brain can affect the sensations and perceptions received by the brain, which establishes given behaviours, which in turn causes different male or female behaviours is key to the Biological Determinist argument. An article published by The Centre for the Advancement of Health (2002, p.1) remarks on a research study which was carried out to measure pregnant women's levels of testosterone, then evaluated the behaviour of their children at age 3. The study discovered that the greater the maternal testosterone level, the more likely girls were to engage in ‘masculine-typical’ gender-role behaviour. Despite all this, the view of a strictly 'natural' difference is difficult to support, despite the evidence, when notions of appropriate gender behaviour differ over time, between ethnicity, cultural groups, and even families.

Another view of Biological Determinism is Essentialism. Essentialism is based on the fact that people have essences or underlying natures that make them what they are. To essentialists gender is an orderly and definable category. Men are masculine and women are feminine. Keller (2005, p.694) argued that when people apply psychological essentialist theories, they come up with the conclusion that things that look alike must share deeper mutual properties. In short this is reverent to gender stereotyping. A man looks like a man therefore he must do ‘masculine’ things ect. Gender stereotyping does have a functional role in society as stereotypes provide a rationalization of the existing social order. This theory often comes into play when one considers sex role socialisation and its effects on gender.
Although sex role socialization asserts gender behaviour is not innate to nature or biology it does link with the theory of biological determinism. According to Nyalunga (2007, p.2) by focusing on sex roles sex role socialization, reinforces difference based on biology. Sex role socialization is basically gender stereotyping. If people often observe a particular group of others engaging in a particular activity, they are likely to believe that the abilities and personality attributes required to carry out that activity are typical of that group of people. For example, if one consistently observes women caring for children, they are likely to believe that characteristics thought to be necessary for child care, such as nurturance and warmth, are typical of women and not men. Because most people's activities are determined by their societal roles, stereotypes about gender, even though they may be based on a theory of sex role socialization, they are still often grounded in the theory of Biological Determinism.
Adverse to the theory of Biological Determinism is the standpoint of many Social Determinists. Social Determinism bases its beliefs in the social and cultural processes which...

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