Sample Term Paper
Gender socialization is the progressive assimilation of a person into the society by adoption of behaviors which the society considers appropriate for his or her gender.
The process of gender socialization is initiated at a young age and little girls and boys are taught to behave differently (Lorber).
Often the means of gender socialization are quite subtle and may not even be realized by parents or guardians who oversee and enforce the process. A classical example of gender socialization is parents getting dolls for little girls and guns for little boys. This insidiously teaches little girls that their role in life is to be nurturers and to dress well and look nice while boys learn that resorting to violence is a socially appropriate behavior for them.
Being male and female is thus an adopted societal role that is forced upon an individual by society and to be socially appropriate an individual must constantly “do gender” (Lorber).
This process of “doing gender” is especially exhausting to those individuals who do not feel sufficiently male or female, do not strictly identify with any gender or identify with a different gender than the one considered appropriate for them by the society (Lucal).
In “What It Means to be Gendered Me”, Betsy Lucal, a tall female with a male appearance faces many difficulties. She is challenged when trying to use the ladies toilet, service staff addresses her as ‘sir’ and she is suspected of fraud when attempting to use her credit card (Lucal).
She finds that when she is with her brother, young women try to flirt with her, believing them to be two unattached young men, and when she is with her female friends, people tend to think of them as a heterosexual couples (Lucal).
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