gender ideology

To examine some of the ways gender ideology has influence the cultural behavior patterns in the US over time.

Thesis statement

For quite a while, people especially in the U.S have adopted and live different cultures as it has been offered to them by people own ideology about gender. Generally, before people would be actually born the gender ideology are used to define their gender roles and culture. Basing on the gender ideologies, the society as well as our families prepares in different to take part in society by playing our cultural roles as either a male child or a female child. In the US, this has been a quite trending issue for over time now. This essay relies on the interview of 12 members a grand parent’s generation to offer and intensive insight in determining some of the ways in which different gender ideologies has influenced the cultural patters in the United States for quite sometimes.

For first, according to the conducted interview, certain gender ideology has brought about gender role discrimination which has negatively affected cultural behavior patterns especially in the US. This may be considered by many to be nonexistent to today’s society and that equality between the sexes has been achieved. Gender roles and relations still play a part in perpetuating inequality, and the effects of gender roles in relation to childhood, family life and at work. Over the last 30 years companies as well as society have begun to recognize that the nature of jobs, the workplace environment, and more generally, the culture of the workplace can have a significant impact on the ability of workers to balance their work and family lives

Living in a globalized world where every aspect of life seems to be rationally founded and established there are still subliminal influences existing that create a deeper impact on people’s behavior than one might expect. Several studies tried to examine the origins of different gender roles and personalities that make each human being unique. Even though the origin of individual personality is still controversial, one major impact seems to be the culture in which individuals are embedded.

Moreover, in an interview with Xavier Male, 55 years old, he suggest gender ideologies persist and influence the US cultural patterns of people’s behaviors  in many areas of life starting from delivery, being wrapped in either a blue or a pink blanket depending on sex. After birth, people whom give gifts, seem to ask the sex of the baby even before inquiring about health, and then select gifts based on the answer just like at delivery blue for boys and pink for girls. These gender roles are obvious, like the role of woman as principal child giver, and some are more obscure, such as the institutions and social expectations that support women and not men in caring for children. In the toddler years, children are gifted with gender-specific toys that encourage them to play-act gender roles in practice for adult life. This clearly schools them in the traditional gender roles of nurturer, housekeeper, and in the importance of being attractive. Boy’s toys on the other hand are action figures, cars and building sets. This enforces an emphasis on power, worker, and autonomy. At school, children learn from other children to differentiate gender appropriate toys, clothes and interests; other children socialized to value traditional gender roles are quick to point out behavior that goes against the norm.

David, during the interview claims that societal, gender and national cultures are more deeply rooted in human minds than occupational cultures which are learned at school or at work, This, according to him, majority of the current pattern of cultural behaviors are mostly dictated by different gender ideologies of few people.  These deeper rooted cultures are particularly acquired in the earliest years of life. In an interview, Rodney examines a correlation from five personality dimension to country norms and to national dimension culture scores, based on a panel including 30 countries. The main finding is that culture and personality are linked. However, these relationships should not be used to stereotype the individual by only using culture scores because each individual grows up with unique events.

According to one of the interviews, definition claims that cultural behavioral pattern is the collective programming of the mind that distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from others.” Still, does this definition really capture the whole meaning of culture? It is quite difficult to compress culture into a single definition. Culture impacts many if not all aspects of life which makes definitions so vague and incomplete. Above all, one aspect is possibly indisputable: Culture influences personality.

When focusing on the gender ideology on behavioral socialization, it is redefined as the process by which individuals learn to differentiate between what society regards as acceptable and unacceptable behavior and act in a manner that is appropriate for the needs of the society. The socialization process for teaching gender roles begins almost immediately after birth, when infant girls are typically held more gently and treated more tenderly than are infant boys, and continues as the child grows, with both mothers and fathers usually playing more roughly with their male children than with their female children. As the child continues to grow and mature, little boys are typically allowed to roam a wider territory without permission than are little girls. Similarly, boys are typically expected to run errands earlier than are girls. Whereas sons are told that “real boys don’t cry” and are encouraged to control their softer emotions, girls are taught not to fight and not to show anger or aggression. In general, girls are taught to engage in expressive, or emotion-oriented, behaviors, while boys are taught to engage in instrumental, or goal-oriented, behaviors. When the disparity between the way they teach and treat their daughters and sons is pointed out to many parents, they often respond that the sexes are naturally different not only biologically but behaviorally as well.

One important and intuitive aspect impacting personality is how gender roles are defined in national culture. Gender ideologies are associated with a certain position within a household that frames different patterns of decision processes as well as dictating of the cultural behavioral patterns, for instance decisions regarding education. Women often have lower bargaining positions within the household for several reasons. One major aspect is that women have fewer opportunities in the labor market which is in particular true in developing countries. Another aspect is that in many cultures girls are associated with additional costs such as the bride’s dowry. These different expectations lead to different behavior shown within the household towards boys and girls, for example regarding their health care.

Changes in fertility and its timing are possible indicators for changed culture and its impact on personality. Different studies show that when education becomes more important in modern labor markets, women become less frequently and at a higher age pregnant. One reason is that economic development provides more jobs suitable for women. This can be observed in Saudi-Arabia where women are supported in their education for an office job where they do not have contact to men but can still be a productive factor in the economy. Other examples are the known rise in factory work in China or jobs in the telecommunication industry in India where more suitable work places for women were created. Regarding US, there is an interesting change happening, namely that girls from lower castes catch up to girls from higher castes in the rate of being instructed in English. In an interview with Railey, it was found out that lower caste girls are more likely to be educated in English compared to boys from lower castes. This has very intuitive and cultural based reason. Boys are expected to rely on the caste-system and its networks meaning the old-man and their life paths are somewhat pre-shaped by their culture and the social expectations. Girls however do not face such group expectations for the labor market and can therefore profit from English education and better marketplace opportunities. This change in human capital leads to a change in culture because it changes the bargaining situation within lower castes women and between women coming from different castes because the modern market usually does not differentiate between castes but rather between skills. Moreover, education changes the mind and makes people critical towards tradition.

In 21st-century United States culture, gender roles continue to be in a state of flux to some extent, although traditional gender roles still apply in many quarters. For example, boys are often encouraged to become strong, fast, aggressive, dominant, and achieving, while traditional roles for girls are to be sensitive, intuitive, passive, emotional, and interested in the things of home and family. However, these gender roles are culturally bound. For example, in the Michigan culture of New Guinea, gender roles for women include doing the fishing and manufacturing as well as controlling the power and economic life of the community. Michigan women also take the lead in initiating sexual relations. Michigan men, on the other hand, are dependent, flirtatious, and concerned with their appearance, often adorning themselves with flowers and jewelry. In the Michigan culture, men’s interests revolve around such activities as art, games, and theatrics. If gender roles were completely biologically determined, the wide disparity between American and Michigan gender roles would not be possible. Therefore, it must be assumed that culture and socialization also play a part in gender role acquisition.

In conclusion, gender ideology is one of the main determiners of however people’s culture behavior patterns change from time to time. As the society constantly change, human ideologies on gender including gender roles greatly determines our societal cultural behavior patterns including in the United States. However, the ideology on gender should be sparingly approved for sake of protecting of our valid cultural behavioral patterns.

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