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The Concept of Sex and Gender: Behavior Science, Essay Example

Pages: 4

Words: 1028

Essay

How does sociology help us to understand ‘sex and gender’ as important social phenomenon

Introduction

The study of sex and gender is one of the key aspects of sociology in the 21st century. Numerous studies and theories that are associated with the study of gender issues have raised gender sociology as a crucial phenomenon in various disciplines in sociological context. It is noteworthy that one must account for gender while performing sociological analysis in the quest to understand patterns of globalization and the powerful effects of millennium recession. This paper highlights on how sociologists or the social scientists have improved our understanding of gender-effect in shaping our lives, altitude, and behaviors. In this regard, the understanding is enhanced by studying the links between sociology and other disciplines. It is also important for one to interpret key concepts such as status, sexuality, and gender role to clarify gender relation. Sociology pays attention to how group-life affects human behavior. All human life is ordered in a variety of way with respect to gender, which is a key component of ordering human life. Data from the study of the gender issue indicates that all social interactions and institutions in which the interactions occur lays tribute to gender in one way or the other. The attempt to explain this gendering has reshaped the theoretical and empirical foundation of the sociology. In theoretical term, the increased gender awareness has led to the creation of new feminist paradigm. Empirically, the increased gender awareness has led to innovative research strategies (Smith, 2009). This essay strives to bring the understanding on what gender is whilst distinguishing it from other confused terms such as sexuality. It then discusses how gender is an important sociological phenomenon.

Distinguishing sex and gender

It is imperative that most people treat sex and gender as synonyms. However, social scientist views sex and gender as conceptually distinct. According to sociologists, sex refers to physiological difference between the female and male. This involves both primary sex characteristic and secondary sex characteristics such as musicality, height and body shape and size (Thorne, 2009). On the other hand, sociologists view gender as a term that refers to cultural distinctions, or/and social distinction that are associated with either being female or male. In this regard, gender identity is the extent to which one identifies with either masculine or feminine. Sexuality is viewed as personal capacity for sexual feeling. The study of sexuality has largely influenced attitudes towards sexual activity such as masturbation and homosexuality among others sexual behaviors. The trend is that some of the sexual behaviors that were not accepted are being accepted.

Gender is important phenomena in sociology

It is important to note that the society is structured around a stable pattern that establishes how social interactions occur. Status is one of the key social structures that determine the social interaction. In sociological term, status refers to a position held by a person in the society and as such determines the pedigree one deserves (Roberts, 2005). Status is acquired via achievements from individual efforts. It can also be acquired from the ascription that is, being born into a particular status or involuntary at some other point in life. Gender is among the ascribed statuses, it is also important to note that other ascribed statuses include the race as well as the social classes. It is imperative that every society categorizes its members by status, hence rank them in some fashioned way. As a result, societies are stratified into the high and low-ranked statuses. The low ranked statuses are at the bottom of this stratification and are vulnerable to discrimination, prejudice, and stigmatization.

Another key concept is the role, which in sociological term refers to expected behavior associated with a particular status. According to Russe (2010), gender roles are the concepts of the society pertaining how male and female are expected to behave or act. The roles are performed according to particular social norms, which are common rules that guide the people’s behavior. Male and female are status with different roles attached to them by society. According to Russe (2010), the learning or role starts with socialization at early stage. Children learn gender role via play games. Parents typically supply boys with truck toys or guns while they provide dolls to girls. The drive to adhere to gender role progresses to the later stages in life. Thus, men outnumber women in different professions such as military and politics while women outnumber men in professions like social work or childcare. However, the recent research suggests that the society perception of the appropriate feminine and masculine traits have somehow changed.  In fact, one of the notable trends influencing gender role in the 21st century is the increase of women in the labor force and taking roles, which were perceived to be men’s roles. The preference of the physiological research using the gender role scale makes gender one of the most frequently cited phenomenon within the literature.

Conclusion

Gender operates relationally by influencing our expectations and understanding of others. It also influences the way we relate and interact with others. Gender describes the way relationships are guided by gendered expectations and understanding that can limit or expand opportunities in various situations. Appreciating the impact of gender in human relations is important in order to assess how behaviors changes in presences of shifting gender dynamics.

Sex and gender are both important and mutually reinforcing concepts (Roberts, 2005). The importance of these concepts to understanding the 21st century issue cannot be overstated. Indeed, the increased gender issues have raised gender sociology making it a key phenomenon of the disciplines. However, the improved theories about the relationship between gender, sex, and other sociological phenomena are required in order to develop better methodologies. At the same time, it is important that these methodologies keep up with theoretical progress and improved method for gender research are required.

Reference List

Roberts, A.S. (2005). The concept of sex and gender: behavior science. McGraw–Hill, Inc. New York.

Russe,l.W.(2010). Women at the Center: Life in a Modern Matriarchy. America political science review 22 (2): 19-45.

Smith, D. (2009). The everyday world as problematic. A Feminist Sociology. Boston: Northeastern University Press

Thorne, J.T.(2009). Sociological study of deviance behaviors., America political science review, 22 (2): 23-45

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