Gender is a burning issue and an open topic of discussion in today’s world. It is nothing but socially assigned role to the individuals. Sometimes it is being mistaken as sex. But it is something which has nothing to do with biology or physiological factor. Sex is determined by birth. Whereas gender is determined by the society. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines gender as:
“Gender refers to the socially constructed characteristics of women and men, such as norms, roles, and relationships of and between groups of women and men. It varies from society to society and can be changed.”
Difference between Gender and Sex:
- Sex refers to biological differences but gender can refer to the role of a male or female in society.
- Genetic factors define the sex of an individual where as Gender tends to denote the social and cultural role of each sex within a given society.
- Gender varies from society to society and can be changed but sex remains same as birth.
- Gender norms (the socially acceptable ways of acting out gender) are learned from birth through childhood socialisation . Where as role in the society according to one’s sex is determined by the society it self.
Gender as a Social Construction
Gender is considered as a process, a type of social stratification and also as a structure of the society .Gender is socially constructed . Society assigns roles to the different sex ; like in daily interaction , observation of rituals , taking the leadership , managing household jobs , doing works out side etc. There are certain norms which society fix for the people . Individual learns gender assigned roles from parents , schools , religious and cultural teachings ,from media and from other social institutions .
Gender may be masculine and feminine. In every society masculine depicts men who tend to enjoy more social and cultural freedom than that of their feminine counterpart .It is a way of life which is directed by the society and is reflected in the activities of human being . But it is not sex and it is separate from the sex on the ground that it depends upon the social phenomena rather than biological.
Social Acceptance of Gender :
Society all over the world has now accepted the fact that homosexuality is no longer a social issue. Same sex marriage is above all the ethical issue . In India Supreme Court has created a history , through the modification of Article 377 , by accepting this issue . Different social activist and media is now helping to make the people conscious about this burning issue of gender . Gradually everybody is accepting this fact that gender is nothing but the socially accepted role given by the society and which is not rigid or absolute .Everyone in this society is free to live his or her life fully with full satisfaction , maturity and with some kind of responsibilities . Everyone is to contribute towards the development of the society and society in return to give him a hassle free environment to grow and mature .
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