Gender identity is one of the first and most far-reaching identities that a human being learns. Many societies have established social distinctions between the sexes which do not inevitably result from biological differences.
This largely reflects the impact of conventional gender-role socialization. Gender-roles were defined as expectations regarding the proper behaviour, attitudes and activities of males and females. The application of traditional gender roles leads to many differentiation between men and women. Both sexes are physically capable of leaning to cook and sew, yet most western societies determine that these tasks should be performed by women. Both men and women are capable of learning to weld metal and fly airplanes but these functions are generally assigned to males.
All of us can describe the traditional gender-role patterns which have been influential in the socialization of children and the United States. Male babies get blue blankets while females get pink one. Boys are expected to play with trucks, blocks and toy soldiers; girls are given dolls and kitchen goods. Boys must be masculine - active, aggressive, tough, daring and dominant - whereas girls must be feminine - soft, emotional, sweet and submissive.
In any society, gender socialization and stratification requires not only individual socialization into traditional gender roles within the family, but al ...