Furthermore, I will discuss sex and gender and the role gender plays in modern American society with a focus on the social implications being transgendered. What issues are raised by attaching a label to someone’s gender identity or sexual identity? Should we give labels to the gender identity of other people? Should the medical profession be engaged in helping people change their genders? I will conclude with a conclusion of the research explored here and discuss the ramifications of gender role construction today.
Unlike sex, gender is artificially imposed and although based upon biological differences between men and women, gender is socially constructed. As a social construct, gender roles, behaviors, attitudes and expectations are created by society and enforced by social norms. The funny thing about gender is that we are led to believe that it is innate and something that we are born with. Accordingly, “children themselves become active participants in the gendering process by the time they are conscious of the social relevance of gender, typically before the age of two” (Kivel 2000). As I child I always felt that gender was natural but now I know that it is the product of social forces. As transgendered male Aaron Devor so eloquently points out in his ground-breaking and incredibly illuminating essay, “Gender Role, Behavior and Attitudes”, gender is created, acquired and constructed by the greater society at large. Sex has a biological basis and is predetermined at birth. Gender, on the other hand, is a social construction and gender roles and expectations are unique to each and every society.