Gender and sex are usually used alternately or they usually mean the same for many people, but for the context of discussion, gender and sex would be differentiated as they both affect the inequality issue between men and women. Sex differs from gender as the former is concerned in distinguishing men from women through physical differences while the latter is more of a social category comprised of sets of norms and behaviors that each sex must conform. A good example of social differentiation made to distinguish men from women is the role in the family as men are considered to be breadwinners and women are homemakers (Teacher’s Presentation slides 1 and 3). Another example is in terms of jobs wherein males or men focus on jobs that require physical strength while females or women get remedial jobs like office clerks. The second example is considered as a stereotype (Williams Students’ Presentation slide 12). Stereotype is the generalization made by people in the society due to the popularity of certain beliefs and norms. Since gender is a socially-created concept, it is likewise a synthetic creation based on anatomical or physical features of men and women. The traditional point-of-view is like stereotyping which largely depends on sex. Although the tradition points out those men are usually the breadwinners and women are homemakers, some societies and cultural groups have their own gender stereotypes. For the Arapesh society in New Guinea, the feminine way of behavior is prevalent for both men and women who show their passiveness and gentleness while the opposite is true for Mundugumor society in which both men and women show aggressiveness and cruelty. Tchambuli society is really unique since its norms regarding gender roles is the opposite of the prevalent gender roles in European and American countries (Teacher’s Presentation slide 2). Although there are certain exceptions to the tradition, in general men are still more favored in the society than women despite of the efforts being made to alleviate the discriminations faced by women. The discrimination may have been due to the separation of roles for men and women. The separation of roles of men and women is called gender roles, and the learning of roles is called gender socialization (Teacher’s Presentation slide 1). Many agents affect the gender socialization as discussed in the next paragraph. Gender socialization is affected by family, peer, group, school and mass media. In the family, male and female are treated distinctly from one another through differentiation in roles. In terms of peer groups, females tend to be more cooperative and indirect with conflicts than male. At school, various subjects and specializations are given to separate the male from female students. For the mass media, more often than not females are considered as sex objects (Teacher’s Presentation slide 5). The roles in the family have certain stereotypes that allow male to be differentiated from female gender. The differentiation is intensified by the stereotype that male parent is considered to be the breadwinner or the primary worker and provider in the
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