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Norma Garnica Gender Role Formation And Development
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The gender role is a result of the women and men’s interrelation in the frames of society. People often mix the notions of “sex” and “gender”. However, the meaning of these two terms has not only significant semantic difference but also physiological, psychological and sociological distinctions. As practice and investigations confirm, the history has made noticeable modifications in relations which have resulted in the changes of gender role and a process of gender development. It has turned out that social processes are the most influential aspects leading to the transformations. For example, the feminist movement has altered the role of a woman as a housewife giving her important socio-politic and economic roles. It has changed the life of males as well. Moreover, many scientists highlight that the early years become the primary stage in the process of gender development. Although physical and cognitive transformations contribute to the personal growth, the social construction is the most significant background of the gender development

Identification of “Sex” and “Gender”

The contemporary society does not pay much attention to the definitions of “sex” and “gender”, and replaces them by each other as the synonyms. Nevertheless, these two words determine the same thing but have different connotations. Actually, it is impossible to substitute the term “sex” by “gender” since the former determines some biological and physical peculiarities. IT is a set of physiological characteristics associated with the aspect of reproductive systems and sexual anatomic details. It is a constructive description concerning the genital’s differences. This unchangeable phenomenon of a human body does not depend on social aspects and is determined by the natural processes. However, this term is closely connected with notion of orientation. The modern trends use the aspect of sex as a means of the sex segregation by dividing clothes, toys and media for boys and girls. Thus, the sex-segregation and other social issues become essential factors for the gender notion formation.

The notion of gender has some subjective meaning as it depends on society, cultural peculiarities, family factors, personal cognitive changes, and behavior. The term is more complicated than “sex” since it can change. For instance, the orientation of the person formed as a result of some factors can compel an individual to change the sex.. The role of gender is strictly prescribed by the cultural affiliation. For instance, the role of women in the majority of Muslim countries is determined by longtime traditions. The formation of gender role there starts in the early childhood by some segregations and limitations. Gender formation is performed according to some stereotypic factors formed during the historical changes. Thus, gender is a set of characteristics prescribed by the society and determined by the communicative process which is noticeable in the media production and education.

Consequently, the main differences between “sex” and “gender” are social and physiological features. The sex exists in all the cultures and has the same meaning in each of them. The gender has different connotations and meanings in various communities. The set of biological characteristics, hormones, organs and genetic factors build up the meaning of sex. Gender is a certain role, place, position, and meaning which a person has in the society. Sexual adaptation is naturally impossible since it is a part of a physic process of human existence. Nevertheless, the gender can be assimilated and adjusted in the frame of socialization and cultural affiliation. As a result, it is possible to assume that the gender role and gender can be changed in the process of some adaptation. Basically, it gives an important background for the sex changes by the help of surgical interference. Moreover, it has been confirmed that the American society is moving in the direction of tolerance to diverse sexual orientations. This cultural tradition contributes to the development of sexual minorities and the gender role modifications.

The Development of Gender Role

The longtime history illustrates the changes of the gender role and formation of its position and place due to some significant social factors. The gender roles have changed to create new expectations for men and women. For example, women were in a total submission to their husbands when men were the authority of the family making all the important decisions. In 1958, only 38% of females had a college education but could not find the job. The changes in the society have become the key factors in the process of transformation of the gender role. The society has altered due to some historical events, wars, economic and technic advancements. As a consequence, women have become quite important in the society that means the contemporary world is heading in the direction of the female gender promotion as women can cope with all the men’s jobs. Furthermore, the role of gender in some countries has been replaced, when in the other states it stays the same. It is closely connected with the social traditions and the emergence of the feminism moment that has given a strong impulse for the gender role development.

Speaking about feminism, it is a social phenomenon which has become one of the most influential forces in the gender role development. This movement is always associated with men hating women; however, it is a social struggle for the improvement of the female stand in the community. It does not deny men’s rights but has an intention of the equality. Nevertheless, feminism makes difference in the society and separates the females from males. The word feminist is not only gender specific language, it is polarizing. Betsy Cairo stresses that the word “feminism” should not be used further as it causes binary. One should mention that it contributed to the gender role formation in the society in a certain period of history. In addition, the gender role development starts at the personal level.

The society appears to be the most important issue in the physical and cognitive changes of the personality. The children are brought up strictly according to the sex differentiations: girl is associated with pink when boys – with blue. Parents buy dolls for daughters and cars for sons. The experimentations with children confirm that a human has quite subjective views on the gender role in the society in the beginning of a personal development. Nevertheless, the society makes some modifications in the process of personal growth. When a child achieves some level of moral and physical advancement, he/she starts the soul searching. Every individual has unique soul characteristics, and it is hard to predict his/her social position due to different families’ and cultural traditions. These aspects become social frames for the gender role formation.

Thus, the society is the most important fundamental factor of the gender development. It defines the aspect of male and female and strictly prescribes the norms, behavior, and place for the representatives of various genders. The community envelops many essential factors, and it is impossible to determine the level of the influence of each of them. The media, religion, geographic location, economic peculiarities produce some social products. These can be information, traditions, life conditions, fear of divine revenge and social justice. Therefore, the gender development cannot be absolutely independent. This phenomenon proves that the person is formed depending on the social construction. For instance, the girl born in Muslim country will get the biggest influence of sex segregation and religious norms. If a boy is born in America, he can accept working wife and home-sitting husband. However, it has not been normal before the industrial era. The social construct of gender is something outside of the control of one. The development of the gender role depends on the external factors and the choice.

The choice theory accepts the human life as a chosen process. Nevertheless, even the personal choice is not an independent factor since it is closely connected with some biological, natural needs. These are a survival instinct, sexual relations, freedom, power, and pleasure. People modify their life norms according to these factors. The choice theory confirms that all the human beings are free in this decision as they act due to their will. However, the biological needs limit their scale of choice. The behaviors that are chosen give individuals a sense of control over their lives. At the same time, individuals depend on their social frames as the community becomes more important than a personal choice for the majority of them. It is quite easy to prove. For instance, homosexuals can be afraid of total hatred for their orientation. Thus, these people have to conceal their intention to change the gender and sex as well. They have to act accordingly to the expectations of the society. To sum, it turns out that the gender role formation depends on many essential factors, but all of them are the result of the social processes.

However, it is possible to assume that the gender role is a phenomenon which does not have any determinations in the human nature. People use it just to make their life easier. Thus, even the notion of gender is the result of social relations. The differentiation between genders is a certain challenge that emerged as a result of interrelations. The Hollywood art presents many pictures which prove this idea. The Mad Max’s hero Furiosa is, actually, a woman according to the sex characteristics. However, the author of the movie tries to get rid of any other gender differences. Thus, Charlize Therron was even shaved. It is necessary to admit that her role could have been easily played by a man. It is obvious that males and females are changing their roles in the society, and it is an essential part of the gender development. It proves that the representatives of the genders achieve not only equality but also some progress since women and men perform the work of the opposite sex. The social conditions have been adapted to it. For instance, a man can watch a baby, when a woman works. Therefore, the milk modifiers for infant feeding are necessary for the gender role development process. Actually, the society has invented many details of human life which contribute to gender role transformations.

Thus, the notion of gender has appeared as a result of the social assimilation of the person. Primarily, the sex difference was the main criterion for some segregation and discrimination. The longtime history shows the changes of the gender role. All the aspects of these transformations have been caused by the social factors. The cultural traditions form the personality and influence the soul searching though social frames can be an important obstacle in this process. The society adapts and accommodates all the possibilities for the gender promotion and equality, and women and men change their roles. The cognitive and physical modifications transform a personality but only the society can develop and construct the gender role.

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