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Sean Lee

Professor Beadle

ENGL 114A

May 3, 2017

Expectations within Gender? or Sex?

Is there an expectation for each of the genders, or sex? Is there even a difference between

gender and sex? Based on the articles from, Composing Gender: A Bedford Spotlight Reader,

there were a few that talk about both the expectation that we may see within, whether in gender

or sex. The articles within this book are informative to the readers that may not know much

about gender within the society. It is quite important to understand the gender norm within the

world because every single person correlates with gender. Gender is around us all so it is critical

to be informed on what it is.

Being educated about what gender is important because we see it in our society to this

day. When being informed about gender, it is crucial to know what the differences between

gender and sex. From the article, Night to his Day: The Social Construction of Gender, by

Judith Lorber states that there is a big difference in gender and sex. But gender and sex are not

equivalent, and gender as a social construction does not flow automatically from genitalia and

reproductive organs, the main physiological differences of females and males, (Lorber 21) is a

quote that states that gender is something that is put upon a person the moment they are born.

Though being gendered, it is possible for some to change their gender, which as led to

transgenders. It is true that they may be transexual, however, a persons sex cannot alter

while gender can change. Individuals are born sexed but not gendered, and they have to be

taught to be masculine or feminine, (Lorber 24) helps to support what I am saying to being
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gendered being able to change, while the sex cannot be altered. Overall, this article states that the

difference between gender and sex is that a person is sexed on birth, however, gender can be

shifted depending on ones choice.

Although gender and sex may be different to society, however, no matter which gender or

sex one may be, there seems to be some roles that must be played within them. Socially, each

gender, or sex, may be expected to perform certain tasks that meet the requirements. For

example, it is known to the world that the men should be hardworking to support the family

whereas the women are responsible for staying home and tending to the family. The quote,

Gendered roles change - today fathers are taking care of little children, girls and boys are

wearing unisex clothing and getting the same education, women and men are working at the

same jobs, (Lorber 21) mentions that now, it should not matter which gender one may be, there

is no code that states each gender, or sex, must live up to.

Adults are not the only ones to be living to the assumption of gender roles. Trying to

understand and get into the expectation of gender can be seen early as childhood. Society shows

children what is expected from the genders, which is not necessary because the children should

have a choice on whether or not they choose to be they gender, sex, they are. The article,

Becoming Members of Society: The Social Meanings of Gender by Aaron Devor talks

mentioned that children are being expected something within their gender, which it seems he

believes to irrelevant to childhood. Childrens developing concept of themselves as individuals

are necessarily bound up in their need to understand the expectations of the society of which they

are a part of. (Devor 37), says children are learning to live up to the expectations of society

when it is unnecessary. Because of that, children are living to what they have seen and what
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people will see them as. It is not important whether a person is one gender or not, they should be

satisfied on what they please to do.

Gender and sex play a huge role in a persons identity because it makes us who we are

and displays what are actions mean. Again from the article, Night to his Day: The Social

Construction of Gender, quotes, A sex category becomes a gender status through naming,

dress, and the use of other gender markers, shows an action from this category. The one aspect

from this I want to point out is the dressing marker that people tend to appeal greatly. The way

that people dress seems to be one of the ways that people may want to show their gender, or sex.

This is true for me personally because I can say that I will only wear clothes that keeps me

looking masculine. I will stray from any clothes that may make me feel, or look, feminine like

from a color of a shirt. Most men, as myself, may stay away from colored clothes that may be

considered feminine because we do not want to be perceived as wearing womens clothes.

Growing up, I would never wear any of the clothes that had an odd color because it may not

have been acceptable at places, like school. Men would avert being seen in those clothes to not

be treated different from the social rule. I can say that I have gone along with the social

expectation of gender because that is the way that I have grown up. Clothing is not the only

aspect that has made be more masculine, but I believe it was it my nature that I may just be

naturally masculine. I am not saying that I wished I had not grown up in the social norm,

however, I just believe it is important to educate readers to know that it is fine for those who

believe this concept is respected. Every person experiences something different in their life, so

actions like dressing different may affect the person to part of another gender category.

Gender cannot be something that we can just ignore. From this articles we have learned

what makes a gender and what makes a sex. People are sexed on the day they were born and
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does not change, however, gender can be altered anyway the person feels.With that being

clarified, we had seen that no matter what it is, there is an expectation that one may have to meet.

Although, it is not necessary to meet all the assumptions due to the fact that they may just be

something that society expects it to be. These articles were critical in educating what gender is

and what types of role it has. Gender is something that needs to be emphasized because everyone

in society has a part within the role.


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Work Cited

- Groner, Rachel and OHara John F. Composing Gender: A Bedford Spotlight


Reader.
Boston: Bedford/St. Martins. 2014. Print.
- Lorber, Judith. Night to his Day: The Social Construction of Gender
Composing
Gender: A Bedford Spotlight Reader. Groner, Rachel and OHara, John F. Boston:
Bedford/St. Martins. 2014. Print.
- Devor, Aaron Becoming Members of Society: The Social Meanings of Gender
Composing Gender: A Bedford Spotlight Reader. Groner, Rachel and OHara,
John F. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins. 2014. Print.