The term gender is used to refer to the social and cultural constructions of masculinities and femininities, not to the state of being male or female in its entirety. Culture had always been a factor in a person’s self-concept of gender, thus variations of treatments with regard to males and females had been identified among races. Through this the concept of gender roles, stereotypes and gender sensitivity had been introduced.
The topic in gender had been a very wide spread and interesting issue across cultures nowadays. Due to the gender related crimes, abuses and repressions, people all over the world is trying to understand the mechanism and dynamism of gender roles and gender sensitivity. This will lead to a more equal and understandable society.
Understanding gender varies across cultures. We cannot deny the fact that there are some cultures that observe women discrimination, male dominance and prejudices among homosexuals. Our society plays a key role in determining gender function.
Society demands what we should act and behave in accordance to our sexuality. Failing to accept ourselves for who we are can cause enormous problems. Wanting to be muscle-bound like Tom Cruise or slim like Angelina Jolie could get us into trouble if our body type doesn’t conform to these images, but stereotypes are more subtle than muscles and body weight. Masculine and feminine images that are portrayed in media also project their own psychological mystiques. As we grow up, our culture influences us through these images – usually without us realizing it. Men are expected to be aggressive, strong, dominant, sexually active, and have more permissive attitudes while women are expected to be emotional, sensitive, talks more intimate and plays less aggressively.
These beliefs are so ingrained in our consciousness that many of us think that gender roles are natural, so we don’t question them. Even if we don’t consciously subscribe to them as part of our own belief system, our culture bombards us with messages about what it means to be men and women today.