Gender and sexual double standards in the united states

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Gender and Sexual Double Standards in the United States
Giselle Christine O’Neill
Social Anthropology
Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico

INDEX

ABSTRACT.........................................................................................................................3

GENERALBODY...............................................................................................................4

BIBLIOGRAPHY..............................................................................................................13

ABSTRACT

Sex and gender go hand in hand. Gender are the cultural traits assigned and inculcated into a specific sex. Unlike your biological sex, gender is something learned. Sex, referring to sexual acts, also has different cultural ideas andrules attached to it. In certain cultures men and women don’t enjoy the same sexual standards. It is often women who are judged and stigmatized for expressing their sexuality. The vocalization of these judgements towards a woman is often called “slut shaming” and it can do irreparable damage to a woman’s reputation, social and professional life.

Our personal attributes are determined by bothbiology and by cultural environment during our upbringing. One of the first things attributed to a person is their sex and their gender. Sex stands for the genetic criteria that assign a person with certain biological characteristics. Biology provides us with our physical attributes, but it is society that tells us how to use them and what they mean. Gender is a series of characteristics that are usedto distinguish between males and females in a society, in other words, it is the social construction of whether an individual is a male or a female. From these ideas societies develop gender roles which are a set of social and behavioral norms that are considered socially appropriate for individuals of a specific sex. These include job distribution, moral and ethical behaviors and expectations,familial roles, and sexual expression.

Across cultural studies it is seen that certain gender roles tend to be somewhat universal. Men tend to be assigned jobs that require more physical strength such as hunting big game, butchery, metalworking, etc. while women are given tasks in the home or closer to the home such as collecting vegetables and roots, fuel (such as firewood), and the care of thehome. When the sustenance of the family is more equally distributed, that is, both mother and father contribute equally to provide the material things needed, social stratification is less marked. Also, when men and women hold a more equal amount of public positions, stratification also lowers. However, in most societies women are

expected to maintain, and are responsible for, the home andchildren. In some instances, this pressure and expectation keeps women from pursuing outside work, and in some societies, they aren’t even allowed to do so.

Women are biologically inclined to take care of their progeny since their bodies are only allowed to reproduce for a certain time in their lives. They are invested in the survival of their offspring because of that biological impulse tospread ones genes. Men tend to be less involved in childrearing due in part perhaps to biology, since men can reproduce throughout most of their lives, but also due to societal stereotypes of masculinity vs. femininity. Men are more universally accepted to copulate with many women during their lifetime, and even to do so extramaritally and premaritally. Gender stereotypes play a role in the formationof a persons gender identity. Men are presented the idea that the ideal masculine man is a womanizer, a seducer, one who gets what he wants, when he wants and, most importantly for this argument, from whomever he wants. Women are presented the idea of an ideal housewife, dedicated mother, and being submissive to men. This stereotype has been challenged by feminism which seeks equality between...
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