The Social Construction of Gender

The complexities of culture have implications on how people view their gender. Notably, cultural perceptions significantly influence one’s gender identity. Therefore, gender is socially constructed, and it plays a vital role in shaping the ideals of acceptable behavior.

According to Lorber’s article, people see their gendered self through social situations. First, identification of a child brings about different treatments and expectations. Undeniably, naming and dressing right from childbirth have socialized me to belong to a particular gender. Expectations from the social norms assume that I should have specific features, values, and perform distinct roles in the society. Additionally, social norms have shaped people’s perceptions of gender by attributes such as what jobs they do and the clothes they should wear Lorber, (2018). I am more of gender assigned person throughout, and I do not find myself dislocated socially because sexual role is a familiar part of life. Since birth, I have been socialized to be the character of my gender.

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Consequently, gender signs and signals are notable, and therefore, I do not find myself explaining my sexuality. Gender construction begins at birth where the sex of a child is determined. Furthermore, social norms such as dressing have made it easy to learn about my gender. In Heckman’s documentary, “The Wrong Bathroom”, it is evident how the society is discriminatory on public washrooms Heckman, (2006). Individuals who use restrooms of the opposite gender are at a high risk of facing discrimination, disciplined, or even being attacked. Nevertheless, there are no outright policies on the public restrooms. Thus, gaps on how to accommodate the transgender population in the lavatories exist. Notably, the broader society lacks clear policies on whether public bathrooms should be gender neutral.

Irrefutably, social norms shape how people perceive gender. At times, these discernments lead to discrimination, which signifies the impact of gendered lives. As a result, the society should rise and condemn any form of discrimination by addressing the challenges through favorable public policies.

References

Heckman, Shani (2006, July 4). WRONG BATHROOM Gender discrimination in restrooms, award winning film! [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFDaYIsOWQk

Lopez, M. (2018). Breaking Bathroom Barriers: Equality of Access for Gender Non-conforming New Yorkers? – Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College. Retrieved from http://www.roosevelthouse.hunter.cuny.edu/?forum-post=13026

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