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Gender Theory Paper - Essay Example

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Running Head: GENDER THEORIES Name of student: Topic: Lecturer: Date of Presentation: Introduction Gender development is the progressive establishment of socially constructed roles among men and women that begin from infancy to adulthood. There are four approaches to gender development that have been defined in this paper…
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Download file to see previous pages Cultural Approach The cultural approach to gender development is based on the culture of a particular society. Culture comprises the idiosyncratic beliefs, traditions and value systems that are inherent to a particular society. Culture influences gender development through societal expectations about traits and manners appropriate to either male or female members of a particular social order, thereby defining gender roles in day to day life (Appelbaum et al. 2003). Critical Approach The critical approach to gender development is based on the standpoint and the queer performative theories that are focused on societal structures and practices that lead to stratification of people in to groups that possess different privileges unique to each group. For example, men in most cases are accorded the dominant group over women and also enjoy greater privileges in matters of leadership and socio-economic engagements of the society. Critical theorists postulate that the dominant groups advance their interests and viewpoints and impose them on the minority. On the other hand, the subjugated groups become empowered when they realize their plight and fight to overturn the prevailing circumstances so that their viewpoint is accorded consideration (Beck et al. 2006). Biological Theory The biological theory is based on the premise that gender development and differences arise as a result of biological processes that determine how the brain of an individual works. The theory attributes differences in characteristics between men and women to the variance in the functioning of the brain caused by chromosomal and hormonal differences. Women possess two x chromosomes while men possess an x and y chromosome. On the other hand, sex chromosomes in men and women are produced in varying quantities thereby causing the behavioral differences (Perrin, 2003). The biological approach is valid with regards to male and female hormones. Andrea & Moretti (2009) argue that men and women exhibit different characteristics based on their hormonal and chromosomal differences. Androgens are the male sex hormones that lead to the development of male characteristics and in adulthood, males tend to behave more aggressively than their female counterparts with estrogen and progesterone. High level of oxytocin in women is associated with sociability and emotions (Arnold, 2011). It is therefore generally expected that women exhibit greater reaction emotionally to traumatizing experiences than men. This highlights the reason why women are regarded as weak in terms of withstanding stress. The sex hormones exhibit different physical characteristics in men and women whereby men develop strong muscle and are able to undertake vigorous exercises compared to women who possess a tender physical structure. Further more, the hormonal activity in women especially with regards to menstrual cycle and pregnancy leads to irregular mood swings that are typical of the female gender (Andrea & Moretti, 2009). Interpersonal Approach The interpersonal approach to gender development is based on interpersonal factors that contribute to the development of masculine or feminine characteristics. This approach can be explained through the psychodynamic theory that focuses on childhood development within a family that accentuates interpersonal bonds thereby affecting a child’s sense of identity. It can also be explicated through the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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