Gender behavior: Nature or Nurture

Essay by kisam3University, Bachelor's May 2004

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Gender is the general identity that defines a person's biological differences as well as their sociological differences used to emphasize the distinctions between males and females. Gender roles are the stereotypes that are assigned to a specific gender by the general culture; these roles help people distinguish their gender differences but at the same time create inequality between the two sexes. A strong example of gender roles implemented by society is children and their awareness of their own gender identification. Children's striving for appropriate behavior according to their stereotypes is largely influenced by their parents and early surroundings. In the given articles about gender roles along with my personal experience as a female and my brother's experience as a male, gender behavior is culturally conditioned, we are not automatically born with gender roles instead they are learned.

Beginning with birth of children, their environment is instantly influenced by the gender stereotypes in the culture.

Because the parents wish for their babies to be masculine or feminine, boys are never dressed in pink as it is considered to be a feminine color. We can also distinguish gender though their name. In a traditional Chinese family, people think two different names before the baby is born, one is for girl and one is for boy. Male usually are named "Wai", "Kei"and "Man" which mean grandeur, preeminence and intelligence. Female usually likes to call "Yan", "Mei" and "Yee" which mean flourish, beauty and good carriage. In addition, parents usually buy different kinds of toys for their male and female children. For example, they buy trucks or guns for boys and buy dolls or cooking sets for girls.

In "Girl," Jamaica Kincaid frames a story as a mother's advice to her daughter. The mother constantly orders her daughter how to be women that...