Gender Stereotyping Generates Identity Confusion In Contemporary Australia

Essay by chookezUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, April 2008

download word file, 2 pages 0.0

Gender is a mixture of sexual divergence, sociological concerns and human behaviors such as being masculine or feminine. Gender identity refers to communally accustomed characteristics or conventional behaviors.We are born as Male or Female, though we learn to be masculine or feminine. (Foucault). Contemporary Australian society has developed to be a great deal more nonchalant attitude about gender roles, although there are, however, stereotypes that people uphold which creates identity confusion. This argument will be discussed below.

Gender identity is taught through gender socialization. There are six key foundations of gender socialization recognized by Wearing (1996) they are; “family, peers, media, education, leisure and employment. The customary “masculine stereotype includes strength, dominance, independence and insensitivity” (Avery and Baker 1990, Psychology at Work, Prentice Hall). The feminine stereotype includes male dependency modesty, sincerity, and emotional expression. Barky (1988) argues that femininity and masculinity are essential elements to who one is, and brings meaning to ones life.

She argues that those who do not conform to the ‘norm’ will find themselves isolated from there peers. In contrast French (1999) argues that boys are willing to change and establish behaviors that are against the stereotypes formed, in order to establish relationships with their peers.

Children are taught from the moment of birth appropriate behavior for their gender. For example boys are applauded for rough play and girls are often praised on looks. Children, therefore, learn to differentiate on suitable behaviors and thus form a gender identity. Barsky claims that Australians fall into gender roles, which are almost impossible to overcome. If one chooses to be dissimilar in behavior they excluded and incapable to develop relationships within society and thus lead an unsuccessful life. French however, through his studies, proved that through teaching boys that it is alright to be sensitive and...