Sex and Gender Roles


Sex and gender comprise of two distinct topics. The definition of sex is provided as the characteristics, which distinguish humans as male or female. Arguably, these biological differences are not mutually exclusive in every human, but the term is still utilized in the distinction of humans as males and females. On the other hand, gender is a term utilized in the reference of socially assigned roles to males and females. In addition, they include personality traits, behaviors, and values. Gender is not acquired through biological and anatomical characteristics. It is an identity that changes from time to time and is learned and not same in all cultures. These social and gender roles play a great part in influencing men and women to conduct themselves according to the traditional masculine and feminine ways accepted. The emphasis on sex and gender roles has always been significant since ancient times and even today in contemporary societies such as the United States and Australia. The following argument will review the discussion why gender roles continue to be significant in today’s societies.


Research asserts that an emphasis on gender role is important in contemporary societies such as the United States and Australia. The proof is evident from the social construction of these societies. Social construction refers to the social and cultural norms of these societies. The social and cultural norms of these two societies depend on things like standard rules, stereotypical ideals and the power expectations of men and women. For instance, from the article, the standard rules of women and men seem to be that men and women should behave in the manner that their gender roles specifies or expects of them. The Random mum provides proof that the society still expects people to behave according to their gender roles. The Random mum is concerned that the son might become gay from the way he behaves (Hoffman, 2011).

There are some stereotypical ideals in the contemporary societies that proof the emphasis of sex and gender roles is still important. From the article, most people including Dr. Phil expects male children to be play with male toys while female are associated with feminine toys such as Barbie dolls. The power expectations and correct of male and females in contemporary societies like the United States and Australia prove that the emphasis on sex and gender roles is still important. This is because the Random moms across America deem the Sarah Hoffman’s son to be gay. The son does not behave as the society expects him to because he wears dresses to school, and still plays with both boys and girls, something that is unusual with other boys of his age.

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Secondly, the emphasis of gender roles is important in the United States, and Australia and this is portrayed through the society’s analysis of people (Arvanitakis, 2009, Pg. 45). The Random moms’ predictions that the son demonstrated signs of becoming gay show that gender roles are valued. According to the random moms, a boy who is so much into girls stuff like playing princess and keeping long hair, and does not associate much with boyish stuff including sports such as football, might become gay. In addition, the concerns of the woman in Dr. Phil’s website prove that contemporary societies still find gender roles significant (Hoffman, 2011). The woman seemed concerned that her son’s feminine ways are a precursor to what her son will become. The son liked to play with Barbies and wore feminine clothes.

The mother in this situation provides a good demonstration of how the society judges people according to how they behave in relation to their gender. Contemporary societies still value gender roles and do expect at certain age boys and girls should socialize more with their gender than the opposite. Sarah Hoffman’s son socialized with both girls and boys something that the women found unusual and thought he lacked some trait associated with boys specifically. The people that mail Sarah Hoffman also demonstrate that gender roles still matter to them. They condemn her for condoning a nonconformist behavior in her son. They try to encourage her change her son’s behavior by telling her that if she sops encouraging her son to behave in a girlish manner, the boy will transform and try playing football (Hoffman, 2011).

Psychologists’ analysis and research reviews on gender roles in contemporary societies also prove that they are still significant. For instance, Dr. Phil, a telepsychologist asserts that a boy playing with girls’ toys or a girl playing with boys’ toys does not necessarily act as a precursor of what the kid will grow to be (Richmond, 1996, 85). Despite this observation, Dr. Phil presents another view to the argument, as he tells Robby that it is not right for her to buy his son girl’s toys. This shows that psychologists find the gender roles essential and the only way to cultivate them involves teaching kids the right manner of conducting themselves. Robby also seems to criticize her son’s behavior (Hoffman, 2011).

Psychological researchers also prove that mothers result to a number of issues in their offspring. This means that the psychologists also emphasize gender roles, and that is why they researched on the causes of some problems on children. Sarah Hoffman seems the cause of her son’s gayness, as she encourages him through providing anything the boy wants, including the girls stuff. Hoffman also encourages her son to behave in any manner he wants, which psychologists argue is not correct. Despite psychologists emphasizing gender roles, they distinguish what results to unbecoming behavior such lesbianism and homosexuality. According to Dr. Phil, homosexuality and lesbianism are not self-induced. They result because of a predetermined nature, and people exhibiting such characteristics need support and not condemnation.

The religious institutions also provide evidence that gender roles are still emphasized in contemporary societies like United States and Australia. Religious institutions respect the sanctity of gender roles, as they believe it has a link to what God created one to be. They view the violation of gender roles like going against the teachings of God’s command. Religious institutions also emphasize gender roles as it is condemned in the Bible for one to engage bad behavior such as lesbianism or homosexuality. From the article, the emphasis of gender roles by the church depicts when they threaten to kick a woman out of their church due to her actions, which amounted to promotion of gayness. From the article, the mom had published a blog that went viral attracting close to 46, 000 comments. The content on the blog was about how her son is gay.

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In addition, the woman is accused of standing up to other preschool mothers who criticized her. This prompted the church to threaten her with the elimination from the congregation. Another evidence proving that the church emphasizes gender roles in contemporary societies is the claim by Conservative, Religious Institutions such as the Focus on the Family and Exodus International (Hoffman, 2011). These two religious organizations claim that parents promote gayness. James Dobson, a former member of the Focus on Family Organization wrote a book that provides guidelines to parents for laying a healthy foundation for heterosexual identity for their children. Arguably, the church inculcates the use of reparative therapy to try to transform or “ungay” children, before the gayness spreads.

The media also seems inclined to emphasize gender roles in these contemporary societies. For instance, the Disney Company, which produces programs for kids, emphasizes gender roles through the programs it creates (Barker, 2005). The media somewhat educates children through assigning the male characters, male gender roles, and the female characters, female gender roles. This is a campaign against gayness and lesbianism. The media also emphasizes gender roles through airing of programs that educate the people in these contemporary societies on the significance of living straight, and observing their gender roles.

No matter how contemporary these societies are, there is still some form of discrimination based on gender orientation of a person. People in these societies have not fully accepted things like homosexuality and lesbianism. This is a clear indication that these societies still emphasize gender roles. Discrimination results from the clothing or the mode of behavior a person exhibits in these societies. For instance, the article explicates those boys who wear clothes with pink colors end up being ridiculed by others, since the color is associated with girls. Boys and girls who are mocked end up committing suicide due to the extended ridicule.

In conclusion, it is a matter of fact that contemporary societies like Australia and the United States emphasize gender roles. This fact is established through the examination of various topics such as the social expectations of people in the society, sex, and gender discrimination, analysis of both psychologists and religious institutions views on the matter. All these institutions provide different views concerning gender roles, but in essence, they all emphasize gender roles. For instance, the church blames parents for diversion of children from their gender roles. On the other hand, psychologists agree that it is a self-elicit situation, but condemn parents who condone the behavior on their children. Therefore, it is evident that contemporary societies still emphasize gender roles.

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