Before you can truly understand the sociology
of gender issues, it is first important to differentiate gender from sex. This
will enable researches to know the sociology and psychology of the male and female
psyche without confusing them with biological and even genetic factors.
Let us first look into the sociology
of sex. Basically, people can be categorised into two main categories which are male of female. The female is the one who
has the two X chromosomes and she is the one to bear any offspring. Meanwhile, the male has the XY chromosome wherein the
Y chromosome is shorter compared to the X chromosome (Jackson).
On the other hand, gender is a perceived purpose to add a projected factor in
humans. To understand gender, it is important to fully understand the process of sociology
for both male and female. Sociology of these factors is delineated by the norms
and behaviors that an individual is expected to perform depending on their gender. When an individual accepts these roles,
they behave in such a way that is expected of them, so that they will belong to the right gender category (wikipedia2007 [online]).
However, unlike sex, gender roles can change. It is also not that simple to understand
the sociology of gender because a lot of factors can influence it including culture,
tradition, parents, peers, and even society as a whole. For example, people usually associate a male to have characteristics
such as courage, aggressiveness, and masculinity. People will also associate female with feminine traits such as empathy,
receptiveness, and submissiveness. Because of this, boys are expected to play with toy soldiers while females are expected
to play with dolls.
It is important to note though, that these characteristics will not always be
followed. The boy who used to play with toy soldiers might suddenly decide that he wants to have more feminine traits such
as sensitivity and gentleness as he grows older. This might not change his sex or his gender but he no longer behaves as most
would expect him to. This is where sociology comes in (Thorne 1998).
SOCIOLOGY AND GENDER ISSUES
There are several gender issues that
may be attributed to biology. This indicates that there are social constructions that may already be present even without
the influence of the outside environment on a person.
Understanding the sociology of gender issues is not a simple task. In the workplace or even in society, you will
notice that there are differences as well as inequality because of gender. The sociology
that people are accustomed to does play a role of why these inequalities are present. For example, being in the female gender
can be quite challenging for some women because they have to deal with income disparity as well as limited job opportunities
in some areas. Sociology is more complicated than that though, because the situation
of one woman in one side of the globe is different from the situation of a woman in another. As you can see, sociology goes deeper than gender issue; you may also need to tackle
national, racial, religious, and ethnic issues as well (Kramer 2000).
Kramer, Sarah. The
Sociology of Gender. 2000 edition.
Jackson, S. Heterosexuality in Question.
Thorne, B. Gender Play: Boys and Girls in School. 1998 Edition
URL http://www.wikipedia.com[online source]. Last accessed 7 November 4, 2007.