Biological sex is the physical and physiological differences between males and females, such as chromosomes, reproductive organs, and hormones assigned at birth. On the other hand, gender is a socially constructed characteristic regarding masculinity and femininity. Gender is not binary and often exists along a continuum; thus can change based on personal identity.
Gender stereotypes refer to incongruent social roles distribution among men and women in society. It refers to the accepted societal norms regarding how masculine and feminine characters speak, dress, act or conduct themselves. The major stereotypical gender roles in the US include personality traits, domestic behaviors, occupations, and physical appearance. The stereotypical gender roles encompassing personality traits incorporate notions such as the irrational and nurturing behavior of women compared to men’s aggressive and rational nature (Hentschel, Heilman, & Peus, 2019). In domestic behaviors, men are expected to take care of finances while women take care of the children and the house’s cleanliness. Occupational stereotypes assume that men are fit the role of handy work such as engineers while women are mainly nurses or teachers. In addition, the physical appearance of men is depicted as muscular while that of women is graceful.
I learned my male gender through socialization with other people. First, I was stereotyped when I showed my emotions publicly, thus instilling a nature of astuteness. My dressing style also played a part in my identification as a male, as I preferred shorts. Lastly, my decision to imitate a male public figure helped me express my gender identity.
People who do not conform to gender roles are stigmatized and marginalized by society. They often face prejudices from their peers, are rejected by the family, and are sometimes bullied in school. The exclusion from society breeds rejection; thus, many move out of the family homes. The level of discrimination directed towards transgender, non-binary, and genderqueer individuals is often higher than in other groups. The group members are alienated from society through unequal treatment, particularly education and employment opportunities (Flaskerud & Lesser, 2018). The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recognizes only the male and female gender. In addition, the group members are threatened by members of society and face high levels of physical violence.