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Gender Roles: Societies' Law And Genetic Code

1660 words - 7 pages

When I'm out for a walk on a fine spring day, I pass by a park near my house. I notice a family of four, playing together. The parents were both pretty young and they had a young boy and girl. The father was throwing a football and chasing his son around, while the mother was pushing her daughter on the swing. As I walk by on the path, I almost trip over their bikes because I am speculating on how young kids start to associate gender roles. I realize that there is a small pink Barbie bike, a small black bike with flames, and two genderized mountain bikes, which support my thinking of gender roles in our lives. Why do girls dislike doing things guys do? Why can't guys be exactly like girls? ...view middle of the document...

The media influences us to think that if we do not fit any of these, we are not attractive to the other sex or will be considered important. So where do these guidelines come from? The influence lies in our genes and the way society has shaped us.Men and women have very different physical features. Men are generally bigger, faster, stronger, and hairier. There is a great overlap though; the strongest woman is more physically enhanced than the majority of men. Women, on the other hand, have less iron in their blood (making them generally colder often than males), are smaller, have breasts and bigger hips (for birth), and have slender shoulders. But the thing that greatly contributes to gender roles are hormones. Testosterone in men makes them more aggressive, while estrogen in females promotes the secondary female characteristics and is required for birth. Both sexes have both hormones, but males have substantially higher concentrations of testosterone and the same goes with females and estrogen. If males have more testosterone than females, it tends to make then more aggressive and violent than females. Also, testosterone makes men's bodies stronger, less susceptible to being sick; estrogen makes women live longer because they need to conceive children, but they are often sick more then males. With the effects of testosterone and estrogen, who would disagree that it impacts the ideology of gender roles greatly?There are also other differences genetically between males and females. Men are more likely to get certain diseases or traits: Color-blindness, hemophilia, leukemia, dyslexia, left-handedness, heart disease, strokes, emphysema, and other color-hearing defects. Women also get certain diseases that do not usually occur in men: thyroid & bladder disorders, anemia, spastic colon, varicose veins, migraines, gallstones, arthritis, and asthma. (Tucker-Ladd) Girls also can read emotions, actions, and body language better than guys. This starts as early as infancy because infant girls are more likely to recognize faces and respond to people better than infant boys. This may be from the development of the brain. Females seem to excel in writing and verbal skills, while males do better in math and visual subjects. "When older men and women have strokes on the left side, where language functions are thought to be, men are three times more likely to become aphasic (speech problems). This suggests speech is more concentrated on the left side in males than in females." (Tucker-Ladd). Other than genetic differences, the influence of society also has a big impact on gender roles.Every society has many unspoken rules, but the people know that they are there. Some of these rules apply to gender roles. Ever since we were children, our parents dress us in colors that fit boys or girls. "By age two, children usually understand that they are members of a gender..." (Devor 424) Boys are more aggressively played with than girls. Girls are kissed, brushed and...

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