Despite the fact that feminism is trying to turn America into a place that is free from gender roles, rigid framework, as well as to provide equal rights to all, many factors that influence the formation of gender identity in children, still, exists in contemporary society. The person receives the greatest impact the parents and the relatives, friends, closest associates, from the community in schools, at work, as well as through the media, arts, cinema, etc. All of these factors can be determined in three groups: biological, social, and cultural. To determine which of these factors has the greatest importance to human behavior should be considered at the outset that each of them is.
Theories and research work on the differences between male and female gender gained their popularity over the last 30 years. Scientific works are intended to prove that gender differences are arranged on the biological level, for example, genetically (XX and XY chromosome pair to determine the sex of the child) or due to the amount of hormones produced in the body (testosterone – the male hormone and estrogen – the female). The difference in behavior depending on the chemical processes occurring in the brain, and on what parts of the brain had a reaction to the same stimuli; on the way of thinking and perception of information, its processing and transmission. For example, men plotting a course due to the orientation in space, and women memorize the landmarks – signboards and labels. However, attempts to explain the reasons for the differences in the manifestation of gender roles can lead to complication, instead of simplifying the problem. Initially, the issue of species survival caused the division of gender roles. The man is a fast hunter, providing food, while the woman protects the children, and teaches them for basic rules of survival. Nevertheless, the biological factors in modern society do not exert such a powerful influence on the formation of gender roles, as it was earlier. As for the social and cultural factors, it can be seen that there is a tendency to increase their influence on human behavior.
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The social factor has a great impact on the formation of gender differences. The well-being of the family in which the child is brought can be attributed to this factor – after all, it affects the quality of housing, and the prestige of the area that the family can afford, and as a result – the social circle. Social inequality is the old question that imposes a significant imprint on the destiny of whole generations. The social circle in which the person is determines the worldview of the individual, as well as the rules, norms and patterns of behavior in many areas. It determines the level of life aspirations and the maximum level that a person can achieve when all other normal conditions. The options of choosing the life line are limited not only by the financial capacity of the personality, but also by the width of the selection – the more opportunities are known to man, the more he has learned in his life, the higher chances of finding own purpose and take a comfortable position in society.
The cultural factor is the result of the historical heritage and varies according to the moral and ethical qualities, religious attitudes, and traditions in the social group, etc. The rules and regulations in these groups do not always meet modern trends in society; they are transmitted to the next generation because predecessors passed them as an inheritance. Any other prescriptions how-to-be a perfect person are not produced because this would mean to cast doubt on the knowledge that serves as a reference measure of compliance for many years. These inheritable patterns can contain a wealth of information, a detailed list of instructions that should meet the expectations entrusted to the child according to his gender. Either it could be a list of actions is strictly prohibited, as well as how to hide shortcomings and seem an ideal personality, which fits into the picture of the world.
Another one factor, which has an influence on human behavior and the formation of gender roles, can be assigned – the level of education. However, this factor comes into force later in life, when a person already has some particular set of rules and regulations, which are formed. I believe that this point should be taken into account, because if a person has knowledge in a particular area wide, it will be easier to distinguish between prejudice and useful information.
It is worth noting that each of the factors has the greatest impact on the formation of gender roles in humans in a particular period of its development. Biological factors affect most severely at a stage of pregnancy and the development of man from infancy to adolescence. Social impact starts from the moment when a person becomes aware of his identity. Cultural show the greatest impact when a person identifies himself as a member of the group, subculture, determine their own political, religious views. According to the impact duration of each of the factors, they can be arranged in this order from the strongest to the most insignificant: the social, cultural and biological.
Nowadays fixed distinction between male and female roles is erased, because of not only evolution, but also the development of culture, science and, in particular, scientific and technological progress. Women have proved their right to vote, the right to work and to be in demand at the same level as men. Each person became an independent and self-identity, which can survive and function normally, regardless of whether a person of the opposite sex. The faces are blurred – the woman can choose any profession, achieve the desired outcomes, and earn as much as possible, and the man may leave work to care for a child. In spite of this, the society is still not departed from the traditions and continues to put pressure and to dictate its rules, raising both boys and girls in the prescriptions who are they need to be to meet the expectations.
“The man we carry in our minds” addresses the issues gender mainstreaming on the social inequality basis. The fate of the boy who grew up in a needy family, most likely, will develop in the same scenario as the lives of others in this social stratum. Namely, it means the hard physical labor with the consequences in the form of diseases in the future, without an opportunity to change their lives in the global meaning. At the same time, a man in this social layer becoming jealous to women because he is assumed that women’s destiny is better than men’s. Such person is convinced that the women do not have that level of responsibility for the welfare of the family, both material and moral; they are not obliged to join the army or pooping themselves in heavy physical labor. Woman enjoying the gifts of life, she is more carefree and protected in an understanding of such a man.
If a boy belongs to the upper class, then his future is likely to be well equipped and comfortable – usually children of abundant parents graduate from prestigious schools and inherit the parental capital and business. Sons replace their fathers, sharing their power based on gender identity because it was accepted in the society. When women cry enviously that men in this world possess all the joys and benefits, they mean namely such a successful, rich and powerful men, rather than men, representing the working class. They compare all men in the world with their fathers, who were leaving women to be content with little. From this point of view, a woman is trying to compete with men for benefits and authority, and not to give any man a chance to take her place.
I believe that women experienced more rigid restrictions imposed by the gender roles. Men did not think about the fact to protect their reputation – on the contrary, a man has been more attractive if his fame was far ahead of him. At the same time, the woman was not only to do things that might discredit her the dignity and honor but also she had to anticipate what actions can be even compromised before it happened. Additionally, it would be good to recall a large number of books for girls that are taught how to run the economy, and the rules of etiquette, about finishing schools, the purpose of which was precisely the creation of an ideal wife and companion. Regarding the question of who has more limitations in traditional gender roles, from a personal perspective, the society is moving away from the traditional model of a rigid framework. If gender roles are rigidly fixed, the person has no choice but to strive for what is possible, and corresponding to what is recognized. Adult people are still to inherit unnecessary patterns of behavior, passing them to their children. For example, a Barbie doll as a gift, which has stilted proportions and can cause low self-esteem, distorting the idea of female beauty. However, the rejection of the traditions as an inheritance means an attempt to deny the importance the values that this tradition brings. In the case of Barbie, they are sexuality, beauty, luxury. Children can easily follow the rigid framework, and at the same time to go beyond them, feeling that the world is changing and that a clear distinction is no longer exists.
From an early age different people, as well as a large flow of information affect the person’s behavior, consciously or unconsciously. The greatest influence on the formation of human behavior has the social factor, which creates the worldview, life stance and the level of person’s aspirations. Cultural factors are regulations limiting human behavior to a greater or lesser extent, depending on the group to which a person belongs. Biological factors are due to evolution, but they have lost their influence due to the transformation of society and the progress. The greatest inequality by gender is observed in both privileged and needy families. Concerning the situation in general, it might be said that women had been subjected to more stringent restrictions, and it concerned to almost all aspects of their lives.
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