Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

John ethnicity of the group, their historical

John Gray emphasizes in his book, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, men and women are from distinct planets and each sex is acclimated to its own planet’s society and customs, but not to those of the other. He argues that men and women differ in their values, attitudes, preferences, and behavior patterns, further explaining that they must be from different planets. However, sociologists make it a primary goal to clearly define and explain sex, sexuality, and gender. These terms are strictly defined in Conley’s You May Ask Yourself (Fourth Edition): sex is “used to describe the biological differences that distinguish males from females,” and sexuality “refers to desire, sexual preference, and sexual identity and behavior,” and lastly, gender is “the set of social arrangements that are built around normative sex categories.” Gray’s mix of sex, sexuality, and gender directly contrasts with sociologists’ view that gender is a social contract, in which ultimately Gray’s assessment is lacking for numerous reasons. Gender norms are learned from birth through childhood socialization. We learn what is expected of our gender from what our parents teach us, as well as what we pick up at school, through religious or cultural teachings, in the media, and various other social institutions. The kinds of sexual practices that humans have engaged in have varied depending on the time period or the cultural context. Gender identity can be affected by, and is different from one society to another depending on the way the members of society evaluate the role of females and males. Our gender identity can be influenced from the ethnicity of the group, their historical and cultural background, family values and religion. Gender is one set of stories we tell each other and believe in to get by in the world. It is a collectively defined guidebook that humans use to make distinctions among themselves, to separate one from being from another. In Paradoxes of Gender, Lorber claims that gender is a social institution that establishes patterns of expectations for individuals, orders the social processes of everyday life, is built into the major social organizations of society. Gender is ultimately about power struggles and how they organize daily life.Adding from gender, sexuality is also a social construction, as it is ultimately affected by social factors. By stating sexuality is a social construction, one would argue that the notion of normal, especially referring to sex, is always contested. The range of normal and abnormal is itself a construction, a production of society. Gray’s assessment is lacking because by blending the roles of gender and sexuality, specifically based on sex, he is arguing in a false sense that genetic makeup is the sole cause of certain actions and dispositions from both males and females. Sex is indeed biological and not a social construct like gender or sexuality. Sex refers to the anatomical and other biological differences between females and males that are determined at the moment of conception and develop in the womb and throughout childhood and adolescence. Females, of course, have two X chromosomes, while males have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome. From this basic genetic difference spring other biological differences. The nature of inequalities between men and women dates back to the sociologist view of Emile Durkheim, and the idea of social facts and the essence of an individual’s ability to act independently of the obstacles that deter from their personal right of achieving social equality. The patriarchal social structure in the workforce in which women are seen as inferior is perpetuated by the collective social belief of female inferiority and a male dominance of power, as created by a mutual interaction between men and women. However, this role of both men and women has been questioned since the start of the 1960s, when Gayle Rubin proposed the “sex/gender system,” making feminist thinkers to start arguing why were women always on the bottom of stratification systems, or why did women in almost every society seem to get short shrift. At the beginning of the 20th century, men and women were generally viewed as occupying sharply different roles in society, in which a woman’s place was in the home as wife and mother, while the man’s place was in the public sphere. However, many inequalities, unfortunately, still exist between males and females in our modern society today. The most notable of these inequalities is the gender pay gap. Today, a gender pay gap exists in almost every job, which is actually most pronounced at the top of the income ladder. Women in the 95th percentile of income earners in the U.S. make just 71 percent of what men in the same percentile earn, creating a clear gap of 29 percent. women and men have always participated in the workforce in different ways— and have been treated differently by employers—and though those differences have shrunk over time, they still contribute to women being paid less than men. However, occupational gender segregation has decreased over the last 40 years, largely due to women moving into formerly male-dominated jobs, especially during the 1970s and 1980s. Increasing the number of women in traditionally male fields will likely improve wages for women, but it is unlikely to fully eliminate the pay gap, unfortunately. In Gayle Rubin’s essay, “The Traffic in Women: Notes on the ‘Political Economy’ of Sex,”  Rubin calls the social construction of gender categories based on natural sex differences the “sex/gender system.” She claimed that in every society, a division of labor by gender occured. In Durkheim’s, The Division of Labor in Society (1893), he discusses how the division of labor is beneficial for society because it increases the reproductive capacity, the skill of the workman, and it creates a feeling of solidarity between people. There are two kinds of social solidarity, according to Durkheim: mechanical solidarity and organic solidarity. Mechanical solidarity connects the individual to society without any intermediary. With organic solidarity, society is a system of different functions that are united by definite relationships. Each individual must have a distinct job or action and a personality that is his or her own. To him, the division of labor is in direct proportion to the moral density of the society. This increase can happen in three ways: through an increase of the concentration of people spatially, through the growth of towns, or through an increase in the number and efficacy of the means of communication.


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