For each written assignment, you will write a 2-3 page/500-750 word essay reflecting on the assigned topic for the week. Essays will be graded on how thoroughly you address the question, how well you exhibit higher order thinking in your response, and how will you incorporate class material and concepts into your answer.
For this week, you will explore the topic of gender and your own gendered experiences.
Gender permeates every aspect of our lives and as such, it often serves as a master status for us. Along with our racial composition, people on the street who do not know us will often see us a man or a woman first and foremost and that status will drive our interactions with strangers until we establish a personal relationship – but even then, the issue of gender will remain.
Gender and gender roles can dictate what occupations we may end up choosing, our likelihood of ending up in prison or murdered, our likelihood of visiting a doctor, and our view of marriage. However, as we have discussed in class, there is nothing ‘automatic’ about our gender roles. We are born with one biological sex or the other, but we must learn our culturally defined gender roles as dictated by our society through social institutions such as the family, the church, and the media.
For this writing assignment, I would like you to reflect back on your gender socialization, as a child, as well as the ongoing gender cues you continue to receive to this day. Then, in a two to three page paper, please reflect on your gender socialization by addressing the following questions.
1) In what ways did your parents provided gender examples for you as a child – both directly in how they parented and indirectly in observing their own interactions with each other?
2) What other sources of gender socialization do you recall growing up. Consider your peers, media, toys, and school for how they provided you with gender cues growing up.
3) Discuss the ways you are still receiving gender cues today from sources such as media, school, your job, and your own intimate relationships.