“Does gender influence culture or culture influence culture?“

 “Does gender influence culture or culture influence culture?“

“Does gender influence culture or culture influence culture?“_ichhori.webP

Gender is emphasized so heavily in our culture, many of our gender stereotypes are entrenched. Children learn early on that there are different expectations for boys and girls, for instance. Gender roles are defined by predominate cultural standards and refer to the role or behaviors that a person learns to be proper for their gender. According to cross-cultural studies, kids can categorize others' genders, classify items into gendered groups, and are aware of gender roles by the time they are two or three years old. Most kids are well established in culturally acceptable gender roles by the time they are four or five. Children who do not fit the gender role expected in their society may have severe consequences, including ridicule, bullying, marginalization, or rejection from their peers.

A girl who chooses to attend karate class rather than dance instruction can be referred to as a “tomboy” and have trouble fitting in with both male and female peer groups. Boys in particular experience severe mockery for gender nonconformity.

By the time we reach adulthood, our gender roles have become a permanent part of who we are, and we frequently maintain gender preconceptions. In fields like politics, the military, and law enforcement, men predominate over women. In care-related professions including child care, health care, and social work, women predominate over men. These occupations represent typical Western male and female behavior, which is derived from the customs of our culture. Following these vocational gender roles shows that one is according to social norms, although it may not always be a reflection of personal desire.

Using information gathered from 30 civilizations, Williams and Best (1982) carried out a number of cross-cultural investigations of gender stereotypes. The researchers came to the conclusion that gender stereotypes might be universal because there was a high level of agreement on stereotypes across all countries. Further investigation revealed that men are often more strongly and actively characterized than women. Recent research contends that culture affects how some gender stereotypes are viewed, nevertheless. Individualistic attributes were found to be higher valued by researchers in all countries, while collectivist cultures valued collectivism above individualism in masculine traits. These results lend credibility to the notion that cultural values may act as a brake on gender stereotypes.

Psychological explanations of cultural influences on gender

After toddlers learn to differentiate between genders, there are two main psychological hypotheses that help partially explain how children develop their own gender roles. According to the gender schema theory, children are active learners who essentially socialize themselves and actively categorize the actions, traits, and behaviors of others into gender categories or schemas. These schemas then have an impact on what kids notice and remember in the future. People of all ages are more likely to remember behaviors and traits that conform to the schema than those that do not. As a result, people are more likely to recall firefighters who are guys than women. They also recall data that contradicts their schema incorrectly. When research participants see images of someone standing at the stove, they are more likely to recall that person is cooking if that person is a woman than that person is fixing the stove if that person is a guy. Gender schemas get stronger over time by only recalling information that fits them.

The social learning theory, which contends that gender roles are learned through reinforcement, punishment, and modeling, is a second theory that aims to explain how gender roles develop in children. Children who behave in accordance with gender roles are praised and reinforced; those who do not are disciplined. In addition, the social learning hypothesis claims that kids pick up various gender roles through imitating the actions of adults and older kids, which helps them form opinions about the sort of actions that belong to each gender. Less evidence supports the social learning hypothesis than the gender schema theory, although studies demonstrate that parents do frequently promote cultural gender norms and gender-appropriate play.

Gender and culture

According to Hofstede’s (2001) research, societies with high levels of masculinity reported clear gender roles, moralistic views of sexuality, and favored passive roles for women. These societies forbid premarital sex for women but allow it for men without any repercussions. Japan, Italy, Austria, and Venezuela had the highest rankings for masculinity among all the cultures.

Gender roles were more likely to overlap in cultures with high levels of femininity (low levels of masculinity), which also supported more active responsibilities for women. In these civilizations, having sex before getting married was acceptable for both men and women. In terms of masculinity, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Sweden received the lowest scores. On this metric, the United States is significantly more masculine than feminine, however, this strong masculinity is countered by a need for independence.

Around the world, several cultures have developed norms that people must adhere to in order to feel mentally well-adjusted and fit their prescribed sex roles. Cross-sex typing—being physiologically identifiable with one gender but acting in ways that are typically associated with the other—began to be seen as abnormal and detrimental. This led to an explanation for the gender schemas, which emerged in communities where sex typing was regarded as both a necessary and ideal activity. Associative brain networks known as gender schemas relate specific behaviors to either gender. The information was adequately theorized to set criteria by which people could judge whether they were accurate representations of their gender. As a result, numerous studies have emphasized the “maladaptive” nature of sex typing and how it contributed to gender.

Children from various ethnic and social backgrounds end up with varied views about what it means to be a “boy” or “girl,” and as a result, the degree to which they identify with either of them differs depending on whether being either of them is adaptive or maladaptive. As a result, it is likely that the degree of conformity to gender norms varies depending on the ethnic and socioeconomic groups the child belongs to, suggesting a major cultural influence on gender identification. Though it may seem clear, the relationship between gender identity, sex type, and adjustment is actually not.

The cultural ramifications of behaviors between men and women go beyond defining what is “appropriate” for men and women. The consequences extend from the home and family to the workplace. Different civilizations’ division of labor resulted in the designation of particular tasks as being “suitable” for a man or a woman. Even while there are variances, there are many universal commonalities among cultures, such as a greater degree of autonomy and constrained decision-making. While it is generally frowned upon for people to act in ways that are distinctively different from those of their gender, there are subcultures, such as “Fa’afafine” of the Samoan diaspora, where such behavior is not only accepted but occasionally even encouraged. A child who identifies as a more feminine gender spectrum but is biologically male hardly ever faces ridicule or hostility.

Over time, sexual customs have changed dramatically among cultures. However, the active/passive role played by the participant—the penetrator (high status, adulthood, masculinity) and the penetrated—was what distinguished people’s sexual desires rather than their gender (lower standing, youthful, feminine).


In the current context, where the world is dealing with ideas like gender-blurring and acceptance of homosexuality, the topic needs further exploration and insightful evaluation. Culture and its influence on gender identities and sexual practices is an interesting domain for further cultural studies.

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