“Does gender influence culture or culture influence culture?” (Part 2)

 “Does gender influence culture or culture influence culture?” (Part 2)

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

A significant collection of people’s beliefs, actions, attitudes, and customs are referred to as their culture. These are frequently resistant to change and are passed down from one generation to the next. By comparing the distinctions between males and females in various cultures, it is possible to observe how cultural factors have an impact on gender. A seminal investigation into Papua New Guinea's cultural variance was conducted by Margaret Mead in 1935. She investigated three distinct tribes and discovered the Arapesh women to be kind, receptive, and cooperative. The Mundugumor men and women were violent and aggressive, seeking power and position. The Tchambuli demonstrated the opposite gender-role behaviors to those seen in most cultures, with the women being dominant, impersonal, and managerial and the men being more emotionally dependent. Mead’s initial conclusion was that these distinctions demonstrate how culture affects gender. 

Gender roles are significantly impacted by culture and society. Each week, people are exposed to countless cultural messages about gender roles, including those from television, movies, music, magazines, and family influences. The gender roles that are still prevalent today and those that are changing are presented in this relentless barrage of information. People absorb this cultural information regarding gender roles both unconsciously and consciously. They then assess the information to comprehend how it relates to them and how they should go on to behave in society. The influence of mainstream culture is still perceptibly present even though numerous individuals and groups are working to disrupt these established gender stereotypes. 

Influence of culture on self-awareness

How men and women view themselves about their gender roles is influenced by culture. Advertisements, movies, and television frequently portray women as promiscuous or weak, sending a message that may have an impact on how women regard their bodies and their capacities. The self-esteem and confidence of girls and women may be affected by these standards for physical attractiveness. Additionally, cultural factors have an impact on how men develop their own conceptions of gender roles. If a young boy is raised in a home where the attitude is extremely masculine and all women are assigned inferior duties, he may develop attitudes that will show in his own relationships and behaviors.

Influence of culture on gender and personality

Gender and personality are impacted by culture for a variety of reasons. Some claim that personalities and culture should affect individual decisions more than certain civilizations. Some contend that gender and cultural influences limit self-expression. However, we might consider how we study different gender roles in our communities, different cultures in our countries, and different personalities in our societies when we examine cultural influences, gender, and personality. Different personalities that people have developed have shaped our society and our influence. Different theories about personality exist, and each theory incorporates unique elements including genetic, environmental, and parental influences.

Influence of culture on gender identities and sexual practices

Gender identity is “the degree of acceptance or discomfort that an adult shows in terms of behavioral and emotional qualities expected for a person, according to biological sex, to show within the relationship with other people”, according to Campo Arias (2010). Many definitions, including this one, try to cover the range of traits connected to gender identity and its cultural setting. This is because gender identity has mostly been defined by society as identifying as either masculine or feminine. Due to the cultural norms governing these two distinct identities, children were raised to identify with either one of them. This has been linked to sex typing in psychological literature.

Around the world, several cultures have developed norms that people must adhere 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 gender - 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 suitably theorized to provide criteria by which people might judge if they were accurate representations of their gender. As a result, numerous studies have emphasized the “maladaptive” aspect of sex typing and how it contributed to restricting people’s behaviors.

Children from various ethnic and social backgrounds end up with varied views about what it means to be a “boy” or a “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, the degree of conformity to gender norms likely varies depending on the ethnic and socioeconomic groups the child belongs to, suggesting a major cultural influence on gender identification.

The cultural ramifications of behaviors between men and women go beyond defining what is “appropriate” for men and women. The impacts extend from the workplace and community to the home and family. 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 differences, there are many universal commonalities among cultures, such as a greater degree of autonomy and constrained decision-making. 

The Maori culture of New Zealand offers an intriguing case study for evaluating distinctive cultures and the gender identities that go along with them. Live in every culture, they recognize the importance of gender in society, yet socially acceptable behavior differs significantly from that in western nations.  It is still common for women to be the only ones who can answer meeting calls, and men and women are both equally responsible for choreographing dances and narrating stories as well as welcoming guests. In this case, women enjoy greater rights than other tribes, and the labor division in the society is not predominantly biased against them. The culture is also quite accepting of different sexual orientations.

Additionally, there are connections between gender identities and immigrant identities, particularly in terms of how these identities are used by racialized immigrants to assert their cultural superiority over dominant groups. The main focus for maintaining group status in the majority of immigrant cultures is the women’s moral and sexual loyalties, which are intertwined with their gender identities and sexual practices. Any change in female behavior is interpreted as a sign of moral decline and “ethnic suicide”.

Over time, sexual customs have changed dramatically among cultures. There are areas, such as the state of Chhattisgarh, where individuals hold liberal ideas on sexual activities, even in conservative cultures like that of India.


Personalities can still be influenced by society when it comes to the gender wage gap in today’s labor markets. Our thoughts and choices we make are influenced by a variety of factors, including societal expectations, media, and nudging. Women should also question men about more than just the prevalent disparity; they should also consider their own behavior, which is influenced by society and role models. A long road leads to equitable treatment and compensation, and a culture shift is a must. Therefore, culture and its impact on gender identities and sexual practices is a fascinating area for further cultural studies, and given the current environment, where the world is dealing with ideas like gender-blurring and acceptance of homosexuality, the subject needs more research and thoughtful analysis.







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