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Readings: “Gender Role Behaviors and Attitudes” (SOL – 672-677)

“The Gender Blur” (SOL – 678-685)



POST CUT-OFF:  NOON 11/3/2013

- Devor’s essay implies that “gendered” qualities associated with women are construed as negative by society But presumably we (humans in a society) would not do something that wasn’t advantageous to our existence. Why might some women “get” from behaving in accord with the gender role behaviors and attitudes that Devor describes?

- Connecting these articles to the culture of consumption, what social cues do boys, girls, women, and men receive from the media which might reinforce the “hegemony” of the gender behaviors Devor describes?

- Blum discusses remote mountain villages in the Caribbean where boys are raised as “conditional girls” due to a genetic defect. Blum notes that there is a “comfort level” and a “tolerance” of these inter-gendered children and contrasts it with similar occurrences in the U.S. and Europe. How might you explain this tolerance? Why is it absent in American culture?

- In terms of the causes of male aggressiveness, which author has the more persuasive argument? Why?


 


Comments

10/31/2013 10:00pm

Women who follow their assigned gendered behaviors would probably receive a greater amount of societal acceptance, male attention as well as male suitors, and less rejection from other women. A woman who speaks her mind and openly voices her dissatisfaction with men, for example, is much more likely to be met with resistance than a woman who sits quietly and laughs at misogynistic jokes. Women who cut their hair short and wear masculine clothing are only acceptable up to a certain point. They still have to clearly be identifiable as a woman and not exceed a certain weight limit. For example, a woman who dresses in basketball shorts and hides her breasts or is much larger and more muscular than other women would be more likely to get picked on, even bullied, and her sexuality would be questioned, in a derogatory –rather than curious – way.
It is obvious why a woman would want to meet feminine ideals, when viewed from this perspective.


One look at Cartoon Network shows how young girls and boys are taught to behave. Commercials advertise toys in extremely gendered manners. Commercials featuring girls tend to advertise things like dolls, play kitchens, and the like – they also show young girls with long hair and pastel colors that most would consider feminine, like baby blue and pale pink. Boys, on the other hand, have louder, more abrasive commercials that feature toys like Legos and racecars, with dark colors. Society advertises different things for men and women as well, through magazines, commercials, and general rules observed by actors on television and in film. In magazines like GQ, that are geared towards a male audience, suggestive photos of women are shown as well as advisable activities and possessions for men, like motorcycles and instructions on how to make a fifteen minute, protein-filled cheeseburger, for example. In women’s magazines, more cooking recipes (especially those that will help one lose weight) are included as well as clothing, makeup, and advice on how to please one’s boyfriend or husband. There is a clear divide, in the media, between how women and men are supposed to look and act.

In most remote mountain villages, gender-reassignment surgeries and hormone therapy that is used in the United States for inter-gendered children is not available. Thus, they must ‘deal’ with these children, as they were born. In other words, they know these kinds of people exist and accept them, as they are part of life. Also, logically, the media does not have as big of a presence in these villages as it does in the United States. Thus, these people can create their own gender norms.

In my opinion, Deborah Blum has a more persuasive argument for male aggressiveness. The fact that there has always been a nature-nurture argument, suggests that both are at play. Blum argues this in her essay and provides proof for the biology side of the argument. Blum writes, “Let me make a…statement about testosterone….” and goes on to explain that behaviors the hormone influences are “rowdy play, sex drive, competitiveness, and an in-your-face attitude. Males tend to have a higher baseline of testosterone” (684). Clearly, biology does influence behavior. Though there is no doubt that culture influences behavior as well, as Blum goes on to prove – apparently girls and boys start to recognize which gender they should play with and what kind of behaviors they should participate in later in life and, as they grow older, the differences become greater.
However, to completely dismiss ‘nature’, or biology as Aaron Devor does, would be a mistake.

Jose Gomez
11/02/2013 9:57pm

As described by Devor, masculinity is usually less emotional and more dominant. While femininity is the weaker sex but more caring and emotional. At many points in time, depending on the situation. Both sexes will show the same type of emotions and expressions, and in those situations it is ok according to society. Though when a women performs task or jobs that a man normally would, at that point she does not fit in society and she is looked at different. Man usually do not accept that, not saying that a women cannot perform a task that a man normally would. From the women side she would be applauded by most, but will not be accepted by some because that is not a behavior she is suppose to have according to what society says.
The gender roles are always portrait through media as to what place everyone in the family's place is. Men are always the provider for the family and the women care for the family. Although in recent years even the media advertising is changing, in the way advertisement is done. It is changing, because women are more independent and have a job and can provide and raise the children without a father involved. Kids are always advertised to the same way, boys are presented with video games and toys that represent power; like soldiers wrestlers, etc. Girls on the other hand, are represented to barbies and toys that represent a house a family. Kids grow up, and they know what their place in society is or will be since because it is embedded to them since they are toddlers and into their teenage years.
Blum explanation is very understandable, in that village people have learned to accept that specific situation. I think is not that people tolerate it, but rather embrace the situation, because they grow up knowing that can happen when a child is born. In the US and Europe, people are learning to accept it as well. It is a lot different, because the society is more open and a little more educated but at the same time it does not fully accept that life style. I think that in America, it is absent because it is not something that happens since birth and many times it is caused because of other traumas growing up. Still families have a hard time accepting it.
Devor talks about the way society says man are supposed to act and carry themselves. Blum on the other hand, has a stronger case, because she says that in general and not just among humans, males are generally more aggressive.

Ashli Lilly
11/03/2013 9:10am

The impression that is given by women whom portray classic signs of femininity is usually suggestive of some kind of role submission toward men. By possessing and displaying feminine characteristics such as clothing, mannerisms or behaviors, Devor states that men show a stronger attraction to these females therefore also showing the favor or preference. This practice of indirect male dominance dates back into the history of humanity. Fast forwarding into current time, when examining the display of women in the media for example, you may notice that most women are spotlighted for behaviors deemed feminine by main stream society such as cooking, bearing children or the way they style their hair, makeup and clothing. When comparing this to the way men are perceived by the public, its noticeable that men are exposed for different reasons such as their status of wealth, athletic ability or sometimes even their possessions. This same theory applies to the way little girls are taught how to be “feminine” through items such as dolls and Barbie’s yet little boys are given trucks or tools in order to program them into certain gender roles. I believe the absence of tolerance for children that are inter-gendered in America stems from the fact of the American society having such insensitivity to non-traditional American ideas. In addition to that theory I also believe that in America soliciting is such a demand that in order to start the solicitation of gender assignments from society, there must be a clear way to decide what gender will be marketed to. For example, if you have a child who’s biological sex is male and he has a fondness for bright pink colored items there is a smug, uneasy attitude from society toward such a behavior because this child is then marked as “not masculine enough” therefore making it harder to program the child with a preconceived idea of what “masculine” is. I think when reading the different articles inside the SOL book, I tend to agree with Deborah Blum’s argument presented in the article “ “The Gender Blur: Where Does Biology end and Society Take Over?”. In this article Deborah believes that there is both a relation to the programing of gender based on natural and nurtured stimuluses’. Deborah suggests that the biological makeup of a person only partially determines their gender personalities and the other partial determination is altered by the way a person/child is nurtured or programmed. By teaching a child the appropriateness of their femininity or masculinity, in a way what is being done is a form of “grooming” so that the child meets societies standard of except able gender personalities.

Fatima fuentes
11/03/2013 10:08am

Aaron Devor, author of “Gender Role Behaviors and Attitudes and dean of social sciences at the University of Victoria, suggests that there is a clear distinction between men and women. Devor explains that females are characterized as sensitive, emotional, kind-hearted, and able to raise a child and give motherly love. Females are thought to be less dominant than males, as what Devor states. Females have these body gestures that are absent in males, like demonstrating minimal use of space by keeping their arms closer to their bodies, their legs closer together, and their torso and heads less vertical than masculine-looking individuals do. as what I have understood, Devor states that feminine individuals are dependent to masculine individuals and that they serve to be available for sexual or emotional service and sensitivity to the needs of others, specifically to the masculine individuals.
Having Devor’s comparison between the characteristics and behavior of a female or a masculine, the society has acknowledged these characteristics and has evolved the social understanding of the two genders. The media has given the society the ideology of hegemony of the gender behaviors by having female actresses act as masculine or having the characteristics of a male gender. Say for example, a female actress tends to be more dominant, aggressive and dress like a man. This example magnifies the society’s acceptance of androgyny, wherein females can do what males can do, and vice versa. In fact, I have observed in trending fashion today, that girls dress with over-sized t-shirts and they even have this so-called ‘boyfriends tees’ or ‘boyfriend jeans’. Nowadays, there is an increasing overlap between female and male definition from Devor and I think this is because the society has evolved and manipulated the gender distinction among them.
Deborah Blum, a Pulitzer Prize-winning professor of Journalism at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and author of “the Gender Blur…”, discussed about the Caribbean boys raised as “conditional girls. Blum explains that these boys were raised as conditional girls since they have this genetic defect where boys develop their biological male characteristics at puberty stage. Blum notes that there is a comfort level and a tolerance of these inter-gendered children. I think Blum referred the comfort level as a transition phase when a girl suddenly changes into a boy but with the knowledge of that situation being a norm to their culture; that it is okay for a little girl to suddenly become a boy, since that is what their society practice gender identity. Tolerance refers to the acceptance of the practice of transition of gender to the society. I have understood that this tolerance and comfort level is absent in American culture since there is no widespread occurrence of this genetic defect here in America compared to the Caribbean. Blum explains that men are more aggressive than women here in America, and that it is the most evident basis of distinction between men and women.
I think Aaron Devor has the more persuasive argument since he talks about the society’s perception about the gender role and that I believe that the society has a very strong influence to an individual’s way of thinking and how an individual would react to the society’s judgment or ideology.

-Fatima Fuentes

FAtima Fuentes
11/03/2013 10:08am

Aaron Devor, author of “Gender Role Behaviors and Attitudes and dean of social sciences at the University of Victoria, suggests that there is a clear distinction between men and women. Devor explains that females are characterized as sensitive, emotional, kind-hearted, and able to raise a child and give motherly love. Females are thought to be less dominant than males, as what Devor states. Females have these body gestures that are absent in males, like demonstrating minimal use of space by keeping their arms closer to their bodies, their legs closer together, and their torso and heads less vertical than masculine-looking individuals do. as what I have understood, Devor states that feminine individuals are dependent to masculine individuals and that they serve to be available for sexual or emotional service and sensitivity to the needs of others, specifically to the masculine individuals.
Having Devor’s comparison between the characteristics and behavior of a female or a masculine, the society has acknowledged these characteristics and has evolved the social understanding of the two genders. The media has given the society the ideology of hegemony of the gender behaviors by having female actresses act as masculine or having the characteristics of a male gender. Say for example, a female actress tends to be more dominant, aggressive and dress like a man. This example magnifies the society’s acceptance of androgyny, wherein females can do what males can do, and vice versa. In fact, I have observed in trending fashion today, that girls dress with over-sized t-shirts and they even have this so-called ‘boyfriends tees’ or ‘boyfriend jeans’. Nowadays, there is an increasing overlap between female and male definition from Devor and I think this is because the society has evolved and manipulated the gender distinction among them.
Deborah Blum, a Pulitzer Prize-winning professor of Journalism at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and author of “the Gender Blur…”, discussed about the Caribbean boys raised as “conditional girls. Blum explains that these boys were raised as conditional girls since they have this genetic defect where boys develop their biological male characteristics at puberty stage. Blum notes that there is a comfort level and a tolerance of these inter-gendered children. I think Blum referred the comfort level as a transition phase when a girl suddenly changes into a boy but with the knowledge of that situation being a norm to their culture; that it is okay for a little girl to suddenly become a boy, since that is what their society practice gender identity. Tolerance refers to the acceptance of the practice of transition of gender to the society. I have understood that this tolerance and comfort level is absent in American culture since there is no widespread occurrence of this genetic defect here in America compared to the Caribbean. Blum explains that men are more aggressive than women here in America, and that it is the most evident basis of distinction between men and women.
I think Aaron Devor has the more persuasive argument since he talks about the society’s perception about the gender role and that I believe that the society has a very strong influence to an individual’s way of thinking and how an individual would react to the society’s judgment or ideology.


-Fatima Fuentes

11/03/2013 11:25am

What women “get” from behaving with genders role behaviors and attitudes are negative. “…feminine persons as “born losers” and to strive to eliminate any similarities to feminine people from their own personalities.” (Devor,676) Women have attitudes that they are losers and can’t do much. Feminine are “natural” depend on men and revolve around maternity. The role of feminine is to satisfying men through dress, movement, speech, and action to attract the opposite sex. But they also seen as weakness, dependency and ineffectualness. Devor’s essay destroys the feminine and makes them see the feminine is weak. “Body postures an demeanors which comminute subordinate status and vulnerability to trespass through a message of “no threat” make people appear to be feminine.” (Devor,674) Feminine always will appear with no threat because women aren’t strong and aggressive.
The social cues boys, girls, women and men are that each one has a very specific gender behavior. “Femininity,… “Would result in warm and continued relationships with men, a sense of maternity, interest in caring for children, and the capacity to work productively and continuously in female occupations.” (Devor,674) Women role is to be passion and caring for their relationship and for the children they will have. Their body posture for women is to have their arms closer to their bodies, their legs closer together. Speech of feminine is inflections, and convey nonaggression. They also have a more polite expression and ask questions during conversation. For masculinity, there’s four main attitudes, which are “Persons who display success and high status in their social group, who exhibit “a mainly air of toughness, confidence, and self-reliance”, and “the aura of aggression, violence, and daring,” and who conscientiously avoid anything associated with see masculinity.”(Devor, 675) Men in society have a highly strict view that they have to be successful, have a career, be the dominated one and prove wealth.
Blum has a more persuasive argument on male aggressive because he clearly explains how masculinity is view. “Males tend to have a higher baseline of testosterone than females-in our species, about seven to ten times as much-and therefore you would predict(correctly, I think) that all of those behaviors would be more generally found in men than in women.” (Blum, 684) Because of testosterone, the masculine show aggressive. Testosterone would come when men are involved in rowdy play, sex drive, competitiveness and an in-your-face attitude.

11/03/2013 11:46am

According to the article “Gender Role Behaviors and Attitudes,” author Aaron Devor argues that gender doesn’t translate to an innate characteristic of an individual, rather an approach of how individuals interact in the society it belongs, particularly on how one reaches its goals and use of its power. The article mentions that masculinity connotes dominance and aggressiveness, while femininity means submission and meekness. Even in the progressive and open-minded environment that we live today, there is a subtle hint of stereotype on which activities each gender should engage in; and there is also a certain expectation on how each individual perform on their chosen field.

The role of a female in society revolves around her duty around the formation of a family: particularly in nurturing her children from breastfeeding to caring for them until they reach adulthood. Devon further explained that their male partners depend on their wives or female partners to manage their homes while they fulfill the role of being the provider; a role which requires assertiveness and dominance to be able to do their jobs well. Had women are restricted to this kind of role in their family and not compete with men in the workforce, then it would seem beneficial to society on a unit level of a family because there would be more guidance on a child’s upbringing. Women, because of the role dictated by their gender, would focus more on fulfilling their roles as a primary mentor to their children. It could also be said that there would be more harmony in their homes, as women are required to be more supportive and not compete with their partners for the leadership role.

The culture of consumerism reinforces the idea of gender behavior in society, particularly in the market for products catered for girls and women. Advertisers for different cosmetic brands hire models and actresses that have specific features that connotes femininity. These models are usually petite or curvaceous to emphasize non-dominance by using less physical space. These advertisers avoid hiring women who has buff and toned muscles which connotes intimidation and assertiveness, a trait opposite of being feminine. The idea of being attractive and desirable to the opposite sex is also shown through the way how different clothing companies creates garments and clothing that are “girly”. Using soft materials such as lace and chiffon are usually associated with ease of flow, but at the same time these materials restrict major movements in movement as they are meant to show more skin. The same principles apply to marketing short skirts and high heels as a fashion trend, not just because it enhances sexuality but it also restricts the woman’s ability to function well through movement.

It is the same cues that Americans receive from the media that doesn’t allow society to tolerate gender blur in young boys and girls due to a genetic defect. The consumption culture that America has dictates the kind of toys little kids should play, the kind of clothing that a student should wear in school, and the kind of activities one should excel in. In a sense, the media allows the consumer to create a criteria on gender difference since a child was born. This set of criteria restricts the consumer to see the other possibilities created by genetic deficiency.

Both essays provide compelling arguments on how society tackles gender role and the gender blur. Deborah Blum’s article “The Gender Blur: Where Does Biology End and Society Take Over,” questions the authority of genetics to provide a distinctive characteristic between the sexes, but it is the essay written Aaron Devor has a more compelling argument: because it points out how America’s consumer culture is the main driving force on how an individual perceives the difference on both genders through cues provided by media.

11/03/2013 11:52am

Devor argues that femininity attributes are linked to biological abilities and dependency of men. Women who behave in their expected gender role can get a strong male to care and give them children or a family. Devor also suggest that women who act upon the expectation will have “good relationships with men, maternity, interest in children, and capacity to do good in female occupations (Devor 674). Since women are not able to be physically strong like men they will be able to rely on a man to help them live a good life. Women will be able to get respect but only when they follow the gender role expectation.
In a culture of consumption the media follows the gender roles that Devor describes. Women are showcased as housewifes that depend on men to care for them. Women use revealing clothes that restricts free movement of the body. Women unlike men can be seen in the media as emotionally weaker, always crying or being in fear. Masculinity is hegemony in the media because superheroes are dominated by males. A super hero showcases all of Devors masculinity attributes, for example there bodies are strong with muscles. These superheroes defend the helpless which expresses that men are tough and that they are able to take on anything to protect the helpless. In another note, children are also being exposed to the gender role expectations, little girls are manipulated into toys that are related with housework or caring for babies. Little boys are pushed to toys that are linked with cars, superheroes, or violence. Since a small age,children are being exposed and divided into each gender role path they must follow and throughout their life they consume items based on their gender role.
According to Blum, the mountain village in the Caribbean are used to the situation that is occurring, they tolerate it because they are aware that it is a part of nature. In american culture people seem to separate and judge those that are biologically “abnormal”. In America people do not tolerate those who do not follow their gender role.Masculinity is more powerful.
I believe that both articles explain male aggressiveness with strong and similar arguments. Both talk about testosterone. I also believe that it is not all based on biology but it is also related with how society has put expectations for the male gender to follow. Society throughout history has focused on men being aggressive by constructing war and war requires aggressiveness as well as competition. A masculine attribute is competition and in any competition there is aggression because there is one winner and a loser.

Steven Diermissen
11/03/2013 11:57am

Aaron Devor, dean of social sciences at the University of Victoria, implies that the qualities seen as feminine or “weak” are typically not seen as desirable in a person wanting to exhibit qualities seen as masculine. The qualities of femininity are described to be useful in “satisfying a masculine vision of heterosexual attractiveness.” (Devor 674). Social hierarchal structures also play a key role in what is to be the “natural” roles for males and females. Many tasks seen to be a part of one gender can be done within the other gender; however, a task done successfully outside of the “normal” gender will only bring the person ridicule as it is usually not accepted.
In the media it is often portrayed that men should be confident, aggressive, and not be capable of expressing emotion as easily as women do. They are also shown to be womanizing, lazy, and sports fans. Women are portrayed as being very expressive of their emotions and usually incapable of doing things on their own. Boys are shown to play with toys that are considered appropriate for the gender like cars, dinosaurs, and video games. Girls are seen playing with dolls and in dresses. Teen boys are seen playing violent video games like Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto, while teen girls are obsessed about boys, their looks, and gossip.
Deborah Blum, a Pulitzer Prize-winning professor of journalism, writes about the boys who have a genetic defect that make their penises look like vaginas until puberty. She describes how mountain villages in the Caribbean tend to treat the boys as “conditional girls” where they treat the boys as girls until they begin puberty, easing the transition from daughter to son. The transition in the villages in the Caribbean is gradual, unlike the sudden change in European and American societies where the boys are treated as girls until a doctor discovers that their vaginas do not begin to menstruate because they are penises.
Both Devor and Blum have written about the different ways they believe is the cause of male aggressiveness. Devor writes about social cues men should focus on the way they behave and speak around others, while Blum writes about how testosterone levels in people may affect their behaviors. I believe that Devor has a stronger argument as people in society and the media tend to incorporate ideas of how a person of a certain gender should behave.

11/03/2013 12:12pm

In the article, Gender Role Behaviors and Attitudes, the University of Victoria social sciences dean, Aaron Dean, explains how masculinity and femininity are separated into different categories but yet are so a like in many ways. According to Dean, women are suppose to behave feminine. femininity is described as "cooperation or communion." as for masculinity is described as "egoistic dominance." although dean separates the masculinity and the femininity into two separate behaviors and actions, he also explains how both can take on each other's traits in some cases. women can also take the lead like men do and men can do the same. This is valued in the culture of consumption because both women and men need to play the part of care and giving. when both parties play the part of giving then the culture of consumption benefits. In the article sighs of shopping by Anne Norton, it was the women's task to go out and shop for home supplies such as food or even cloths. Now that the men can also take these matters into their own hands, the culture of consumption is benefiting from this change. In Deborah Blum's article, The Gender Blur, he explains how genetic defects can be changed and fixed. he says, "Biology always flexibility, room to change, to vary and grow." According to Blum, these changes with genetic transitions is "less traumatic" then staying as a sister in a brothers body or the other way around. In my opinion Blum has a more persuasive argument because he is explaining the changes and misunderstandings of biological genders while Devon was only explaining the overall general explanation of what Masculinity and femininity was.

Edith P
11/03/2013 12:57pm

What women might get by behaving in their gender role that Devor talks about is that women will continue relationships with men have sense of maternity, also have an interest in having children. Another thing they get from behaving in their gender role will be also be able to continue to work productively in female occupations. Women will be able to find a husband that can provide and protect them. A woman’s role is suited for a satisfying a males perspective. Women also have to have a certain way of speaking that shows non-aggressiveness which makes them appear for feminine. In the way women dress, speak, act, and move have to give the appearance of weakness, dependency, availability for sexual and emotional service, and sensitivity for other. By women showing such behavior and movement will be appealing to a male and make them desirable to them.
The cues a boy, girl, men, and women receives from the media that may reinforce the influence of the gender behaviors Devor gives is that they want to act in certain ways that certain celebrities behave. What they watch on television such as popular movies or shows may affect on how we feel towards certain things. Both boys and girls get influence through what they watch such as their behavior may change and be perhaps aggressive or bulgur when they speak. Boys and girls tend to imitate the character in a show they enjoy to watch. Men and women tend to get influence by celebrities such as the type of music they listen to or shows they watch.

The children in the Caribbean are raised to find themselves and allow them to grow to a certain age in order to know if they are female or male. By the way they are raised it allows both male and females to be comfortable with both genders and be able to interact among themselves feeling no different. The reason it is absent in the American culture I would have today is because both gender roles have been established long ago and has strongly influences today’s American culture. Many are stuck in their old ways and are just used to it that is seems correct to them.

I would have to say author Deborah Blum has a more persuasive argument in discussing the causes of male aggressiveness. The reason I say Blum has more persuasive argument is because she goes in to actually explaining what plays a role in males being aggressiveness. She also goes and compares it with females and how women also can be aggressive due to testosterone. She explains how testosterone affects males and what it does to them it not only has body building functions but also influences behavior.

11/03/2013 3:33pm

In today’s society, we have rules on how gender roles should be played. Aaron Devor discusses the roles for both woman and men. Woman should be the house wife having children and depending on men. On the other hand men are the dominant ones who are in charge of everything including the woman. In my opinion all are equal whether you are a male or a female. American society is more relaxed on how gender roles should be. For example, in my country (Armenia) girls can’t be police officers or run for president verses in America you can do anything as a female. Males and females have different roles, different hormones different genes but we are all equal. As much as our society has different roles for us regardless every gender acts as they like. For example, if you are a female and you don’t want to dress like one, you can dress like a man and no one would care. Our society is in a way supportive of our acts verses in my culture you cannot act the way you want. Blum discusses about boys raised as “conditional girls” is very interesting. People have their rules all over the world. In our country we cannot make someone be a boy or be a girl. We let the people free to become whatever they want. In terms of the causes of male aggression, Blum has the more persuasive argument because she brings the biological side of it.

Albert Virgen
11/03/2013 4:47pm

Women have become a powerful presence in our current society because they are now able to expose themselves to more opportunities for work. The numbers depicting the amount of female CEO's and other stressful positions are growing exponentially as time passes by. There is no longer a barrier for women entering the workplace at a very respectable position, so a competition between genders is currently starting to take place. Now women are starting to become eligible for jobs that they couldn't have beforehand, and competing with men for positions. Given the fact that women also outnumber men in various workplaces it is starting to build anxiety amongst men that they could be replaced by a female at any given time. This competition is building a stronger society as a whole.
As described in the paper on average by the twelfth month as American citizens we place the gender roles very strongly on the children, with the color of the clothes they wear, and the toys they play with. In more liberal households where there are no behaviors attached specifically to gender it can take up to six years for the child to finally know what gender they are. According to the text, if a boy asks for a toy that is feminine such as a doll they are less likely to receive that toy than if they had asked for a masculine figure such as an action figure or a war hero. Such behavior placed on the youth creates a masculine culture and very aggressive nature in the males.
The cultural phenomenon specific to the native region in the Caribbean is not strange to that area because it is part of their existence. This acceptance of the ‘conditional girls’ compared to those occurrences here in the U.S. are very diverse. There is a certain stigma attached to being a drag queen, or transgender because there is a dislike of confusion. In very rare cases there are trans gender individuals confidant enough in their own skin to portray themselves freely as trans genders, as compared to the males of the Caribbean town that are temporarily crossed gender. The coming out of trans genders is accepted in very liberal states, but not as much in very conservative states.

Astrid Garcia
11/03/2013 7:34pm

Author Aaron Devor describes the roles that society has assigned to females and the possible stigma that is attached to owning such characteristics. Being the less aggressive sex, women are easily type casted as the vulnerable and co-dependent sex. Although these presumptions might be far from the truth, some women have learned to make use of their labels for personal gain. Marriage and motherhood are the most typical advantages of behaving within the gender roles. If a woman shows interest in caring for children, and a husband, a man who is seeking a wife will likely notice her. Similarly, a woman might consider altering her behavior around men that she finds attractive to increase her chances of creating a relationship. Whether it’s through marriage or career, women mostly seek a secure and stable future. However, for women behaving within their gender role has never been so difficult. As the standard for a woman’s body gets thinner and thinner, being a beautiful woman in the United States has become more challenging. The American media manipulates feminine roles by setting the aesthetics for what a woman should look like. Popular men and women’s magazines flaunt sexual headlines that are toxic to women. Their unnatural depictions not only create insecurities within young girls and women, but also shallow expectations from men. And nowhere else are the gender lines more prominent than in the media. For instance, The Jonas brothers are a musical band promoted abstinence and purity. Their fans supported their cause, but the media ridiculed them for not following their gender roles. The Dominican Republic’s “conditional girls” are tolerated within their society because they live in a remote village. The presence of media plays a great role on the shape that a society takes. By nature human beings are naturally forgiving of the imperfections that life can bring. Protestants and deists founded the United States. Perhaps the village in the Dominican Republic lacks religious influence as well.

aaron yim
11/03/2013 10:37pm

Devor describes women behave gender roles because of how society looks on them. Also, women care about social status. Devor describes the role of the actor play which can be a guide of how the real women, girl, men, and boy should act. The boys may be learn the sexual identity in that stage. It is not common in American culture because of the media makes Americans think how guys and girls should behave.

Rosario Vazquez
11/04/2013 10:35am

1. According to Devor, gender roles both feminine and masculinity are implied by gender discrimination that society or one cultures constructs. Although femininity is viewed as a negative in society, women behave according to their gender roles because they are required to do so. Also, Devor states that people use femininity or masculinity to “claim and communicate their membership in their assigned or chosen, sex or gender.” (Devor 272) Nevertheless, when a woman behaves according to their gender, it “attracts the opposite sex,” which leads to formulating relationships with men.
2. The social cues that men, women, boys and girls receive from the media are that of living up to their gender behavior roles. Such messages are transmitted through magazines, movies, and advertisements. For example, a girl’s magazine is bombarded of what a girl should look like, also in a quiet innocent way girls are influenced through the media to depend on men. In the other hand through movies boys also formulate an idea to be distinctive to females, to be strong and aggressive.
3. According to Blur, the “inter gender- children,” is common in the Caribbean, therefore parents and the children themselves may not feel ridicule by society since there is a chance that other young children are going through a similar experience. In this case, since it’s a biological situation, the parents are aware of what to expect. In the other hand, the tolerance of this problem may be absent in Europe and the U.S since such situation is rare and if a person who has this defect may seem and feel indifferent to others. In other words, if a child is raised as a girl and finds out she is actually boy in the stage of puberty, people may criticize the person since society views it as a transsexual transformation.
4. Concerning the aggressiveness of males, Blum is more persuasive since she theorized her opinion by studying her children and she also provides more proof than Devor. Blum also provides science based research, for example the male chimpanzee aggressiveness that was studied and the physiological function of testosterone (which emphasizes aggressiveness) which seems to be higher in men than in girls with the exception of a few.

Jeobana Gutierrez
11/04/2013 9:07pm

Women tend to follow gender behaviors mostly to feel accepted in society, grab attention from others and to not feel left out. Women now are more free and its okay for them to speak their mind openly. Although they are still targets of society and are judge for the way they carry themselves and how they dress. But, woman are more free to express themselves as hey wish without it being such a big deal. Modern type of women are more likely to be noticed or accepted in society, rather than women who are shy, quiet and does not dress in a provocative manner or physically look in a way that is not very acceptable for society. Times have changed for women. Now women are starting to become eligible for jobs that they couldn't have beforehand, and competing with men for positions. Aaron Dean, explains how masculinity and femininity are separated into different categories but yet are so a like in many ways. Although according to Dean, women are suppose to behave feminine. femininity is described as cooperation or communion and masculinity is described as having egoistic dominance. Dean separates the masculinity and the femininity into two separate behaviors and actions, he also explains how both can take on each other's traits in some cases women can also take the lead like men do and vice versa.
Society view masculinity usually as them being less emotional and more dominant. While femininity is the weaker sex but more caring and emotional. At many points in time both sexes will show the same type of emotions and expressions, and in those situations it is accepted by society. But, sometimes men are more judged to show their emotional weakness and are bullied for doing so.
Advertising tend to impact the life of society on a daily basis. Commercials, tv shows, movies, post, pictures, etc are viewed by society to adapt their behaviors, appearance and get its latests trends. I think this is due to the fact that many famous celebrities are the one advertising products telling society what is acceptable and what is not. Since we are young one is lead to what's right and what is not. When girls are young they are given "sweet" toys, feminine toys. Such as Barbie's, babies, cooking toys, pink objects. Girls are lead by an idea to be and act like a princess. Where boys are instantly given more rough toys. Such as cars, dinosaurs, swords, actin figures, etc. And as one grows things change, but yet advertising lead us to what to wear, buy, and how to act. comparison between the characteristics and behavior of a female or a masculine, the society has acknowledged these characteristics and has evolved the social understanding of the two genders.
Blum discusses remote mountain villages in the Caribbean where boys are raised as “conditional girls” due to a genetic defect. Blum notes that there is a “comfort level” and a “tolerance” of these inter-gendered children and contrasts it with similar occurrences in the U.S. and Europe. I think it is due to the fact that in this villages there is no media washing their brains for them to judge others. No one would make fun of others because they will see this just as an illness or something normal that they would not make them feel bad.
Devor talks about the way society says man are supposed to act and carry themselves. Blum on the other hand, has a stronger case, because she says that in general and not just among humans, males are generally more aggressive. Blum talks about the biology factor of male behavior rather than what one adapts from society. Although media does influence us, I personally thin that our biology has a greater factor that help us develop and act a certain way.

Stefanie Jadidi
11/05/2013 10:27am

Aaron Devor implies that there is a clear distinction between men and women. Females are viewed as more emotional and have a maternal instinct. Females are also viewed to be less dominant than males and dependent on them. They are to be available for sexual or emotional service to others, specifically to males. In consumer culture the media follows the gender roles that Devor describes. Women are typically viewed as needy housewives that depend on their men to take care of them. Women are seen in the media as emotionally weak or not as strong as men. Masculinity is typically showcased in a male rather than a female, like in a superhero role. Kids are exposed this as well. The gender role is prominent in children’s toys. Toys for little girls are usually related to caring for a baby doll or pretending to be a housewife and play with their makeshift kitchens. Toys for little boys are geared towards cars and violence. From a young age they are being exposed to these divided gender roles through a consumer culture.The mountain village in the Caribbean is tolerant because they were raised in that manner. Males and females learn to be comfortable with both genders and are able to interact with one another and not feel indifferent. In American society people tend to judge and divide themselves from those who are not like them. Americans tend to not be as forgiving when it comes to equality and are set in their old fashioned ideology. The gender roles have been established in history and strongly influence American society. Testosterone and male aggressiveness is prominent in both articles. I don’t think it is all based on biology. It can be also related to society’s high expectations on how a male gender should be. The focus on male aggression can be seen throughout the history of wars. The male must be dominant and win. Testosterone not only affects a male’s physical abilities but their behavior and mental state as well.

11/05/2013 11:53am

As described by Devor, masculinity is usually less emotional and more dominant. While femininity is the weaker sex but more caring and emotional. Therefore it is natural in society to see both genders to behave in such ways that represent masculinity in order to show dominance. And at the same time generating specific roles for men and women. Such as the belief that sates that woman depend from man(674) and that woman are in charge of the kids and home activities while the man provides for the family. Therefore if this turns to be the opposite, a man could be categorized as am female if he performs certain activities that are more likely to be done by woman, and eventually would be humiliated for it. So there is no way to avoid such humiliation because if such activity is performed well by the man or woman hey would be criticized and if it is done in the incorrect way, that would still generate critic. Therefore Aaron Devor research states that both genders decide to perform the designated roles and tasks that are offered to each gender. Body positions and gestures are also another type of feminism which society qualifies, such as smiles or children reactions into adults which people qualifies as female r even guy is hard to avoid. Because at certain age when the adult was kid, the mother who most of the times in society is in charge to educate the child in is first years as toddler influences a lot in the child’s behavior. As consequence such behaviors learned in the past have a tendency to show up in the future causing the adult to behave in a feminist way. Therefore the key to the masculine and feminine behavior on adults is not about what surrounds them but how are they educated and tought to incorporate into society so that they can develop static identity. Now women are way different from man because of the way that society looks at them from a point of view labeling them as a weak being, therefore they assume that performing less complicate and passive roles are better for them.

11/10/2013 6:24pm


Woman, who act more feminine and dress more feminine, might act more accord to the gender role behavior and attitudes that Devor describes, to gain more acceptance from society. It is easier for women to act like women and dress like women because that is the way society demands them to be and act like. They are also concern that men like girls that can look hot, sexy and be girly not masculine and tough. There is so much competition among women because they always want to look better than other girls, because their value is more based on their physical looks than their intelligence. If a woman goes out in basketball shorts or sweatpants and a lose t-shirt and her hair up with no makeup, she will probably not get any attention from men or she will be recognized as a lesbian.

Media bombards people with advertisements telling them what they should buy according to their needs and roles as human. For example if a commercial with a girl wearing a tight red dress and red lipstick pops up, persuading them to buy the lipstick or dress, it is obvious that the advertisement is for a l, and is telling her that her natural color of her lips is not good enough to look as hot as she should . This is basecly telling a woman that she will look better and hotter with red lipstick. Media also tells women that they need to be skinny to be beautiful. There are infinite amount of advertisements trying to sell diet pills, and things that promise to make a woman lose weight. Men are also bombarded by media telling them what they need to have to be accepted by a female or even their own friends. They get bombarded with car advertisements, beautiful cars that promise to make women for them. A man isn’t a man until he has Bud light beer say many commercials.
Blum discusses about children in remote mountain villages in the Caribbean being raised as "conditional girls''. This might happen there because they do not get enough help like we have in the U.S.A.

Erika Cayabyab
11/11/2013 9:18pm

Devor emphasizes on the fact that society evidently divides what a male and female should look like. Masculinity possess traits of ownership, courage, and strength, with visual aids such as loose clothing and facial hair. On the other hand, femininity embodies an attitude of gentleness and sensitivity, with visual aids such as clothing that complements their figures, long, healthy hair, and clean, shaven skin. Focusing on fashion of the 1900s to current time, a common similarity can be seen for both males and females. Females always sought to find new and improved ways to flatter themselves, whether it were dresses tightly cinched at the waist or dramatic hairstyles. Males, though, always incorporated suits and pants along with shorter hair. But if a woman decides to present herself with masculine clothing and a posture opposite to an expected one of poise, society sees it as something to be looked down upon and it completely defeats the purpose of such masculine-feminine distinction.


Media of all sort do an exceptional job with distinguishing what girls and boys should be playing with. Commercials that advertise girls show things like Barbie dolls, stuffed animals, and D.I.Y. hair styling (beads, colored hair extensions, etc.) Opposite to that of girls, boy commercials show things like racecars, action figures, and games that involve competition (Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, Beyblades, etc.) It is very evident that media contributes to the ways society should be thinking how a female or male should act or what they need to be doing to continually present themselves properly.


In my understanding with the article Blum has provided to me, I believe that these remote mountain villages in Caribbean is very different, if not completely opposite, to the American culture. This is because being a small village, there isn’t any outside influences that can help contribute to the masculine-feminine distinction. The village created its own values of men and women and created this “comfort level” and mutual understanding that such attitudes and actions should be accepted.


Although both articles provide clear arguments, I believe Blum was more persuasive because of her thoughts about the genetic side of this topic rather than just on behavior and growth alone.

11/14/2013 3:47pm


Woman, who act more feminine and dress more feminine, might act more accord to the gender role behavior and attitudes that Devor describes, to gain more acceptance from society. It is easier for women to act like women and dress like women because that is the way society demands them to be and act like. They are also concern that men like girls that can look hot, sexy and be girly not masculine and tough. There is so much competition among women because they always want to look better than other girls, because their value is more based on their physical looks than their intelligence. If a woman goes out in basketball shorts or sweatpants and a lose t-shirt and her hair up with no makeup, she will probably not get any attention from men or she will be recognized as a lesbian.

Media bombards people with advertisements telling them what they should buy according to their needs and roles as human. For example if a commercial with a girl wearing a tight red dress and red lipstick pops up, persuading them to buy the lipstick or dress, it is obvious that the advertisement is for a l, and is telling her that her natural color of her lips is not good enough to look as hot as she should . This is basecly telling a woman that she will look better and hotter with red lipstick. Media also tells women that they need to be skinny to be beautiful. There are infinite amount of advertisements trying to sell diet pills, and things that promise to make a woman lose weight. Men are also bombarded by media telling them what they need to have to be accepted by a female or even their own friends. They get bombarded with car advertisements, beautiful cars that promise to make women for them. A man isn’t a man until he has Bud light beer say many commercials.
Blum discusses about children in remote mountain villages in the Caribbean being raised as "conditional girls''. This might happen there because they do not get enough help like we have in the U.S.A.

Stephanie Cardoza
11/20/2013 1:25am

Devor explains that there are "rules" that go into how a female acts and how a male acts. Feminism/ masculinity both have there own ideas of how there presented. Feminine charasterics are emotional, sensitive, and should have children. As masculine characteristics are dominant, aggressive, and in a way controlling. Women who are more feminin and show nothing but that have more of an advantage and acceptance to society. To society because thats what society has generalized womens actions to be. A women who shows more masculine charasterstics or traits may not have that same acceptance.
The consumerism culture uses greatly these gender based ideas to attract customers. The way they advertise also is involved in it. The use of really feminin models and how a product can make you "achieve" such thing. It captures consumers into believing both how a woman should and to purchase that item. Same goes for men, men are sought out to be very muscular and serious. By advertising a cologne that has a man like that makes the person watching believe that thats how a man should be.
The carribean villages have a different norm of what gender is. They have adapted to raising boys as "conditional girls" because of how they eventually grown up looking as a boy. This may generally be very difficult to understand because at the age of 12 of the child still is fond of dresses and other "feminin" things, why would the parent change that. But after all they know how to manage that type of situation, as that society has accepeted. The U.S therefore cant really manage to do such thing because theyre bearly getting to understand it. The U.S and Europe compared to the Carribean have different views on genders and how to generalize them.
Blum has the most persuasive argument regarding male aggressiveness. However she really bases off the bioogy of it. And how of alterated on a woman, the agressivness can happen to her. She also makes the point that culture influences it to. Boys are always more rowdy and tend to like weaponry and as boys play they get to immitate those same preferences. Likewise with women, they grown up sepreated because they usually prefere differnet things. She also throws the idea that maybe the ambient(work place, etc.) you are in can trigger a more stronger attitude. Its just how a human adapts to each situation and how the culture and biology evolve throughout every different aspect.


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    Prof. David Fulton

    I received my MA in English from CSU, Northridge and his .MFA in Creative Writing from CSU, Long Beach. I have  been teaching College English since 2004.. I am a published poet and was recently a Pushcart Prize finalist for my poem "Hubris" In addition to teaching,, I enjoy cooking, figuring out how to garden, going to the gym, researching Shakespeare, and watching MMA. 

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