Kialo requires cookies to work correctly.
Is Gender a Social Construct?
Gender categorization only exists through the societal attribution of specific behaviors as indicating a specific gender identity, as at the individual level the internal conception of one's identity does not need labels.
Many people adopt behaviors that do not feel natural to them because they believe those are the behaviors that members of their gender ought do.
, individuals can create meaning only in relation to what they are exposed to in their environment. In this sense, the individual and society are inextricably linked.
There is a
human need to label people
, indicating that all social echelons and categorizations (including gender) are social constructs.
Stereotypes and normative scripts around gender have developed such that people face societal pressure to buy into them, and potentially face social consequences for not doing so. In this way society continues to construct gender and expect different behaviour on the basis of gender.
The idea that gender is a social construct devalues the importance of gender to individual identity.
Internal conception usually involves describing yourself in words. These words are labels.
“Gender” is in-part
a theoretical decoupling by feminist scholars
of biological sex and social characteristics. The internal conception of sexual identity is
seeded during pre-natal gestation
- giving rise to
post-natal temperamental & personality differences
between the biological sexes.
A person can embody a particular quality or property without personally conceptualizing or labeling it. For example, one could be highly neurotic without having the slightest awareness of it, or of what the word neurotic even means.
Not everyone "does" gender in the same way, meaning there has to be some internal process that shapes gender expression.
Social psychology argues that one's
is made up of one's self-schemas, and interacts with self-esteem, self-knowledge, and the social self to form the self as whole. This means that self-labelling starts internally and society plays only a partial role in this process.