Gender Roles in Society Analysis

Social constructionism refers to the notion that the real understanding of individuals is partial, if not fully socially situated. Andersen and Witham (2011) explain that gender can be defined as a social identity that needs contextualization. Gender is socially constructed explains that the community has set standards about how males and females should behave in and out of their homes (Andersen & Witham, 2011). Every ethnic group, culture, and society has different expectations about gender roles, varying from one group to another.

Masculinity trait expresses wealth acquisition, ambition, and distinct roles of gender. In contrast, feminity stresses good behaviors, environmental awareness, and caring responsibilities. For example, society believes that women and girls should dress in a particular manner, and be nurturing, accommodative, and polite (Andersen and Witham, 2011). On the contrary, men are expected to be strong, bold, and aggressive. Individuals who fail to behave in ways that fit their gender stereotypes are penalized in society. For instance, assertive females are considered to be less likable and hirable. On the other hand, empathetic, venerable, nice, and sad men face significant backlash from the community (Andersen & Witham, 2011). Therefore, penalties ensure that people in society adhere to the rules and regulations put across.

Four significant agents that determine gender socialization include mass media, peer groups, education, and family. For example, parents act as their children’s role models, reinforce good behaviors, select the appropriate environment and ensure that their skills are adequately developed (Andersen & Witham, 2011). Additionally, children resemble one another as they spend time together. Learning gives boys and girls opportunities that play a crucial role in their construction. Mass media such as television affects children’s perception of gender roles in society.

In summary, the community expects men and women to behave in particular ways, which is known as social constructionism. For instance, men should be courageous and aggressive while women are expected to be respectful and act accordingly. These individuals are punished if they fail to meet societal expectations, such as being isolated from the community. The agents that determine gender role construction include family, education, mass media, and peer groups.


Andersen, M., & Witham, D. H. (2011). Thinking about women: Sociological perspectives on sex and gender (9th ed.). Allyn & Bacon.

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