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Word Count: 594
The word gender refers to the socially constructed knowledge values and practices connected to sex based differences People are born female or male but learn to be girls and boys who grow into men and women Males are supposed to be masculine strong and macho while females are attributed to be feminine fragile and nurturing Family reinforcement and traditional society expectations create gender roles they are not innate features Gender is constructed based on everything from appearance and dress to relations with family and friends to culture and sexuality Appelbaum 2001 The home gender factory reproduces societys traditional gender roles through parental reinforcement Appelbaum and Chambliss 223 From birth to death males and females are constructed to act according to societys mold of gender identity Parents describe their newborns with adjectives pertaining to traditional gender roles Newborn girls are described as tiny soft delicate and fine-featured while newborn boys are described as strong alert and well coordinate 223 Even during breast-feeding gender divides males are treated rougher and given more milk while females are treated delicately and given less The Baby X Studies found that when a baby is dressed in blue it automatically receives masculine attributions by parents without knowing the actual sex of the baby Whereas parents reportedly gave feminine characteristics to babies dressed in pink Appelbaum 2001 Throughout life and especially childhood males and females possess limitations to what they can and cannot do how they should and should not act In the Unites States and various other cultures boys are treated roughly and females delicately Constant gender differences experienced in childhood create major differences in adulthood While growing up less strain is placed on females to acquire an adequate educational background whereas boys are taught that education is priority to succeed This factor has a large impact on future career income and overall gender stratification in the workplace Functionalist theory suggests that women are socially developed to have more expressive emotional
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