Gender Symbols Usage in International Family-Oriented Marketing


Gender symbols are used to identify the life form sex or the human being’s gender. It should be stressed that the differentiation between gender symbols is closely connected with the historical phenomena of Patriarchy and Matriarchy. The structure of the society varied in different countries with the pace of history. The roles in the family and gender responsibilities identified in the society from ancient times appeared to have completely different forms, for example, in Japan, America, Africa, and the whole of Europe. The concepts of social structuring and the formation of gender symbols are considered to be the central issues of family-oriented marketing developing on the international level.

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The identification of patriarchy can be based on the aspect of the father’s primary role in the family and in society in general. The development of this form of structure is closely connected with the formation of feminism and various feministic movements taking place some centuries ago. The welfare of the whole community in states with a patriarchal system depended on males and their contributions to social well-being.

The analysis of the patriarchal system of social structuring showed that this form dominated western civilization. This fact explains the majority of feministic movements fighting the rights of women. Despite the fact that western countries predominantly had this form of social structure, the current situation shows that some states of the Middle East, South, and East Asia remained patriarchal and support all rules of this structuring.

The establishment of gender roles in society can be merely explained by cultural and social conditions accepted in the national group. Thus, the phenomenon of patriarchy is considered to be the sociological constructions result being transferred from one generation to another. Besides, the sociologists believe that this system is dominant in the states with low economical development and traditional cultural system. There is a tendency to believe that the system of patriarchy is beneficial. This fact is explained by its influence on social organization and human evolution.

One of the vivid examples of patriarchal countries is considered to be China. The domination of this form is rooted in ancient history when women had no status at all. Nowadays the history left a print on the development of current society. It is important to stress that the generation of the 21st century suffers a slight pressure on Chinese females. For example, women are to get married before 30; the introduction of the Chinese child policy explains female infanticide incidence. Nevertheless, comparing the contemporary situation with that of previous centuries it should be noted that the rate of female trafficking has been considerably reduced. (Mies, 1999).

The system of patriarchy dominated in the countries of Europe. Such a situation was experienced until the 19th century causing the number of feminist movements and critics. As a result, society managed to fight the establishment of gender roles equality in the family. So, nowadays both males and females have identical positions in society.


The social form called matriarchy is aimed at providing the leading role in the family and in society to the women. The system of matriarchy was thoroughly studied from the period of the 19th century. There are some countries with societies being completely matriarchal; they are usually called matrilocal and matrilineal social groups. It is important to stress that there are some social groups of strong matrilocal form; in this case, they are called matrifocal societies. Examples of such social groups are peoples of the Nairs of Kerala, Mosuru social group referring to the Lake Lugu, and the matrilineal Minangkabau of West Sumatra. (Matriarchy, 2007).

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Some people believe that early Japan refers to matriarchal forms of society. But the society tends to be stereotyped through the submissive female population of the country. Nevertheless, the clarifications and proves of this fact have never been provided. According to the article taken from the book “Gender in World History”:

“Peter N. and other historians have speculated as to whether or not agricultural Japan was a matriarchy prior to contact with patriarchal China” (Was Japan once a Matriarchy? 2009).

There are some historical facts proving vivid female enjoyment by the culture at an early period. Besides, there were various social distinctions such as body markings and tattoos differing warriors from other people. Women played important roles as shamans and being centralized in various religious ceremonies. Nevertheless, the system of gender domination has changed to the opposite one and the population experienced patriarchal rules and atmosphere. But these were only slight notes of males’ domination because women still felt the advantages of strong social position and important status provided before.

One more social group of the matriarchal system is considered to be Africa. Such a position closely interacts with religious and political spheres of social life. The development of Islam and Christianity were women-centered from the very beginning of their formation. African family was perceived as the background of the society taking into account the position of goddess-based religions dominating there. Nevertheless considering political and economical spheres it should be stated that the nation suffered tensions in the interaction of matriarchy and patriarchy since previous centuries; though women’s roles still remained to be the central ones. (Amadiume, 1998).

Gender Symbols

Gender symbols were developed as astrological signs in the period of ancient Rome. The sign of male is considered to be the pointed Mars symbol while females are represented through the symbol of Venus with the cross. Besides, there are some others gender symbols denoting various forms of human interrelations. For example, the Mercury symbol was created to identify hermaphroditic personality; or a symbol of transgender having the form of male and female signs combined with the third one. In addition to it, the double female symbol is used to denote women’s sisterhood (in some societies) or lesbianism. Male symbols being double interlocking are used to define gay men; this symbol takes place since 1970. (GLBT Symbols).

So, astrological symbols were used to identify not only genders but gender interrelations and orientations. They are still important for modern sciences and are still continuing to develop.


It is important to underline the key elements analyzed in the report: the need for gender roles differentiation has been considerably reduced with time. It is connected with the social positions of modern people; women get free access to education becoming more independent. As a result, the requirement of strong physical power or males’ decision-making was reduced with time. Nowadays most societies managed to reach gender equality making a positive impact on the cultural and social development of the population.

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Amadiume, I. 1998. Re-Inventing Africa: Matriarchy, Religion and Culture. Zed Books.

“Corpus Mmothra”. Web.

GLBT Symbols. Gender Symbols. Web.

Matriarchy. Matriarchal Age. 2007. Web.

Mies, M. 1999. Patriarchy and Accumulation on a World Scale: Women in the International Division of Labor.

Vajra Rainbow. 2005 Gender Symbolism & Tantra: Khandro Pawo Mirroring in Was Japan once a Matriarchy? 2009. Imomus’s Journal. Web.

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