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Social Construction of Gender. Sociology in Modules

Sociobiology entails the scientific study of social behavior’s biological bases among humans and even animals. It assumes that such behavior arises from evolution, and it focuses on examining and explaining social behavior from the given perspective (Schaefer, 2017). On the other hand, social construction is social, and feminism theory shows that gender is not innate but somewhat varies with place and time (Schaefer, 2017). Therefore, sociobiology explains individuals’ social identities based on their behavior and not on gender and sex. The study assigns such construction to natural selection and inheritance and uses these bases for masculinity and feminism.

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Based on this, Talcott Parsons and Robert Bales viewed males’ and females’ roles based on the functionalist perspective. They have it that gender roles were generally established before the pre-industrial era. Men were responsible for roles outside homes, such as hunting and gathering, and women were responsible for domestic tasks (Schaefer, 2017). These sociologists believe in gender inequality in society and families as it is what primarily creates a division of labor. In this regard, males and females assume different work acts and the division is meant for efficiency and resources maximization. As such, males and females complement each other in their roles wherein men, provide for their families and women take care of homes (Schaefer, 2017). This contributes to society’s overall stability even though it masks the underlying relations between women and men.

The view advanced by Parsons and Bales regarding gender roles is rather old-fashioned. However, the concepts advanced still apply today in societies and even families. Men and women complement each other’s roles even though women have gained access to more masculine roles. This is because women have to assume more demanding roles because of a proportionate increase in needs that men cannot satisfy. Therefore, roles might have changed, but their perspective’s underpinning concepts are still applicable and evident today.

Reference

Schaefer, R. (2017). Sociology in modules (4th Ed.). McGraw-Hill Education.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Social Construction of Gender. Sociology in Modules'. 28 August.

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