Male or female; two terms that describe the formation of a female or a male by means of widespread use both in the biological sense of the individual, and in the role system that the community gives to the individual. But then, the biological dimension that is significant in these terms and the social dimension that is based on the biological structure are very different from each other.
Biologically, each unit is born as a male or female, and we continue throughout our entire lives without changing/not being able to change this given property [aside from exceptional circumstances paralleling the development of medical science].
Parents who prepare clothes and supplies for the children to be born; while parents use their preferences on the color and shape of the contestant, they take the first step in constructing behaviors, attitudes and role patterns that will be required of the child throughout life. After birth, the social world determined for the child becomes more and more evident; dressing, hairdressing, toys, kindness and dosage of kindness in behaviors towards the child, behaviors that are appropriate or inappropriate for the child, occupations that are thought and desired for the child, etc. all of which constitute some of the next stages of the construction act.
Femininity and masculinity, which are essentially related to behavior, attitude and roles, represent two different dimensions that are shaped on the basis of female or male. For societies, this distinction is extremely important. For this reason, their fields are clearly separated from each other. According to this, the individual is either the one or the other; so either it is a man or a woman. Society asks individuals to behave according to the biological sex they accept as an invariant criterion; the society, force people to accept and apply the behaviors they prepared.
Sexual identity refers to the knowledge that the individual is biologically specific and also the ability to recognize other people’s gender in the same category. The formation of sexual identity begins early in life. Children recognize their own gender at a very early age, usually around two years of age. Two-year-olds usually know that there are two genders; they belong to one of them, and that their father is a male and their mother is a female. However, children of such a young age do not have a complete understanding of sexual identity. They tend to determine gender, rather than biological properties, with clothes, roles, or other superficial factors. They gradually acquire the fact that sex is unchanged, that a female or male born remains a lifelong female or male, and these connotations turn into definite knowledge only when they are five or six years old.
Once sexual identity is identified and understood, the second step is followed by the development of two sex-related beliefs and attitudes. As much as recognizing people’s gender, they will have ideas about how individuals separate their genres from each other, and perhaps how they should separate.
Gender Prejudices and Discrimination
Prejudice is usually related to the negative thoughts and beliefs that members of a community have about members of another community. Prejudice is characterized by stereotyped beliefs that have not been tested against reality, but rather depends on one’s own feelings and attitudes. The source of prejudice is news based on subjective experiences, convictions, and slang. Prejudice can have a social dimension by transferring in a long time and through various sources. For example, prejudices regarding some segments of our society and especially women; the words that start with ‘long hair’ or ‘the hand with no stick against the woman’ always express common prejudices.
All of the role descriptions emphasize the behavior that society asks the individual to do. This shows that the role is social in one dimension, individual in another dimension; is the turning of sociality into behavior in the individual.
Regarding the role-related part of gender, the adaptations in this area have been realized in many different ways. The role – in gender stereotypes – is the main idea that an individual is male or female. For this reason, there are always two gender roles: male role, female role or masculine role and feminine role. The majority of sociologists and social psychologists interested in the subject have tackled age and gender roles together, and categorization based on these two features indicated that societies expressed the oldest distinction they made.
Discussions within the framework of gender roles have provided rich accumulation of thought about the position and meaning of gender roles.
The difference between individuals is not as pronounced and widespread as that of individuals being male and female in biological sense.
Gender does not just mean biological characteristics. Gender begins to gain meaning as a social category from the first years of life in terms of the individual. In the following years, an understanding-thinking-living world centering on the individual’s biological sex will be built.
The name of this world that is formed is gender. Gender refers to the knowledge that the individual is a certain person, the individual expectations of the social level within this knowledge, and the position of the individual in society.