Self Concept & Identity, Shaped by Gender

During my second summer semester at the University of Central Florida, I took a Sociology course. This course really gave me insight into the baseline social aspects that can correlate to psychology. One of the most intriguing parts of this class focused on the studies of gender and the differences between a biological male and female based on identity in the social world. Please keep in mind that people identify in many different ways and this is in no way supporting the idea of a solely dual-gender society. However, in terms of studying gender in sociology, in its basics, we usually see a focus on only female and male.

During my studies, we focused on personal identity and how between a female and male they view themselves in very different ways.

You can actually do this yourself! What you want to do is fill out the statement I am…. You can fill this out in any way you identify with. Try to think of 5 to 6 statements you would use to describe/ identify who you are.

What we learned from this short exercise is that females are more relational. This means that females tend to define their identities and self-concepts around their relationships. They are more likely to give a response that relates to others “I am a mom”, “I am a daughter”, and “I am a friend” are relational points of view about one’s self.

On the other hand, we have males. Males tend to have a more individualistic view. Therefore, they are more likely to answer the question as. “I am strong”,” I am funny”, and “I am a hard worker”. These phrases are not related and do not use others to define one’s self.

Though this may seem like an odd occurrence there are many traits that only one specific gender has. Females tend to be more empathetic and have seemed to be more in touch with their emotions and understand how it plays into social relationships. Males on the other hand tend to not lead with emotion but more biological flight or fight responses and more aggression. Once again I must preface this is not the truth for all but these findings are backed up by years of research and observations.

This also should not be used to justify behavior in any way but it may begin to give us insight as to why certain genders are better suited for different things and help us to understand why we may react in certain ways whilst also changing maladaptive behavior


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