Various Gender Stereotypes in Society

Sociology is the study of society's structure, growth, and functioning. The subject encompasses all of the daily activities that occur in and around our communities. It research takes into account all of the difficulties that our societies face.
Sociology is an important tool for individuals in a society to evaluate daily activities such as politics, economics, and family difficulties, among others. The social problems faced in the society can be approached through sociological techniques. The relationship between the traditional and modern societies can be used to predict the future through the study of sociology.Sociology can also be defined as the study of fundamental laws that define the day to day institutions, social relations, culture, religion, among others.

Sociology of Gender

Sociology of gender is a branch of sociology that deals with the study of gender construction in a society, the relationship between social structure and the interaction of gender with other factors in a society.

Sociology of gender of gender is therefore the study of activities that relates gender and their contributions in the various attributes of life. The future problem solving through gender approaches are also studied in sociology of gender. The relationship between gender and culture, religion, sexuality among others in a society will be studied.

Gender and sex

In this course, it will be important for the learner to understand the meaning of the term gender and sex. Although some people use the two terms interchangeably, the study of sociology of gender will help leaners differentiate between the two terms.

Gender can be defined as follow:

A female or male division of a species. This species is distinguished by the behavior, cultural and social roles.

A category of human being similar in characteristics besides the male or female binary. This definition is dependent on the individual’s identity or classification based on awareness.

In sociology of gender studies, sex can be defined as follow:

The female or male division of species. This definition is based on the reproductive functions of the individuals.

The collective functional and structural distinction by female or male as differentiated. The conditional phenomena or he behavior basing on the structural or functional distinction of individuals in a society.

The intimate attraction between two or more people or the manifestation in conduct and life.

Gender roles

In a society, gender role is a collection of social norms that perceive the type of behavior expected to be performed by certain people through their actual sex as appropriate, acceptable, and desirable.

Gender roles are differentiated based on the concepts of masculinity and femininity. In sociology of gender, we tend to study exceptional cases and the current trends leading to shifts in the gender roles as perceived in certain societies. When gender roles are socially constructed, then sexism in a society erupts.

Gender role term first was first forwarded into the study of sociology in 1955 by John Money.

Gender Identity

Gender identity can be described as the internal feeling and expression of an individual through behavior, actions, personal appearance and even clothing. This feeling begins at early stages of life in individuals.

Gender Stereotype

Stereotype is a widely accepted bias or judgement abbot an individual or group of individuals. Gender stereotype can be defined as unfair and unequal treatment and judgment about an individual resulting from his/her gender. Gender stereotype is also known as sexism.

Types of Gender Stereotypes

Domestic behaviors-This stereotype is based in domestic behavior of men and women in societies. Some people believe that some people are made to take certain domestic roles, duties and responsibilities. For example, some individuals have an expectation that women are mandated to cook, clean home, and take care of the children. Men on the other hand are believed to be in charge of finances, home repairs and work on the car.

Occupation stereotype-bias is based on the fact that some people believe that some jobs are meant for certain individual gender. In many societies, some people believe that nurse jobs are for women while engineers, pilots among others are for men.

Personality traits- this judgment is based on the people’s trait characteristics. In many societies, some people believe that women are accommodative and emotional in nature hence they are expected to behave accommodative and emotionally. On the other hand, men are expected to be aggressive and self-confident.

Physical appearance-the expectation of men and women through appearance by many people in a society is judged. For instance, men are expected to be muscular while women are expected to be graceful.

How to fight gender stereotype?

We can overcome stereotype through the by doing the following:

Role Modelling-This can be done by serving as good examples in our society. Role modeling entails serving good examples through critical analysis and approaches to the issues and problems affecting people in our societies. Involvement in finding solutions to the problems will greatly help. Respect to people irrespective of their gender identities though creating space for personal expression will greatly help. Understanding and respecting people’s expectations rather than focusing on the already predetermined judgement will help to fight stereotype.

Trial and Error-People should give a trail in anything they want to pursue in our societies. People should not give up or rely on the already set judgement. People should give trails regardless on the number of time they fail. This will help reduce the stereotypes especially when they achieve success.

Pointing it out-Media should boldly point out the negative sex and gender stereotypes through magazines, Newspapers, TV, Radio, Internet, film among others. Pointing out will help people see the reality behind negative stereotyping. People whether affected or not should talk to other people concerning the society stereotyped issues.

Challenging-people should speak up to create awareness on the stereotyped gender issues within societies.


An intersex individual is one who is born with both male and female biological organs. The study of sociology of gender discusses the challenges faced by intersex individuals. Awareness on the existence of intersex people is very imperative through the study of sociology of gender.

Gender Stratification

Gender stratification is the ranking of people in society based on their genders. In many societies, men are perceived to inhabit higher statuses than women.

Major Sociological Gender Theories

The following theories have explained gender in our societies. All these theories have different explanations about the role of people in relationship to gender. These theories include:

Functionalist theory

Symbolic Interaction theory

The Conflict theory

The Feminist Theory

Importance of Studying Sociology of gender

Learners are equipped with knowledge, skills and ability to understand the day to day issues and problems affecting our societies.

Sociology of gender is a foundation of knowledge, ability and skill in critical thinking.

Learners are equipped with problems solving skills. These skills can be applied in our societies to help solve the myriad problems that affect people. For example, sociology of gender studies helps students gain knowledge used in solving gender related problems in society such as gender violence.

Sociology of gender is the foundation of development in societies. This is due to the role it plays in motivating people across genders to fully engage in activities already judged to belong to other genders.

Sociology of gender is the foundation for further study. Students have a myriad of course to advance as a result of studying sociology of gender. Psychology is one of the areas.

Sociology of gender helps understand the development of society civilization through critical analysis of the theories of gender.

Studying sociology of gender helps in predicting the future outcomes in societies. The society can therefore prepare to fight future related problems through application of appropriate measures.

Exercise 1

Describe the contribution of John Money in the study of gender roles in our society. (10 marks)

Differentiate between Sex and Gender. (6marks).

Describe the functionalist theory, symbolism interaction, the conflict theory and the feminist theory of gender. (20 marks)

Further Exercise

Watch the following videos from YouTube and summarize them.




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