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How Gender Shapes Social Relations

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Gender typically acts as a background identity that biases, in gendered directions, the performance of behaviors undertaken in the name of organizational roles and identities

The background effects of the gender frame on behavior vary by the context that different organizational and institutional structures set but can also infuse gendered meanings into organizational practices.

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Gender is part of our social structure, just as race and class are. When applied to Camara Phyllis Jones’ article, “The Gardener’s Tale,” men are the red flowers and women are the pink. From the moment of birth, men and women are put into different pots

These pots symbolize socialization because the separation affects how men and women choose among their options. However, institutionalized sexism causes these options to be distinct. Eccles suggests that parents are role models for an action as simple as giving a toy truck to a little boy and a Barbie to a little girl can help develop a child’s gender identity. If a child grows up with a mother who is very athletic, she is more likely to view sports as a normal part of being a girl. The same idea can apply to a boy for if he sees his dad treating his mom kindly, he is less likely to abuse his own wife. Personally mediated sexism revolves around the concept of omission. This can be seen in society in which men are given better resources for they are believed to become the next world leaders, doctors, business men, engineers, and scientists. Women grow up wearing frilly pink dresses and are taught to be gentle and remain at home. They are excluded from entering certain schools or career paths because they are expected to not have the capacity to exceed in certain fields.

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Despite the overall stability in beliefs about the typical man or woman, there nevertheless have been some hints of change in other aspects of people's descriptive gender beliefs during this period. People's self-reports of their mental and expressive traits are usually less gender-typed than are their beliefs about the typical man or woman. In many social contexts, people's estimates of gender stereotypes are more important determinants of their behavior than their own self-reported traits because gender stereotypes represent the rules by which people assume they will be judged by others (Milkie 1999). Still, according to two studies (Spence and Buckner 2000; Twenge 1997), people's self-reports of their own gender traits, while also generally stable over recent decades, have changed more than their gender stereotypes as applied to others, although a third study disagrees.

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In summary, it is important to understand that people have high tendency to conform among groups, and it would result in following normal cultural and religious belief toward gender identity and role. Gender is mainly formed by our social construction and each individual is impacted by people and objects they encounter every day in their lives. It is not possible to just form our gender based on body difference between men and women because it does not do anything to our mind and habits.

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Milkie, Melissa A. 1999. "Social Comparison, Reflected Appraisals, and Mass Media: The Impact of Pervasive Beauty Images on Black and White Girls' Self-Concepts." Social Psychology Quarterly 62: 190-210.

Ridgeway, Cecilia L., and Lynn Smith-Lovin. 1999. "The Gender System and Interaction." Annual Review of Sociology 25: 191-216.

Shih, Margaret, Todd L. Pittinsky, and Nalini Ambady. 1999. "Stereotype Susceptibility: Identity Salience and Shifts in Quantitative Performance." Psychological Science 10(1): 80-83.

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