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Gender Bias: Sociology of Gender and Sexuality Essay

As individuals we have the choice to do whatever we want, but why is it that we have to be careful of what we do because of the fear of being judged. This world is divided in two, the men and the women; you’re simply one or the other. Society as a whole has always made women inferior to men in every way possible, we live in a world where if you’re a women you must learn to live second best, you will never be as good as a man in your profession, or you will never be as smart as a man.

These are but a few examples of which women must learn to live with in today’s world for it is they way that we all are taught from the moment we are born women have their role, while men have their role. Gender bias is everywhere, you more than likely see it every day but you are so used to it that you don’t catch it. So why do we have this gender bias? Are we ever going to accept that both men and women are two of the same and that we are equal?

Sociologists explain the gender bias that occurs in workplaces, why men get paid more for the exact same job that the women is doing, or how we generalize occupations just because some jobs are masculine while others are feminine. Also how it affects media, and why homosexuality is okay for females but is looked down on for males. So how would you feel if you finally landed your dream career after all the hard work and struggles you went through college, just to find out that your going to be getting paid less then the person next to you even though you are doing the exact same job and you both have the exact same qualifications.

The reality of it is that this does occur. The gender pay gap in the United States has received a lot of attention (Nadler 1). Women across the world are being victims of gender discrimination. Their future career’s are in jeopardy because as a society we tend to act as if they aren’t good enough, the possibility for their advancement at work is very slim for we tend to pick a male over a female. There have been many studies as to why males are favorited over females. “Such studies examine gender stereo-type driven bias at a macro or individual level” (Nadler 1). Too many

of us gender stereo type subconsciously for we are taught from a young age what roles a man is to do and what role a women is supposed to do, so we are so used to it, that we don’t realize that we are doing it, it becomes almost second nature. From the moment we are in elementary school we learn about our roles. Boys are supposed to be the workers, the ones who provide and make the most money, we’re supposed to be tough and play football and do other masculine activities while the girls start following the role of playing house, being a mom and playing cooking games like baking or other activities that women portray.

So what if a boy wants to play house and the girl wants to play football, at first this would be an issue for in our society that’s not normal. Women are implanted with this idea that they need to pick a career inferior to that of a males, the idea is that the men bring in the most income into a household. So with that in mind it’s the same thing with this gender pay gap, women are practically getting told no, this is a job for a man, so we will not promote you. Even though about 47% of the workforce consists of women, according to the catalyst only 3% of the fortune companies have had a woman as their chief executive officer.

Studies show these opportunities of top position jobs are by passed right on by the women, for the men believe that their relationship or children would affect the way they work, so the women wouldn’t get this promotion because of a mere assumption that her future would affect her work. Although the gender pay gap and the gender bias has been decreasing in the past thirty years there is still a difference in salary of men and women in similar careers (Nadler 2).

As time goes on it seems that society as a whole is beginning to accept that women can go out of their designated role and do what men do, the social norm has always been women stay home and cook and be a mother but now with newer generations you see women taking on the roles of the man, making the most income in the household, and for some males this is very difficult to grasp for they were raised their entire life with the idea that they were the ones supposed to be supporting the family, they were supposed to be the providers.

Sometimes even the men take the role of the female, the increase in male nurses in the past decade has increased drastically, in the old days you wouldn’t catch a man being a nurse, but today it is becoming more acceptable to venture off into these female role careers. “Over the past three decades, research has examined changes in men’s and women’s family roles” (Maume 1). For instance if a male was to pick a career say for example, taking care of children he would more than likely suffer gender discrimination and not get hired for watching over children has always been t

he role of a women (Stockdale 3). We have come a long way from when women had to stay at home and cook and do house chores, but we still have a little bit more to go before we begin seeing an equal opportunity for women. Hyun Sung Lim states, “homosexuality has long been considered pathological, at least in western countries” (1). In the 19th century through most of the 20th century homosexuality was considered a neurotic disorder. Up until 1973 the APA considered it an illness causing a major controversy across the country.

People weren’t happy being told they had an illness because they liked the same gender of sex; it was something they simply could not control. Now we know that some people can be born being attracted to the same sex, they weren’t forced into it, it just came naturally as it comes naturally for us to like the opposite sex. “According to data from different countries, between 5% and 11% of the young population can identify themselves as homosexuals” (Gerouki 1). So why is that people don’t like homosexuals? Today in modern America we see a huge gender bias towards homosexuals.

Society is very hostile and not accepting towards gays, but the only problem is that it’s only towards male homosexuals. “Part of the reason why males are targets is because of HIV, because of the potential risks of spreading an epidemic they tend to get the most negative attention” (Druten 1). Female’s kissing each other has transformed into more of a fantasy to some in todays age, where if it were the other way around two men kissing each other a sense of un-comfort arises, and it becomes socially unacceptable.

Over the years we have made this norm where we made it acceptable for women to be comfortable and public about their relationship with another female, while for men we’ve forced them into being secretive and even a great sense of fear has been presented to them. They have to be careful of how they show their affection in public in fear that someone may harm them because they don’t accept their sexuality, in their eyes they’re wrong. “Violence against homosexuals is recognized as a social problem” (Lim 1).

Research studies show that males have a much higher negative attitude towards male homosexuality then females (Lim 2). A study was conducted in South Korea where they asked 124 college student who were all heterosexual, they were asked a series of questions about how they felt about homosexuals, and 96 of the 124 students classified into the homophobic range. In our society there is a gender bias towards homosexuals because of this homophobia, this fear one has to be around or socialize with homosexuals.

Some homosexuals are targeted when they apply for jobs if they are clearly visibly gay they will more than likely not get the job for some people are scared because of their sexuality, they want nothing to do with them. We are becoming more accepting of homosexuals for example, now we have 9 states in the United States that allow marriage of the same sex and about 11 countries that too allow it, it seems that society is slowly accepting homosexuality into its norm. Being able to marry the same sex comes with a price, in Vancouver a study was done for pricing of apartment rentals.

Discrimination for those with partners of the same sex was higher than those of the opposite sex, 24% less likely to receive positive response from inquiries to be exact (Lauster and Easterbrook 402). Vancouver having a very high rate of homosexuals still experiences gender bias. Homosexuals where being charged more for their just because of their sexuality. Also they were not treated as well as a heterosexual couple. Even though it is clear that it is okay to be homosexual, most of society refuses to accept it, and their kids see this form of gender bias so then they learn it and so on the cycle continues.

Homosexuals are slowly getting the chance to live their life out happy without having to worry about being outcasts in today’s society. So in the end we live in a world where we discriminate one another because of our gender or our sexuality. Women are under appreciated in the work field because of their gender, when in reality they are just as capable of doing what the men do. They have to struggle to get recognized. They have to work twice as hard to prove themselves everyday, to get seen as equal.

If a woman exceeds in her work more than a male than there is absolutely no reason why she shouldn’t make up hire in management, gender should not be a factor of to how far you can go in your career. Homosexuals are harassed for the mere fact that they are attracted to the same sex, when in reality they are humans just like the rest of us. No harm is being done yet society finds something wrong with them. Research provides the evidence that this gender bias is slowly diminishing and hopefully with time it will eventually cease exist, a world where equality is equal for all.

II Personal I remember being in middle school and always seeing that one homosexual kid who everyone made fun of. Back then I didn’t know better, I mean middle school is all about trying to fit in and be popular, had I gone out of my way to be friends with this kid, that would have affected me just as much as him. You act the way you act because that’s the way everyone around you is acting and if you don’t than suddenly you’re the one outside the group, the outcast you could say.

Reflecting back on everything that I said and did makes me feel this sort of disgust and shame. Doing all this research I kept thinking to myself how does one judge another by their gender or their sexuality, how can one do that, but then when it comes down to it, how does one not judge? It’s human nature to judge one another, when you judge someone else your simply judging yourself. I also remember in high school being on the soccer team, and there was this one girl who was a lot more masculine than the rest of the girls so she practiced with us.

We were that group of kids that made her life hell, we would make sure she knew that she was not part of the circle, that she was different, but thinking back I didn’t do it to be mean, I simply did it because every one else was doing it so it felt normal you could say. This paper made me realize that unless you actually stop and think about it sometimes you wont even realize that you’re being gender bias or discriminating someone by his or her appearance. This research on gender bias and sexuality didn’t just open my eyes to what really occurs in this world.

I feel like most of us go on living our life without even thinking what goes on out there. Unless it involves us in a certain way we wouldn’t really know of the inequality that still occurs to this day. We as a whole judge others because they are different than us, they become outcasts merely because they don’t have the same views as us or they look different then the rest. I can now say this will always be in the back of my head. I don’t want to discriminate anyone because of their gender so by remembering how easily it is to over see one self-being gender bias, I will hopefully be able to avoid any future occurrences with this problem.

We are becoming more accepting as time progresses, maybe some day in the future their will be no gender bias for we will see that we are all one of the same. References David J. Maume. Gender Differences in Restricting Work Efforts Because of Family Responsibilities. Journal of Marriage and Family , Vol. 68, No. 4 (Nov. , 2006), pp. 859-869 Gerouki, M. (2010). The boy who was drawing princesses: primary teachers’ accounts of children’s non-conforming behaviours. Sex Education, 10(4), 335- 348. Hans Van Druten, Frits Van Griensven and Jan Hendriks. The Journal of Sex Research , Vol.

29, No. 4 (Nov. , 1992), pp. 477-499 Hyun Sung, L. , & Johnson, M. (2001). Korean social work student’s attitudes toward homosexuals. Journal Of Social Work Education, 37(3), 545-554. Nadler, J. T. , & Stockdale, M. S. (2012). Workplace Gender Bias: Not Just Between Strangers. North American Journal Of Psychology, 14(2), 281-291. Nathanael Lauster and Adam Easterbrook. No Room for New Families? A Field Experiment Measuring Rental Discrimination against Same-Sex Couples and Single Parents. Social Problems , Vol. 58, No. 3 (August 2011), pp. 389-409


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