Consequences of Gender Being a Social Construct

Gender is socially constructed and can be shaped and altered in various ways. With examples, explain the consequences for our view of men and womens identities.

This essay will be exploring the creation of the male and female identity created through a social construction. It will begin with a brief look at a theory that opposes the social constructivist approach. The essay will then go onto explain the two main perceptions of a male and females identity and will then highlight the consequences of this perceived identity in society.

In order to understand the social construction of gender we have to look at why some sociologists disagree with this statement and believe that gender is biological. One of the most influential approaches has been functionalism. Giddens (2013 p.652) argues that they see society as a system of interlinked parts which when in balance, there can be social solidarity. This means that society runs smoother if there is a division of labour between both genders. Giddens argues that women and men perform those tasks for which they are biologically suited. This shows a strong position towards an essentialist approach- where human nature is fixed and men and women are controlled by their biology (Giddens,2013, p.633)

One big contributor to the nuclear family style family type was Talcott Parsons. He believed in the clear-cut sexual division of labour in which females act in expressive roles (providing care and security to children and emotional support) whereas the men should perform instrumental roles (being the breadwinner in the family) (Giddens,2013, p.652). Overall these divisions would evoke social solidarity of the family. Feminists have criticised Functionalists as they claim, there is nothing natural or inevitable about the allocation of tasks in society (Giddens,2013, p.652).

As above has explained about the biological argument of gender, some sociologists have further called for gender to be a social construction which is a group of cultural behaviours which are created from social interactions and thus can vary from your location and time (Giddens and Sutton,2013, p.634). This means that many sociologists believe that gender is not a fixed entity, but it is a moving concept that adapts through time. The masculine and feminine idea below is explained through a social constructivist approach rather than biological.

Stereotypically within society, men are portrayed to be big and strong who dont falter to pain and emotion. Connell (2005, p. 829-859) coins the term hegemonic masculinity which is the dominance of men in society through their behaviour and is characterised by excessive heterosexuality and being in a marriage. Many examples of men who empower a hegemonic masculinity would be Sylvester Stallone in Rocky, Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) and Arnold Schwarzenegger. All three of these men according to Connell exhibit a high sense of dominance, brute strength and work for their pay which are the norms of being the ideal man in society. As a result, these types of portrayals of men are shown to be an extreme perception of men. Also, this is shown to be social construction as men are conforming to the norms of the ideal men in society

In contrast to men, women in society are shown to be in a lower status to men as Connell describes them as having emphasised femininity. It is characterised by having an accommodation to the interests and desires of men and they are shown to be highly compliant and show empathy (Giddens,2013, p.641). Many examples of this would be famous celebrity such as Pamela Anderson and Kim Kardashian. Beauty pageants are also a very good example as it is a competition to emphasise each others beauty and femininity.

The social construction of the male and female identity is created from the norms and values taught by the different agencies of socialisation. This can occur through gender socialisation learning of gender roles from the help of the agencies of socialisation such as the family, education system and media (Giddens, 2013, p.636). Giddens argues that the family reinforce male stereotypes on the boys by sanctioning them positively (What a brave good boy) and sanctioning them negatively (boys dont cry!). As a result, this type of language being used in the family makes boys feel as if they cannot show any emotion and or no pain and thus makes them look up to this idealised version of an alpha man.

Likewise, with the emphasised femininity idea, it has been created due to the agencies of socialisation. The family would usually purchase very female orientated toys e.g. Barbie dolls and they would purchase clothing that is high in the colour pink. This reproduces the gender stereotype and thus it carries on to the next generation. Also, the media portray women in a sexualised way. Giddens (2013, p.637) states that unrealistic body proportions were much more likely to be found in in television programmes. The (cited by Giddens,2013, p. 638) found that many females would be dissatisfied with their own body due to them comparing themselves with the airbrushed, perfected female role models which predominate in magazines.

The transmission of these gender norms has caused there to be significant patriarchy in society and has ultimately had severe drawbacks on women in society. This is because men are shown to be more dominant and hence women are therefore shown to have an inferior status, and this creates hegemony in society. Connell (cited by Giddens, 2013, p. 641) argues that this gender divide and those that benefit from this division are termed complicit masculinity.

Having egalitarian views (men and women are equal) or having traditional views (men and women are not equal) are both social constructs and whichever one is used has significant consequences on the relationship of the family. Davis and Greenstein (2009) in their article has highlighted major consequences of having traditional views of gender ideology.

Stewart 2003 (cited by Davis and Greenstein,2009, p. 96) found that traditional ideology has led to a lower age of motherhood but egalitarian gender ideology positively affected the months of independent living and delayed timing of martial birth (Cunningham et al. 2005 cited by Davis and Greenstein, 2009, p.96). Christie-Mizell and colleagues (2007, cited by Davis and Greenstein,2009,p.98) found that mothers with a traditional gender ideology were more susceptible to having lower earnings and Corrigall and Konrad 2007, Cunnigham et al, 2005 (cited by Davis and Greenstein,2009,p.98) found that gender ideology influences paid work hours, months of your full time employment and a womens hourly earnings but not for men.

Furthermore, a significant element of hegemonic masculinity is being the breadwinner and so Davis and Greenstein (2009, p.98) states that perhaps for some traditional men, having their breadwinner status being challenged is more than they can handle. This leads to the perception of men stereotypically being the one to execute domestic violence in relationships. Totten 2003 (cited by Davis and Greenstein,2009, p.98) stated that traditional beliefs about gender roles became the justification for relationship conflict and violence as boys said that girls need to learn their place in the world. This therefore shows that violence was a way of ensuring that girls would stick to their stereotype and not jeopardise their manhood.

Emphasised femininity has led to the emergence of the wave of feminism to allow their women to be of equal status as men. First wave feminism sought equal access to political power as men (Giddens,2013, p.664). Second wave feminism was much broader and included black peoples movement, and any other minority groups (Valk 2008, cited by Giddens,2013, p.664). The last wave of feminism known as third wave feminism was concerned by local, national and international activism and looked in areas of violence against women, human trafficking and pornification of the media (Krolkke and Srensen,2006, p.17). As a result, these feminist movements are a precursor to patriarchy and look to allow women to not feel oppressed.

Alternatively, Catherine Hakim (2010) introduced the concept of erotic capital. Bourdieu argues that the middle-class men and women primarily have cultural capital (information that is socially valued such as knowledge), social capital (all of the network groups and relationships you make) and economic capital (the resources and assets that can be used to have a financial gain) (cited by Hakim,2010). However, Hakim introduced the notion of erotic capital which consists of various characteristics such as beauty, sexual attractiveness and social skills in interaction. This type of capital is beneficial in both the marriage life and as well in the labour market. Women are shown to have more erotic capital than men because they work harder at it (Hakim,2013, p.499). This does mean that women have an advantage in the work place as they excel at their job and thus earn money and gain promotions. However, Female social scientists dismiss the idea that physical attractiveness and sexuality are powerful assets for women (Hakim,2010, p.511). They argue that women cant attain a job through their hard work and determination and job prospects but rather attain them through there emphasised femininity which showcases a patriarchal viewpoint in society.

In conclusion, the question Gender is socially constructed and be shaped and altered in various ways is very relevant in todays society. There have been countless examples of gender socialisation from the agencies of socialisation which has created the hegemonic masculinity and emphasised femininity. These identities have shown to have significant consequences on later aspects of life such as marriage life and the workplace and have led to stereotyping of gender roles and has caused a great degree of patriarchy in society. Ultimately, as these identities are socially constructed, ultimately society can construct an identity which is much more egalitarian to fight off patriarchy and have a greater sense of equality in society.


  • Connell, R. and Messerschmidt, J. (2005). Hegemonic Masculinity.Gender & Society, 19(6), pp.829-859.
  • Davis, S. and Greenstein, T. (2009). Gender Ideology: Components, Predictors, and Consequences.Annual Review of Sociology, 35(1), pp.87-105.
  • Giddens, A. and Sutton, P. (2013).Sociology, 7th Edition. 7th ed. Malden: John Wiley & Sons, p.624-670.
  • Hakim, C. (2010). Erotic Capital.European Sociological Review, 26(5), pp.499-518.
  • Krolkke, C. & Srenson, A.scott, 2005. Three Waves of Feminism: From Suffragettes to Grrls.Gender Communication Theories & Analyses: From Silence to Performance Gender communication theories & analyses: From silence to performance, pp.124.

Get Professional Assignment Help Cheaply

Buy Custom Essay

Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?

Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.

Why Choose Our Academic Writing Service?

  • Plagiarism free papers
  • Timely delivery
  • Any deadline
  • Skilled, Experienced Native English Writers
  • Subject-relevant academic writer
  • Adherence to paper instructions
  • Ability to tackle bulk assignments
  • Reasonable prices
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Get superb grades consistently

Online Academic Help With Different Subjects


Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.


Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.

Computer science

Computer science is a tough subject. Fortunately, our computer science experts are up to the match. No need to stress and have sleepless nights. Our academic writers will tackle all your computer science assignments and deliver them on time. Let us handle all your python, java, ruby, JavaScript, php , C+ assignments!


While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.


Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.


In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.


Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.


We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!


We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.


Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.

What discipline/subjects do you deal in?

We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.

Are your writers competent enough to handle my paper?

Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.

What if I don’t like the paper?

There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.

Reasons being:

  • When assigning your order, we match the paper’s discipline with the writer’s field/specialization. Since all our writers are graduates, we match the paper’s subject with the field the writer studied. For instance, if it’s a nursing paper, only a nursing graduate and writer will handle it. Furthermore, all our writers have academic writing experience and top-notch research skills.
  • We have a quality assurance that reviews the paper before it gets to you. As such, we ensure that you get a paper that meets the required standard and will most definitely make the grade.

In the event that you don’t like your paper:

  • The writer will revise the paper up to your pleasing. You have unlimited revisions. You simply need to highlight what specifically you don’t like about the paper, and the writer will make the amendments. The paper will be revised until you are satisfied. Revisions are free of charge
  • We will have a different writer write the paper from scratch.
  • Last resort, if the above does not work, we will refund your money.

Will the professor find out I didn’t write the paper myself?

Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.

What if the paper is plagiarized?

We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.

When will I get my paper?

You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.

Will anyone find out that I used your services?

We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.

How our Assignment  Help Service Works

1.      Place an order

You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.

2.      Pay for the order

Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.

3.      Track the progress

You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.

4.      Download the paper

The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.

smile and order essaysmile and order essay PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH US TODAY AND GET A PERFECT SCORE!!!

order custom essay paper