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Outline and comment on changing gender identities in contemporary U.K society.

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Outline and comment on changing gender identities in contemporary U.K society. In contemporary U.K society gender identities to some extent, have changed. Both masculine and feminine identities could be argued that they have changes over time. Yet, stereotypical views of identity have remained similar. When people refer to gender they mean the cultural expectations attached to a persons se. in modern Britain for example, woman are seen as sensitive and caring, and therefore more suited to the supposedly feminine tasks of childcare. Men are seen as aggressive, promiscuous, dominant and confident so are therefore more suited to the supposedly masculine tasks. When asked 'Where do gender identities come from?' there could be two valid views that could be discussed. The first of which is that they are a result of biological difference and the second view is that they are created by society and are socially constructed. The biological view is that genetic differences between males and females create natural differences in their attitudes and abilities and this explains why they end up in different social roles. The social constructionist view argues that gender is based on 'nurture' which comes in the form of socialisation and social environment. ...read more.


Masculinity can be referred to a set of beliefs describing the ideal male and the characteristics or traits traditionally held to be male in society. Femininity can be referred to a set of beliefs describing the ideal female and the characteristics or traits traditionally held to be a female in society. Not all men and women are the same as each other. When discussing 'masculinities' and 'femininities' we need to appreciate that these are not merely two types of gender identities, but that in fact, there are different types of these identities. This has been highlighted by Connell, who illustrated that there are both dominant and subordinate forms of these identities, for example, gay sexuality is a subordinate from of masculinity. So in fact, we should not be referring merely to 'masculinity' and 'femininity', but to 'masculinities' and 'femininities'. For example we are faced with images of David Beckham, who, although being a football player, which is a typically masculine career, has challenged typical masculine roles, by toying with feminine identities, without actually being homosexual. He has done this by, for example, wearing nail varnish, or by appearing on the cover of gay magazine 'Attitude'. ...read more.


In the mid 1980's a more 'feminine' masculinity was created but later men reverted to sexist type. To conclude, gender identities and lifestyles are slowly converging. Many of the differences have been eroded by the impact of feminism, social change and equal opportunities legislation. Males and females can adopt both masculine and feminine traits. There is greater flexibility in gender behaviour and both men and woman are experimenting with a wider range of gender roles. They can choose their own occupational roles, there are woman in high status jobs but this is still negligible compared to the number of men doing the same job. There are signs that some gender stereotypes are declining in today's British society. For example, teachers encouraging young women to plan for a career, not just for marriage and having children. However there is still a long way to go as many gender stereotypes are proving very resistant to change. One day perhaps all the stereotypes associated with males and females nowadays could decline altogether, but this has illustrated that gender Identities have changed a lot, but yet, they could change a lot more in the near future. Meaning more liberation from the restricted views that some people place of genders in society. ?? ?? ?? ?? Pauline Baird ...read more.

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