Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Gender Role and Identity

During the month of January I have been preparing to take the CLEP examination Introduction to Educational Psychology. I have been continually amazed during my reading and studying at the hypocrisy and stupidity of liberal scientists who insist that people's gender role is imposed upon them by society and that genders are equal and interchangeable.

To quote:
"Gender role identity refers to the set of beliefs a person holds about a specific characteristics associated with either feminine or masculine traits. It is part of a person's self-concept and most people tend to view themselves as ranking high or low in either trait. Although it is difficult to specify precisely how a person's gender role identity develops, the identity present during early childhood is probably affected by physiological and hormonal activities that influence how aggressive or passive the child is as well as how physically active or restrained he or she may be."

And from another source:

"Gender identity is the gender(s), or lack thereof, a person self-identifies as; it is not necessarily based on biological sex, either real or perceived, nor is it always based on sexual orientation. There are two main genders:masculine (male), or feminine (female), although in some cultures there are more genders. "Androgyny" has been proposed as a third gender. Some ancient tribes have more than five human genders, and some non-Western societies have three human genders –man, woman and third gender. Gender roles refer to the set of attitudes and behaviors socially expected from the members of a particular gender identity. Gender roles are socially constructed which are often politicized and manipulated, which then result in the oppression of people."

The test itself then proceeds to quote scientific research that shows that “It appears that both boys and girls have higher self-esteem when engaged in "gender-appropriate" activities, when gender difference is less of a distraction.”

Um, can you repeat that please?

If gender role is interchangeable, and if this oppressive gender role is imposed upon us at birth (or even before!) by our culture, then I have just a few questions.

  1. Why do baby girls and baby boys naturally tend to play according to their gender? Baby boys make everything into weapons. Baby girls are interested in baby dolls. Oh. We have already indoctrinated them? Even if we never have allowed the baby boy to view or play with guns before? Even if the baby girl only has a big brother to emulate?
  2. Why do 4-5 year olds when asked what they want to be when they grow up naturally answer according to their gender role? Girls will say a mommy or a nurse or a ballerina. Boys will answer policeman or fireman or farmer.
  3. Why do boys, as they grow up naturally become interested in active, competitive sports or play as girls are increasingly more interested in caring roles such as playing mother, nurse, etc?
  4. Why are boys built and made to be more muscular, and interested in projecting a protecting, providing role as girls are built to be a caregiver and naturally begin to project their mothering, helping role?

It occurs to me that most societies, even the oldest (and therefore most primitive according to evolutionist thinking) had gender roles which reflect the idea that males would be the protector/provider and the females caregiver/helper.

Not to even mention the Biblical idea of men being the prophet, priest and king, the protector and provider as the women were made to be the helpmeet, the caregiver.

I don't understand why people can't just follow the natural course of events. Just accept your gift and talent and move on with life.

I went on a mission trip several years ago as chaperone. We were randomly divided into teams and sent to different projects. Our project was to roof a house. Toward the end of the week, we were scrambling to finish the job and had a second team join us. Our team was mostly big hulking boys. The second team was mostly girls. The girls proceeded to be the ones moving the wheelbarrows full of shingles and heaving it up into the dumpster. The boys were picking shingles up and putting them into wheelbarrows. Finally I managed to get the boys to do the hard lifting (which they were thrilled to do so they could show off their muscles!) The girls were not so happy when they had to do the picking up and there was much discussion on how they were able to do the wheelbarrows. Sure, they could do the wheelbarrows. I wasn't about to argue with that. It's just that the boys were able to do it so much easier and without straining. And the girls were able to pick up the shingles so much easier and better. So why not just go with it? We got the job done in record time after the adjustment was made. It's not discrimination. It's common sense. It's being aware of what you're made to do and then doing it to the best of your ability.

What's wrong with letting girls be girls? Why must they try to be boys? Girls are not inferior by being girls. 
What's wrong with letting boys be boys? Why must they try to be girls? Boys are not inferior by being boys.

I think it's a beautiful thing. Two different genders with two different roles that blend together, helping each other. You can't have one without the other. Each has different qualities and attributes. Strengths that make them what they are. No need to confuse them. Instead celebrate the differences and enjoy them.


  1. Gender roles are just as easily confused within the church. I may step on your toes here but the UMC idea of female pastors doesn't shuck and jive with scripture. The rationale for that as well may be that the scripture is "cultural" and influenced by the then societal norms.

  2. Perhaps that is true.

    What the Methodists think is that women are just as called of God as men. And you can argue that some people definitely feel that leading. Methodists use scripture, sacrament, tradition, reason, experience. Therefore they measure what they believe by those standards.

    I think that men need to do more in church. Church is too feminine.

    And perhaps some Methodists use that "cultural" argument, but I never have. So it doesn't apply to me. I'm not the normal Methodist.

  3. Is a calling that is anti-biblical, albeit noble, a true calling?

  4. How do you account for Deborah if you feel that women shouldn't be pastors?

  5. 1 Cor 14:34-35. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. 35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

    1 Timothy 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

  6. Here comes the science:

    “Viewed with modern imaging technologies, men's and women's brains are nearly as distinct from each other as their bodies are. They have reliably different amounts of neurons and gray matter; some areas linked with sexuality and aggression are larger in men than in women; the left and right hemispheres are more tightly integrated in women than in men. And, of course, those brains – and the bodies they are attached to – are partially shaped by two totally different kinds of hormones, the androgens and estrogens, which play a key role both in development and adult life experiences.” Steven Johnson, 2004, 14-15.

    And again, in more technical, developmental terms:

    “The human body contains a mechanism that causes the brains of boys and the brains of girls to diverge during development. The Y chromosome triggers the growth of testes in a male fetus, which secrete androgens, the characteristically male harmones (including testosterone). Androgens have lasting effects on the brain during fetal development, in the months after birth, and during puberty, and they have transient effects at other times. Estrogens, the characteristically female sex hormones, also affect the brain throughout life. Receptors for the sex hormones are found in the hypothalamus, the hippocampus, and the amygdala in the limbic system of the brain, as well as in the cerebral cortex.” Steven Pinker, 2002, 201.