By this point in the course, you have explored theories that attempt to explain how and to what degree gender is socially constructed. This does not mean, however, that the socialization processes are the same for everyone or even that gender is defined similarly across groups. Just as conceptualizations of gender have changed over time, they are also different across cultures. Cultures range from patriarchal (e.g., Saudi Arabian culture) to matriarchal (e.g., the Akan of Ghana) and place differing importance on the roles of family, religion, education, and career for males and females. Different behaviors, aspects of appearance, and communication styles are also considered gender typical for males and females across cultures. Even the language spoken within a culture can influence gender socialization. For example, some languages (e.g., Spanish, Italian, Hindi) assign either male or female gender to nouns.
For this Discussion, you will examine gender socialization practices and agents in cultures other than your own. While you are conducting research, keep in mind that the literature reports trends and common practices but cannot account for individual differences in gender socialization within a culture. Keep an open mind but be sensitive and avoid stereotyping as much as possible.
- Review this week’s Learning Resources, considering socialization agents that influence gender development and how these may differ across cultures.
- Select a culture to research for this Discussion. This should be a cultural group to which you yourself do not belong.
- Locate information about gender socialization practices and agents within this culture using the Walden Library and reputable academic sources on the Internet.