GENDER AND SEXUAL EQUALITY

Gender refers to the widely shared set of expectations and norms linked to how women and men, and girls and boys, should behave. Unlike ‘sex’ which refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women, gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that are assigned to men and women in any given society. These expectations are are not fixed but are continually being constructed and reinforced through social relationships and economic and political power dynamics.

It is commonly assumed that your gender is determined by your biological sex. You are masculine because you are male, for example. The separation of gender and sex is most apparent in the experience of people who feel that their ascribed gender-identity is not aligned with their biological sex. Those people, who may identify as transgender, some will opt to change their biological sex while others may change their gender-identity but not their sex. The sexual orientation of those whose gender identity does not match their biological sex is not self-evident. Biological males who live as females may be attracted to males, females or other trans individuals. This is evident, for example, among travestis In Brazil, as Mountian observes in the policy audit conducted on the country’s ‘Brazil without Homophobia’ education policy, launched in 2004. Mountian found that travestis were discriminated against because they challenge the idea that gender identity is directly related to biological sex. Not all biological males feel themselves to have a masculine identity, and vice versa.

Gender equality is when people of all genders have equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities. Everyone is affected by gender inequality – women, men, trans and gender diverse people, children and families. … Societies that value women and men as equal are safer and healthier. Gender equality is a human right.

Gendered sexuality is the way in which gender and sexuality are often viewed as likened constructs, whereby the role of gender in an individual’s life is informed by and impacts others’ perceptions of their sexuality. For example, both the male and female genders are subject to assumptions of heterosexuality.

Sociology offers a unique perspective on gender and sexuality and their importance in our social world. A sociological perspective transcends biological notions of sex and emphasizes the social and cultural bases of gender. Sociological research points to the ubiquity of gender’s influence in both private and public spheres, and it identifies differences—and similarities—in how genders are treated socially and factors that change this treatment.

The sociological study of gender is often combined with the study of sexuality. Like gender, sexuality is not just biologically constructed, but is shaped by social and cultural factors. Empirical research on sexual identity and behavior reveals such great variation that sociologists refer to multiple sexualities rather than a single sexuality.

Gender equality is achieved when women, men, girls and boys have equal rights, conditions and opportunities, and the power to shape their own lives and contribute to the development of society. It is a matter of equitable distribution of power, influence and resources in society.

Gender equality, also known as sexual equality or equality of the sexes, is the state of equal ease of access to resources and opportunities regardless of gender, including economic participation and decision-making; and the state of valuing different behaviors, aspirations and needs equally, regardless of gender.

Categories: Education, Learning

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