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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Introduction to Gender differences

Gender differences are mostly determined by social behaviors. Men and women are different; therefore, they are treated differently by society. The gaps become more apparent as we grow up, in the way children are raised today. Later, boys and girls start to think and speak differently, because of the influence of the environment. Finally, the impact of society shapes the behavior of individuals, widening the gap between both sexes.
            The gender differences start to appear early in the way the children are raised. Those can be as simple as dressing girls in pink as opposed to boys wearing blue. The parents teach girls to be nice and gentle, when boys are taught to be tough and never to cry. The differences deepen, when as teenagers, girls try to be the most popular among friends, using their appearance to attract attention. Boys want to be popular too. But they do not try to be nice to each other or mingle with other boys. They try to imitate adults. To be popular, they need to show leadership and toughness. They get involved in contact sports and anything that shapes their endurance. Parents and school are the most influential tools in shaping young lives in which differences between genders broaden in time.

            One of the differences existing between genders and created by society is the way men and women speak. From the youngest age, the girls are taught to “temper what they say so as not to sound too aggressive” (Tannen, Women and men talking on the job, 442). Because of that, their self confidence is not as strong as men. Girls do not think of themselves as strong leaders, simply because they are taught to think this way. In contrary, men are taught to speak their mind, not to be shy and fight the obstacles. They think of themselves as born leaders, therefore, they are more prepared to speak firmly, which gives an “impression of confidence” (Tannen, 445). That firm and confident way of speaking give men the advantage over women in the current business world.

            Men and women behave differently, because society demands it. The effects of that are easy to observe in the current and aggressive business world. Women tend to “phrase their ideas as suggestions rather then orders” (Tannen, 444). They do not want to be perceived as bossy, because they want to be likable. They use their feelings in every aspect of life, whereas men can easily separate feelings from business. The impression of power and superiority is highly admirable among men. They are expected to “give orders” (Tannen, 445) and push others around. As oppose to women, they do not need to be likable. Such a behavior would be perceived as weakness, a lack of leadership. The society and stereotypes demand from men to be strong and aggressive. The demand of society toward men and women are different, which create two different ways of behavior.

It is claimed that differences between genders are the result of surrounding society. From an early age, boys and girls are treated differently by their parents. The influence of the environment can also be observed in the way boys and girls think and speak when they become teenagers. As they become adults, the impact of society on the behavioral differences becomes vivid and result in widening the gap between both genders.

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