Sample Sociology Essays on Personal Gender Theory

Gender theory emanates from two intersecting thoughts. The first poses a psychological theory of sexual identity. The second feeds on the first, but deploys a societal reflection, mainly as a theorization of sexual lifestyles and gender inequality. Formerly, the boy had his destiny all traced, from masculinity and, later, fatherhood. On the other hand, for the girl, it was femininity then motherhood. This was the traditional scheme of the so-called naturalist theory. It is now contested by those that share contrary opinion, in particular homosexuals. The homosexuals have denounced the expected norms and as a result, are viewed as deviants. In essence, the emergent views not that go against the expectations of the society have been viewed as unacceptable and evil. The sexes are expected to align and exist as it has always been the case. A girl is expected to grow into a beautiful woman, get married and be a good wife. Anything to the contrary, amounts to unethical conduct. Similarly, a man is expected to raise a family and be a responsible father. It is important to mention that the fatherhood and motherhood roles are tied to sexes. The Gender theory opposes the typical expectations of the society.  It emanates from those that considered themselves excluded and underestimated by the traditional conception, and on the contrary presents an immanent conception of the difference of the sexes as social construction.  It goes against the expectations that belonging to the male or female sex is tied to the anatomical condition and responds to that of an arbitrary definition of his sex, which has become malleable and accessible to social laws.

Gender is often used in the plural and taken for social sex, therefore reduced to a category which involves a danger of re-naturalization. Our conception is different. It is influenced by French materialist feminism who introduced the notion of social relations of sex. According to this theoretical line, gender is a socially constructed system which organizes social relations of sex and is based on a double principle of binary differentiation and hierarchy of sexes and sexualities (Chodorow, 2016). As it circulates, however, its acceptances become scarce. On the occasion of the controversy relating to “marriage for all”, in particular, there is a polemical meaning. The phrase refers to the denunciation of the gender. Gender theory thus becomes a formula, that is to say a concise, fixed approach and all in the society are expected to align with. It serves as a social referent understandable by all at some point. The gender theory, however, remains ambiguous. It can be interpreted as denouncing the constructed vision of gender identities or a possibility of re-examining hierarchies, or even a benchmark for thinking outside of binarism’s (men/women, female/male, homo/heterosexuality) (Chodorow, 2016). This ambiguity is a resource because it allows more people to recognize themselves in opposition to gender stereotypes. In fact, gender theory has become a rallying point for various conservative, reactionary and anti-feminist movements.

It is not a question of denying the biological differences between men and women, but of revealing the eminently social origin and therefore the in reality arbitrary character of the inequality of the sexes in multiple fields. The distinction between sex and gender is made by Californian psychiatrists from the 1950s to account for a discrepancy in certain patients. The differentiation is viewed either between different levels of sexuation such as, genetic sex different from genital sex, case of renowned hermaphroditism intersexuality or between biological data and psychic experience such as, a man feeling and seeing himself as a woman (Risman, 2017). The very practical question arises in the first case, of how to name and raise a child out of the ordinary setting. This clinical fact highlights a reality. Societies welcome new members into their midst by valuing and representing female and male newborn babies differently (Chodorow, 2016). These social representations are one of the essential elements of children’s experiences. The relationship with oneself passes through the eyes of others and resulting deployment of identity is based on the recognition and confirmation of a third party.

From medical point of view, the distinction between gender and sex a response to a finding of anomaly. In this case, the norm is that all elements of a person’s sexual identity are in continuity. In wanting to think about pathology, psychiatry introduces a conceptual difference which does not correspond to the experience of the greatest number (Neziek, 2015). In wanting to think about pathology, psychiatry therefore introduces a conceptual difference which does not correspond to the experience of the many. The distinction between gender and sex is born as a response to an anomaly finding; the norm being that all elements of a person’s sexual identity are in continuity (Lewis, Benschop, & Simpson, 2017). In wanting to think about pathology, psychiatry therefore introduces a conceptual difference that furthers divergent views.

The conceptual distinction was used from the 1970s onwards in feminist sociology to criticize the distribution of social roles attributed to men and women. In this perspective of struggle for new rights, gender designates what a man and a woman are as predetermined by the social uses to perform such or such task or profession according to their gendered body. The demand for equality will use the term gender to contest any social fatality legitimized on a so-called corporeal datum. The fact that such a human being has a uterus does not determine him to clean the house.



Chodorow, N. J. (2016). Gender as a Personal and Cultural Construction. Signs. Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 20(3), 516–544.

Neziek, J. B. (2015). Social Construction, Gender/Sex Similarity and Social Interaction in Close Personal Relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 12(4), 503–520.

Lewis, P., Benschop, Y., & Simpson, R. (2017). Postfeminism, Gender and Organization. Gender, Work & Organization, 24(3), 213–225.

Risman, B. J. (2017). From Doing to Undoing: Gender as We Know It. Gender & Society, 23(1), 81–84.