University of Phoenix
For many years, Americans have held certain opinions concerning gender, sex, women, and sexual orientation. A definition of both gender and sex will be provided. The roles of women throughout American history will be discussed. When people think about masculinity and femininity, they have certain preconceived ideas. How these ideas contribute to the understanding gender, sex, and sexual orientation will be examined. Finally, the status of GLBT individuals will be explored. An increased understanding will be gained concerning these issues.
Gender and Sex
Gender can be defined as an ...view middle of the document...
During WWII men were at war and the workforce was greatly diminished. Women stepped up and did the same jobs men were previously responsible. These jobs included construction workers, airplane assemblers, and ship builders for example. The women performing these jobs were paid less than the men even though they performed as well as the men did. Once the war ended, the men returned to their jobs and the women were released. These women then had to go back to women’s work like secretaries, nurses, or school teachers for example. The pay was still not equal and the climb up the corporate ladder was not quick. Furthermore, they did not achieve the same height as their male counterparts.
Today much of this has changed. A significant number of women choose to work outside the home and earn salaries equal to or higher than their husbands. Many women are also raising families on their own. In the United States of America, women have the same rights as men according to the law. However some companies still circumvent this with loopholes allowing them to get by with not compensating women at the same level that they do the men.
Masculinity and Femininity
When a child is born he are she is immediately placed into certain gender roles. Boys are supposed to be rough and tumble and girls are expected to play dress up and play with dolls. These ideas contribute to what masculinity and femininity are thought to be (Stets & Burke, 1988). Even in today’s society there are still careers, such as firefighting which are typically thought to be male careers and very masculine. Ballet dancing is thought to be extremely feminine despite its physical difficulty. These preconceived ideas do indeed contribute to the ways humans embrace gender and sex. Most people have difficulty accepting ideas that are different from what they hold, and this can lead to conflict. These ideas also contribute to the understanding of sexual orientation (Stets & Burke, 1988). When an individual does not follow the roles and rules that had been established in the personal opinions of people, it can cause conflict.
Historically speaking the LGBT people have been in the background for eons. Persecution of these individuals has been around in this country since shortly after America was discovered in 1492 by Columbus. In 1566 the first execution for same-sex activities occurred in what is now Florida by the Spanish ("LGBT History in the United States: A Timeline" [LCBT], 2014). In 1778 the American Army discharged Gotthold Enslin for sodomy. Even the term “homosexual” has been around since 1869 when psychologist Karoly Maria Benkert developed it. Then in 1924 The Society for Human Rights was organized and has been recognized as the first gay rights organization in America (LCBT, 2014).
Another blow against the gay community came in 1953 when newly elected President Dwight Eisenhower, through executive order 10450, banned employment of gays by the government...