Gender

Glossary Term

Gender

Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, responsibilities and identities for women and men and how these are valued in society. They are culture specific and they change over time. Gender identities define how women and men are expected to think and act. These behaviours are learned in the family, schools, religious teaching and the media. We may grow up as girls and boys, but we are taught to be women and men with appropriate behaviour, values, attitudes, roles and activities pertaining to each sex. Since gender roles, responsibilities and identities are socially learned, they can also be changed. Gender is a main aspect of an individual’s wider identity along with race, age, sexuality, religious and social status, etc.