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Masculinity and Feminity

Masculinity and femininity refer to the differing feelings and behavior expected of males and females at a particular time and place and is largely a product of sex-role socialization.

Such socialization has been accomplished in many ways, many of which are unintended and unconscious. In many societies men are being rewarded for being aggressive, competitive and career –oriented. Girls are required to be gentle and homely. Men have been trained to direct and command, women have been trained to obey and serve and to get their way through manipulation. Men are rated according to their career advancement while women are evaluated by their domestic skills. In many ways the sexes have been socialized to feel differently about themselves and to act differently. There is ample evidence to prove that sex-role stereotypes are very much alive today. In almost every work activity men are judged to be more competent than women.

A number of studies show that when women are successful it is likely to be attributed to either luck or great effort while men's success is more often attributed to ability. No legislation can achieve genuine sex equality unless there are changes in the ways men and women feel about themselves and each other. Changing sex-role stereotypes is not easy. Our institutions are saturated with sexism deeply entrenched with tradition. Most personnel policies have been based upon the assumption that men's career interests are primary and enduring while women's career interests are temporary and secondary to their other interests.

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