It's not about the nail...
We watched this video in class the other day and it demonstrates the different way men and women think in a humorous way, but also a very accurate way. This week in class we discussed gender roles and the differences between men and women.
Men and women have the same basic needs such as they both need a sense of belonging, they need intimacy and they need to have a sense of control over their lives. However, they tend to go about fulfilling these needs in different ways.
Where and what do you learn to be feminine and masculine? Three important sources of where are through our family, school and the mass media.
We will look at an example of body image, what is ideal for men and for women.
Generally men want to be more lean and muscular and women want to be curvaceous but thin. Generally we learn of these “ideal” types of images at a young age through family members, friends and the media. We generalize that men should be more masculine and women should be more feminine.
Masculine traits are more aggressive and task orientated. Feminine traits are more empathetic and observant. Could it be that men and women were made to balance each other out?
There was a study done that showed that having a sister can protect your mental health. The study showed that having a sister protected adolescents from feeling lonely, unloved and fearful. However, this does not exempt brothers from being just as impactful. The study showed that a sibling of either gender who is loving promotes good deeds, and contributes to charitable attitudes more than loving parents. I have four nephews who are brothers and I can see how they protect each other and have a good influence on each other.
Here is the link to the study [http://news.byu.edu/archive10-aug-siblings.aspx ]
Another very sensitive topic we discussed this week in class is same-sex attraction. This ties in well with gender role because the language we use around children has a huge impact on the way they think. For example, if we see a little boy playing with dolls, his peers who are playing with trucks might call him names to make him feel less of himself for being different.
There is a strong debate if the phrase, “I was born this way.” Is true or not.
The following is a diagram that shows what can contribute to someone feeling that they are attracted to the same sex.
The following is just a generalized example of something that could contribute to same-sex attraction.
A young boy prefers to play with dolls rather than playing sports. He is not attracted to the same sex or any sex because he is still very young. However, his family may assume he is because he is not acting the way his peers general are supposed to act. If his behavior does not change his peers could start calling him names, using the word gay and homosexual in a negative connotation. He is feeling disconnected from his own sex and gender that he is longing for a feeling of acceptance from them. Around his early teenage years he may experience a form of sexual abuse from his same sex. Thus leaving him confused about his feelings.
There have been many individuals who have experienced something similar to this and have sought council to overcome it. Many were able to identify what was making them feel attracted to their own sex and were able to overcome those feelings. These individuals wanted to feel attracted to the opposite sex but because of the experiences that happened to them they were left confused and depressed.
Here is a link to a video of a few men who have overcome same-sex attraction
I am aware that this is a sensitive topic and it is one that cannot pin point any specific reason as to why people are attracted to the same sex. I do however believe that if someone wants the help to overcome these feelings they should be entitled the right to do so and vice versa.
From what we have studied it seems that most but not all same-sex attraction result in some form of abuse and a lack of acceptance from their own sex.
To conclude here are four basic steps that should be taken to ensure that no child grows up feeling confused or unwanted.
1.Understood. If a child does something different than the norm it does not mean we should start labeling them. They are still innocent and we just need to understand them better.
2. Stop Abusing. Abuse brings so much hurt and leads to confusion and is just wrong!
3. Skills to manage emotions. Sometimes to those who are abused they do not know how to manage their emotions. It is important to give them the opportunity to seek help or have a healthy place to go to in which they can share their emotions and concerns.
4. Healthy Relationships. Children should have a healthy relationship between both sexes and their parents, peers, and family members.
All in all we should just love each other. Never should we bring each other down and label each other. We are here to encourage and uplift one another.