Women and Men Are Made Not Born Debate This Statement Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Women and men are made, not born. Debate this statement

Women and Men Are Made, Not Born

The statement that - "women and men are made, not born" - invokes the notion that, it is not by birth that one acquires their gender but rather by the process of socialization. This brings into perspective the need to understand what gender is and whether, biological determination of gender at birth is sufficient. This paper discusses the statement drawing arguments form scholars and gives the authors stands on the issue.

Arguments for At birth one is not immediately aware of the social skills required in life perform or make it given the society expectations. There is a need for one to be initiated and guided through the stages of growth where lessons are given slowly. This teaching process creates a modeling process that direct one towards what the society expects of them. Eventually, it is the individual's choice to take the lessons to become what they feel comfortable with.

From a classical reading by Mead, it is deduced that individuals acquires a self being through social activities and social experiences. These occur and faced during the development process where one is exposed to various socialization processes and agents. Individuals are not born with an identity that Herbert argues is acquired in development stages of an individual (Mead G.H., 1934).

The development stages equip an individual with their respective identities which allow for the formation of a self. If, one is not taught about their gender in the social development stages through the society's gender role division, one would not appreciate and recognize their biological make up.

In the social construction, it is contended that the gender of an individual is determined through the process of socialization. An individual will be guided upon birth to, orient their talk, walk and action to reflect what society expects of them. The process of socialization right at the onset gives an individual what society expects from them. Any action that is not in line with the society's expectations will be reprimanded. This creates space for appreciation of one biological make up to become what the society wants of them. The end product of the socialization process creates a Woman or a Man (Frank L.K., 1948).

According to Mead the expectations of the society make Women and Men act like women or men respectively. A man will have a way of expressing themselves in the society differently from a woman. The self-consciousness that one carries is not an aspect that is acquired at birth but rather one that is learnt. The consciousness is what is referred to as "the self" and it is what makes us define a Women and a Man (Mead G.H., 1934).

The recognition and differentiation between a women and a man as deduced from Mead's argument is made possible by, how one presents themselves in the society. The processes of making a man and women clearly dictates what an individual will say for a given situation (Andolina M.W. et al., 2003). The self-awareness also works to ease the pressure of presenting oneself in society by allowing one to choose how to present self through conceptualizing what society expects of them. The concept of self-awareness is instilled through the socialization process that is argued to be the creating process of a women and a man.

Arguments Against

It should be appreciated that Men and Women have distinguishing features that relegate the m to this connotation "A Woman" "A Man." This implies that a man is a man owing to their biological make and so is a woman. The role of society is not to make a "Woman" or a "Man." Society plays only the role of enforcing their biological make up in line with the societies (Beck-Gernsheim E., 1998).

Disregarding the social expectations that exist for both men and women, it is appreciated that there are no social tasks that a man can perform that a woman would find it impossible to perform. In this perspective, it is right to claim that Women and Men are born, the society plays a role of defining expectations and guiding in order to conform to these expectations (Beck-Gernsheim E., 1998)

The cultures adopted by the society, are appreciated to bring a sense of regulation and normalcy. These have a set of norms which the society uses to regulate, guide, enforce conformity and, define the women and men in society. Cultures also guide the characteristics identified at birth towards what acceptance in a society through conformity. In line with the cultural norm set up, individuals will orient their behavior towards and general acceptance conduct (Gottlieb G., 2000). This does not necessarily mean that their gender -- Male or Female is made. It is through these cultural norms expectation that individuals gain an appreciation of their specific gender. It is not through them that they become Women or Men.

Biologically defined genders are an indication of what one is and the biological makeup of an individual cannot be changed by a simple process (Bessant J. And Watts R., 2007). The argument that women and men are made not born suggests that the biological set up of an individual does not define who they become.

From (Beck-Gernsheim E., 1998) it is incorrect to say so since, the hormonal controls and influences in an individual will always direct them to act as their gender. There being a need for women or men to change their ways of life to reflect the other initiate some conflict. This does not mean that a man or woman cannot take up social roles of each other. It means that they will not completely step up and replace either. Considering changing sexes is a biological process that interferes with one self. This will eventually lead to hormonal imbalance that create conflict and sets one back.

In the event that an individual is born woman or man, they take on feature that cannot be altered at least not without bringing in conflict. The tendencies that would be observed will be those for the initially determined biological set up (Yoring A., 2007). This means that despite the fact that one can be taught to act like a woman or man even when they are not; it will not be a perfect fit. Men and women are born the society only enforces their genders and self-reflect the expectations (Yoring A., 2007).

The argument, "women and men are made and not born," needs to be re-examined in context. It is not conceivable to accept that the characteristic obtained at birth are meaningless while, those that are attained through a process that is not proof of tamper and mankind's own creation correct. The guide for which mankind uses to determine the type of socialization to extend to an individual is given by the gender that is determined at birth. Socialization process that is deployed in the development process first identifies the gender of the individual. This implies that whether one is a woman or a man is already determined and what is left is to elevate them to reflect their gender as the society expects them (Sigelman C.K. And Rider E.A., 2006).


The argument for and against the statement women and men are made and not born create a rift that clearly show that both sides have been justified. It is clear from the arguments given that the two sides have clear arguments. However, the point-of-view that the two side base their argument is different. The proponents for the statement have based their argument, not on the biological aspect but rather on the process that the end is achieved. The creation of a woman or man in the society is a process. The process defines the expectation of a society…

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