The Notion of Gender as a Social Construct


Over the past decades, the notion of gender as a social construct has become one of the most challenging aspects of sociology, considering the variety of forms and interpretations it encompasses. If previously, the idea of gender was closely associated with the notion of biological sex, today’s perception of the concept has gone far beyond one’s body characteristics, representing the idea of social interrelations within one’s identity. According to social scholars, gender, i.e., the range of characteristics that contribute to one’s definition of sexual and social identity, has now been closely related to various factors including culture, life experiences, social status, and overall role within the community (Zaborskis, 2018). Hence, speaking of gender in modern concepts, it is crucial to note that it serves as an umbrella term for a variety of social movements and phenomena like feminism, equality, sexual violence, and gender identity assumptions.


Hence, when speaking of the notion of feminism, it would be safe to assume that the following social movement has now become one of the fundamental manifestations of gender studies, as it is considered to be one of the first crucial reconsiderations of socially allocated gender roles. The emergence of feminism could be traced back to the late 19th century when women declared their intentions to obtain equal rights in terms of suffrage, labor, and financial benefits. As a result, the following incentive has been modified into a full-scale movement for gender equality, which presupposes equal opportunities regardless of gender, with the gender spectrum expanding far beyond plain masculinity and femininity, as the aforementioned social construct has eventually proved to be extremely diverse. However, while today’s society is moving towards the acceptance of various gender studios, it is still irrelevant to talk about the successes in the field, as the world is still replete with violence and inequality in the context of gender identity and tolerance.

Another concept that should be regarded in terms of gender discussion is the phenomenon of respect for one’s choice, privacy, and self-manifestation. For example, today’s world obtains a wide variety of examples of sexual violence and discrimination that disrupt the idea of equality whatsoever. Whereas sexual violence tends to depict the issues of physical abuse, the notion itself encompasses a range of mental violence regarding one’s sexuality and self-perception. As a result, the idea of studying gender is now explicitly related to the attempts of breaking a vicious circle of violence and abuse using education and open dialogue between the representatives of different genders on the subject of personal boundaries, respect, and equality.


Taking everything into consideration, it may be concluded that today’s society cannot exist apart from the idea of gender and its social peculiarities. As a result, gender has now become one of the central discussion matters in terms of sociology, as the following construct is no longer regarded as a plain manifestation of one’s natural affiliation to either of the two sexes. Gender is now a purely social matter, which claims one’s identity to be shaped as a result of various cultural and social factors, disrupting the image of gender being masculine or feminine. Modern society has achieved a lot in terms of reaching a certain level of equality and universal respect, but there is more to be addressed in the future to secure the safe existence of various genders within the social environment.


Zaborskis, M. (2018). Gender studies: Foundations and key concepts. Web.