Gender and Sexuality Essay

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Gender and sexuality are very important for activists, practitioners and policymakers. Gender and sexuality have a big significance in people's lives in today's society. Sexuality encompasses gender roles and identities, sex and sexual orientation, intimacy, reproduction, pleasure and eroticism. Its expression can be found in behaviors, thoughts, roles, relationships, values, attitudes, desires and fantasies. While all these expressions characterize sexuality, an individual may not express or experience all of them. Interactions between psychological, economic, cultural, legal, ethical, religious, spiritual and biological factors influence sexuality (Ilkkaracan & Jolly).

The Link between Gender and Sexuality

The Institute of Development Studies defines gender as the widely shared set of norms and expectations linked to the way men and women, and boys and girls, behave or ought to behave. While 'sex' is mainly biological, gender is all about the social constructs on the roles, activities, attributes and behaviors the sexes should have or do. These expectations aren't fixed, but continually change as the power dynamics in social relationships and political or economic conditions change. Gender defines the degree a society considers one an ideal man or woman. Every person is assigned a gender at birth (either female or male). The two genders are supposed to follow various norms that are applicable to their gender. Privileges and punishments help reinforce these norms. Gender, as researchers have noted, shouldn't be looked at separately from sexuality. The two are intimately connected and should be studied together (Institute of Development Studies).

Hence, sexuality and gender are related in the following 3 ways: First, gender norms influence sexuality. Expectations of the society as to how a gender is to behave affect their sexual behaviors and feelings. The need to act in a way that is consistent to society's norms can limit one's expression of their sexuality. Second, sexuality ideologies aid in controlling women.
Controlling women's and girl's sexuality is linked to the control of resources. These controls limit women's expression of traits the society doesn't consider feminine. Third, gender expectations regarding sexuality affect health and access to services. Research indicates that marginalization of women can lead them to entering heterosexual relationships where they enjoy less economic might than their lovers. Gender expectations also influence what the society knows about men's and women's sexuality which then influence policy making and research in the area.

Gender and Sexuality in the Workplace

It is a common thing for women to earn less than their male counterparts in today's workplace. A 2013 BLS report indicated that pay disparities existed in disfavor of women from all races. Women working in the fields of engineering and architecture earn 83.7% to the dollar when compared to what men earn while those in mathematical and computer fields earn 81% to the dollar when compared to men. Since negotiation plays a big role in how much one earns, it could be that women do not fully appreciate their worth to the companies they work for and so don't negotiate for higher pay. While this could be true, organizations should be proactive and help alleviate such disparities. Solving the problem takes a two-pronged approach involving women's efforts and organization's actions.

Pay for all workers should be pegged on the knowledge and responsibility the role requires plus the value the employee adds to the organization. A job evaluation should always be carried out to determine whether the pay is commensurate to the job. One's pay should not be primarily determined by how much they earned at their previous job. Raises and promotions should also not….....

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Work Cited

California State University, Northridge. "Gender Biases in Classrooms." 2011. California State University, Northridge. Accessed 13 October 2016.

Ilkkaracan, Pinar and Jolly, Susie "GENDER and SEXUALITY." Overview Report. Brighton: Institute of Development Studies, 2007. Accessed 13 October 2016.

Institute of Development Studies. "Sexuality and Social Justice: A Toolkit." Sexuality, Poverty and Law 12 April 2015. Accessed 13 October 2016.

Neale, Thomas H. "The Proposed Equal Rights Amendment: Contemporary Ratification Issues." 28 February 2013. Cornell University ILR School Digital Commons.>. Accessed 13 October 2016

Sen, Gita and Ostlin, Piroska. "Unequal, Unfair, Ineffective and Inefficient Gender Inequity in Health: Why it exists and how we can change it." September 2007. World Health Organization. Accessed 13 October 2016.
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