Cultural Aspects of Biological Psychology

Cultural diversity is the stratification of ethnicity, races, biological factors such as gender and gender roles, socioeconomic and geographical regions in relation to cultural practices. Cultural issues as wide spread as the human population. Gender is one of the biological issues that affect cultural diversity. Gender ought to be discussed in relation to cultural diversity and part of biological psychology. Gender is defined as the set of combinations of sexuality entities, social roles, behaviors, characteristics and activities that are associated with different sexes in different societies.

Gender may be categorized as female or male depending on the sexuality that is determined biologically. In some communities, gender roles are strictly defined for certain species as male roles or as female roles. However in others, there is no clear definition as to who should do what in terms of gender. In addition, some communities have distinctive naming systems such that a certain name is for males while at the same time there are feminine names (Peter, 2000). With this in mind, it is worth noting that gender is not only the biological features that are found in humans to distinguish them in terms of their sexuality.

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Gender is categorized in to masculine and feminine, each of which has their designated roles within the given society. For example, women in most societies over time have had their place in the kitchen. Fortunately, the modern woman now can be both a professional and a homemaker. Moreover, others could be defined in terms of professions since in most societies there are different professions for man and for women. For instance, when one hears of an engineer, they will automatically expect to meet a man. When one hears of a nurse, they will expect to meet a lady.

This is a societal making of the role of particular gender. Although it is not easy to meet lady engineers and male nurses at present, they are already practicing. In fact, the male nurses have already formed an organization in the United States to fight for their recognition (Crocker, 1998). Despite the new gender roles, it is not easy for the society to adjust and accept that men can play female duties and vice versa. Nevertheless, all are fighting for equality and are venturing into different fields of study despite the challenges they face.

Apart from the roles defined by the society, self concept plays a major role in the formation of gender and nature of personality within an individual. Self concept is the inbuilt perception of individual characteristics of a person’s belief on self. The individual, for example a woman ,defines themselves as female due to either biological features sexuality or due to the concept imparted in them during upbringing that they are women. A man on the other hand may feel prejudiced due to the societal setting in which a male figure is more valuable than the female figure.

The feeling that one category of gender is better than another is a societal making. This has lead to controversy in the society especially in the definition of roles for particular gender within the given society. Relationships within different community members and membership in certain groups of the society help to create the image of self as well as self concept. The society therefore plays a great role in the definition of who one is and how they are expected to react to other members of the society.

According to global interpretations of biological differences found in the binary categories of humanity; males and females, a set of behavioral expectations for each has been developed. There are appropriate means through which a man and a woman can obtain rights, privileges, power and resources within the society. Despite the fact that there nature and differentiation between men and women from different societies, it is clear that most cultural practices around the globe are in favor of men (Simon, 2003). This has led to cultural discrimination in line of gender so that power sharing is not equitable for different gender.

In other words, gender inequality has prevailed in most field of development ranging form economics to social structures as well as politics. Power is the most important aspect of humanity that enables them to react or behave in certain ways. When one if powerless, they tend to have low self esteem and feel intimidated even when they are treated fairly. Sexuality has been used over time to define who a member of a society is and why they are what they are. For instance, the female species of human being has been labeled as a lesser being. The woman is perceived as a weak, irrational and emotional.

Thus, she is perceived to be incapable of achieving male attributes. According to Judith Butler, it is rather controversial that one may not be allowed to build their gender: that a woman is forced to be what they do rather than what they are. Society controls gender (Rogers, 2001). It is common thing for most of us to think that gender is determined by sexuality. Most of us think that once one is born a girl or a boy, they automatically assume the relevant gender. Thus, being a boy leads to the masculine gender and being a girl leads to the feminine gender. Some sociologists have disputed that notion.

Gender sociologist argues that gender is controlled by the culture within which one originates. They argue that humans ought to be trained on how to behave as per a certain gender and that it is not automatic that they acquire a certain gender in relation to their sex. The interaction of an individual with the society makes them who they are through the inculcation of appropriate cultural norms and attributes. The society here affects the mode of dressing, hairstyles, walking styles, employment choices and learning activities thus molding their life to community satisfaction.

Choices on lifestyles are largely affected by culture. Racial prejudice, cultural prejudice and social segregation are common practices that are subjected to those who go against the norm. Taking some deviant groups like lesbians and gays who are subject to social discrimination and set as community outcasts are not even spared by the legal system. This people may just like to live their life in a manner of their choice and not harmful to the rest of the community member but they are discriminated because they are against the norm and cultural practice of the society they live in (Crocker, 1998).

Therefore, it is the society and its culture that governs gender formation. Gender presentation is vital to the majority of cultures. An individual may be judged by the court of law due to insufficient presentation of gender especially if they do not play their role as women in family circles. Men may be judged for not heading their families in the correct direction in accordance to the societal expectations. This is as a result of cultural diversity. The question on whether gender is biological or not lingers in many people’s minds. Biological researchers have had to face difficulties in trying to explain on the existence of some genes.

If gender is controlled by the biological reproductive organs on human bodies is still controversial. This is because it is argued that a girl is not born a woman. They have to grow to puberty after which they become woman. If this is a true statement then, it is worth distinguishing the gender role from sex of a person (Peter, 2000). It is further stated that sex is controlled by genetics and hormone reaction which make people react differently at different time of the day. If this is true, then why are there gays and lesbians in the society today?

It is unbelievable that this practice never existed in the past. Is it an effect of cultural diversity of biological reaction? In attempts to respond to this question biologist argue that genetics keeps on changing with time due to interaction of different genes within different people of the world. Therefore, there is a discovery that gays have a “gay gene” that propels them into having the outlawed behavior (Simon, 2003). Despite this discovery, most sociologists cannot acknowledge the presence of this gene. They classify gays as deviant members of the society.

In conclusion, gender is as a result of the interaction of biological factors and culture. Thus, the nature and behavior of a certain gender is molded by the society and biological make up. Reference Crocker, T. (1998). The Human Animal: Personal Identity without Psychology. The Review of Metaphysics, Vol. 52, pp. 90-104 Peter, A. (2000). Psychology and Human Nature. New York: Psychology Press Rogers, W. (2001). The Psychology of Gender and Sexuality: An Introduction. Open University Press Simon, L. (2003). Psychology, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and the Politics of Human Relationships. Mahwah, NJ: Praeger