I was brought up in a religious Jewish culture, wherein many of the attitudes and beliefs about sex are similar to those in the catholic religion. There is a lot of pressure to not have sex until you’re married and doing so can make you look defective or unhealthy or “wrong.” I was brought up to understand that women in my culture focused on their studies until it was time to get married and have children. It has always been something that I felt no connection to – the idea of getting married at a young age. It always felt like a wrong fit for me, therefor I have always been slightly out of touch with my own community and culture. For men, they are meant to do well in school so that they can work hard and provide well for their future families. It is a very “traditional” way of looking at the world.
Jeanette is a woman in a man’s gender role, free and comfortable with her sexuality and content with herself in a very modern way. She is in a male dominated field and has a high-powered job, Jeanette has traveled outside of her gender and sex role and is a successful woman (Helgeson, 2017). I think that Jeanette’s life looks relatively similar to mine (hold the free sex), as she’s successful and making a living in a male dominated occupation in addition to loving “male” activities such as watching sports etc. In my culture, this wouldn’t be accepted because women aren’t supposed to move on from studies to have a big job which could get in the way of making babies. Jeanette would have no problems making friends or finding relationships, but within my family structure she would certainly be interrogated with regard to why she’s not having children and whether or not she’s gay (Helgeson, 2017).
In Alberto’s case study, we see a young man who prefers activities with the opposite sex and has subscribed to some gender noncomformity (Lehmiller, 2013). Alberto is influenced by his father to engage in more “masculine” activities, but it seems to make Alberto feel more defective and less accepted (Lehmiller, 2013). I think that Alberto would have a difficult time in my culture, because anybody who is going against the grain is usually a target. As Alberto is slightly more feminine, his gender role is slightly confusing to others and thus would be tough for them to accept as our religion has very specific gender roles within which there is not much wiggle room (Helgeson, 2017). It may be tough for Alberto to create close connections with friends or lovers until college, where he would be free to experience sex and relationships in a way that is comfortable for him (Helgeson, 2017.
Helgeson, V.C. (2017). Psychology of gender (5th Ed.). New York, NY: Taylor and Francis.
Lehmiller, J.J. (2013). Psychology and human sexuality. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
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