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Week 3: Nature, Nurture, and Gender Identity

Sociologists and other social scientists have long been skeptical of biological explanations of social life, and many continue to be so despite advances in the integration of biological and social research. Gender is a classic example of deliberation within this realm.

One aspect of our identity is gender. Depending on your gender, how were you socialized into learning what was considered culturally appropriate behavior for your gender? What agents of socialization taught you these cultural norms, and which was the most significant in shaping your sense of self? Explain. Reflecting on the role of socialization on the social construction of gender, how would you frame the issue of gender on nature versus nurture debate? In other words, is gender identity natural, socially constructed, or both?


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