Introduction xi the terms “male” and “female.” It includes culturally influenced ideas about how each sex should behave. The main agents of socialization are families, especially parents, but gender expectations are also learned from friends, teachers, the media, including social media, and institutions such as church, school, and workplaces. Gender expectations can be communi- cated through direct messages, such as when people say “Boys don’t cry” or “Girls should be quiet.” Yet expectations can also be communicated in subtle or indirect ways, such as when parents assign different chores to their daughters versus sons or give different privileges and freedoms to children based on their biological sex. Differences in the socialization of boys compared to girls is a major factor impacting gender differences in sexual behavior (Kimmel 2017). People who feel as though their sex and gender match are termed “cisgender” whereas those who mismatch are called “transgender” (Diamond 2018). Some transgender people alter their outward physical appearance by dressing according to their preferred gen- der, using surgeries, and/or preferring certain gender names and pronouns over others. People who do not adhere to culturally prescribed ideas about how their sex should behave tend to be heavily criticized. Sexual Orientation Sexual orientation refers to whether a person feels predominantly attracted to and pursues relationships with people of the same sex, differ- ent sex, or either sex (Diamond 2003). The term “heterosexual” is used to describe a person who is attracted to a different sex. “Homosexual” refers to people who are attracted to the same sex, and “bisexual” refers to attrac- tion toward either sex. Other terms can also be used, such as “asexual,” meaning a person does not experience feelings of attraction, and “pansex- ual,” whereby attraction is not dependent on a partner’s gender or biologi- cal sex. “Queer” is yet another term that has gained popularity in the LGBTQ+ community (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) and refers to people who do not subscribe to a heterosexual or cisgender iden- tity. All over the world, people who espouse a nondominant sexual identity of LGBTQ+ are heavily discriminated against and are at greater risk of death by way of suicide or homicide (Badgett and Frank 2007 Human Rights Watch 2013). The most accepting countries toward LGBTQ+ tend to be in the Scandinavian region of Northern Europe, whereas the least accepting are predominantly in the Middle East, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain, and the South Asian country of Bangladesh.
Previous Page Next Page