social role encompassing a range of behaviors and attitudes that are generally considered acceptable, appropriate, or desirable for people based on their actual or perceived sex or sexuality
A gender role, also known as a sex role, is a social role encompassing a range of behaviors and attitudes that are generally considered acceptable, appropriate, or desirable for a person based on that person's biological or perceived sex. Gender roles are usually centered on conceptions of masculinity and femininity, although there are exceptions and variations. The specifics regarding these gendered expectations may vary substantially among cultures, while other characteristics may be common throughout a range of cultures. There is ongoing debate as to what extent gender roles and their variations are biologically determined, and to what extent they are socially constructed.
Gender roles influence a wide range of human behavior, often including the clothing a person chooses, the profession a person pursues, and the personal relationships a person enters.
Various groups, most notably the feminist movements, have led efforts to change aspects of prevailing gender roles that they believe are oppressive or inaccurate.
The term gender role was first used by John Money and colleagues in 1954, during the course of his study of intersex individuals, to describe the manners in which these individuals expressed that they were male or female even though no clear biological assignment existed.
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