Speaking of Gender Constructs

In my University of Phoenix class on human sexuality I found the following table.  It is gender stereotypes that were found to be common among thirty countries.  I do not know how diverse the countries were, but it is interesting to note the differences.

Stereotypes of Males                                  Stereotypes of Females

Active* Opinionated*                                Affectionate* Nervous
Adventurous Pleasure-seeking              Appreciative Patient
Aggressive Precise*                                    Cautious* Pleasant*
Arrogant Quick                                             Changeable Prudish
Autocratic Rational                                    Charming Self-pitying
Capable* Realistic*                                     Complaining Sensitive*
Coarse Reckless                                            Complicated* Sentimental*
Conceited Resourceful*                            Confused Sexy
Confident* Rigid                                           Dependent Shy
Courageous Robust                                     Dreamy Softhearted*
Cruel Sharp-witted*                                    Emotional* Sophisticated*
Determined* Show-off                               Excitable Submissive
Disorderly Steady                                       Fault-finding Suggestible
Enterprising Stern                                      Fearful* Superstitious
Hardheaded* Stingy                                  Fickle Talkative*
Individualistic Stolid                                Foolish Timid*
Inventive Tough*                                       Forgiving Touchy
Loud* Unscrupulous                                 Frivolous Unambitious
Obnoxious                                                     Fussy Understanding*

(These are also feminine but the tables broke)

Gentle* Unstable*
Imaginative* Warm*
Kind* Weak
Mild Worrying*
Modest

First, I marked qualities that at first glance I thought described myself with an asterisk.  From the results one can clearly see why I am frustrated by gender stereotypes.  Apparently I am some kind of androgenous figure that doesn’t “fit” the patterns for acceptable male stereotypes or female stereotypes completely.  Usually I have pretended to be things that I am not, and denied parts of who I am, to try and fit into someone else’s idea of what “being” a man was like and avoid ridicule and accusations of being a homosexual.

Second, how many Churches passively and actively encourage these stereotypes and baptize them with scripture?  How many fruits of the spirit would be described as feminine?  Would Jesus be rated as more feminine than masculine?  Is this partly why men hate Church?  Is Christianity perceived as a “feminizing?”  Is this a problem with Christianity, or our stereotypes about gender?  When women say they want a “Man’s man” does that mean they want a man who is very non-Christian in his characteristics?

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About Kevin

I am figuring out life and faith and taking other people along with me on my journey. Sometimes as fellow travelers, sometimes as hostages.
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