meye1536: November 2011 Archives

It seems as though some people have a difficult time understanding the terms gender and sex. Sex refers the biological status of an individual as having a male or female reproductive system, whereas gender is the wide set of characteristics that help distinguish males from females. Society has had a major influence on the way people view male and female individuals and the roles they should take on based upon their sex.

children books gender roles.jpg

Starting from infancy, people treat male and female babies differently. Examples could be toys given, colors that they are dressed in, or how they are talked to. Males toys tend to be tools or sports equipment whereas females are more likely to be given dolls or toy kitchen supplies. Sexes are also often shown through clothing. If a baby is wearing pink or purple, it is likely that the baby is female. As for boys, blue and green are often worn to show their sex. When communicating, people use words such as strong and handsome when talking to a baby boy. In contrast, girls are often called pretty and adorable instead.

These differences in treatment do not go unnoticed. Children pick up on these differences and begin to form their own ideas of gender roles. As you will see in the following video, children have a distinct idea of which sex should do specific tasks and what characteristics are appropriate for each.

According to the video, children have set ideas in their head of characteristics and actions that are appropriate for a certain sex. From the video, some children have the perspective that child care and cleaning are done and even liked by females. In contrast, males work. The way in which people act and treat others impacts the way society grows to view the sex of individuals and the way they perceive gender roles.

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder that consists of a cycle of bingeing and purging. A bulimic person may eat excessive amounts of food containing many calories, followed by a form of purging. Purging is a means of eliminating the mass amount of calories consumed by means of vomiting or taking laxatives. Guilt, anxiety, and loss of control are common feelings associated with bulimia because it often feels like one cannot stop eating. Purging acts as a negative reinforcement by taking away the negative feelings that revolve around eating and gaining weight.

Less common, anorexia nervosa, is a very serious eating disorder that often begins in adolescence. Those who suffer from this disease often become extremely emaciated and are repulsed by the thought of becoming obese. Anorexia has been named one of the most life-threatening psychological conditions, with a death rate of about ten percent.


The photograph above shows that those who suffer from eating disorders often perceive their body differently than others. She see's herself as having more body fat than desirable; though, realistically, she image in the mirror is probably of a healthy body mass index (BMI) and her body looks like that of a skeleton. If an individual denies their body from the nutrition it needs to be healthy, it has several consequences.

As a portrayal of these consequences, Isabelle Caro, gives the public and honest image of anorexia nervosa. She took a stand against her disorder through an Italian ad campaign against anorexia and the negative influence of the fashion industry. She posed as a model, showing off her boney physique and explaining how the lack of nutrition has damaged her hair and caused her to lose several teeth.

Eating disorders are very serious psychological conditions that greatly impact the body. The damage done to the body is life threatening to those that fall victim to the condition. With the media portraying skinny models as a social norm, it is important that individuals, like Isabelle Caro, share their stories to show how serious eating disorders are.

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This page is an archive of recent entries written by meye1536 in November 2011.

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