Controversies_of_gender_and_sexuality_he.docx - Gender is...

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Gender is defined by Judith Lober as an aspect of an individual’s life that represents the attitudes, feelings, and conducts that a particular culture acquaints with a person’s biological sex. Behaviour that is harmonious with cultural prospects is referred to as gender-normative; and behaviours that are viewed as mismatched with these expectations are said to establish gender non-conformity (Lober: 1994). Sexuality and gender go hand-in-hand because they both constitute what is ideologically mainstream association when it comes to the accepted normal sexual behaviours taking into account heteronormativity and homosexuality. The purpose of this essay is to discover the controversies and challenges raised by the practice of sexualities in Africa. We understand gender to be of a pervasive nature and as a result it is not even noticeable when it is created and reinforced within human interaction. This social life frames how women and men should interact with each other in their societies and subconsciously reinforces the generated ideas within their communities so as to degrade any other behaviour or life style that interferes with these mainstream ideas. As I have mentioned elsewhere in my work the systemic idea of gender is not something that we are born with, nor is it an element that we inherently have, but it is rather something that we participate in and is something we perform in our daily living. Society tends to assume that gender is an effect of how one was brought up, together with social norms and the flexibility of a particular social system- while sex is said to be a product of nature purely set by biology. The two components co-exist with one another as societal and hence fluid. Seale (2009) states that “Gender affects and is affected by social, political, and religious forces.” This declaration emphasises the association between societal relations and the embedded and prolonged inherent ideas of gender. In an African context, an example of these inherent ideas that is: men are expected to support the family, and cannot be obliged to account for any of their actions has been passed on through the generations. Another example and stereotype is that women are to ensure that the smooth running of the homes and are to accept themselves as inferior to men.
Furthermore, we are able to say that gender is a social construct that deliberately makes the

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