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Gender, Sexuality and Crime

In India, there has been many instances of gender based crimes, sexual crimes occurring in India. The modern times have led people know more about such activities. What actually involves is the brief history about such topics.

Earlier the people didn’t knew the actual difference between what actually is Gender, What is meant by sexuality and what things comes under crime. But the present times now consists of people who know what actually is Gender, what are the gender roles portrayed by people in the ancient life and how the people are removing such deep rooted thinking.

The people used to only know about sexual orientation as a male and female but now they are slowly gaining knowledge about the different types of personalities existing in a men and women. They are getting well equipped with the terms like homosexual, gay, lesbian, cis-gender, binary, ally and even the laws are being reformed and new rules and movements occur in support of such things.

The growth had a large impact on people, their minds and on their lifestyle.

Gender

What is Gender?

Gender is a term which basically stands for the characteristics of a man and a women who are socially determined and not biologically identified. It describes the role played by both the people, their access to opportunities, entitlement to resources and builds cultural implications upon them. In other words, it Gender can be refrred to any social or cultural obligations which is basically associated with being a female or male

Gender Roles

With growing years we get know about our surroundings. In such process of socialization, kids get to know about certain roles basically linked to their biological sex.

The term gender role basically refers to the concept of society that how a female and male must behave and how they shouldn’t. Such deep rooted things or roles are based on standards and the thinking set by the society.

In our culture, gender roles with man mostly includes aggression, and strength and dominance, while roles of women are being associated with love, caring and nurturing behavior. Role learning starts with socialization at birth. Even in the modern times, the society usually resembles pink with girls and blue with boys.

One way a child learns about his gender and the role is through play. Parents whether in India or America or any other country general give cars, motorcycles, cricket bats or balls and toy guns to boys develops motor skills and emotionally promotes aggression and solitary play. Whereas, daughters are given home making toys like the kitchen set, doll house developing their interest towards social proximity, being loving and caring and thinking about close ones.

Research by sociologists’ states that kids usually would love to play with “gender appropriate” toys even if the “cross gender toys” are made available to them. The reason being that parents promote children through such toys in the form of giving praises, involving in their games, etc.

Gender in Sociology

Earlier, Gender was a largely avoided subject in sociology until a body of empirical and theoretical feminist studies from the 1960s on wards drew attention towards inequalities. Classical sociology took the existing, male-dominated gender order very much for granted, with functionalism, for instance, theorizing that gender differences were rooted in the functional needs of society, such as the ‘expressive’ roles played by women in the household compared to the ‘instrumental’ ones played by men in the formal economy.

Nonetheless, some theorists used existing sociological concepts and theories to explain gender inequality, such as socialization and a version of conflict theory. In recent years the very concept of gender has been seen as too rigid, with some suggesting that ‘gender’ is a highly unstable concept that is always in the process of change.

Gender socialization

The perspective of some sociologists see learning gender roles though gender socialization. The social agencies or institutions such as family, school, universities, mass media, social media has helped people gain more information in gender differences.

Socialization processes in the family, friends tend to promote and schools tend to promote gendered forms of self-identity which children internalize, and through such ways the differences in the gender differences are culturally reproduced. Later, female and male both get socialize in different roles according to the ancient norms.

Gender-differentiated things like the clothes and toys are some of the examples of children being tagged in a specific role. Stereotypical character portrayed in films and shows and also video games are all examples of the cultural encouragement to conform to gender expectations. Studies show Gender Socialization as not a simple process but rather states it as inherently unstable and open to challenge.

Socialization before birth.

Preparation of gender socialization begin before the birth of a child. That the parents were ask with doctor whether it’s a girl or a boy. This is where the time the gender categorization process continues throughout the life.

Early life socialization

The early life socialization talks about the preschool socialization, were the teacher would impart knowledge to students regarding the difference between a boy and a girl. And about the activities for girl and boy, the social values of particular person in the society and the behavior of an individual.

Adolescent socialization

The transition period from childhood to adulthood, extending from puberty to independence. The person learns about his or her position in the society. They get to know the specific roles prevailing in the society from the ages and now they too are in the obligations to perform those roles. Aggression is overtaken in the minds of men whereas women tends to give love and care. The struggle between the need to stand out, and the need to belong is summarized in the adolescent age.

Gender and Sex

The basic distinction between gender and sex is also rejected by some sociologists as misleading, implying that there is a biological core which culture then overlays with gender differences. Rather than seeing sex as biologically determined and gender as culturally learned, some now see both sex and gender as social constructions. It is not just gender identity, but the human body itself, that is the subject of shaping and altering social forces. People choose to construct and reconstruct their bodies almost as they please, from exercise, dieting, piercing and personal fashions to plastic surgery and sex-change operations.

Gender identities and sex differences are inextricably linked within individual human bodies, and it has become almost impossible to extricate biology from culture.

Theoretical Perspectives on Gender

Sociological theories serve to guide the research process and offer a means for interpreting research data and explaining social phenomena.

Structural Functionalism

Structural functionalism has provided one of the most important perspectives of sociological research in the twentieth century and has been a major influence on research in the social sciences, including gender studies. Viewing the family as the most integral component of society, assumptions about gender roles within marriage assume a prominent place in this perspective.

Functionalists argue that gender roles were established well before the pre-industrial era when men would take the responsibility outside of the house such as hunting and women took care of the domestic responsibilities in or around the house.

Once established, these roles subsequently passed from generations to generations as the give an effective means of keeping the family system function properly.

Conflict Theory

According to conflict theory, society is a struggle for dominance among social groups like women against men or men against women that compete for scarce resources. When sociologists examined gender from this perspective, men came to be known as the dominant group and women as the subordinate group. According to conflict theory, social problems occur when the dominant groups oppress subordinate groups.


Gender Role in Modern times

The modern times have changed and now more men are involved in child care and parenting,
What gender is and how we understand it is dependent on how people perform their gender, and this is changing quite rapidly.
Now, men are showing their interest in the household works and women are being encouraged for the office work. With advancement, people now believe in treating men and women equal. Now, even the educational institutions like school and universities are contributing in this change. The national trend toward a total integration of gender roles is reflected in women’s education, professional achievement, and family income contributions. Currently, more women than men are enrolled in college, and women are expected to earn more graduate degrees than men over the next several years.

Gender, transgender, Cis-gender, and conformance

The writes earlier on sexual orientation usually understood it to be intrinsically linked to the subject's own sex. In other word, it was thought that a typical female-bodied person who is interested or wants a relationship with other female would have masculine attributes, and if a male is attracted towards a male would generally have a female attribute. This thought was shared by most of the significant theorists of sexual orientation from the mid nineteenth to early twentieth century, themselves.

However, this understanding of homosexuality as sexual inversion was disputed at the time, gender identity came to be increasingly seen as a phenomenon distinct from sexual orientation. An individual homosexual, heterosexual or bisexual person may be masculine, feminine, or androgynous, and in addition, “many members and supporters of lesbian and gay communities now see the "gender-conforming heterosexual" and the "gender-nonconforming homosexual" as negative stereotypes.”

Some studies found a majority of the gay men and lesbians sampled reporting various degrees of gender-nonconformity during their childhood years. Transgender and Cis-gender people may be attracted to men, women, or both, although the prevalence of different sexual orientations is quite different in these two populations.

Transgender people today identify with the sexual orientation that corresponds with their gender; meaning that a trans woman who is solely attracted to women would often identify as a lesbian. A trans man solely attracted to women would be a straight man.

Sexuality - Definition

Sexuality can be described as the characteristics and behavior of human beings, which involves biological, emotional, physical and social aspects of life.

Origins of the Concept

Sexuality came from biologists, medical researchers and sexologists, whose studies can be traced back to the nineteenth century. However, these studies tended to focus on individual psychology rather than examining the kind of general patterns of sexuality and sexual behavior that interest sociologists. Some early scholar also looked at the behavior of animals to get some clue about human sexuality. Many early scholars also looked at animal behavior to provide some clues about human and still they do this.

Sexual orientation

It refers to the direction of a person’s sexual or romantic attraction, and this is the result of a complex interplay of biological and social factors. Most people, in all societies, are heterosexual, and heterosexuality has historically been the basis of marriage and family, though there are many other sexual tastes and inclinations.

“Sexual orientation is about who you’re attracted to and who you feel drawn to romantically, emotionally, and sexually”.

There is a lot of difference between sexual orientation and gender identity. “Gender identity isn’t about who you’re attracted to, but about who you ARE — male, female, gender queer, etc.”

Sexual orientation is about who you want to be with. Gender identity is about who you are.
There are a bunch of identities associated with sexual orientation. There are people who’re attracted to a different gender (for example, women attracted to men or men attracted to women) often call themselves straight or heterosexual.

People who’re attracted to people of the same gender often call themselves gay or homosexual. Gay women may prefer the term lesbian.
People who’re attracted to both men and women often call themselves bisexual.
People whose attractions span across many different gender identities (male, female, transgender, , intersex, etc.) may call themselves pan sexual or queer.
People who’re unsure about their sexual orientation may call themselves questioning or curious.
People who don't experience any sexual attraction for anyone often call themselves asexual.
Among such peoples, there are also people who don’t tag themselves with any labels and some even don’t like the idea of being called under any labels at all. It's basically up to the certain people that how they want themselves to be called or labelled.
Social change in the era of modernization is growing rapidly and often gives rise to major social problems, as old and traditional lifestyles, religious beliefs, morals and lifestyle get disrupted, sometimes without being replaced.

Crime

The general test of the crime is the approach of the society towards the wrongful act.
Crime is an act which is forbidden by law. It is something more than the act of mere disobedience to law. It goes against the moral sentiments of society, which varies from person to person, place to place and time to time.

A crime has certain peculiarities like it disobeys the law and is a public wrong. It is a violation of official law or public right and punishes the criminal through formal sanctions.

Types of Crimes

Every crime is committed with different intentions and has a different impact on each people. Every crime is not equal and according to the perspective of the people, some are severe crimes and some are not. For a part of people, murdering someone will be a very serious crime and for some cyber crime might be a dangerous activity. The people expect the criminal to be punished according to the severity of the crime.

When people generally think of crime, they picture theft, robbery or any crime harming the other person. Corporate crimes are the crimes which are often overlooked in a business environment. Insider trading, and identity theft are some of its examples.

The other type includes crime here the person is not explicitly harming the other person. It is called as victimless crime. Some may claim its victimless but the rest argue that it in the other way, it does harm the society.

Sexual and the gender-based crimes

There are many crimes committed against person because of the gender or sex. Some examples of these types of crimes include are rape, sexual slavery, staling, domestic abuse, murder, martial rape and many other crimes. These all crimes comes under sexual crimes and is considered as a criminal offence. These crime may include both violent and non violent crimes like attacking any man or woman with the intention to harm.

Gender and sex both play an important and equal role in the criminal justice.They both are inter-related and they both deal with the crimes which are increasing day by day in our society and country. The study of sex, gender and crime has seen incredible advances throughout the 20th and 21st century. In a day, thousand of crimes related to men and women occur but the surprising fact is the no. of people actually punished in such crimes.

Every day we hear news of women getting raped, men getting beaten, house wife dying due to physical abuse from husband and many acts and strict steps are also taken to prevent such things.

Crimes against women in India

The crime against women’s are increasing day by day. Every day we hear news and people debating how girls are not safe in India and parents of girl child are concerned about the safety of their daughters. The Nirbhaya rape, which happened many years ago has forced the women to think whether they are safe in their own country or not.

From a 2 month year old girl to a 60 year old women, no one is safe. The disturbing fact is that in most cases, it’s the relative or the close ones of the person who has raped or taken advantage of her. A number of crimes occur in a day where a women is being stalked by any person, eve teasing, and sexual abuse from their closed one, dowry and many more such crimes.

Conclusion
In the 21st century, the thinking of people has changed a lot and men and women are treated equally. Gender roles prevailing from the ancient times have been changed. People who are parents are concerned and now they no longer stereotype toys. Girls are given the equal chance to play with a racing car as boys playing a with a doll house. Its not a toy that needs to be changed, it is the deep rooted thinking in minds of people living in the society.

Sexuality in modern India is a topic which everyone from a 10 year old kid to a men or a women should have knowledge about. The latest law and reforms does not differentiates between a homosexual and a straight. In the eyes of law, both are the citizens of the country and both have the equal fundamental rights. Parents are coming more and more in the support of their children being gay, lesbians or a transgender. The pride movement and rallies in support of such things have shown that the people have accepted it as a good change.

Crime in the present scenario is increasing day by day but the appropriate measures are also being taken by the higher authority. The punishment to the criminals are given as fast it can be. There are several matters of gender based violence and it runs very deep in India. From abortion, infant girl child death, child marriages, rape assault, sexual abuse, teenage pregnancy, death to rape in adolescent and at last dowry deaths, the gender based violence is rapidly increasing.

References:
  1. 15 Novels That Subvert Traditional Gender Roles. Literary Hub. https://lithub.com/15-novels-that-subvert-traditional-gender-roles/
  2. Garg, R. An overview of increasing crimes against women - iPleaders. https://blog.ipleaders.in/overview-of-increasing-crimes-against-women/.
  3. Sage Books - Understanding Gender, Crime, and Justice. Sk.sagepub.com. http://sk.sagepub.com/books/understanding-gender-crime-and-justice.
  4. Sexual orientation. Love question life answer, http://lovequestionlifeanswer.org/en/gender/sexual-orientation.

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