What are the differences and similarities between the female and male genders?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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From your other questions, it is clear to me that you are asking about gender and not about sex.  In other words, you are not asking about physical and biological differences between men and women.  Instead, you are asking about gender, which is the sets of behaviors and attributes that a society deems to be proper for men and women respectively.

What this means is that there are a huge number of differences between the female gender (what is expected of women) and the male gender (what is expected of men).  It also means that these genders are different for different people even within the United States.

In general, the major difference is that men are supposed to be physically and emotionally strong and women are supposed to be more vulnerable in both of those ways.  We are taught that “boys don’t cry” and we are told to “man up” when we have problems.  Meanwhile, women are taught to be more caring and gentle. 

There are many other differences as well.  Men are expected to be the “breadwinners” while women are still expected to have more to do with caring for the children.  Men are expected to be interested in sports and mechanical things while women are expected to be interested in things like crafts and books.

Of course, not everyone in America accepts these genders.  Many of these attitudes are dying out in some parts of the country.  However, these are still the traditionally-accepted differences between masculinity and femininity in the United States.

As for similarities, there are a few.  Both genders are expected to care about morality.  Both are expected to share basic traits like honesty and loyalty.  Both are expected to obey the law.  However, beyond these basic attributes, there are many differences that most people expect.

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