"Becoming Members of Society: Learning the Social Meaning of Gender" is an essay by Aaron Devor. The thesis of the essay is that society or, more specifically, social norms of a particular culture influence how gender identity is perceived. One of the negative effects of this dynamic is the creation of gender stereotypes. Another concept that is examined in the essay is the development of gender identities during the adolescent stage, typically between eighteen months and two years old. It is during this stage in the human life cycle that children become most influenced by their environment's "rules" on gender roles.
In this regard, the essay analyzes gender identity as a social construct, rather than just a biological phenomenon. It is the social rules or norms dictating gender identity that influence how a specific gender should speak, act, behave, and think. For example, males are pressured by society to be more aggressive and assertive than females. Women, on the other hand, are expected to rear children. These gender roles have influenced discriminatory practices throughout history, especially regarding women and people who identify as LGBTQ.