The Intersection of Gender and Cultural Background
Gender and cultural background are two important elements of identity that greatly influence the ways we view, experience and understand the world around us. While a person’s gender and cultural background often work together to shape the values, beliefs, and practices of their daily lives, the intersection of these two elements can create even deeper insight into the individual’s diverse identity.
The Role of Gender and Culture
Gender and culture shape many aspects of a person’s life. Gender determines how a person may view and behave in a given situation, and this view may differ when changed to another gender. For example, a man may have a different approach to problem solving than a woman in the same situation. Cultural background sets the beliefs, values, and practices by which a person can make sense of the world around them. It may influence family relationships, social interactions, work, language, and more.
The Impact of Gender and Culture Together
When considering the intersection of gender and cultural background, it is important to note how the two identity elements can sometimes intersect in unexpected ways. This can create a unique experience for individuals who identify with more than one culture, belong to an underrepresented culture, or find themselves in a position where gender norms are challenged.
For example, an individual may come from a traditional family where they are expected to perform certain gender roles in order to maintain the family’s cultural norms. However, they may also identify with a culture outside of the family’s which views gender differently. This could lead to an individual feeling like they have to struggle between compromising their own individuality and the culture’s expectations of them.
The Benefits of Exploring the Intersection
Exploring the intersection of gender and cultural background can lead to a better understanding of:
- One’s Self: Identifying common beliefs, values, and practices from both elements can lead to a more powerful sense of self and identity
- Others: An appreciation for the diversity of gender and cultural identity can lead to more respect for others
- Conflict Resolution: An ability to recognize and address potential conflict between gender and cultural background can help individuals effectively and respectfully navigate difficult situations
The intersection of gender and cultural background can be a complex experience to navigate, but may be enriching and beneficial when fully explored. Remembering to have an open and positive attitude towards diversity of identity and allowing oneself to be comfortable in the individual’s own intersection can result in a more fulfilling and meaningful outlook on life.