__________________ ____________________  

Gender Differences


I was surprised finding out that the topic for our paper was about our
feelings of
belonging to the other gender. I think the title of the book "Men are From
Mars, Women
are From Venus" by John Gray applies to how different men and women are in
attitudes, feelings and lifestyles. This experience for me will be enjoyable
for me since I
have never thought what it would be like to be a female and also to hopefully
give me a
better insight on a few questions that have interest me about women since I
was a little

 Both, men and women, are constantly concerned about looking "good" even
though they are physically different. In order to look appealing to others,
men are
supposed to be big, strong, and athletic, whereas women are supposed to be
thin, pretty,
and big-breasted. I often wonder why we put so much emphasis on the way a
looks. I think females feel more of the pressures of looking "good". In the
past, I've
talked to some of my girlfriends and they told me that the pressure and
competition they
are faced with is stressful and painful. I told them that I am not too
critical when
checking out girls and when it comes to seeing other males bigger or stronger
myself, that I don't feel too much pressure of trying to look better than
them. I am rather
more concerned of my own health and ways to improve it. I was really
surprised when
they told me that other girls are the ones who usually criticize or pressure
them. When I
was aware of this, I did notice, at times, while walking around casually with
my girl
friends, when they weren't looking appropriate, would get stares, hisses or
from other females. I was even surprised when I heard my girlfriends talking
about other
girls right in front of me, even though most of these times I didn't notice
anything wrong
or different about the other girls they were talking about. From this
observation, I think
the pressure of always looking good would be greater if I was to be a female.
I would
always try to look good and to please others. Girls, I think, are faced with
pressures to look good. Television, for example, almost never features old,
heavy, or
unattractive women. Even if a character is a doctor or a scholar on
television, she looks
like a Playboy bunny.

 When it comes to sexuality, I think there is great confusion for both males
females. One contributing factor is the double standard still existing. For
instance, the
same girls who are pressured to having sex on a Saturday night are called
"sluts" and
"hoes" on Monday morning. The boys, or the "studs", who coaxed them into sex
at the
parties avoid them in the halls at school. Also, our society doesn't have
clearly defined
and universally accepted rules about sexuality. We live in a pluralistic
culture with
contradictory sexual paradigms. We hear diverse messages from our families,
churches, our schools and the media, and each of us must integrate these
messages and
arrive at some value system that makes sense to us. Another reason there is
confusion is
that we are taught by movies and television that sophisticated people are free
spontaneous while we are being warned that casual sex can kill us. Double
binds and
impossible expectation trap us.

 Becoming a female Asian Catholic, I think my parents and older siblings would
be more protective of me. I am the youngest of 7 boys and 2 girls. I still
remember times
when my younger sister was my age and the trouble she sometimes faced to just
go out
on a date or with her friends. Sometimes she would ask me to tag along with
her so my
parents would think she was out with me. During these times, I remember
about her safety even though I am 8 years younger than she is. I can't
imagine how hard
it would be for me if I was a girl and the baby of the house. I would
probably have to
hear the words "curfew" or "be home at ten" for the first time without
laughing. I would
definitely remember all the times I have taken for granted such as being able
to freely go
out and not get in trouble, when I was a boy. 

 Another thing I would be concerned with, if I was a girl, is sex and
Since females are on average smaller than males they are more prone to sexual
such as rape. In one of my psychology courses, I was surprised when the
professor asked
her students to raise their hands if they were or knew a person who has been a
victim of
rape and mostly all of the students, including myself, raised their hands.
One thing I
would do before I considered being intimate with a male is to take a self-
defense course
and learn to "shout, push, punch, and escape". I think it's healthy for girls
to enjoy their
own developing sexual responsiveness and to want to explore their sexuality,
but there is
no easy or established way to stop a sexual encounter. Some of my friends
avoid dating
and touching because they do not know how or when to draw a line in order to
say stop. 
Not knowing how to say "no", I think, makes a female more prone to rape and

 One of my friends had confided in me of her incident while on a field trip.
rapist came into her tent to borrow a butterfly net held her down, choked her
and raped
her. The next morning she pretended it never happened. She denied the
experience until
a year later when she went camping with her family. She crawled into their
tent and
stopped breathing as memories flooded her. She told her mother what had
happened and
her parents reported the crime. The boy involved claimed consensual sex.
After a year,
it was hard to prove otherwise and she dropped the case. I felt deeply for
her but without
much knowledge on the subject I only could provide her comfort. I think if I
was a girl
and I was raped I would be emotionally scarred and fear getting pregnant and
transmitted diseases. I can't imagine how I would feel if I got pregnant or
contracted a
STD by a non-consenting partner. Both are life-changing events that would be
hard to
accept and understand. If I did become pregnant, I would probably consider,
for the first
time, having an abortion or giving the baby up for adoption, even though I am

 Coming to the end of my paper, I want to bring up issues and questions that I
always wondered about and would like to be finally answered through this
experience of
becoming a female. First off, I would like to know what is all the fuss about
PMS and
are there actual syndromes such as being cranky, having cramps, and a few
others not
appropriate to mention at this time. I would also like to know how the
feelings of having
sex would be like and the truth about multiple orgasms. Also, why women talk
they are in the restroom and what they could possibly talk about. Another
question I
would ask is how a woman feels while pregnant and the joy of giving "actual"
birth to a
child. These are just a few things I am curious about. By writing this short
paper, I have
gained a deeper insight and appreciation on how it would feel to actually be a
woman. I
would like to also give credit to all the women out there for who and what
they are and
for what they have to go through.



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