Gender order

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Gender order denotes that dimension of social order in which social assignment according to gender is or is being carried out. Insofar as gender is socially shaped by role assignments ( gender role ) and gender construction ( gender ), the gender order also affects the meaning of gender terms, i.e. what gender means, may mean and can generally mean in a certain spatio-temporal situation.

A distinction must be made between:

  • the explicit gender order, in which through generally known rules or laws, the individual people are granted or denied access to certain social spaces, tasks and rights, mostly according to bipolar categorical affiliation as " man / woman " ( heteronormativity ) .
  • regulates the implicit gender order, social participation and the relationship between the sexes via internalized gender characteristics, internalized expectations as well as special modes of communication and symbolizations .

Gender order often denotes the expression of a certain sexually coded, socially effective discourse of domination . In this sense, order is thought of as a gender hierarchy - as a hierarchical system or as a hierarchy within which one gender is placed above the other, i.e. one gender is discriminated by the other . If this higher sex is the man, one speaks of a patriarchal gender order; it is the woman from matriarchy . In general, gender ranks presuppose gender segregation .

As a concept, gender equality aims at a just gender order, although it is controversial when a gender order is to be regarded as just . At its core, the relevant disputes are primarily about the recognition of gender-related differences and the weighting of individual claims to equality and otherness. To the extent that the concept of gender equality is based on a general recognition of “gender” as a social category, it is assessed as an affirmative concept by those who regard any gender order as an essentially sexist order .

Political, conceptual and scientific endeavors to achieve gender equality are now generally summarized under the term “ gender mainstreaming ”.

See also


  • Christiane Eckstein, 2009: Gender equitable family policy. Freedom of choice as a model for the division of labor in the family . Stuttgart
  • Cornelia Klinger, 2000: The order of the sexes and the ambivalence of modernity . In: The Gender of the Future. Between women's emancipation and gender diversity . Ed .: Sybille Becker, Gesine Kleinschmidt, Ilona Nord, Gury Schneider-Ludorff , Stuttgart
  • Susanne Schadenmann, 2007: Experiences of injustice. Gender equality in society, law and literature ( Frankfurt Feminist Texts ), Ulrike Helmer Verlag , ISBN 3-89741-226-8

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