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The Norm

Essay by   •  September 16, 2010  •  608 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,292 Views

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Cause and Effect Report

"The Norm"

Throughout history society has changed greatly. However, much has remained untouched by the sands of time. One of the unchanged properties is what society considers the "Norm". The "Norm", is a set of rules which govern society. It is not a printed document (usually), but merely a commonly accepted set of standards. The "Norm" is made up by society's perception of what is acceptable. Before we truly get involved with describing the various aspects of normative behavior, it is wise to point out the differences between "Norms" of the past and the present. In the past, religious beliefs, physical differences, and common misunderstandings contributed greatly to the formation of the "Norm". In the present, a world of greater equality and understanding, these factors have less influence. The majority creates the "Norm". The "Norm" is created by every action society makes.

Role is an important aspect controlled by the "Norm". For centuries, women of various cultures have been considered to be the house keeper and/or the sole care taker of their children. Women were usually considered as being inferior in the past due to the physical strength difference as well as variances between the male and female physique. Role also defined the life of men in the past. In many cultures men were valued only by their physical strength, but rarely their intelligence.

Childhood is also heavily influenced by the "Norm". Because children are considered to be intellectually inferior to adults they were rarely considered to be politically important. That is, until they reached an age when adults finally recognized the efforts and accomplishments and the child was then promoted to a more equal status. We see this same type of behavior even in today's society. Because of their inexperience, the "Norm" dictates that schooling is required at an early age.

Sexuality is one of the most complex issues within the "Norm". The "Norm" as it pertains to sexuality is highly influenced by religious concepts coupled with the physical ability to reproduce. One compliments the other, in this case. Religion acts as a secondary explanation of biology. This causes people to be opposed to deviation from this path.

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