Social construction is a common term used by sociologists to analyse the interactions between different social categories. Examples of social categories analyzed through social construction include sexuality, gender, and race. By social construction, we mean that some of the major notions mainly natural or biological are as a result of societal creation. For example, sexuality is influenced by society and not influenced by genetic disposition.
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Sexuality, gender, and race are socially constructed because they are influenced by society. The reason is that in our social daily lives, multiple social categories interact thereby affecting our lives, behaviours, and beliefs. The objective of this essay is to analyse the article “Gender, sexuality, and ethnicity as the factors of club drug use among Asian Americans” on the basis of social construction.
The article written by Fazio, Joe-Laidler, Maloney and Hunt (2010) “examines the relationship between substance use and gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and nativity among 250 Asian American youths involved in the dance club/rave scene” (2).
Asian Americans are one of the minority groups in the U.S that are growing fast in spite of the institutional discrimination they receive because of their different ethnic backgrounds. This observation has been supported by the article where the authors note that their population is expected to increase to 9.2% by 2050 (Fazio, Joe-Laidler, Maloney and Hunt 2). The issue of drug use among Asian Americans is rarely discussed and there exists little literature on the same.
This is due to the fact that prevalence of drug use among the Asian Americans varies among the subgroups that tend to be more isolated. The issue of ethnicity as a social construct emerges in this case because of the multiple Asian subgroups which result in variations among individuals of Asian origin (Hunt, Moloney & Evans 239).
Based on the study, drug use is more prevalent among male Asian Americans compared to female Asian Americans (Fazio et al. 10). This finding is similar to other studies carried in the past where the issue of ethnicity does not arise. Gender differences influence the level of drug prevalence among different sexes.
Gender in this case affirms masculinity and dominance which are creations of the society. For instance, society expects males to be more dominant than females and as a result, most males tend to engage in drug use compared to female counterparts.
By giving sex differences a greater meaning, the differences are passed on from one generation to another. Therefore, different social behaviors such as drug use among the Asian Americans are expected to be influenced by society’s creation. Socially, it is acceptable for a male sex to engage into drug use and as a result, male Asian Americans tend to engage in higher levels of drug use thus fulfilling the societal expectation.
Therefore, since gender is not so inherent, people tend to blur the boundaries that co-exist. Moreover, gender roles are prescribed by the society where male’s privilege is reinforced by patriarchy thus prescribing certain roles to women. In this content, we don’t expect more Asian Americans women to be engaged in drug use than male Asian Americans.
Sexuality influences the prevalence of drug use among Asian Americans (Hunt et al. 223). According to the research, bisexual males and gay Asian Americans reported a high drug use, although they tend to use drugs at a much older age compared to heterosexual Asian American males (Fazio et al. 2010).
In addition, Asian Americans lesbians and bisexuals tend to engage in variety of drugs and have a “higher lifetime use rates than heterosexual females for almost all drug” (Fazio et al. 8). The results reflect the outcomes of a study carried on Asian American and Pacific Islander on drug use among the adolescents.
The research findings indicated that adolescent Asians Americans engaged in a drug use in a later age (Makimoto 273). Different sexual orientations as gay, bisexual, or lesbian, engage in drug use as a way of escaping from societal rejection of being different sexually.
Although sexual preference may not be sexually constructed, the society and media perceive gays and lesbians as different from heterosexuals. Due to this kind of social predisposition, Asian Americans gays and bisexuals tend to engage more in specific drug use because they conceive themselves as different from the rest of the society.
In conclusion, social construction is prevalent in modern society and it influences different social behaviours. Based on the article analysis, drug use is more prevalent among Asian American males compared to women. In addition, it is common among the homosexuals but rare among heterosexuals.
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Dominance and power rooted in patriarchy are a creation of the society and influence drug use among Asian Americans. When the society gives gender differences a greater meaning, the same differences are passed on and different social behaviours such as drug use tend to vary.
Therefore, social predispositions tend to influence different behaviours among Asian Americans. Homosexuals, for instance, are portrayed by the media and society as different from heterosexuals and that is why they tend to engage in higher levels of drug use. The same is applied to sexuality and gender which are examples of social construction.
Fazio, Adam, Joe-Laidler, Karen, Maloney, Molly and Hunt, Geoffrey. “Gender, Sexuality, and Ethnicity as Factors of Club Drug Use among Asian Americans.” J Drug Issues, 40.2 (2010): 405–432. Print.
Hunt, Geoffrey, Molly Moloney, and Kristin, Evans. Youth, Drugs, and Night Life. New York: Taylor & Francis, 2010. Print
Makimoto, Kiyoko. “Drinking Patterns and Drinking Problems among Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders.” Alcohol Health & Research World, 22.4, (1998): 271-275. Print.