The expectations for males have also bothered me. If a guy is interested in music and dancing (or any of the fine arts), or if his energy could be described as 'bubbly,' he is viewed as less masculine and his sexuality may be questioned. Now I was a dance major, and there were some males either in the program or in dance companies that definitely behaved in ways that would have been viewed as feminine, but I saw no reason why that had to mean that perhaps they were homosexual. Our culture in the United States has created expectations for males and females that really aren't true, and I feel like those expectations sometimes cause people to question their sexuality simply because their interests are not considered mainstream for their gender. (That's not to say that there aren't people who legitimately struggle with same-sex attraction; there absolutely are.)
In the past six months I have come across some information that really sits well with me. Here is an excerpt from a book about energy profiling:
"In Chinese philosophy, the concept of Yin Yang is used to describe how seemingly opposing forces are interdependent in the natural world. Yin Yang refers to opposite expressions. Yin is usually characterized as slow, soft, insubstantial, diffuse, cold, wet, and tranquil. It is generally associated with the feminine, birth and generation, and with the night. Yang, by contrast, is characterized as hard, fast, solid, dry, focused, hot, and aggressive. It is generally associated with masculinity and daytime. . . Historically, in our culture, the movement that is identified as yin has been deemed a feminine movement and the yang has been deemed a masculine movement. We have a cultural cookie cutter mold that suggests that all women should lead with a dominant yin movement, which is soft, and that men should lead with a dominant yang movement, which is aggressive . . . It is time to strip the old paradigms of what we relate to as feminine and masculine qualities. Knowing [who we are allows us] to strip our minds of unreasonable expectations that were based on cultural models of women and men that no longer serve us." - Excerpts from, It's Just My Nature! by Carol Tuttle, self-help author and creator of Dressing Your Truth. (emphasis added)It so happens that I've learned that my energy is exactly what has been perceived as feminine. But I've still got a real problem with the labeling and stereotypes. So what should qualify as masculine and feminine? I guess I'm not exactly sure, but I am sure that gender matters and that men and women each have specific and unique gifts.
The doctrine about men and women in the LDS church is specifically addressed in the proclamation on the family. Here is what is stated regarding the roles of men and women:
"By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children."Nothing in the proclamation is said that could imply that a woman who could be described as 'aggressive' would not be a good nurturer, or that a man who is 'soft' would not be a good provider or protector. My belief is that Heavenly Father has given each of us gifts that will help us fulfill our roles. Those gifts may or may not be aligned with what our culture has taught us to expect for each gender. But that doesn't really matter. What matters is that we understand our individual roles and purposes in God's plan. Because His plan is good, and following it brings happiness.