I'm mainly looking for input on what people consider to be typical for a set gender.
Cut for storyline and other stuff...
The background is that I am writing a gender switch story in which the top executive of a multibillion, multinational structure wakes up and suddenly finds himself female instead of male. He will be the only one who knows he originally is male and to a set extent he also will still think of himself as being male. Yet he'll have a female body and people around him will treat him according to what they see. One thing he will discover is that he isn't the boss anymore, instead he is crouching right under the "glass ceiling" women still tend to fetch up against in certain industries, with a female executive right above him in rank who is aiming to make it vice-president. That story is meant to be both fluff as well as partially seriousminded, so it will contain self-reflection as well as self-gratification, he'll have to deal with minor stuff (like what should and can he wear of his former clothes, what happens when he buys clothing with his male mindset), as well as bigger problems, like the fact that his behaviour is not exactly that which would endear him to fellow workers as the female he now is.
What I am looking for now is input, from different cultural spheres, as to what you would consider typically male/female in behaviour, mannerisms, expectations, activities, actual physical differences you see, etc etc. I am having a bit of a hard time there because I usually end up being extremely astounded by what some of my fellow females do or think of being of importance or what they consider proper behaviour and what not. There's a lot there which totally bypasses me, which partly is why this story idea intrigues me.
I have of course filched through Wikipedia and Google for: gender role, gender difference, gender bias, gender expectation
That still doesn't really give me the relevant pointers.
E.g. I do not consider shaving legs/pits as being of any importance whatsoever. I did shave my legs maybe 2-3 times in my life, never anywhere else, and I am past 40. Still I consider myself a perfectly normal straight female. I wouldn't notice someone who also hasn't shaved as extraordinary in any way, either, and none of the males I live or lived with ever commented on that fact or cared one bit any which way. Apparently this is not really typical (anymore) - but for which culture exactly? It was obviously enough to make it into a major joke scene for Mel Gibson (and to me that scene played exclusively via the pain, I got no subtext there). Thus, I wouldn't write my protagonist into a scene where maybe the other women comment on his unshaven legs, as was suggested to me. I simply don't see that.
This what I am looking for is what you personally consider relevant in such a situation. What is male/female to you, what would you do as a man (or as a woman), where do you see major differences in roles and behaviour - apart from the cheap stereotypes. I'm looking for realities. Please add your age bracket and where you live, so I can place your comments culture-wise.