Issue with coding - please help

Hi, I am sure this will be an absolute basic error on my behalf but if someone could offer some advice please.

I have survey data i am importing into SPSS. I have given the top cells in the excel spreadsheet their variable names and imported into SPSS. The sheet imports into SPSS well and so I have created values for the variables i.e. 1=Male 2=female etc. However, once I have done this the variables do not display as a 1 or 2 but it creates a drop down box to select Male or Female and I have to go through and do this for each cell, which makes importing from excel worthless. Surely SPSS can read the contents of the cell as it comes in from excel (male:female) once I have defined the vales. OR do I have to manually enter the contents of every cell? Please help. Thanks.