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Lecture

CHYS 1F90 Lecture Notes - La Vie En Rose, Social Constructionism, Blue Brain Project


Department
Child and Youth Studies
Course Code
CHYS 1F90
Professor
Rebecca Raby

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CHYS 1F90
March 12 & 14, 2013
Final exam
- Format is the same
- 17th
- 4 questions, mc or short answers
- Open book
- Everything from week 6- to week 12 is the main focus
- Concepts remain relevant, she’ll give a list
Lecture 9: Gender and Sexuality
Outline
I/ Sex, gender and sexuality
II/ Essentialism and constructionism
III/ Gender and childhood
IV/ Sex education
Main Points
Sex, gender and sexuality are distinct, though interrelated, concepts.
Gender and sexuality can be examined through different lenses
Gender and sexuality are central to experiences of childhood
I/ Sex, gender and sexuality
A) Definitions
Sex: biology of male and female
Gender: cultural meanings attributed to male and female (masculinity
and
femininity)
Sexuality: desire
B) The dominant model
Sex male female
Gender masculine feminine
Sexuality attracted to females attracted to males
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C) But… concerns with this model
Linked to inequality and limiting options
- Mostly around girls and women
- Limiting options -> more male
oExpectations of what you should be as a boy is more
confined than females
Lived gender and sexuality much more complicated
- Messier than this model depicts
oCould be a guy that’s really masculine and attracted to
males
oA guy that’s feminine that likes women
II/ Essentialism and constructionism
A) Essentialism – kind of like nature
- The idea that there is something embedded in us
- Believed that it is natural
- Linked with modernism
- Truth in our bodies
- Can also be linked to other kinds of beliefs, like spiritual belief
1. Often resonates with normative mode
Eg 1 Hormonal influences
Eg 2 Neuroscience and education
- Links between one’s sex and one’s gender
- Boys have more capacity for special activities and girls for verbal
activities
oImportant for boys and girls to go to school in a segregated
environment so you can teach that they learn that way
Eg 3 Links with lived experience
- People’s observations in their everyday lives
oWhen parents talk about their children
He really loves cars, its just a way he has been
Shes always loved dolls
- Some people link this to sexuality as well
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2. But also essentialist challenges to dominant model via science
- Doesn’t always work the way of above
Eg 1 Links with lived experience
- Ive always felt that im straight/gay
- Those identify with transgendered identify it as being trapped in
the wrogn body
- La vie en rose
oBoy always thought he was a girl
o“so am I a boy or girl”
oIm a “girlboy”
oParents play tic tac toe to get a baby, when one wins , they
get an X or a Y
oHis X went in the trash
oThink it’s a scientific error
Eg 2 Science challenging ‘brain science’: Eliot, Lise. Pink Brain, Blue
Brain
http://fora.tv/2009/09/29/Lise_Eliot_Pink_Brain_Blue_Brain
- Arguing that there is things about girls and boys brains that
make them the way they are
oHas been challenged
- Men are from mars, girls from venus
- Wanted to explain why girls are doing good in what subjects
- Teachers are being taught how to teach a boys brain and a girls
brain
- Aren’t any clear cut differences, besides size, which is because of
height/size difference
- All organs are different in size
- 90s research that men and women process language differently
oWomen tend to use both sides while processing
oMen use left hemisphere
oHusband and wife team – Hardvard
Eg 3 Multiple sexes
A. Fausto-Sterling (1993). “The Five Sexes: Why male and
female are not enough” The Sciences (March/April 1993, 20-
24)
- Want them to be either one or the other
- Boy or female
- Those born with both, you need to choose between them and
most don’t feel that the decision should be made for them
-
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