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Lecture 9

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John Mitterer

1 Mar 16, 2012 Lecture 9: Gender and Sexuality Outline: I/ Sex, gender and sexuality II/ Essentialism and constructionism III/ Gender and childhood IV/ Sexuality and childhood 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 2 B) The dominant model Sex: male/female Gender: masculine/feminine Sexuality: heterosexual attraction C) Concerns with this model •Inequality and limiting options – especially when we have a history of valuing masculine over feminine •Lived gender and sexuality more complicated Over to you... Are there patterns in how girls and boys behave differently? Why? Why are there differences? – Hormones, society influences on gender What are some examples that challenge these patterns? Why these challenges? II/ Essentialism and constructionism A) Essentialism – the idea that we have something inside us that is inherit, unchanging (essence).Essential part could be biological (like hormones), or it could be spiritual. 1. Often resonates with normative mode • Eg 1 Hormonal influences - • Eg 2 Neuroscience and education- girls are getting better at school, guys as a whole are not doing as well. (Ideas that we should teach boys a different way because they have a different brain) • into dolls with lived experience – it is just a natural way; girls turned toys ← 3 2. But also essentialist challenges to dominant model via science ← • Eg 1 Links with lived experience – it doesn’t always fit within the dogmatic view of the two genders. ← • Eg 2 Science challenging ‘brain science’: Eliot, Lise. Pink Brain, Blue Brain ← - there is no difference in structure between a girl or boy brain (except that a boy’s brain is 9% bigger than a girl’s) ← • 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) B) Social constructionism (and post-structuralism) – social perspective is most important 1. Review constructionism- discourse is an important figure of social constructionism. They see how we shape the world, and what we see as important. - Social constructionism often challenges what we learn in other realms. 2. Gender and sexuality as produced - it is created culturally in everything we do 3. Gender and sexuality as diverse cross-culturally and historically • e.g. Margaret Mead, Sex and Temperment in Three Primitive Societies (1935): Arapesh, Mundugamor and Tchambuli -she found that men in this group were more nurturing, and that women were the more dominant ones. -the point was that different people organize gender in different ways • e.g. Two-spirited – in natives ; people who had a bit of feminine in them and a bit of masculine in them • e.g. Shifts in Western gender – gender changes over time. In what men or women are expected to wear etc. - pink used to be a very masculine job. - we see changes in jobs and the stereotypes in them (male nurses, male secretaries, female doctors etc) 4 4. Hegemonic masculinity – there is no hegemonic femininity because hegemonic is a dominant group and you can’t have that. Others argue that there are women who are more dominant. - R.W. Connell ←- Form of masculinity considered most dominant in society; this dominance will shift between different cultures. ←- Hegemonic masculinity here and now- linked to a kind of masculine that is athletic, will fight if necessary, doesn’t show emotions or is considered irrational, someone who is straight. ←- Defined in opposition to Others- an Other is a kind of person who does not follow the hegemonic masculinity , someone who denigrates women 1.Gender as an on-going process •E.g. Messner, Dunbar and Hunt. 2000. The Televised Sports Manhood Formula. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 24: 380-394. •E.g.: Pascoe, C.J. Dude You’re a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality
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