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Lecture 9

PSYC 1F90 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Hegemonic Masculinity, Social Constructionism, Margaret Mead

Course Code
John Mitterer

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Mar 16, 2012
Lecture 9: Gender and Sexuality
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
Sexuality: desire

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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
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)
Eg 3 Links with lived experience – it is just a natural way; girls turned toys
into dolls
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