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SOCI 1002 (204)
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SOCI 1002 w9.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOCI 1002
Professor
Kathleen Moss
Semester
Winter

Description
SOCI 1002 E Foundations of Sociology Week 9: Gender and Sexual Orientation Gender • Sociologists use ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ to distinguish biological sex identity from learned gender roles. • A person is born male or female (or some combination, i.e. hermaphrodite) but becoming a man or woman is by social and cultural expectations of men’s and women’s behavior, attitudes and physical appearance. • Sex: born with male/female genitals and released male or female hormones to stimulate development of your reproductive system. • Gender: sense of being male/female and playing masculine/feminine roles that are appropriate by culture and society. • Transgendered: people break society’s gender norms by defying the rigid distinction between the genders. • Transsexuals: believe they were born with the “wrong” body. They identify want to live fully as members of the “opposite” sex. • Essentialism: School of thought that views gender differences as reflection of biological differences between women and men. o Ignores historical and cultural variability of gender. o Tends to generalize from the average, ignoring variations within gender groups. o Little or no evidence that directly supports essentialists’ major claims. o Ignores the role of power. • Social constructionism: Regards gender differences as constructed by social structure and culture. o Conflict and feminist perspectives reflect social constructionism. o Suggests natural features of life, such as gender, are sustained by social processes that vary both historically and culturally. o Also is reflected in symbolic interactionism, which focuses on way people attach meaning to things. • Gender Identity: one’s definition of oneself as a woman/man. o Self-concept o Shapes our expectations for ourselves o Abilities and Interests o How we interact with others • Gender socialization: learn the expectations according to their sex. o Parents: Physical contact, compliments, toys. o Peers: How children play with one another. o School: Teachers, books, class experience. o Mass Media: How women and men are portrayed in terms of occupations and roles, main characters, cultural ideal of womanhood and manhood. Male Aggressiveness • Intimate Partner Violence (6% of Canadian women in 2004 through victimization survey, down from 12% in 1993). • Sexual Assault (85% of sexual assault of women are by men they know). • Sexual Harassment. • Quid pro quo (when sexual threats or bribery are made a condition of employment decisions). • Hostile environment (involves sexual jokes, comments, and touching that interferes). Gender Institutions • Patriarchy: Refers to society in which men have power over women. • Gendered Institutions: when entire institutions are patterned by gender. o Stereotypical expectations o Interpersonal relationships o The division of labor along lines of gender o The images and symbols that support these divisions o The different placement of men and women in social, economic, and political hierarchies of institutions. • Earnings gap: between men and women is one of most important expressions of gender inequality today. Women earn less than men do at every level of education. o Overt Discrimination: Sexism – Discrimination on the basis of sex and gender. o Gender Socialization/Gender Segregation: refers to the distribution of men and women in different jobs in the labour force. o Second Shift: Even though many men are more involved in housework and childcare than has been true in the past, most of this work still falls on women. • Feminism: the movement for social, political, and economic equality of men and women. Public opinion polls confirm that when people are given this definition, 67 percent say they agree with feminism. • One indicator of progress of women is Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM). • Is computed by United Nations and is based on the following: o Women’s share of seats in Parliament o Women’s share of administrative, managerial, professional, and technic
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