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Sociology (Arts)
SOCI 507
Melanie Dirks

Aggression: -tend to find differences in aggression b/w men and women -boys are more aggressive than girls and prefer violent toys and superheroes etc. -when look at people in federal prison for violent crime, 90% are male -sociobiologycan explain male aggression as an interaction b/w nature and nurture -males are innately aggressive to some degree b/c of testosterone =nature -nurture heightens that male aggression Navigation: -how you find your way somewhere -differences b/w men and women (nature or nurture?) -women tend to navigate based on landmarks whereas males tend to navigate spatially (N, S, E, W) -the higher the testosterone level in men, the more likely they are to navigate spatially= nature -evolutionary psychologiststhose who focus on nature -human beings were hunter gatherers (hunted animals and gathered fruits and vegetables) -men hunted and women gathered -men travelled long distances from home when engaged in the hunt -more effective to use spatial form of navigation -evolutionmale navigation is better adapted to hunting -natural selectionnature selects traits that work and so if selected, people live longer and able to pass that trait on to their offspring -gathering: done by women -landmark navigation best adapted for gathering -evolution and natural selection operate on both male and female -women contributed 70% of food stuff and so there is no hint of male navigation being superior -each is shaped by natural selection Stereotyping: -can find this type of gender stereotyping by interviewing parents w/n 24 hours of birth -infants differ in anatomy (but look identical at birth) -how do they describe male/female children? -describe daughters as softer, finer features, weaker, smaller, prettier, more attentive -describe sons as firmer, larger, better coordinated, alert, stronger, heartier -gender is a category and it is assumed female infants have female qualities -however, it was found that female infants are heartier -infant mortality rateswhen child dies w/n first 6 months of life -higher in boys than girls -women are also found to be heartier than men and so they live longer (~8 years) Why?-->women can live longer and overcome illness more effectively b/c they’re more important for reproduction -when it comes to reproduction, men are dispensable (they produce millions of sperm whereas women produce 1 egg per month) Sexuality and Gender: Essentialism (nature) vs. constuctionism (nurture) Sex vs. gender: -sex is biological =genetic -you’re gender is your sense of being male or female -playing your role is defined by culture Sex history: -in antiquity=the days of ancient Rome/Greece (Mesopotamian civilization) -had a lot of sexual imagery, fertility cults, they were upfront about sexuality -in middle ages, especially w/ Christianity, it became erota-phobia -they say the body is corrupt and sinful and it gets in the way of worshipping God -best way to avoid this was to go into isolation th 20 century=the sexual century -things changed -first half, sex was a taboo, don’t discuss but if people did, they used code words “she’s in a family way”=pregnant -by the middle of the 20 century there was survey resear
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