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Lecture 8

lecture 8 ~ Gender Inequality.docx

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Sandra Colavecchia

Gender, Sexuality and Inequality Definitions  Sex versus Gender
 o  Female XX, Male XY
 o  Gonads: Ovaries, Testes  Gender Identity and Gender Roles  Transgender, Transsexual, Intersex Sex versus Gender
  Gender: Social understanding and categories; focus on the social meanings attached to being male or female; how gender socialization constructs masculinity and femininity  Gender shapes our social experiences and that is why it’s important
  Sex: Biological l understanding and dichotomous categories, focus on physiological differences Ch. 14 SIQ McMullin and Cairney: Self-esteem varies by gender and structural advantage (Structural disadvantage: women, SES (socio-economic status) have low self-esteem Self-esteem is how one feels about themselves. People with high self-esteem feel worthy, satisfied with themselves Transgendered  Individuals who depart from normative roles about being men or women, people who believe sex assigned at birth does not fit who they are  Some transgendered are transsexuals who want to change their gender by changing their appearance including gender reassignment therapy Intersex  An Individual whose chromosomal and/or hormonal make-up and/or sexual/ reproductive anatomy is different than what is “typical  An intersexed individual may have biological features of both the male and female sexes  Intersexuality: Medical Community, surgery should not be considered until child is old enough to make their own decision, most surgeries are done though for aesthetic reasons, and not medical reasons  Intersex: Intersex Community “Nature doesn’t decide where the category of “male” ends and the category of “intersex” beings, or where the category of “intersex” ends and the category of “female” begins. Humans decide.” (Intersex Society of North America), and unwanted genital surgeries for anyone born with what someone believes to be non- standard sexual anatomy A Sociological Perspective  Gender is socially constructed
  Gender varies historically and cross-culturally
  Research on intersex has renewed interest in biology to challenge notions of dichotomy What can we learn about social construction of gender from studying the intersex? – Watch Video * Definitions  Heterosexuality, Homosexuality, Bisexuality, Pansexuality (Pan means all)
  Heterosexism
  Sociologists talk about reinforcement of Heterosexuality
  Sociologists are also interested in sexual scripts: they are a set of ideas/messages that we get conveyed to use through different ways to learn about sex  Families are matrilineal – caregiving is done in this, but sex life of adults is separate from family life
  Book: Hogle, Hooking Up: University students and the concept of hooking up
  Social response to sexuality is important to consider  Sexual orientation is not fixed, changes overtime Ch. 9 SIQ Kimmel and Plante p. 90 “Sex is both more and less than a biological drive – it is a primary mechanism by which we constitute our identities, and it is also just another arena of social interaction.”
We need to study sex to understand other social processes
Even though sex is private, it can be used to understand a wider context Women’s Movement
 Early Wave (19 th C)
 1 Group: Equal Rights Feminists (i.e. Suffrage): Want women’s right to vote, attend university; fought for women’s economic independence, fight how married women could not own property 2nd Group: Maternal Rights Feminists (i.e. moral crusades and socials services): Organized and provided greater social services for families, protect women from abuse
Believed women were stronger than men because of their ability to be mothers Second Wave Feminism (1960’s – 1980’s): The Women’s movement was connected t
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