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Lecture 14

Sociology Lecture 14 & 15.docx

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McMaster University
Sandra Colavecchia

Sociology Lecture 14 November 7 2012 Gender, Sexuality and Inequality  Sex vs. Gender  Gender Identity and Gender Roles  Transgender, transsexual, intersex Sex vs. Gender  Sex: biological understanding and dichotomous categories; focus on physiological differences  Gender: social understanding and categories; focus on the social meanings attached to being male or female; how gender socialization constructs masculinity and femininity Gender Identity  Our belonging in our gender group  Sociologists talk about gender roles  It shapes our social experiences, it is an important independent variable in many studies  CH 14 SIQ McMillin and Cairney: o Self-esteem varies by gender and structural advantage o What are the predictors o Women tend to have a lower self-esteem than males (in all age groups) o Self-esteem is related to structural advantage o Groups that experience structural disadvantage such as women, groups of low social socialization are more likely to have low self-esteem Transgendered  Transgendered: individuals who depart from normative roles about being men or women  Some transgendered are transsexuals who want to change their gender by changing their appearance including gender reassignment therapy  Not about sexual orientation but rather roles 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  Intersex: intersex community  If the concern is only how the baby looks, then surgery should not be done by doctors, but rather should be done because there is a health risk  This reflects a social bias  Lead to physical, emotional, and social problems for the child  Some people die with intersex anatomy and they don’t even know it 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 Definitions  Heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, pansexuality  Heterosexism  If we are raised to only knowing heterosexuality, then we are accustomed to it  Sex is not universally experienced, it is socially experienced  CH 9 SIQ Kimmel and Plante o “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.”  Historical and cross cultural variations  Sexual orientation is not always fixed  Social response to sexuality is important to consider  Methodological challenges in measuring sexual orientations  Sexual orientation is fluid and changes to some people over the cours
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