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SOC103 - Chapter 8 - joletta '12.docx

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Ryerson University
SOC 103
Tonya Davidson

WEEK 4 – Tuesday September 25 , 2012th SOCIOLOGY OF GENDER & SEXUALITIES Sex = determination of male or female on the basis of a set of socially agreed upon biological criteria (anatomy) - Rooted in biology, our physical selves, bodies are male or female or intersexed Gender = socially constructed characteristics associated with girls and boys (masculine and femininity)[historical cultural meaning] - ‘sex refers to the biological apparatus, the male and the female; gender is masculinity and femininity – what is means to be a man or a woman’ Kimmel - The socially constructed characteristics associated with the sexes, bodies are socially produced to be masculine or feminine Predominant Gender Story i) Bodies are born in 2 types : Male & Female – challenged by – by intersexed ppl aka hermaphrodite ii) Bodies are gendered masculine and feminine – challenged by – transgendered iii) Bodies are attracted to opposite-type bodies (heterosexuality) – challenged by – queer community, homosexualiy iv) Reproduction of bodies and gender - choosing to have children or not v) Is produced/reproduced wherever gendering happens – media vi) Is produced/reproduced through borderwork – punishments that people do not conform to these ideologies and privileges for people who do (eg. Baby showers, weddings) (eg. Hate crimes, gay bashing, public policies) Dichotomous Thinking Binary construction = diametrically opposite groups - Divide social world into absolutes, thinking in terms of black & white, female & male - Based on binaries which are not equal in power - Binaries are not stable…they require borderwork (social sanctions that ensure that these gender ideals seem natural, universal and timeless) MALE FEMALE - Are rational - are emotional - Are physically strong - are physically weak - Gain wisdom with age - lose sex appeal (therefore value) with age - Are independent - are dependent (on men-for power, validation) GENDER IDEALS - Hegemonic Masculinity = normative ideal of dominant masculinity - Not officially endorsed but - Men feel coerced to produce themselves to be in line with masculinity - Marched by things like - White, Old, Heterosexual, in control, independent, well educated, ability, stoic and serious Masculinities i) ‘qualitatively different types of masculinity are produced within the same social setting ii) Types of masculinity form a hierarchy iii) Difference not a matter of free choice iv) Differences created by race, ethnicity, class, age, sexual orientation Feminities - Emphasized Femininity = normative ideal of femininity based on compliance with women’s subordination to men. - Nurturing, shopping, cleans, teaches, caring - Dependent, to be successful they have to transcend their dominant gender norms - Ideal woman is a cheerleader Intersexed individuals – those born with ambiguous genitalia AKA hermaphrodites (combo of m/f chromosomes Gender Relations = organizing principles that shape and order interactions between as well as the relative social importance of women and men Transgender = range of people who do not fit into normative constructions of sex and gender Transexual = a person who undergoes sex reassignment which may include surgeries Infantilizing Women - Women being ideal children Focus on: women & reality TV from Jennifer Pozner (2010) - Catty & Manipulative - Stupid - Incompetent - Gold Diggers Patriarchal Dividend - Where men have power/control - ‘the advantage of men as a group from maintaining an unequal gender order’ - To line all characteristics of ideal man, can be CEO, husband etc, for ideal women, not compatible Sociology of Sexualities - Sexual orientation - Sexual identity - Sex acts - Commodification of sex - Sexual politics HETEROsex Our understanding of sexuality is phallocentric – we understand sex from the perspective of the penis - Phallocentrism – based
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