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sexuality and gender

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Dr. Money had the son’s sex reassigned after electrical cauterizing needle cut off Brenda/Bruce/David’s penis, which left him intersexed Intersexed infants are babies born with ambiguous genitals because of a hormone inbalance in the womb or some other cause. Your sex depends on whether you were born with distinct male or female genitals and a genetic program that released either male or female hormones to stimulate the development of your reproductive system. Your gender is your sense of being male or female and your playing of masculine and feminine roles in ways defined as appropriate by your culture and society. Gender identitiy is a person’s identification with, or sense of belonging to, a particular sex – biologically, psychologically and socially. A gender role is the set of behaviours associated with widely shared expectations about how males and females are supposed to act. Resaerch shows babies first develop a sense of gender identity between the ages of 2 and 3. They get a sense of being a boy or girl at the age of 1. Social learning of gender begins very early in life. Heterosexuality is the preference for members of the opposite sex as sexual partners. Essentialism is a school of thought that views gender differences as a reflection of biological differences between women and men. Freud offered an essentialist explanation of male-female differences. Believed that male And female anatomy account for the development of distinct masculine and feminine gender roles. Conflict and feminist theorists disagree sharply with the essentialist account. They have lodged 4 main criticisms against it. 1. Essentalists ignore the historical and cultural viariability of ender and sexuality… gender role isn’t constant, women are developing traits and becoming more competitive, independent etc in the past few decades. 2. Tends to generalize from the average, ignoring variations within gender groups… eg, essentialists say that men are more aggressive than woman and make it seem like it is true for all women, but is not. 3. Little or no evidence directly supports the essentialists major claims. (haven’t collected any experimental or survey data showing boys are more independent then girls) 4. Essentalists explanations for gender differences ignore the role of power. Gender socialization Parents encourage their sons to engage in competitive play, discourage daughters from doing likewise… parents treat male and female children differently Gender segregation and interaction At a school a teacher observed a grade 4 or 5 classroom… noticed a lot of ‘boundary crossing’ when boys play stereotypically girls games, and girls playing stereotypically boys games. Gender ideologies is a set of interrelated ideas about what constitutes appropriate masculine and feminine roles and behaviour. Eg. An aspect of gender ideology becomes important in grade 9 & 10 when people decide whether they want to work at home or get a ob when they are older. The mass media and body image TV reinforces gender roles, shows males being more aggressive, & shows women working in the kitchen. Body image – women want to lose weight, care more about their stomachs more than breasts…. Men want to lose weight but more men than women want to gain weight, men care about chest more than stomach… people willing to take 3 years off their life to have the body image they want Male and female interaction Men are more likely to say I in many situations, as females say we… men want to draw attention to personal accomplishments. Glass ceiling is a social barrier that makes it difficult for women to rise to the top level of management. Homosexuality Transgendered people break society’s gender norms by defying the rigid distinction between male and female., some are transsexuals Transsexuals believe they were born with the ‘wrong’ body. They identify with, and want to live fully as, members of the ‘opposite’ sex. (1 in 30000 ppl in North America) Homosexuals are people who prefer sexual partners of the same sex (gay/lesbian) Bisexual are people who enjoy sexual partners of both sexes. Some scientists believe that homosexuality is genetic, others think it is chiefly hormonal, others point to life experiences during early childhood. Sociologists are more interestd in the way homosexuality is socially constructed than the origins of homosexuality. It was sexual minorities themselves who provided the social and political energy needed to legitimize sexual diversity among an increasingly large section of the public. Story of chrtistian hernandez, stabbed.. page 322 Homophobic people are afraid of homosexuals. Gender Inequality Men didn’t always have more power and authority, it was socially constructed by three major socio- historical processes which account for the growth of gender inequality. 1. Long distance warfare and conquest… (religions gave primacy to male warrior gods, god became a male who willed that men should rule woman.. Judaism, Christianity and islam all embody ideas of male dominance.. and they all derive from the tribes that conquered Old Europe in the fifth melenium) (also catered to men’s strengths and so greatly
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