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ACMA01H3 – Lecture8.docx

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Sarah Kleeb

ACMA01H3 – Lecture #8 What is Gender?  Gender is a continuum rather than a binary o Not a yes/no, male/female concept  Sex – either the two main categories, in to which humans and most other living things are divided based on their base of reproduction  Gender – the state of being male or female o However, the state of being male or female is only used to depict behavioural / psychological / social / cultural difference, rather than biological  Masculinity and femininity  Sex is biological/physical, gender is behavioural/psychological  Sex is the presence or absence of physical traits and manifestations  Gender is variable is dependent on expression rather than physicality o We “perform” our gender  Gender Identity – self identification, refers to the ways in which we relate to or reject masculine/feminine traits within ourselves: how we see ourselves, and present ourselves  Females will usually define themselves feminine, and male as masculine  “Societal members decide what male or female means” no pre existing universal standard of what is masculine or feminine, they are socially determined o Gender roles – expected gender behavioural of female and males in society  E.g. men as the worker  We learn and experience a set of traits that are identified as masculine or feminine o Based on self identification we gravitate to acting either more male or female o Although some people fall somewhere between o Social ideas of what it means to be masculine or feminine o Although these are variable and changes depends on the individual and their life experiences o However, we live in a society that it is insistent  Washroom signs are an ideology  Gender stereotypes o Masculine as strong, aggressive, independent, active, rebellious o Femininity as graceful, innocent, weak, submissive, accepting  So what? o There is no connection between biological sex and gendered behaviour or norms  These things are constructed, and are not natural  The cultural expectations and socializations of individuals let to behaviours we consider masculine or femin
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