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Lecture 1

SOC365H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Sex Assignment, Sexual Orientation

Course Code
Adam Green

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SOC365 Lec 1 Jan 8
Determinants of a sex?
● Build
facial hair
● affect
● Genitals
1/2000 infants born of intersex; unclear whether it's male or female where a
medical designation must be made; genitals under 2.5cm is considered clitoris
process presumed that it's not okay for a human to be something other than male
or female
● Chromosomes
some males have XX chromosomes and some females have XY chromosomes
some humans also come with xxy, xxyy, etc
● Hormones
men have higher levels of testosterone & females have higher levels of estrogen
at old age you tend to have less hormones; males & females have similar levels
at this time
there's no such thing as just 2 sexes, there are 3, 4, or 5 sexes
What is the relationship between sex and gender?
Sex - biologically born
Sex assignment - male/female
Gender - meanings attached to sex assignment
identity - boy/girl
Gender Role
once you have a sexual designation, there is an assumption that a gender will
naturally follow to behave in certain ways of the gender
Sexual orientation
assumption is that if you're assigned as a male, identify as a boy, behave in
masculine behaviour than you are heterosexual
structures like this are problematic either worthy of crime, psychiatric attention,
ie. male at birth, assigned as a boy, but behaves in a feminine way - threatens the
Euro-American Binary sex and gender system
essentialists - sex/gender assignment as natural
social constructions - gender rooted in historical, cultural contexts
Society is key focal point to understanding gender in this course
Society - made up of institutions ie. marriage, family, parliament, court system
made up of culture - values, norms
made up of master statuses - race, class, ethnicity
Eating practices of a society -> Hunger
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