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Robert Brym (148)

Gender and Sexuality

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Robert Brym

SOC101 Oct. 27 , 2010 Gender and Sexuality Barbie based on the creation of a German cartoonist; first modern doll modeled after an adult People thought that mothers would not buy a doll like Barbie What do girls learn when they play with Barbie? –Way of living the ideal woman, could be or do whatever, way of living vicariously Much attention paid to physical appearance When girls play with Barbie they seem to learn how they can be slim, blonde, & satisfactory to a man Boy’s toys such as GI Joe perpetuate stereotypical male roles Single sexed products are pushed in today’s markets Sex vs. Gender Culture is something we learn, in contrast however; some people think that gender and sexuality are not learned but rather rooted in our biological makeup Sex is a function of anatomy, chromosomes It is debatable the way we express our gender, and sexuality as being biologically deterred Humans express a wide variety of sexual behaviour, influenced by the surroundings in which we find ourselves Sociologists make a clear distinction between sex and gender: Sex: refers to anatomical, chromosomal and hormonal features that typically make one male or female. Gender: consists of the feelings, attitude and behaviours typically associated with being male or female Gender identity: is one’s sense of belonging to a particular sex biologically, psychologically and socially. Adopting a gender role involves behaving according to widely shared expectations about how males or females are supposed to act. Essentialism Essentialism stresses the biological roots of gender and sexuality, ignoring their historical and cultural variability. Gender differences change over time. Gender inequality varies across societies. Mate selection criteria vary across societies. Differences between women and men are fixed according to essentialists Criticism on essentialist POV: 1) Ignore the historical and culture variability 2) Explanation of gender differences ignore the role of power (behavioural differences derive from men’s ability to assert their preferences over women) The social context in which we live has changed drastically, women’s position in relation to men has improved, thus; changing their behaviour Women take on more traditional masculine traits Gender differences are not inherited; they differ amongst societies What accounts for the fact that gender roles differ amongst societies around the world? Wealth: Richer countries on the whole tend to be more gender egalitarian than poorer countries As countries industrialize, & the service sector of the economy develops there is an increasing demand for labour, particularly women Employers want people who can do the job well, therefore; the attitude that a woman cannot do a job as well as a man weakens Religion: Countries with large Islamic majorities tend to have women in subordinate positions, in practice not many women in upper level jobs or parliament, do not earn incomes anywhere near that of men Main determinants of gender inequality: 1) Countries with a high GDP had the least gender inequality 2) The higher the percentage of Muslims, the higher the level of gender inequality 3) Former Communist re
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