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Gender & Sexuality

Course Code
Sheldon Ungar

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Sociology October 27
, 2010.
Gender & Sexuality
Reading: NS ch. 4, SiQ ch. 9 @ p. 89
Sex refers to anatomical, chromosomal and hormonal features that typically make
one male or female
Gender consist of feelings, attitudes and behaviours typically associated with
being male or female
Gender identity is ones 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 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
Indicators of Gender inequality
Ratio of males to females in primary, secondary and tertiary education. The
higher the ratio, the higher the level of gender inequality
Men as a percent of parliamentarians in the lower house (or the single house in
unicameral political systems). The higher the ratio, the higher the level of gender
Participation rate of women in the paid labour force. The lower the rate, the
higher the level of gender inequality
Prevalence of female genital mutilation. The higher the prevalence the higher the
level of gender inequality.
The wealthier the country, the less gender inequality
People are transgendered when their gender identity does not exactly match the sex
assigned to them at birth. They blur widely accepted gender roles by, for example, cross-
dressing. About 1 in every 5,000 to 10,000 people in North America is transgendered
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