October 19th, 2010
Gender and Sexuality
Berger & Luckmann 1966
humans arent programmed for behaviour, dont have as many instincts as animals
dogs in packs, know how to hunt and forage from birth
human behaviour much more complex
if human social/sexual life isnt defined by instincts then what is it defined by
we use culture and symbolic systems to guide self through world
culture - sum of socially transmitted ideas, practices, and material objects that people
create. gives us guidelines to think and act
society exists when people interact and share culture, generally in geography delimited area
we assume there are only two sexes - male or female.
not entirely true, can be intersexed at birth. has combination of male and female
characteristics and genetalia
transgender - gender identity does not match birth sex or a third gender, neither male nor
idealogies - rooted in social constructions/artefacts, not nature
two gender system is actually idealogy, not from nature.
some aspects of society are so intertwined that it is difficult for people to accept different
berdache/two spirit - native persons (typically male) that were part male and part female
married other males, had special tasks (ie religious burial)
hijra - indian person (usually male) that dresses as woman. accepted role. undergoes
travesti - brazil (usually male), inject silicon into butt and chest to emulate women.
recognize self as third gender.
ethnocentrism - judging other culture exclusively by standards of one's own
barbie - part of north american culture
stimulates weight concerns about weight/image in girls
West & Zimmerman
gender not set of traits within individuals but something individuals do in social