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SOC103 lecture on gender and sexuality

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Alexandra Zylka October 19 , 2010 SOC103H1F – Gender and Sexuality Lecture Notes  Berger and Luckmann 1996 o Humans have “underdeveloped Instincts” o Humans require symbolic systems to compensate for lack on instincts. o Female dog has a maternal instinct –when she is fertile she will let out an odour. o Human behaviour on a whole is much more complex than animals. o If human sexual life, social life is not determined by our instincts then what determines it?  Because humans are not hardwired, we used culture or symbolic systems as a way of making sense of guiding ourselves through the world.  Culture o Culture is the sum of socially transmitted ideas, practices, and material objects that people create. o Culture gives us guidelines for how to think and act. o A society exists when people interact and share culture, generally in a geographically delimited area.  Gender o Adam and Eve o We assume two sexes exist wherever human beings exist – nothing culturally specific about Adam and Eve  Intersexed o A person with biological characteristics of both males and females, often consisting of some combination of male and female genitalia.  Transgender o A person whose gender indentity does not match their birth sex o Some transgender people present as either male or female, while others present as a third gender, neither male nor female. o Transmasculine, Transfeminine –defy binary gender system o Human gender may not be binary across all people in all places.  Anyone that deviates from the binary gender system must be sick, mental, deviant (depending on socializing agend)  Berdache or Two Spirit o Native American, third gender. o Born a man, dress as a woman and perform womanly tasks. o They were part female, part male. o Culture made room for a third gender.  Hijra o Indian gender o Born male, stronger identification as male. Makeup, prefer to have sex with males. o Castration would come at one point.  Travesti o In Brazil – born male, yet typically appear as women. o Injest silicone into the buttocks and cheeks o Rarely if ever cut of penis, they highly value the penis, o Do not consider themselves female, or male. o See themselves as a third gender. o Like a woman, retain their penis. o Often make a living of sex. (Have sex with males that prefer Travesti)  Ethnocentrism o Involves judging another culture exclusively by the standards of one’s own.  Adam and Eve o Do they exist? Is there only male and female? o A fact of nature? o Human beings seem in a wider variety of sex and gender that our society allows us.  Barbie o Around since 1959 o How do girls and boys learn to be men and women?  Through socialization o Barbie stimulates many concerns with girls and womens bodies. o Barbie as a real person would be inhumanly impossible. o Ken – sloppy, no sets for hygiene and exercise. o For boys there are..  Action Figures o GI Joe’s – shows particular roles that a man must do. o Buff, strong, powerful, active, aggressive, defiant. o Mortally impossible to have the muscles that action figures have –unless you have a shitload of steroids.  Doing Gender o Gender is not a set of traits that reside within individuals, but s
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