SOC265H1 WEEK 3 The Social Construction of Gender in a Gendered Society Jan. 24 , 2013 1
Gender Differences between Women and Men & the Social Processes that Create Them
Different conceptualization about gender
What are those gender differences?
The social processes that produce the gender inequality
I. Gender Differences in Individuals: Are Women & Men ‘Opposite Sexes’?
A. Conceptualizing Gender as Individual Difference: Gender as a (stable) set of characteristics
Karin Martin: Teachers’ different treatment of preschool boys’ & girls’ behaviour shapes how they
use their bodies—it ‘genders’ their bodies—and it influences their behaviour (i.e. it socializes
1.***Martin’s article Becoming a gender body: Practices of preschool—what we mean by gender body?
Gender becomes embedded in body postures, musculature, and tensions in our bodies
Bodies that clearly delineate gender status facilitate the maintenance of the gender hierarchy
Gender relations depend on the successful gender presentation, monitoring, and interpretation of
2.Gendering of the body in childhood is the foundation on which further gendering of the body occurs
throughout the life course.
3.Hidden school curriculum of disciplining the body is gendered and contributed to the embodiment of
gender in childhood, while the process ordinarily begins in the family.
4.The way boys and girls were using their bodies were being controlled and the teachers were
attempting to control in order to push the kids to conform the norm of a good behaviour in a school.
5.The teacher treated boys and girls somewhat differentlyboys and girls react differently
Girls were more likely to be reprimanded than the boys when they were not behave as what the
teacher has told or yelling
Girls were more likely to obey than boys—girls learn you get positive feedback if obeying
Girls were more constrained
6.Influence from parents like the dress for the girls—the effect of clothes affect children: girls who were
wearing dresses caught more attention; girls were more constrained
7.Boys tended to rule in the playintervene the girls.
8.The kids’ bodies were being genderedgirls restraining themselves more than boys in terms of bodies
9.Classic example of socializationlearning, and creating gender differences
10. 1 Gender’s meaning—people stable characteristic, personality.
Further, develop to acquire the identity
11. Kids create, shape and police the borders of gender
12. Gendered physicalities are not natural, not are they easily and straightforwardly acquired.
13. Girls and boys fill social space with their bodies in different ways—these differences create context
for social relations in which differences confirm inequalities of power.
14. One way that bodies are gendered and physical differences are constructed through social
institutions and their practices: families, schools, churches, workplace...
B. Other Meanings of Gender
2 Gender as an idea as difference or discourse, and changed overtime
1.Gender as the idea of difference Barrie Thorne, Gender Play: elementary school children playing
with the idea of “the girls” vs. “the boys” SOC265H1 WEEK 3 The Social Construction of Gender in a Gendered Society Jan. 24 , 2013 2
Focus on gender differences created by social processes
The division between boys and girls creates gender differences
Kids played different games with themes like ‘the boys’ chasing ‘the girls’kids themselves were
playing the gender as different
Gender is salient sometimes, not all the timesnot permanent
Judith Lorber—“Night to His Day: The Social Construction of Gender” & “Believing is Seeing”:
sports and the construction of girls/women as feminine, petite and graceful, boys/men as
strong, muscular and fast.
Gender construction starts with assignment to a sex categories on the basis of what the genitalia
look like at birth, until puberty, sexual feelings and desires and practices have been shaped by
gendered norms and expectations
As a social institution, gender is one of the major ways that human beings organized their lives.
The process of gendering and its process are legitimated by religion, law, science, and the society’s
entire set of values.
Gender, family, kinship and division of labor—social institutions
Gender cannot be equated with biological and physiological differences between human females
Once gender is ascribed, the social order constructs and holds individuals to strongly gendered
norms and expectations
The social institution of gender insists only that what they do is perceived as different.
Gender as process, stratification, and structure
o Process—gender creates the social differences that define “women” and “men”.
o Stratification—gender ranks men above women of the same race and class.
o Structure—gender divides work in the home and in economic production, legitimates those
in authority, and organized sexuality and emotional life.
Gender inequality has social funct