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Sociology 2241E.docx

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Sociology 2241E
Pamela Glatt

Sociology 2241EGender IssuesBiology Sex and GenderKimmel Chapter 1Culture Constructs Gender DifferencesOur society uses gender as the basis for the division of labourEvery single society differentiates people on the basis of genderEvery society is based on male dominanceInterplanetary theory universal gender difference women act like women and men act like men that we are from different planets almostBiological determinismdifferential socialization nature versus nurtureBiological determinism biologyThere are biological differences sex differences anatomical hormonal chemical and physical differences between woman and manBut biological differences does not lead men to dominate womenImagine women bearing children to be powerful Men will envySex biological apparatusGender meanings attached to those differences within a cultureSex varies little and gender varies a lot it varies cross culturallyThe difference between two cultures is often greater than the difference between two gendersDifferential socialization nurtureMen and women are different because we are taught to be differentWe are socialized to be different from birthWhat do they both argueBoth biological determinismdifferential socialization both assume 2 things1Women and men are markedly different from each other2Assume that gender domination is the inevitable outcome of gender differences that difference causes domination Biologists may be because pregnancy and lactation make women more vulnerable and need protection or testosterone makes men more aggressivePsychologists will argue that men and women are taught to devalue womens experiences perceptions and abilities and to overvalue mens We argue against both of themDifferences among men and women are not as great as the differences among men and womenGender difference is the product of gender inequality and not the other way around Social Constructionism neither gender difference nor gender inequality is inevitable in the nature of things nor more specifically in the nature of our bodiesNatureNurture positions say gender difference cannot be eliminatedBy eliminating gender inequality we will remove the foundation the gender difference is builtEliminating gender difference will actually increase difference among peopleMaking Gender Visible for Both Women and MenMasculinity is invisible and we need to integrate men into our curriculumMen themselves are invisible as menRacialized peoplePrivilege to one bgroup and not another group are often invisible to those who have the privilegePower is invisible to those who have itConsequences to invisibilityInvisibility of Privilege since privilege is invisible they become defensive over itThe objective of white male has consequences in our lives example of white professor saying men are privileged in North America she is biased but if a man says it it is factCurrent DebateThey never note that the problems of youth and violence are really problems of young men and violenceGender is never spoken about it becomes invisibleIf it was women It would be all about genderThey are doing what men have been taught to do for centuries not to get mad to get evenGender and Power Hegemonic Masculinity and Emphasized Femininity Gender varies across cultures over historical time among men and women within any culture over the lift courseMasculinity and femininity means different things to different people at different timesHegemonic the definition that is held up as the model for allHegemonic masculinity manly man against boy immature fag effeminate otherMost of these ideals are by the mediaIt arose through competition among men within patriarchal societiesEmphasized femininity compliance of gender inequality accommodating interestsdesires of men adapting to mans power and stress empathynurtureGender Difference as Deceptive DistinctionsDeceptive distinctions are not gender differences but the differences that are result of being in different positions or in different arenasPositions elicit themselves as the behaviors we see as genderedIt is our experience not our gender how we handle thingsBased on the research if women and omen were to experience identical structural conditions and role expectations then gender differences would disappear The Meaning of Mean DifferencesMean differences differences in the average scores obtained by women and menMore often than not there are more differences within women and men than between themWe need to explore why gender difference is so important to us and why we cling on to itDifference and Domination Individuals in a Gendered SocietyThe implanetary theory of gender difference assumes gender is a property of individuals and a component of ones identityBut we become gendered in a gendered societyInstitutional gender neutralityDifference and domination are produced and reproduced in our social interactions Reader Chapter 2Testosterone RulesMales account for less than 50 of the population but generate a huge proportion for the violenceControversy How much is testosterone involved in aggressionSome obvious research links testosterone with aggressionIt is assumed that individual differences in levels of aggression among normal individuals are driven by differences in levels of testosterone wrongIf you pace males in a social group testosterone levels predict nothing about who is going to be aggressiveBehavioral differences drive hormonal changes not the other way aroundNormal levels of testosterones are a prerequisite for normal levels of aggression BUT if one males genetic makeup predisposes him to higher levels of testosterone than another guy he isnt going to be more aggressiveTestosterone does not cause aggression it exaggerates aggression that is already thereIn the right context social conditioning can more than make up for the complete absence of the hormoneViolence is more complex than a single hormoneThe genetics of behaviour is meaningless outside the context of the social factors and environment it occurs in Reader Chapter 3Believing is Seeing Biology as Ideology thUntil the 18 century Western philosophersscientists thought there was one sex current Western thinkers see women and men as 2 different speciesWoman anatomical differences destines them for a whole different social life from menOur society is built on two classes of people women and menBodies differ but they are transformed by social practices to fit into salient categories of a society of what is male and femaleWomanhood experiences menstruation lactation gestation etc but it does not determine the social category of woman or femaleSocial Construction Theory it will be more useful instead of starting with the 2 classes to study gender in group patterns of behaviour and then look for identifying markers of people likely to enact these behavioursWhat Sports IllustrateCompetitive sports constructing masculine identity outlet for violenceaggression avenue for upward mobilitySports alter rules for men and womenoWomen gymnastic equipment geared to slim wiry prepubescent girls to not mature themoMen gymnastic equipment geared for muscular mature men not slim prepubescent boysSpeed size and strength seem to be the essence of sport women are naturally inferior at this but if women were the dominant sex sport would be geared towards flexibility balance strength timing etcStatus of menwomen is less to do with physiological capabilities and more with cultural and social meaningswho defines and profits from themMen athletes are glorified in the mass media and women are ignored
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