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Lecture # 3 Cultural Construction.doc

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York University
Human Rights and Equity Studies
HREQ 1900
Nadiah Habib

Lecture # 3: Cultural Construction of Females & Males The Fabulous Story of Baby “X” -- One of the first defining aspects of our identities is our sex: Is it a boy or a girl? And with this defining moment the Sex/gender system begins to manifest itself on our bodies, minds, psychology, etc. and with it comes the social investment in the assumed binary relationship between boys/girls; ladies/gentlemen; man/woman; males/females. This relationship is premised on absolute difference. At the same time, this assumed absolute difference, disciplines not only our behaviour, but also how others behave toward us and our place in the social world. Physical sex, gender identity, and gender roles should in any given person align to either all-male or all-female norms, and in this system heterosexuality is considered to be the only ‘normal’ sexual orientation. We live in a “heteronormative” world. Sex Gender Sexual Orientation Male anatomy Masculine Affective & erotic desires for females Female anatomy Feminine Affective & erotic desires for males Heteronormativity is the reinforcement of certain viewpoints by many social institutions and social policies. These viewpoints include the ide
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