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
Female anatomy Feminine Affective & erotic desires
Heteronormativity is the reinforcement of certain viewpoints by many social institutions
and social policies. These viewpoints include the ide