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Lecture

SOSC 1185 9.0 - LECTURE # 4

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Department
Social Science
Course
SOSC 1185
Professor
Lee Wiggins
Semester
Fall

Description
1 SOSC 1185 9.0 - September, 28 , 2011 th Instructor: L. Wiggin Problematizing naturalism & biological determinism Naturalism – something we were born with, - How it’s supposed to be – assume that it’s correct/ appropriate Biological Determinism – who we are, what we do in terms of our social statuses/ relationships are determined by our biology ex. “ Men and women are biologically different, therefore, it is only natural …” - Biological differences can explain other social difference 1. Are men & women really so different? - Biological differences that determine who we are – what is natural - Instead of thinking of men and women as different – we should think of men and women as different variations a) Critical assessment of focus on biological differences • Awareness of possible similarities • Awareness of socially constructed differences as significant “Until we treat men and women the same socially then we have no way of telling what natural differences there may be between them.” (J.S. Mill, 1869) - Think about: even if there are natural differences, are they important, and should we make it important? b) Envision sexes as variations on a theme’ rather than opposites - used to only study women, now studying men as well - when men are expecting baby, their testosterone increases even though they are not the one carrying the baby - determining social status should be more complicated than only having two categories – men and women - studies of the brain should also be made – the brain we are born with is not the brain that we have at the end of our lives 2 - people who are targeted with stereotypes - if we have an enriched environment , our brains can create new pathways - our brains become different because of stereotypes  some researchers argue that all brains are female  the brain changes through its experiences and it’s env.  physical size used to be the marker between men and women  some girls who are too tall are given hormones  controlling  our biology can and does change – is not constant / static thing  keep in mind the possibility that there are many differences  ex. Size – not all men are tall; within the group of men, there are some pretty significant variations - be aware of challenging our variations c) Be aware of intersectionality & awareness of multiple jeopardy, multiple discrimination - Significant differences between women and men – in the past, not popular - Supporting differences between women and men which can attribute - Significant areas in past researches - girls being not good at math/science  classic area of study – the assumption that men and boys have certain cognitive areas that are not shared with women/ girls - Research shows no differences that can be identified between men/women in academics - May be due to social factors - Social behavior – supposed differences in aggressiveness, anger arousal and verbal/ non-verbal behavior - Any differences found her are due to gendering – socially instructed differences – not natural and usually not universal - Men and women have similar levels of anger arousal - Instrumental aggression – assumption that violence only occurs when people are emotionally aroused - some use violence to get what you want – power  ex. Playground, child has a cool toy, child#2 wants the toy, hit the child to get his toy – doesn’t have to be angry to be violent - men and women are not that different - research – very few significant differences between the sexes , the differences that exists are mainly cultural differences – status, privilege, power  not biology alone - biology is always invest with cultural meaning – cultural interpretation of biology - men and women are variations of a theme rather than opposites - understand our biology as changing – cultural meaning – interpret our biology, many diff. of men and women are based on dominant sociology - - Minority groups – lower in the hierarch 3 2. Sociobiology: a) What is socio-biology? • Believes that all social behaviour has its roots in biology. It is “the systematic study of the biological basis of all forms of social behaviour” (Wilson, 1978, p.16). • Demonstrates biological determinism or reducti
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