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SOSC 1920 (14)
Lecture

Biological Explanations of Gender
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Department
Social Science
Course
SOSC 1920
Professor
Elizabeth Brule
Semester
Fall

Description
Sept 25 - Biological Explanations of Gender Robert Sapolsky, “Testosterone Rules” p.7-11 [Reader]. [Notes] Subtraction experiment***** (subtracting testosterone) [7] • Stereotypes about gender exist • Testosterone cause aggressiveness in males [8] • Genes direct how testosterone affects males and how much they have of it • WhenACTUALLY the aggression causes higher level of testosterone to produce [9] • But if they have higher than 50% normal testosterone levels they will become more aggressive [10] • Testosterone doesn't cause aggression, but exaggerates the aggression already prevalent*** [11] • High androgen cause aggression and self dominance • Environment and social factor also have an impact on aggression Judith Lorber, “Believing Is Seeing: Biology as Ideology” p.11-20 [Reader] [Notes] [11] • 18th century western philosophers believed there was only one sex • Women’s genitalia (womb and vagina) are penis and scrotum turned inside out • Currently see them as different physically and sometimes two separate species [12] • Social life and social classifications separate the two genders Female and male are not pure categories due to infertility and no sperm count and now • transgendered and surgery can make one category become another [13] • In Olympics males are still viewed as stronger and bigger than women so thus they are tested in women leagues to make sure they don’t have an advantage • When studying them they (1)start with two social categories (2) assume they’re both biologically different (3) look for similarities and differences between them & (4) attribute what they find for the social categories to sex differences • Its suggested that instead of studying them as two different gender groups, it may be more useful to study the group of patterns in behavior and only then look for identifying markers of the people like to enact such behaviors {What Sports Illustrate} • Competitive sports constructs masculine identities and are legitimate outlets for violence, aggression and upward mobility • Women are treated as a lesser status in completive sports • Olympic sports are made specifically for certain genders of certain age, based on ability [14] • Most western sports are built on psychically trained men’s bodies • Speed, size and strength are the essence of sports and women are inferior • Men athletes are glorified in the media, whereas females are ignored • Sports construct men’s bodies to be powerful and women’s bodies to be sexual [15] • When women demonstrate physical strength like men, theyre labeled unfeminine {Dirty Little Secrets} • Sports - gendered bodies, technology - gendered skills • Computers are made by men because they have more of the skill mathematically and interest • Women need simple jobs… [16] • Men are machines and are a natural combination (its just their programmed role) but by them taking on the role, and women allowing them to take the role, it is giving them social power. {Social Bodies and the bathroom problem} • Differences between male and female bodies are socially meaning less until social practices transform them into social facts [17] Males body is looked at as what is human, females is looked as what is different from man • • Bathroom problem is, though their may be an equal amount of facilitates, women always have longer line ups as physically there are more steps and things to get done (change baby aswell if needed) in compared to men {The Paradox of Human Nature} • Gendered people emerge of the social order (food production and people production) • Most people follow their gender status because the norms and expectations get built into their sense of worth and identity as a human being and because they believe their social way is the natural way [18] • Paradox of human nature is that its a manifestation of cultural meanings, social relationships and power politics --- “not biology, but culture becomes destiny” • When we compare just straight men and female, we find what we are looking for; either we are very similar or very different • Thus we need to compare in different categories and find patterns, then distinguish between gender. Tutorial • Difficult knowledge: chaotic knowledge • Presentations • What we learned • What challenged us • Dynamic • Talk to class about topic and how it applies to society now • Relatable • Talk for 10 minutes straight and one question at the end • One--opened ended question at the end of the class • End of tutorial that day hand in a submission 1-2 pages. • Your reaction
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