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PSYC203-Gender and Medicalization.docx

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University of Otago
Dione Healey

PSYC203- Gender and Medicalization  Defining Sex/Gender -Sex: “The sum of those differences in the structure and function of the reproductive organs on the ground of which beings are distinguished as male and female” -Gender: “… a euphemism for the sex of a human being, often intended to emphasize the social and cultural, as opposed to the biological, distinctions between the sexes”  Defining Sex -Best defined as physiological differences -Typically operationalized as a chromosomal dichotomy: XX = female versus XY = male -Shade of grey (physical intersex conditions)” -Androgen insensitivity syndrome( XY(male) appearing female) -Androgenital syndrome (XX(female) appealing male “Pseudo-penis”)  Defining Gender -Best defined as role differences -Constantly presenting and “performing” our gender -Clothing that is typical for your *sex*? -Normal roles= socially constructed (and evolving)  Gender Role Stereotypes -Socially constructed gender roles: Masculine Feminine Culture(work) Nature(health) War Nurturing “Agency” “Communion” (focus on self) (focus on others)  Defining Gender -Typically operationalized as an unidimensional continuum (Female) Unmitigated communion: complete focus on others (extreme ends of the gender roles continuum) (Male) Unmitigated agency: complete focus on self “Abnormality” = not sticking to the correct end of the gender roles continuum for one’s physiological sex.  Defining Gender Role Deviations -Transgenderism: “…*when an individual’s+ identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender, but combines or moves between these.” -Transvestism: “… the condition of having an abnormal desire to dress in the clothes of the opposite sex.” -Transsexualism: “… an overwhelming desire to belong to the opposite sex” = gender dysphoria  Criteria for Gender Dysphoria A. Incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender (for at least 6 months) B. Clinically significant distress or impairment in social life, school/work, or other important areas of functioning -Can now include people with physical intersex conditions -Prevalece – 1 in 5,000 (those wanting sex affirmation surgery, more M->F)  Gender Dysphoria by Sex -Girls with GD are said to: -“…have intense negative reactions to parental expectations or attempts to have them wear dresses of other feminine attire” -“Contact sports, rogh-and-tumblr play, traditional boyhood games, and boys as playmates are most often preferred.” -“…show little interest in stereotyphically feminine toys (eg. Dolls).” -Boys with GD are said to: -“…have a preference for dressing in girls’ or women’s clothes of may improvise clothing from available materials.” -“…avoid rough-and-tumble plan and comp
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