PSYC 5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Biological Determinism, Hegemonic Masculinity, Masculinity
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Psychological Aspects of Human Sexuality
Gender difference and male dominance
● Are men and women different?
- When we are young, we don’t even see the difference but as we grow up, we are told
what to wear and what roles to have.
- Everything is because of socialization.
- We all have the picture of an ideal man and woman.
- Interplanetary theory of gender difference:
o Men are from Mars and women are from Venus
o Men and women are ‘opposites’ who exhibit complete and universal gender
- The two tasks of any study of gender:
1. Why do societies differentiate people on the basis of gender? It is only based on
genetics and looks? Why are men always in power?
2. Why are nearly all societies also based on male dominance? ‘Patriarchal society.
● Why different?
- Two schools of thought:
o Biological determinism (nature): anatomical, hormonal, chemical and physical
differences between men and women.
o Differential socialization (nurture): the people we grow up around influence the
way we see men and women.
- Most arguments about gender difference begin with biology.
● Sex and gender
- Sex differences: anatomical, hormonal, chemical, and physical differences between
men and women.
- Most social and behavioural scientists differentiate between ‘sex’ and ‘gender’.
- Sex: biological apparatus (chromosomal, chemical, anatomical organization) and
o It is concrete, male and female.
- Gender: meanings attached to those differences within a culture.
o Masculinity and femininity
o Very abstract in terms of meaning
*Historically, the meanings are different. It has evolved over time.*
● Making gender visible
- Until the 1970s, studies of social life focused only on class and race.