PSYC 5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 20: Sex Organ, Postmodern Feminism, Gender Role
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Psychological Aspects of Human Sexuality
Social construction of gender relations
● ‘Doing gender’: the interactionist approach
● How do you perform your gender?
○ Judge accordingly to how people act.
● Gender is the product of interactions
○ it is performed in interaction with others.
● We generally see primary sex characteristics (genital area) as far more decisive than
secondary sex characteristics (breasts, beard, chest hair, etc.) for the assignment of
gender role identity.
o But what you see are secondary sex characteristics, and the behavioural
presentation of self.
● Constructing gender: feminist views and movements
● First wave feminism (1850 to WWI):
○ Emphasized women’s legal status and suffrage.
● Second wave feminism (1960s and 1970s):
○ Discussed, analyzed, and protested power imbalances in personal and intimate
o Other contributions by people who were writing to focus on women like Simone
de Beauvoir in Europe and others in North America.
o Started to enter the workforce because they were tired of the way society was
organized, they had to depend on the man for the salary.
● Liberal feminism:
○ Focused on making society as gender-neutral as possible.
● Most dominant approach to change to world, it isn’t radical.
● Marxist and socialist feminisms:
○ Argued that the economy was at the heart of women’s
■ culture all play roles in the subordination of women.
● They took their roots from Karl Marx who said that the economy was
the most important part of society, it was at the heart.
○ He focused on class.
● Radical feminism: Argues patriarchy is the root of women’s second-class status, and
that rape, domestic abuse, and warfare must be fought.
● So radical that they said to not get into a relationship with a man because
that’s what changes the women and their views.