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SOCL 2001 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Conflict Theories, Escalator, Bourgeoisie

Course Code
SOCL 2001
Ramazan Aydogdu

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Chapter 9: Gender
Sex and Gender Differentiation
o Sex refers to biological characteristics
Genetic, hormonal, and anatomical differences between males and females
o Gender refers to social differences between the sexes
Assumes gender is socially constructed, social status, social identity
Since gender is socially defined its content varies from one society to another
o How many genders/sexes do we have?
There are 2 sexes M/F
About 1 baby in 1,000 are born intersexed, or hermaphroditic, which means
having an abnormal chromosomal makeup and mixed or indeterminate male
and female sex characteristics (X, XXX, XYY, XXY, instead of XX AND XY)
This is a function of biological sex
Gender is different, there are many societies that have “third gender”
Hijra category widely found in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. (Most of them
are biologically make, but dress and behave like women)
Transsexual people are biological men with female identities or biological
women with make identities
It occurs when there is a disagreement between one biological sex and
his/her gender identity
o Gender roles, behaviors assigned on the basis of assumed characteristics of males and
Women are expected to cook, clean, and take care of children; men are
expected to earn money
Males are defined as strong, competent, rational, unemotional, and competitive
Females are defined as nurturant, caring, and able to deal with the emotional
side of relationships
o Gender roles are often based on something other than biological differences
o They are often based on symbolic meaning that has a social origin (People in every
society are taught what’s appropriate for men and women)
o This life-long process of learning is called gender socialization
Primarily through four main agents of socialization:
1. Families
2. Schools
3. Peers
4. Media
Socialization of Gender Roles
o As a result of gender socialization and probably dur to hormones (some of gender
differences are based on biological/physical differences for sure) we develop our gender
identity, sense of belonging to either male or female
o Gender identity disorder, GID, mismatch between gender identity and biological match
Gender Role Socialization
o Families are usually the primary source of socialization and greatly impact gender role
Therefore, sometimes family is called “gender factory
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