GENDER AND SEXUALITIES
1. Sex refers to the way in which we distinguish between male and female based on a
set of socially agreed upon biological criteria.
2. Gender refers to the socially constructed characteristics of masculine and feminine.
3. Intersexed individuals: Individuals born with ambiguous genitalia; they challenge our
notion of male and female, and thus our definition of sex.
4. Transgendered individuals: An umbrella term for a range of people who do not fit into
normative constructions of sex and gender; they challenge our notions of masculinity
5. Sociologists note that male/female and masculine/feminine are examples of binary
constructions. Intersexed and transsexual people show us that the world cannot be
simplified into either/or terms.
6. The dominant forms of masculinity and femininity are called, respectively, hegemonic
masculinity and emphasized femininity. Both represent the ideals to which men and
women are supposed to aspire.
7. Functionalists see set gender roles as necessary for the smooth functioning of the
family and society.
8. Conflict theorists see gender as a way for men to subordinate women to ensure
paternity and the line of inheritance.
9. Symbolic interactionists view gender-related behaviours as learned through
1 0. Feminists view gender as a socially constructed concept that has negative
consequences for women.
11. Post-structuralists view gender as a performance.
module 8.2 REPRODUCING GENDER
1 2. Gender divisions are reproduced through families at birth and are sustained
through child-rearing practices that differ according to the sex of the child.
1 3. In schools, curricular materials and student–teacher interactions tend to underline
traditional gendered expectations of girls and boys.
1 4. All forms of media reinforce normative construction of masculinity and femininity. module 8.3 GENDER AND WORK
1 5. Gender segregation in the labour force is evident in the large percentage of women
still employed in traditional, low-paying occupations. This pattern is referred to as
occupational sex segregation.
1 6. Women continue to be underrepresented in managerial positions. This
underrepresentation is referred to as the glass ceiling.