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Mc Kinon

Chapter 11: Sexuality & Gender Sex versus Gender Intersexed: babies born w ambiguous genitals bc of a hormone imbalance in the womb or some other cause Gender Identity and Gender Role Sex depends on whether you were born w distinct male or female genitals and a genetic program that released male or female hormones to stimulate the development of your reproductive system Sociologists distinguish biological sex from sociological gender Gender: sense of being male or female & your playing of masculine and feminine roles in ways defined as appropriate by your culture and society o Also comprises feelings, attitudes & behaviours associated w being male or female Gender identity: a persons identification w, or sense of belonging to, a particular sexbiologically, psychologically, and socially Gender role: set of behaviours associated w widely shared expectations about how males & females are supposed to act Babies develop a full sense of gender identity at age 2 or 3 Social learning of gender begins very early in life Heterosexuality: the preference for members of the opposite sex as sexual partners Theories of Gender Essentialism: views gender as part of the nature or essence of a persons biological makeup o see gender differences as a reflection of biological differences bw w & m o I.e. Functionalist theory Social constructionism: views gender as constructed by social structure and culture Malak Patel1 Chapter 11 o see gender differences as a reflection of the different social positions occupied by w & m o I.e. conflict, feminist, symbolic interactionist theories Essentialism Freud Believed that dfrnces in male & female anatomy account for the development of distinct gender roles Children around the age of 3 begin to pay attention to their genitals Boys grown closer toward his mother, girls toward her father Girls develop a feminine personality when she realizes she lacks a penis; forms penis envy Since women are never able to resolve their penis envy, they are naturally dependent on men Sociobiology and Evolutionary Psychology All humans try to ensure that their genes are passed on to future generations Men & women develop different strategies to achieve this goal Women only produces small # of eggs, men has chances that his genes will be passed on Functionalism & Essentialism Talcott Parsons: claim that traditional gender roles help to integrate society o Women traditionally specialize in raising children & managing the household o Men traditionally work in the paid labour force o Each generation learns to perform these complementary roles For boys, masculinity is instrumental traits [rationality, competitiveness] For girls, feminity is expressive traits [sensitivity to others] In functionalist view, learning the features of masculinity & feminity integrates society A Critique of Essentialism from Conflict & Feminist Perspectives Malak Patel2 Chapter 11
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