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SOCC38 Midterm: Gender and Education- Midterm

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Ann Mullen
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Gender and Education
Midterm Review
Believing is seeing
Michael Kimmel: The Gendered Society
oGender difference is the product of gender inequality, and not the other way around. It is through the
idea of difference that inequality is legitimated. "The very creation of difference is the foundation on
which inequality rests.
oFrom a social constructionist approach, gender difference and gender inequality are not inevitable to the
nature of things.
Michael Messner: Sea Monsters versus Barbie Girls
oPeople tend to look over the differences instead of the similarities.
oLorber's phrase "believing is seeing".
oWhere we selectively 'see' aspects of social reality that tells us a truth that we prefer to believe, such as
the belief in categorical difference. No matter that our eyes do not see evidence of this truth most of the
The chilly climate
Bernice Sandler: The Chilly Climate
oWomen students are treated differently, by men and women faculty alike as well a by their fellow
students. These behaviours unfortunately will ultimately undermine girls and women's self-confidence in
their academic ability, lower their academic aspirations, inhibit their learning, and generally lower their
oSandler refers to all female, regardless of race/ethnicity and mentions that minority men are often
treated in the same way.
oThese behaviours are generally small and seemingly unimportant, but when they happen repeatedly,
they constitute a pattern of behaviour that dampens women's ambitions, their classroom participation,
and self-confidence.
oClassrooms, like educational institutions as a whole, reflect the strengths and weaknesses and biases of
our society.
Devaluation of the feminine
Bernice Sandler: The Chilly Climate
oMen are more often viewed either consciously or unconsciously as the more valued students, the more
important students.
oTeachers generally call on men more, ask them more questions, and overall give them more time and
oTeachers, male and female, give women and girls less eye contact.
oFor some women, they only receive praise from their teachers when it is about their attractiveness.

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oIn many experiments in which, two groups of people rate things such as; a set of articles, works of art,
resumes, et cetera. The names of the authors are then changed for each group, where the gender of the
author is reversed for each group. The result of these studies is remarkably consistent: articles that have
a male name attached to them get higher ratings than the same article with a woman's name.
oBoth men and women devalue those items ascribed to females.
oDevaluation can also be seen in the way between men and women act. When they act the same way, or
have similar achievements, men are valued differently than women.
Males value verbal aggression as positive, except when women are speaking that way.
Women who are silent are seen as shy or passive, while a silent man is considered pensive.
oWomen's behaviours too, are often downgraded or trivialized, similarly with women who show support of
women's issues.
Kimberly Davies & Lorraine Evans: No Sissy Boys Here
oOver 90% of the time, male characters were significantly more aggressive and argumentative.
oFemales were likely to be affectionate, passive, tender, and emotionally active.
oFeminine characteristics were significantly less valued while masculine traits were highly valued.
oUsing Bem's sex role inventory characteristics, they found that male characters exhibited mostly
masculine characteristics and were infrequently displayed with feminine traits.
oMasculine traits still outnumbered feminine traits among male characters.
oThe infrequency of feminine traits displayed in the textbooks studied reiterates to boys that these types
of characteristics are not pertinent to male behaviour.
oThe basic definition of masculinity is having qualities appropriate to, or usually associated with, man-
that which is not female.
oWhile aggressiveness may be seen negatively at times, it remains the normal in male (stereotypical)
behaviour, and it is often excused and accepted as natural masculine behaviour. Whereas, the open
display of traits from the opposite end of the gender dichotomy raises questions concerning male
oThere is an avoidance of the incorporation or obvious portrayal of feminine traits amongst males.
oSissy, for example, was used to effeminate boys.
oAt risk behaviour for boys included having too much interest in domestic chores, wanting to interact with
girls in quiet play rather than with boys in active, aggressive play, and expressing distaste for overtly
masculine pastimes.
Shawn McGuffey and B. Lindsay Rich: Playing in the Gender Transgression Zone
oRelated research has demonstrated that an important, if not central, criterion for defining one's
masculinity is to distance oneself from anything feminine.
oPhilip for example, was rejected by all the boys, which in turn, aided the maintenance of hegemonic
masculinity. Philip acted rather feminine and looked feminine as well.

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Small in stature, shoulder length hair, played with girls, and preferred stereotypically feminine
Barrie Thorne: Gender Play
oFeminist Psychoanalytic theories suggest that boys devalue the feminine because they want to steer
away from their mothers.
oBy devaluing the feminine, it asserts their masculinities and therefore establishes the dominance.
Doing Gender
Karin A. Martin: Becoming a Gendered Body Practices of Preschools
oThrough semi-structured observation in five pre-school classrooms, Martin examines the ways that
everyday movements, comportment, and use of physical space become gendered.
oButler suggests that gender is a performance, and that our bodies as a site for gender.
oSuggest that managed, adorned, fashioned, properly comported and moving bodies establish gender
and gender relations.
oGender becomes embedded in our body postures, musculature, and tensions in our bodies.
oBodies in term of positioning and expectations in public.
Video: "Man-spreading".
These types of behaviours are learned.
Video: "Myth Busters' Throws Like a Girl"
oMartin also found that children often seemed to experiment with both genders when they played dress-
Girls in particular played at being women.
When the girls are playing dress up, they are walking if they have heels in, imitating the way a
woman would usually walk.
Barrie M. Thorne: Gender Play
oEach girl comes to realize that she shares a category with others labeled girl, and each boy realizes that
he shares similarities with other boys.
oThis awareness, as suggested by theorists, concludes that girls and boys want to be with their own kid,
avoiding those of the other kind.
Michael Messner: Barbie Girls vs. Sea Monsters
oWe do gender based on an interactional level, institutional level, and structural level.
oIntimately and systematically connected with the power of gender to constrain, control, violate, and
oInteractionist theoretical frameworks emphasize that we perform or do gender in describing how groups
of people actively create the boundaries that delineate seemingly categorical differences between male
persons and female persons.
Zimmerman and West: Doing Gender
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