Women’s Studies WSTA01
Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies
Dr. V. Tahmasebi
Important note: To understand the depth of issues discussed in this review, students must consult
lecture notes and the readings
Week 1: Introductory Lecture
Important lecture - You Need to Know:
The distinction between sex, gender and sexuality
What is dichotomous thinking/framework and how it relates to sex and gender
Heterosexism as the dominant sexual script
HEALTH, SEXUALITIES AND GENDERED BODY
Three Weeks: Week 2, 3, and 4
Week 2: Gendered Body – Biological Explanation
You need to know:
What is Sociobiology
it is the systematic study of the biological bases of all forms of social
argues that certain form of behaviour maximize the reproductive success
while others reduce the reproductive success.
becomes human encoded in human species.
gender and gender characteristics: argues that there is a merit in the status
men naturally polygamous and women monogamous
gender is not a social construct, but a strategy males and females have
produced to maximize their reproductive capacities.
Problems with sociobiological approach
1. teriological argument
1. to reason, to argue backward.
1. first conclude and then fill theoretical holes then search for the evidence.
2. assumes there is only one explanation for everything
3. used data selectively
4. argue some arguments are just plain wrong
5. argue athnocentrism - masculine or male pint of view as the norm
6. it as anthropomorphic - attribute human charchteristics to animals.
Week 3: The Body
You need to know: The body:
differences are symbolic and material at both levels -inscribed on the body.
Example of material on male: circumcision.
Exampae of symbolically: women's portrayal in the media
the body can resist different forms of power - and can be manipulated.
inscribes gender norms, gender relations, onto the body, gender is the
primary sight of gender idenity. - the body is already gendered.
the gender you choose changes your opinion and life possibilities.
institutions all have a say in gender institutions.
gender is not innate - you do gender, you learn it, and how to inscribe it on
technologies of gender - different devices, methods that we use in our daily
live to construct our bodies.
ie. make up, push-up bras.
the body is forced to assume that men and women are forced to assume that
men and women are attracted to each other and that it is not universal and
this is the way they will experience arousal
they are scripted into this - heterosexual script
ie. teaches men and women how to court each other
homophobia is essential part of compulsory heterosecxuality
As a Cultural construct
body is not purely a biological entity
cultural practices leave their marks on the body.
hierarchies of body.
most desirable to the least.
the result: female bodies have historically been more vulnerable to cultural
manipulation and control - everyone has a claim to women's body.
Critically analyze how all these three are describes in a dichotomous way.
Week 4: The Gendered Nature of Health
You need to know:
In what ways gender informs health issues
short answer (DEFINITELY!)
the rise of the discourses of science women were excluded, male dominated the
male body became the norm and women's body deficient.
women live longer but we are sicker.
masculinity's define for a man to ignore health issues and plat through pain.
for women is to exercise illness and sexist biases for illnesses
female are more at risk for sexual health issues.
women are not studies enough - their health. SECTION II
REPRESENTATION & CONSTRUCTION OF FEMININITY, MASCULINITY AND OTHER
Three Weeks: Week 5, 6, and 7
Week 5: Social Construction of Gender
You need to know:
Social Constructionist approach to gender
argues that gender differences are not the product of biologicla properties
opposed to sociobiological (comapre and contrast -essay)
gender is not a property of the indivudual but of social relations
Five levels of social construction of gender
5. global gender order
from micro to macro leve
What is gender socialization
process by which individual quies : gender identi