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Robert Brym

Chapter 4 Gender Inequality - Sex refers to biological differences between males and females while gender refers to the attitudes, beliefs, and behaviour that we commonly associate with each sex. - Although it is possible to trace the origins of masculine and feminine gender roles to biological differences between the sexes, most sociologists focus on the ways in which gender is socially constructed - Three major sociohistorical changes have led to the development of gender inequality o Long distance warfare and conquest o Plow Agriculture o Public and Private Spheres during early Industrialization - Conscious sexual learning beings around adolescences in the context or firmly established gender identities - Although we receive little formal socialization regarding sexuality, sexual relationships tend to be male-dominated as a result of the chapter of gender socialization and mens continuing dominant position in society - The social construction of gender and sexual scripts has defined standards of beauty that are nearly impossible for most women to achieve. This contributes to widespread anxiety about body image, leading in some cases to eating disorders - Gender inequality and sociocultural context that justifies and eroticizes male sexual aggression contribute to the widespread problem of male sexual aggression - The mass media reflect and reinforce the relationship between heterosexuality and male domination - Social constructionism encourages sexual pluralism, which assesses the validity of sexual activities in terms of meaning of the acts to the participants. Key Terms Compulsory heterosexuality: the assumption that individuals should desire only members of the opposite sex. Essentialists: observe male-female differences in sexual scripts, the division of labour at home and in the work place, mate selection, sexual aggression, jealousy, promiscuity, fidelity, and so forth. They then interpret these differences as natural and universal Gender: encompasses the feelings, attitudes and behaviours that are associated with being male or female as conventionally understood. Gender Identity: refers to identification with, or a sense of belonging to, a particular sex, biologically, psychologically, and socially. Gender Roles: comprise the repertoire of behaviours that match widely shared expectations about how males and female are supposed to act. Hostile environment sexual harassment: sexual jokes, comments, and touching that interfere with work or create an unfriendly work setting. Quid pro quo sexual harassment: involves sexual threats or bribery used to extract sexual favours as a condition of employment decisions. Sex: being born with distinct male or female genitalia and a genetic program that releases either male or female hormones to stimulate the development of ones reproductive system Sexual Orientation: refers to the way a person derives sexual pleasure, including whether desirable partners are of the same or a different sex. Sexual Pluralism: assesses the sexual acts only by their meaning for the participants. Sexual Scripts: assumptions that guide sexual behaviour by telling us whom we should find attractive, when and where it is appropriate to be aroused, what is sexually permissible and so on. Sexuality: involves actions that are intended to produce erotic arousal and genital response Social Constructionism: the main alternative to essentialism. Social Constructionists argue that gender differences are not the product of biological properties, whether chromosomal, gonadal, or hormonal. Instead, gender and sexuality are products of social structure and culture. Sociobiology: the best-known variant to essentialism. It holds that all human beings instinctually want to ensure that their genes get passed on to future generations. However, the different reproductive status of men and women means that they have had to develop different adaptive strategies. This gave rise to masculine and feminine patterns of behaviour that presumably became genetically encoded because of their adaptive value. Transgendered: when a persons gender identity does not exactly match the sex assigned to them at birth. They blue widely accepted gender roles by (ex) cross- dressing.Transsexual: identify with the opposite sex from that assigned to them at birth, causing them to change their appearance or resort to a sex-change operation. Chapter 5 The Mass Media - Technological theory emphasizes the role played by media technologies on both individual psychology and social organization, and originates largely with the writings of two Canadian theorists, Harold Innis and Marshal McLuhan. Technology theory is also useful for understanding new forms of social interaction, networking and surveillance that have resulted form the development of computer-mediated forms of communication - Critical theory focuses on the impact of different interests and social inequalities on the organization (political economy) and content (ideology) of communications media. Some critical theorists emphasize the role of the media in reinforcing and sustaining dominant relations of power, wealth and other valuable resources, whereas others see the media as an arena where conflict occurs over the meaning on social reality. The two variants of critical theory are particularly evident in research on the representation of social reality found in news media - Canadian newspapers exhibit high levels of ownership concentration, are usually part of large multimedia chains and function largely as local monopolies. The factor that has the greatest impact on news content however, is dependency on advertising - In the case of television, advertis
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