Sociology Midterm 2 Exam.docx

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Sociology Midterm 2 Study Notes
Chapter 7 Gender
Biological category
Based on physiological differences
o Anatomical, hormonal etc.
Sex is determined at conception as a result of cell formation
o Ascribed status; born with it
Castor Semenya
Won 800 meter race but people believe it was unfair as she had a sex change
Becoming our Sex
Obvious answer: sex is natural, biologically determined
BUT 1-3% of babies are born “intersexed”
o External genitalia is not normal”
o In older days, if it were the case, it would be surgically reassigned (3-5 surgeries)
90% were made female easier to dig hole than build pole
o Sheryl Chase made surgery only allowed if it had to be done (ie. Child could not
Social category
Based on social expectations for individuals
Can be linked to achieved status
Set of social attitudes that can vary from culture to culture and over time within society
Gender Norms
o Rules for specifying appropriate behaviour for each gender „gender scripts
Gender-Role Socialization (1966)
o By violating norms we determine what is or is not acceptable
o Boys must be masculine, aggressive, tough, daring, dominant
o Girls must be feminine, soft, emotional, sweet, submissive
Sex Codes: Premarital Sexual Standards (Sex Roles)
1. Abstinence Standard
Forbids premarital sex
2. Double Standard
Premarital virginity for women; men were allowed to have sex
3. Love Standard
Premarital sex is acceptable when love is present (common for women)
4. Fun Standard
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Giving and receiving tool of pleasure (common for men)
Sex and marriage have become less closely linked for both men and women
Views on Premarital Sex
1. Egalitarian Conservative
Lost equal respect for men and women (hooking up too much)
2. Egalitarian Libertarians
No respect lost for either men or women
3. Traditional Double Standard
Respect lost for women but not for men
4. Reverse Double Standard
Lost respect for men but not for women (gender justice)
Becoming our Gender
Everyone is always performing gender
o Impression management Goffman
Qualities: culturally created you become your gender through socialization process (18m-3y)
Gender Identity
o Achieved Status
Socialized into gender identity
o Master Status
Your gender identity becomes your master status Hughes
All other attributes get judged by being filtered through being man/woman
Powerful aspect of self-concept which develops in accordance with the individual‟s gender and the
social definitions of that gender within the larger gender order
o Gender Order: A set of structural relations through which people are treated differently
because of their gender
Macro-level concept that refers to social structure
Directs how males and females should act
Its biggest influence is to create a gendered division of labour
o Patriarchy: A system of dominance in which culture, political and economic structures
have been created by men and are maintained for the benefits of men as a group
How it operates is culturally defined/determined
Gender Intensification
Process by which individuals are influenced to hyper-differentiate themselves from the other
gender in terms of appearance and behaviour
o Psychological differences between males and females
Leads to conform to these roles (traditional gender roles)
Perpetuated by mass media and advertising in pursuit of money
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Adolescence if a key period of this identity manipulation
o Body size for men is to be large fear of being gay or feminine is reinforced
o Self improvement for females physically beautify
Tough Guise Film
o Men and masculinity changed (size in bodies)
o Wrestlers in 60‟s more flabby – in 90‟s changed to being ripped (G.I Joe huge biceps)
Guns also get bigger large men + large guns = whole body killing machine
o Reverse for women ideal from “full figure: to very small (Marilyn to Tyra)
Women take up less space; men take up more and overcompensate strong
value on size and masculinity
1. Gender intensification ill prepares both men and women for the roles that they will later
2. Impossible standards leads to low self-esteem and high dissatisfaction
3. Emphasizes the dominance/submissive nature of the male/female relationship and
perpetuates gender inequality
Gender Stereotypes
o Occurs when people believe others posses certain characteristics simply as a result of
being a member of a particular group
Gender Stereotypes
o Attributes certain characteristics to others simply in the basis of whether they are make
or female
Ex. Truckers are male and shoppers are female
Constructed within culture men and women inheritably different
Persistence of Beliefs about Gender Differences
Even when there is a statistically significant difference between male and females, for most
characteristics, there is more similarity than difference between the genders
Most human characteristics fall into a normal distribution where a small proportion of people rate
much higher; a small proportion rate much lower; but most people fall somewhere in the middle
o More differences between females than between males and females
The Bell Curve Even when gender difference exist between males and females, the proportion
of the two bell curves that overlap is much greater than the proportion that is distinctive to either
o Within Variation Comparing males to males or females to females
o Between Variation Comparing males to females
Persistence of Gender Differences
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