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Gender Studies
GNDS 120
J.Scott Matthews

Identity-the distinctive character of a group or individual -describes a person’s conception and expression of their individuality -describes a group’s affiliations -socially constructed -often creates oppression and privilege Gender Identity-socially constructed from the moment we are biologically assigned a sex -Judith Butler Intersex-people who are born with any of a variety of physical characteristics that don’t fit with the binary ideas of difference between male and female bodies -Two-Spirited Transgender-people assigned a gender at birth, but doesn’t match their gender identity, and who chooses to identify and live with their preferred gender identity -multiple communities Phase 1: Pre-Gender Era-1950s-1960s -sex defined gender -gender roles Phase 2: Distinction between Sex and Gender -1960s-1970s -Sex/Gender Binary- distinction between biological and cultural factors -Limits:­no pure, biological “sex”- it is always mediated by cultural understanding -Two concepts cannot be separated in real life- a false binary Phase 3. Gender Creates Sex-1980s-1990s -sex is construction, and its definition as changed over time Race-socially constructed category used to classify humans according to common ancestry, cultural, and reliant on differentiation -no genetic basis Ethnic Group-a community maintained by a shared heritage, culture, language, or religion -group bound together by ties of cultural homogeneity with a prevailing loyalty and adherence to certain beliefs, attitudes, and customs Racialized Society- race defines how we understand and act in the world Racial Identity-every person has one -shaped by perceived differences between categories of people with different physical characteristic -Blacks portrayed as the lesser race -Whites portrayed at the hegemonic race, and privileged -Black-White Binary Sexuality-sexual orientation and sexual identity -used as a social division -related but not determined by sex and gender -sexual behaviour and desire -culture Sexual Orientation- pattern of emotional, romantic, or sexual attraction toward one or more gender, or which may not be organized around gender at all Sexual Identity-patterns of desire and membership in a community of people with similar patterns of desire -socially constructed Heteronormativity-socially constructed idea that heterosexuality is the accepted norm -instrument perpetuating power Heterosexism- oppression of queer identities and privileging of normative identity Historical Impact of Differences on Feminism -women are different than men -> common identity recognized by physical markers and gend
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