Chapter 2: Being Different
Sex and Gender Differences
-The most important differences in family experiences is between males and females.
-Sources of these differences: (1) the physical and genetic differences between the sexes, (2) the
routine ways of behaving we develop over the years, (3) our individual ideas and values
-Sex: biological difference between males and females (physical appearance, and bodily too for example
being able to be pregnant)
-Physical and brain development differences between men and women: men are taller and more
muscular, they are better at tracking direction and in mentally manipulating objects. Women tend to live
longer and be healthier except in countries where there are many childbirth deaths, they are more
fluent at language. Both respond differently to violence and stress
-We cannot remove the physical from the social environment, socially the sex of an individual is
important. Knowing the sex of an individual shapes how we behave towards them.
-Double standard in sexual differences: men are allowed more freedom than women
-Gender socialization prepares children/teens for tasks they are expected to perform as boys/girls and
men/women Gender roles: approved ways of behaviour for each in society
-Most powerful socializer: family. Media, teachers, peers also has an influence. We influence people
around us too
-Values, beliefs and practices do not depend only on physical appearance of how we have been
socialized. We make our own decisions on how we behave.
Gender Differences and Family Relationships
-Gender differences affect the nature of relationships and all aspects of family life.
-19 century Roman Catholic Church and Protestant denominations: Men are practical, active and
rational. Women are moral, spiritual and emotional. Both aspects create a holy union.
-When a child is in pain adults are more sensitive to girls’ pain than boys’ pain. Adolescent girls use
social aggression (ex: rumours, shunning) rather than physical aggression. Girls are less likely to violent
crimes than boys.
-Differences in communication: Men tend to be concerned with reasoned arguments and with their own
or others’ power and authority. They interrupt more than women do. Body language of both is different.
Women talk to form connections, they are usually better at reading and sending nonverbal messages
than man, esp. emotionally. Women use intelligence, interpersonal skill, sexuality, deception and
avoidance to get what they want.
-Other differences: Males are more likely to be sexually promiscuous, they are socialized to be
independent and unemotional, it may be harder for them to be committed to a relationship. Men affairs
during marriage are more lenient than women. Females often become romantically attached.
-Differences in family responsibilities: men are more often the principal earner. Women are responsible
for child-rearing, they take parental leaves, and take more responsibility for housework
-Females experience more physical abuse than men -Men are more likely to remarry if they are widowed or divorced. Women are more likely to be single
parents, to live in poverty, to live alone and to be widowed
Changing Family Forms
-High divorce rates, teen pregnancies, and lone parenthood have been blames for many social ills (ex:
delinquency child neglect and abuse, and poverty). Remedy: encourage marriage, make divorce more
difficult and return to ‘family values’
-Government policy assumes that household and family are the same
-it has been an uphill battle for some partners to be recognized as families (ex: same-sex couples)
-2006 Census: only a minority of families fit the ‘traditional’ model
-41%: two-parent families with children living at home, including common-law families (reflects
falling birth rate + aging of baby-boom)
-18.9%: common-law unions rate of increase
-7.8%: lone-parent families
-3.5%: married famiies
-In Quebec, numbers of children living with parents in common-law unions are increasing
-73.9%: Ontario, highest proportion of married couples
-17%: Manitoba, largest percentage of lone-parent families
-Newfoundland & Labrador, highest number of young adults (20-29 years old) living with their
parents but in Alberta and Saskatchewan have the lowest number. Highest rate in Toronto (57.9%)
-Nunavut, largest proportion of households with children/with five or more people/children living
with grandparents and older relatives
-Changes in Family Patterns that challenge accepted practices:
1) Increasing number of families with two working parents
2) Many children have a variety of parent figures (ex: adoptive parents, foster parents, stepparents,
babysitters, daycare staff)
3) Advances in artificial reproductive techniques and greater openness about using them
4) Mentally and physically challenged members of the community are demanding the same rights as
others. This is known as mainstreaming: integrating children with special needs into regular classrooms.
5) Same-sex couples have received recognition, first as common-law partners and then as eligible to
Racial and Ethnic Differences
-2006 Census counted more than 200 ethnic origins, most frequent was Canadian either.
-Visible minorities made up of 16.2% of the population. South Asians is the largest group, then Chinese
-20% states that their mother tongue isn’t English or French
English Canadians and French Canadians
-Roots of English-Canadian society are British
-Aboriginal families and French-Canadian families value ties with extended family members more than
-4 elements in Traditional Quebec society: 1) Definition of family roles and educational goals by Roman Catholic Church
2) Centralized rural lifestyle
3) Large families were idealized
4) The French Language
-English Canadians value ‘masculine’ qualities (enterprise, aggression, and responsibility for the
weaker/less civilized)) while French Canadians value ‘feminine qualities’ (religious, elegant, and civilized)
-After 1960’s Quiet Revolution, Quebec identity changed: education replaced religion wrt values,
modern industrial revolution replaced rural lifestyle, only French language stayed.
-Quebec’s family support programs are the strongest in Canada
-Difference between Quebec and the rest of Canada: more couples choose to live together instead of
-Two types of societies: clans (Iroquoian or Pacific-coast societies) or small migratory hunting groups
(Inuit, northern Ojibway, and Swampy Cree)
-Clans held rights to tracts of land for farming, hunting/offshore fishing, and controlled specific trading
routes. Iroquoian conflicts were settled by consensus, not force. Pacific-coast conflicts were settled
through feasts or potlatches for ex inheritance rights.
-Small migratory hunting groups were based in social bonds, rather than rigit territorial boundaries
-Status in plains buffalo-hunting societies was earned through men’s prowess in fighting and hunting,
not gift-giving or territorial rights.
-Aboriginals’ customs were thought to be backwards, and missionaries/government tried to wipe them
out: children were forced into being educated at residential schools, away from their families and
cultures, and as a result, they had few skills of how to raise families of their own.
-Aboriginal (First Nations, Metis [largest increase], Inuit) population has been increasing 6x faster than
Canadian population as a whole. 3 Reasons:
1) Aboriginal people as a group are younger so more are of child-bearing age,
2) More individuals count themselves as Aboriginals
3) Residents of reserves have been more completely counted
-58% of Aboriginals live in cities
-Extended family networks traditionally took on responsibility for the care and nurture of their
members; provide a stable base for young people who leave reserves for education or employment.
‘Families of the heart’: voluntary groups that aim to preserve traditional ways
-In non-reserve areas, 1/3 of Aboriginal children are involved in traditional cultural activities (ex:
learning from elders and taking part in drum and dance groups) + many individuals are learning an
Patterns of Immigration to Canada
Desire to Retain Canada’s ‘British’ Character
-Federal and provincial governments placed many barriers to the immigration of non-whites, certain
religious groups and others regarded as being hard to assimilate into British-based culture
-Chinese immigrated due to labour shortages in mining, railway construction… Chinese Exclusion Act
made it impossible for them to enter Canada -Various times, Ukrainians, Mennonites, Jews, Hutterites, and Doukhobors were discouraged or banned
-Blacks came to Canada as slaves, until early 1800’s. Some came as black Loyalists
-In 2001, 80% + of blacks living in Halifax were at least third-generation Canadians
-Prejudice and racism Ku Klux Klan, against Jews, Catholics, and French Canadians
-Jews during WW2, and Japanese were turned away from entering Canada. Also, after 9/11, Muslims
suffered discrimination and attacks.
The Need for Labour
-Need in mining, lumber, and railway construction, (Chinese, Japanese and Sikhs accepted low wages
and primitive conditions) +the desire to develop agriculture across the Prairies (Ukrainians), then
stretched to Manitoba & Edmonton. Italians working in mining and manufacturing
-After WW2, some companies were allowed to bring groups of workers into Canada in a ‘bulk-labour’
-During recessions and the Great Depression, immigration was discouraged (ex: recession following
WWW1, companies were asked to release foreign labourers for returning veterans)
-Underground Railway’s end in Southwestern Ontario