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Chapter 8

Chapter 8 Gender.docx

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University of Waterloo
SOC 101
Barry Mc Clinchey

Gender Chapter 8 Sex and Gender  Sex: determination of male and female on basis of set of socially agreed upon biological criteria o Binary construction: based on idea that given phenomenon can be located within one or other of two mutually exclusive categories  Opposite sex  Gender: social distinctions between masculinity and femininity  Feminist theorists more comfortable with accepting how understanding of biology and biological discoveries are socially shaped Biological Female and Male?  Intersexed individuals: individuals born with ambiguous genitalia o Hermaphrodites Gender as Socially Constructed  Understanding that ideas about appropriate gender varies across culture and time  Gender relations: organizing principles that shape and order interactions between as well as the relative social importance of women and men  Intersects with other organizing principles such as race, class and sexuality Transgender and Transsexual  Transgender: an umbrella term for range of people who don’t fit in normative constructions of sex and gender o Transsexuals, transvestites (drag queens and kings), intersexed individuals and those who don’t identify themselves as male or female  Transsexual: person who undergoes sex reassignment, including surgeries o Some prefer terms transman or transwomen Dominant forms of Masculinity and Femininity Hegemonic Masculinity  Normative ideal of dominant masculinity  Measure of consent, not force  Associated with traits of strength, aggressiveness, drive and ambition Emphasized Femininity  The normative ideal of femininity, based on compliance with women’s subordination to men  Understood as ideal women should try to be  Supportive, enthusiasm, sexual attractiveness Reproducing Gender: Families, Education and Media Families  Start with gender when child is born  Mothers respond to cries of baby girls more so than boys  Girls are more emotional, boys are more likely to be held in the first 6 months than girls  Punishment to males are more so than females  Chores are reinforcers of gender appropriate behaviours Education  Girls are not as important as boys  Girls are more praised on neatness and congenial  Boys are praised for intellectual quality Media  Television shows o Females are manipulative, using helplessness to be seductive, etc.  Beautiful, skilled, and relies on friends o White men are heroes, blacks are frightening  Commercials o Men are losers who hang out with buddies, self mock and are ironic about their loser status o Male friendships are center of ads Gender Chapter 8 o Males in ads are not in committed relationships and are ready to engage in sexual activity with fantasy women o Women are hotties or bitches Gendered Bodies  TV molding how to look to feel better  Plastic surgery helps achieve successful beauty, etc  Liposuction, rhinoplasty and breast augmentation  There is pressure to conform to the image that society dubs to be “perfect” Gender and Work Gendered Labour Force  Legally, women are able to succeed on equal terms
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