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Chapter 7

Sociology Chapter 7 Gender and Sexuality.docx

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John Irwin

Sociology Chapter 7 Gender and Sexuality Introduction:  Genetically male and females identical; most societies men and women are treated as though they are very different; leader considerable different lives;  Genetic difference becomes inequality in most societies;  Sex refers to biological facts, World Health Organization (WHO) sex refers to the biological characteristics that define humans as females or males, o WHO; these are not mutually exclusive categories; there are individuals who possess elements of both; nonetheless continue to differentiate humans as male or female o Despite the fact that we think of male/female as dichotomy; meaning that only two categories exist; someone is either born male or female, some infants are born with ambiguous genitalia; that are variant and difficult to understand  Sociocultural designation of masculine and feminine or the social behavioural expectations of conception of appropriate behaviour associated with being bon male or females is called gender  With the dichotomizing of sex, comes the dichotomizing of gender ; men rational, women emotional, men strong, women weaker, men visual tactile learns, women verbal  Men and women appear to fit into these simplified categories, these are gender stereotypes or structures of belief about how women and men behaviour o Gender stereotypes are descriptive oversimplification of social culturally accepted traits and attitudes; which become prescriptive as we come to expect men and women to behave in these socially culturally predetermined ways  Simplification by talking about ideals and averages hides as much as it reveals  Simplification has consequences; obliged to conform to culturally defined norms and patterns of behaviors known as gender role; o DO GENDER; BY FILLING ROLES that are shaped by others around them, gender is accomplish activity, not fixed biological fact  Judith Butler: argued in doing gender we get caught up in a heterosexual matrix that significant consequences for the construction and understand of sexuality o Argues gender not be constructed as stable identity or locus of agency but as identity constituted in time and space through stylized repetition of acts,  Acts and gestures are per formative in the sense that the essential features of identity they claim to express are fabrication, manufactured and sustained through symbols and signs  Gender identity is not fixed or static; varied from person to person, depending on the situation and culture, influenced by others around us  Studied showed when heterosexual women present themselves to men, who possess socially desirable character they alter their presentations, men do the same when they interact with women they believe have desirable traits Heternormativity:  Despite diversity, we continue to dichotomize sex into male and female as measured by by visible genital facts; o Due to the little tolerance for ambiguity we reconstruct the genital, appearance, and personalities of intersexes infants to fit typical definition of male or female  Since we view it as two dichotomous sex categories = two polar opposite sex "opposite sex" – who are inevitable assumed to be sexually drawn to one another like magnets o Thus we have dichotomized sexuality, sexual identity, sexual orientation into heterosexual ( normal sexual attraction to opposite sex) or homosexual (less normal attraction someone of the same sex) when in fact sexuality considerable more complex than this  All aspects of social life are constructed on the assumption all people are heterosexual; this called heteronormality  Sexuality (WHO); being central aspects of being human, and encompasses sex and gender identities, and roles, sexual orientation, eroticism, pleasure, intimacy, and reproduction o Sexuality experience in thoughts, fantasies, desires, beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviors, roles, and relationships  Influenced by interaction of biological, psychological, social economic, political, cultural, ethnical, legal, historical, religious, and spiritual factors  Jeffrey Weeks: sexuality; socially organized sustained by a variety of languages, which seek to tell us what sex is, what is ought to be, what it could be o LANGAUGE OF sex is embedded in moral treatises, laws, educational practices, psychological theories, medical definitions, social rituals, pornographic or romantic fiction, popular music, common sense assumptions,  Sexuality ; do with who we are, what place we are allowed to take within society  People packaged into boxes, male or female, masculine, feminine, heterosexual or homosexual;  things like sexism ( the subordination of one sex, usually female and the perceived superiority of the other)  homophobia; irrational fear or hatred of homosexuals and homosexuals o Help reinforce rigid boundaries and keep people in their place  Children and youth learn to avoid ridicule by conforming to prescribed gender and sexual norms; we come to see certain types of behaviors as normal, natural and inevitable - the core or essence of feminist, masculinity, heterosexualism or homosexual o Encourages to suppress parts of identities that cross the gender and sexual divide The Asymmetry of Gender Typing:  Asymmetrical dichotomy of gender  Lesnick: gender differences are always comes hooked to gender inequality at home and workplace; men and women are seen and treated not only different but unequal  Inequality not from biological or individual differences but unequal power relationships, opportunity structures and everyday practices o Women less socially sanctioned power than men, less able to challenge existing norms/stereotypes o Power; ability of an individual or group to influence others, despite resistances o Patriarchal society; men as group tend to have more power than women as a group, men's greater control of resources, influences amount of power they h old in relationships  ASSES gender stereotypes; more value worth prestige with stereotypical masculine traits Gender in Childhood:  Biological differences become part of social inequality; unequal treatment of men and women learned early in life  Childhood; learn to behave in patterned , culturally, prescribed ways through the process of socialization; what deemed properly masculine and feminine is communication to us through gender socialization via family, peers, media, and other institutions around us  Gender socialization from birth; young boys and girls handled and spoken to differently are differently reinforced for their attention seeking behaviour; granted different amounts of freedom and responsibility  Sons more roughly, speak to them less often, allow them to respond in more aggressive ways, encourage risk taking, cry less, more freedom than daughters o Rate males more intelligent than females, = product of culture in which we live / shape us Gender and Education:  School, children's formal and casual encounters are gendered and strongly separated by sex;  Teachers, organization structures and students themselves create different types of opportunies and barriers for both boys/girls'  Educational setting find gender inequality in classroom talk, assessment approaches, curriculum design, educational policies o Boy do more poorly than females in formal education = more dropouts  Women tremendous strides; for educational attainment;  More men received a graduate level qualification than women  Earns of female science and engineering PhD lower than males  Wall studied the perspective of female Canadian PHD students in the arts and humanities and found that their program choice, and there things were unique complex, and gendered o Female students receive subtle, and not so subtle messages from their department about parenting during doctorial studies; (not to have babies during PHD)  Men and women marry with the same education level has increased; o Wives have higher education levels than their husbands, while opposite was true in the past Adult World: Gender and Paid Work:  Increase of women in labor force;  Decrease of fertility rates in Canada, proportion of women with young children in labor force is increasing steadily; o Change reflect changing roles f women in society their increasing participation in post secondary education, and growing family economic need  Past women left paid work when married, to devote all time to being mothers' and wives  Growing number of women in the labor force are married women with very young children • Return to labor force after child birth ; • Mothers who did not receive maternity benefits or who were self employed were six eight times more likely than other mothers to return to paid work earlier; • Without women's income families living in poverty would increase, many more suffer significant setbacks in their standard of living  Most employed women have full time permanent paid jobs, but growing number of women work in non standard arrangement; partime, temporary, self emplyoed, multiple job holders, more likely than men to have temporary employment; due to the changing nature of work, and relatively unchanging nature of family life and domestic responsibilities;  Women enter paid work force out of economic necessity and because of decline in men earning power; one salary is no longer sufficient to support an average family;  Wage gap between men and women is closing; , o Decline in men earning power = disspapearnce of unionized secondary sector/industrial. Manufacturing jobs as many of these jobs have gone south or offshore to parts of the world where labor is cheaper  Women increasingly entering made dominated jobs; because their educational attainment surpasses men, o But women are still employed less; o Statistic Canada; women's increased education attainment has played a relatively small role in reducing earning gap since the 1980s  Frennette and Coulombe; earning gap in 1990s increase moderaly for those with university level education, but remained unchanged for those at college level o Explained by the fact that public spending cuts were felt by health and education graduated(female dominated fields) while high tech boom helped engineering and other technology graduates (male dominated field)  Women come closest to earning parity with men during younger years but lose significant gorund later; when they leave the labour force because of child birth, and other family responsibilities o Children liabilities in women's careers because women often have to leave work to care o Paid femaly employees missed an average of 7 days of work due to family obligations o Vs Male who missed one day due to family commitments that same year o Since family seen as women's responsibility ; they are seen as somewhat less comitted to their paid jobs than men;= women end up in part time jobs " mommy track jobs, female job ghetto- low paid, servuce sector, dead end jobs"  Limited ./ no health benefits  Women still paid less even and less likely to hold full time employment, and face glass ceiling while men have more upward mobility Men face considerable pressure when it comes to paid employment;3  Women expect to marry, raise kids, work for pay if possible – the double burden or second shift  Men; work for pay from graduation until retirement without interruption; self support in their youth, primary breadwinnners in later life, as long as they are physically able to do,  Unemployed and underemployed men are stigmatized, viewed as undesirable marriage partners, o Objects of scorn and ridicule  Marshall; last 2 decages; average total workday for people 25-54 increase steadily; 200 extra hours, almost nine extra day; Gender and Unpaid Work and Care Work  Fewer hours on domestic work than in the past; dramatic reduction in women household hours in half because of increase labour force paritcipation, later marriage, fewer children, o Changing gender attributed have been identified as contributing factor  Gendered division of labour has not changed all that much; it resist technoological innovation; women doing slightly less household work, still spend more hours than men doing household work 15- 6.8' more hours women work, less hours of household workl  Monetary value of unpaid household work; 32 – 54 of Canada GDP  Domestic division of labour impacts marital relation, too much household work and too little fairness in the division = both wives and husbands resentful o Fewer hours of housework = more satisfaction they are with their marriage  Fathers are taking on more parenting responsibilities in their own new different emerging way  Heavy burden with domestic labour; many have view paid work as positively liberating= research shows = reduced depression among husband and wife , as long as hours are not excessive o Time with household work – increase depression; o Little evidence that equal division of paid or unpaid labour inhibits depression, but perceptions of quity are significantly associated with lower levels of depression o Sense of fiarness in the distribution of family workload contributed to wellbeing,  Husband strongly affected by perceived equity in the performance of paid work,  Vs wives strongly affected by perceived equity in the performance of house work • Both look for ways to balance demands of paid and house work;  Macdonald, Phipps, LethBridge; woemn more than men use strategies such as self employment to imrpove work family balance; not show its effectiveness Why Gender Inequality:  Past science was sexist, supported by biological explanations for differentiual treatment of men and women; scientist believe womens wombs controlled tehir minds = education was wasted on women  Women stepped out of traditiona roles deemed hysterical and often cured by removal of her uterus; o Term hsyterectomy refer to womb removal  Fathers of sociology sexist; Durk thought women have smaller brains, intellectually inferior  Biological differences always used to explain why and justify men women lived different unequal lives  Structural functionalism; treating two parent nuclear family ; male breadwinner, women; homemaker, wife, mother as a normal inevitable functional institution within societies  Gender relations; functionalist; Parsons and Bales; argued men and women perform separate complimentary functions or roles within nuclear families which then benefit society as whole o Women = fulfill expressive roles (nurturing. Domestic) roles o Men = fill instrumental roles ; public decision making roles;  because this differentiation was natural and ideal  difference biologically based, functionally necessary; social stability when you conform to roles  challenge / alter role = dysfunctional, problem for society as whole o men/women live separate and different unequal lives for the greater good of society  men/women worked hard to change these assumptions,  Shortcommings of functionalist; inability to recongize that men and women are neither equally valued nor hold same amount or type of power in society  Conflict Theoriest; o Male monopoly on power; power difference not individual or biological differences explains gender inequality in their view  Men have more economic and political resources than women, giving them ability to dominate women,  Marx and Friedrick Engels; that gender startification and inquality result from men's private ownership of means of production = results in means power over women • Engel noted; that before the advent of private property; under primitive communism, men and women were relatively requaly o Rise of private properly, women were forced to accpt monogamous marriage as a social norm, so men could retain control over the proper  Institutionalization of male domination  Feminist: different types of feminism exist; cause they identify difference sources / causes to inequality o Support equality among men and women;  Feminism complex way of thinking about and action upon conditions of our lives;  Feminist seek to understand the gendered nature of almost ever aspect of oscial insututional relations, are commited to eradication race, class, gender, sexual domination wherever it exist  Different feminist, different aspects of gender and sexual inequality, different solutions  Gender is not different in life experience to be product of fix biological facts; but in the socially constructed and prfoundly political requiring social restructuring of power relations in all institutions and relations to des
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