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Chapter 10

SOC275H5 Chapter Notes - Chapter 10: Lionel Tiger, Gender Role, Human Male Sexuality

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Hae Yeon Choo

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Gendered Intimacies: Communication, Friendship, Love, and Sex (Page 281)
-The need for intimacy is fundamentally human but we express it in gendered ways
-Gender intimacy explored by examining communication, friendship, love, and sexuality
oLove as in romantic love, not parental love or any other form
-Gendering of intimate life is the result of historical and social developments
The Historical “Gendering” of Intimate life
-Today, women are considered emotional experts relative to men
-This wasn’t always the case
-“Women were diffident friends and fickle lovers”
-Much of the historical view of gendered intimacies rested on sexist views of women’s
capacities for “higher” mental and emotional processes
-Lionel Tiger argued that the gender division of labour in hunting and gathering societies
led to deeper and more durable friendships among men—biologically based human
-Despite tigers theories, North Americans have reversed the historical notion of intimacy
since the early 1970s, fuelled by two related developments
oFirst, feminism began to celebrate the solidarity among women. This reversed the
notion that women couldn’t be friends and uncovering the richness and profundity
of Victorian women’s lifelong friendship ties. Then, women’s emphasis on
intimacy and emotion expressiveness was seen as an asset, increasingly.
oSecond, a new generation of male psychologists and advocates of men’s liberation
were critical of the traditional male sex role as a debilitating barrier to emotional
1) Competition
2) The need to be in control
3) Homophobia
4) Lack of skills and positive roles for male intimacy
-As a result, separation and individuation are more difficult for women; connection and
intimacy more difficult for men.
-The nineteenth and twentieth centuries witnessed a dramatic transformation in the
gendered division of emotional labour
-As the separation grew between the private and public spheres, masculine norms began to
emphasize the home as protection from the competition of the hurly-burly of the working
world. Men were encourage to reorient themselves toward a spouse whose “job
description” no included meeting her husbands emotional needs.
-By the late 19th century, the specter of homosexuality also hung over male friendships\,
barring the kind of intimacies that now seem to many north Americans to indicate
-These changes did not eliminate either the existence or the presumed superiority of male-
male friendships. Men learned to be instrumental—focusing on tasks or shared activities
rather than self disclosure—in their relationships with other men
oMen have come to seek not intimacy but companionship, not disclosure but
commitment, in their friendships.
oThe passionate male friendship became a historical artifact
-The SOS (Separation of spheres) also positioned women as the domestic experts

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oWomen became increasingly expressive—adept at emotional communication—as
men were abandoning this style
oThe doctrine of separate spheres implied more than the spatial separation of
home and workplace; it divided the mental and social worlds into two
complementary halves.
oMen were to express the traits and emotions associated with the workplace—
competitiveness, individual achievement, instrumental rationality
oWomen were to cultivate the softer domestic virtues of love, nurturance, and
oLove itself changed meaning (tenderness, powerlessness, emotional expression)
oWomen were seen to possess al the milder virtues of humanity and became the
ministers of love
-“The cultural equation of femininity with emotional intimacy exaggerated gender
differences in friendship, love and sexuality”
These differences were the result of broad social and economic changes,
not their cause.
The exclusion of women from the workplace was the single most
important differentiating experience
Gender inequality produced the very differences that then legitimated the
-At the same time, the idea of companionate marriage became the norm in western society,
replacing earlier, more pragmatic views of the institution
-From the 18th century on, we viewed “love” as the primary purpose of marriage
-Musicians of the 13th centuries described undying passion as a hallmark of love for both
women and men. BUT the romantic love they described was generally experienced
outside of marriage—a young man’s service to and love for a married lady typically.
oHowever, this was seen as socially disruptive, a threat to the power of the church,
the state, and the family
-Parents were the ones to typically make decisions for their children regarding marriage,
dowry and bride price were also part of the cultural norms
-By the eighteenth century, attitudes softened and individuals were advised to make
marital choices based on love and affection, but the two families must also approve
-It wasn’t until the nineteenth century that love became the ordinary experience for
couples, that it was normal and indeed praiseworthy for young men and women to fall
passionately in love, and that there must be something wrong with those who fail to have
such nan overwhelming experience sometimes in late adolescence or early adulthood
-In the nineteenth century, love is rarely mentioned as reason to get married
-Love is rather a product of marriage than a prerequisite
-By the end of the century, love won the battle
-Dating developed and allowed young people to fall in love and select mates; the principal
mode of courtship – 1950s
-Romantic love became the most important prerequisite to marriage
-Romantic love, as the basis for marriage, sexuality, and family, is relatively recent
-The emergence of women as emotional specialists and the development of companionate
marriage had dramatic effects on the gendering of intimacy.
-Focus on behaviours (sodomy) rather than identity: same sex acts.
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