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Sexuality TB notes 2.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Malcolm Mac Kinnon

Chapter 11 Sexuality and GenderSex versus GenderIs it a boy or a girl intersexed infants are babies born w ambiguous genitals bc of a hormone imbalance in the wombs or some other causeGender identity and gender roles sociologists distinguish biological sex from sociological gender a persons gender comprises the feelings attitudes and behaviours typically associated w being male or female social learning of gender begins very early in lifebabies first develop vague sense of being a boy or girl atage 1they develop fullblown sense of gender identity bw age 2 or 3Theories of Gender2 Perspectives 1 Essentialism a school of thought that views gender differences as a reflection of biological differences bw women and mencompatible w functionalist theory 2 Social contructionism views gender as constructed by social structure and culture compatible w conflict feminist and symbolic interactionist theoriesEssentialismFreud believed that differences in male and female anatomy accounts for the development of distinct masculine and feminine gender rolesessentialist view says that at age 3 children begin to pay attention to their genitals believes girls have penis envy thus gender differences follow from anatomical sex differences that children first observe around age 3Sociology and Evolutionary psychology nd offered 2essentialist theory say that all humans instinctively try to ensure that their genes are passed on to future generationsmen and women develop different strategies to achieve this thus gender differences in behavior are based on biological differences bw women and menFunctionalism and essentialism functionalists reinforce the essentialist viewpoint when they claim that traditional gender roles help to integrate society people learn their gender roles through gender role socialization learning the essential features of femininity and masculinity integrates society and allows it to function properly A critique of essentialism from the conflict and feminist perspectives have 4 main criticisms against essentialism
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