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SOCA01H3 (480)
Chapter 11

CHAPTER 11 notes

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOCA01H3
Professor
Andrew Mc Kinnon
Semester
Summer

Description
CHAPTER 11: Intersexed = infants are babies born with ambiguous genitals because of a hormone imbalance in the womb or some other cause Sex = born with male or female genitals & genetic program that released male/female hormones to stimulate the development of your reproductive system Gender = your sense of being male or female and your playing of masculine and feminine roles in ways defined as appropriate by your culture and society Gender identity = a person’s identification with, or sense of belonging to, a particular sex – biologically, psychologically and socially Gender role = the set of behaviors associated with widely shared expectations about how males and females are supposed to act - develop full-blown sense of gender identity btw ages 2 and 3 - if gender reassignment occurs before the age 18 months, it will usually be successful - functionalist theory = gender in inherent in our biological makeup and that society must reinforce those tendencies if it is to function smoothly - Conflict, feminist and symbolic interactionist theories: gender is constructed mainly by social influences and may be altered to benefit society’s members Heterosexuality = preference for members of the opposite sex as sexual partners Theories of Gender: Essentialism: - a school of thought that views gender differences as a reflection of biological differences btw women and men; gender differences as a reflection of naturally evolved dispositions (biological make-up) Social Constructionism: - gender differences as a reflection of the different social positions occupied by women and men; views gender as constructed by social structure and culture Essentialism: - Signmund Frued – essentialist explanation of male-female differences - Difference in male and female anatomy account for the development of distinct masculine and feminine gender roles o Father will castrate boy for desiring mother ..later gets identified with the father > strong, independent, and masculine personality o Penis envy > transformed into desire to have children; can never resolve their penis envy > naturally immature and dependent on men - since men compete with other men for sexual access to women, men evolve competitive and aggressive dispositions that include physical violence Fucntionalism and Essentialism: - Functionalists reinforce the esstialist viewpoint when they claim that traditional gender roles helpt to integrate society - Parsons: the essence of masculinity is a series of instrumental traits (rationality, self-assuredness and competiveness) - For girls: series of expressive traits ( nurturance and sensittivety to others) - View: learning the essential features of feminity and masculinity integrates society and allows it to function properly - 4 main criticism: o 1. Essentialist ignore the historical and cultural variability of gender and sexuality  deflates the idea that there are essential and universal behavioral differences btw men/women o 2. Tend to generalize from the average ignoring variations within gender groups o 3. Little or no evidence directly supports the essentials’ major claims o 4. Essentialists’ explanations for gender differences ifnore the role of power (ignore the fact that are usually in a position of greater power and authority than women are) - Friedrich Engels: root of male domination is class inequality o Men have control over economic surplus.. men could only own property > offsprings > capitalism made men wealthier and powerful and subordinated women - feminists conclude that male domination is rooted less in industrial capitalism than in the patriarchal authority relations, family structures, culture ** essentialism : view that masculinity and feminity are inherent and universal traits of men and women Social Construction and Symbolic Interactionism: - social constructionism is the view that apparently natural or innate features of life (like gender) are sustained by social processes that vary historically and culturally Gender socialization: children aren’t passive objects of socialization… Boundary crossing involves boys playing stereotypically girls’ games and girls playing stereotypically boy’s games - mixed gender interaction was also more common in less public and crowded settings - Thorn’s 2 contribution: o 1. Children are actively engaged in the process of constructing gender roles o 2. Although kids segrate themselves at school, boundaries btw boys and girls are sometimes fluid and rigid…the content of children’s gendered actives is not fixed gender ideologies = set of interrelated ideas about what constitutes appropriate masculine and feminine roles and behavior - age 14-15 (gr. 9-10) - what’s important? Work or school or both? - young women tend to choose courses that lead to lower-paying jobs bc they expect to devote a large part of their lives to child rearing and housework Body Image: - desire to slim down > partly a reaction to bulking up ..they do it for good business - women are more concerned with their stomachs than men - men are more concerned about their chest than women - body ideals are influenced by their gender glass ceiling = so
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