Textbook Notes (368,611)
Canada (162,009)
Sociology (1,053)
SOCA02H3 (310)
Chapter 11

Sociology - Chapter 11.docx

7 Pages
Unlock Document

Robert Brym

Sociology Chapter 11: Sexuality And Gender Stratification Sex Versus Gender Is It A BoyOr Girl?  A baby boy lost his penis during a circumcision procedure and would be intersexed for his life.  Intersexed - infants are babies born with ambiguous genitals because of a hormone imbalance in the womb or some other cause  Dr. JohnMoney reassigned the baby to female. Reassigned as a man, BUT David Reimer committed suicide. Gender Identity And Gender Role  Sex - depends on whether you were born with distinctive male or female genitals and genetic programs that released either male or female hormones to stimulate the development of your reproductive system.  Gender - refers to the feelings attitudes desires and behaviors that are associated with a particular sexual category.  Gender has three components: o Sexuality- refers to a person's capacity for erotic experiences and expressions. o Gender identity- refers to a person sense of belonging to a particular sexual category (male, female, homosexual, lesbian, bisexual) o Gender role- refers to the behavior that conforms to widely shared expectations about how members of a particular sexual category are supposed to act  Babies have a vague sense of identity at 1 and fully developed gender identity at 2 and 3.  If gender assignment is before 18 months = successful  before social learning, NOT biological  Heteronormativity - Is the belief that sex is binary (one must be either male or female as conventionally understood) and that sex ought to be perfect aligned with gender (one's sexuality, gender identity and gender role ought to be either male or female as conventionally understood).  Social learning is heteronormative  heterosexuality is seen as normal  Heterosexuality- is the preference for members of the opposite sex as sexual partners.  BUT Some reject the gender assigned to them  negative sanctions to conform or punish them Theories Of Gender  Essentialism - is a school of thought that views gender differences as a reflection of biological differences between women and men  gender as a essence of biological makeup  Social constructionism - gender is constructed by people living in historically specific social structures and cultures  gender differences due to different social positions of women and men Modern Essentialism: SociobiologyAnd Evolutionary Psychology  Sociobiologists and Evolutionary psychologists - all humans instinctively try to ensure that their genes are passed on to future generations BUT men and women have different strategies o Women produce a small number of eggs and must find the best mate (support with money) o Men have unlimited sperm cells, thus many chance to pass on genes (Promiscuity, competitiveness and aggressiveness increases chances)  casual sex FunctionalismAnd Essentialism  Functionalism - traditional gender roles help us to integrate into society o Men work in the paid labor force (masculinity essence), women raise children & manage the house (femininity essence)  each generation learns (men ≠ feminine, women ≠ masculine) A CritiqueOf Essentialism FromTheConflict And Feminist Perspectives  Conflict and Feminist theorists - disagree with essentialism o Essentialism ignores the historical and cultural variability of gender and sexuality o Gender inequality, male violence against women, criteria for mate selection all have variations o Eg. Women select mates with less of a provider role and men choose women with less domestic skills in low-inequality societies. o Eg. Women become lawyers and police officers inducing their masculinity o Eg. Men are aggressive and females are too, their aggressiveness overlaps. o There is little/no evidence supporting essentialists  No evidence of genes that cause male jealousy, female nurturance and unequal division of labor o “Existing behavior patterns ensure survival of species” WRONG  ignores men are in power  Conflict theorist Friedrich Engels located the root of male domination in class inequality.  preliterate societies produced more than needed for their own survival (industrial capitalism) some men gained control over economic surplus. Rules:  Only men could own property  wealthy, powerful  Women have to be sexually faithful to husbands  subordinate, domestic  Feminist theorists - male domination greater in pre-capitalist, agrarian societies. It’s evident in socialist or communist societies  more related to patriarchal authority relations, family structures, and patterns of socialization and culture  Behavioral differences result from men being in a position to impose their interests on women. Social Constructionismand Symbolic Interactionism  Social constructionism - apparently natural or innate features of life, such as gender, are actually sustained by social processes that vary historically and culturally  conflict, feminist and symbolic interactionists (attach meanings to gender) theories are a type of social constructionism Gender Socialization  Barbie dolls were the first doll modeled after an adult 1959, seen as the “idealwoman” o Eg. pre-set workout scale at 110 pounds, many outfits, bathrooms, gyms, beauty parlors all to seemingly please Ken  body image concern to please men  Gender neutral toys are now decreasing  more stereotypical toys  reinforce beliefs  Parents, specifically fathers, treat infant boys and girls equal in physicality differently; Girls  feminine characteristics, boys  masculine characteristics. Gender stereotype perceptions of infants declined.  People judge a baby’s startled reaction based on gender, boy  angry & girl scared.  Parents (fs) boys = encourage energetic & competitive, girls = encourage cooperative & role- playing games.  Girls  greater development of verbal and emotional skills, awards for compliance  Boys  concern with winning and hierarchy, praise for assertiveness Gender Segregation and Interaction  Barrie Thorne - children self-segregated themselves in the classroom and while playing games Less gender separation when boundary crossing occurred while playing stereotypical opposite sex games, projects, cross-gender contact ordered by adults, in private places where they wouldn’t be scrutinized if the person was deemed agreeable by the opposite sex. o 1. children are actively engaged in constructing gender roles (NOT passive of adult demands) o 2. children tend to segregate themselves by gender BUT boundaries between boys and girls are sometimes fluid and sometimes rigid depending on social circumstances (NOT fixed).  Adult gender demands are important and reinforced by teachers  boys do better in math and science, girls do better in English  generally true.  Single-sex schools allow children to develop faster because they emphasize on academic excellence and less on physical attractiveness and heterosexual popularity.  Gender ideologies – is a set of interrelated ideas about what constitutes appropriate masculine and feminine roles and behaviour o Boys pick courses based on careers (math & science), girls base on career and home o Women get lower-paying jobs because they consider child caring and housework  53% women and 6% men “graduation, work, marriage, kids, stop working, work” o Less women in science and business  >75% women working in 10 lowest-paid jobs The Mass Media and Body Image  Women in media clean houses, take care of children, modeling, acting as objects of male desire  Men in media are aggressive, action-oriented, and authoritative  Eg. Disney movies, Cinderella  People try to shape their bodies after the images portrayed in mass media  body image now is a self-definition  women ideal became thinner  North Americans became overweight  health problems = overweight  desire to slim down  extreme body types = good for business  fitness, diet, low-calorie food, and cosmetic surgery  56% of women and 43% of men graduates in a NA uni. were dissatisfied with their appearance o 3% women and 22% men of those dissatisfied with their appearance wanted to gain weight o Great desire for men to be muscular and women to be slim  Canadian women 5x more likely than men to be underweight  26 country study of women’s body dissatisfaction show at 24.7 years, most wanted to be slimmer than they already were since their self-reported body image was heavier than the body ideal which varied in every world region. o American women most dissatisfied, men viewed heavier women more undesirable. o Variation in dissatisfaction due to exposure to media from the Western world  Body dissatisfaction motivates people (80% women, 50% men) to diet o 1/4 women 1/6 men would trade 3 years of their life to reach their weight goal o 50% female 30% male smokers do so to control their weight o 1-5% North American women suffer from eating and weight loss disorders o 1-5% NA female, 0.2-1.5% NA male college students suffer from bulimia Male-Female Interaction  Gender roles children learn form the basis of social interaction as adults o Boys  learn that social interaction is about competition, conflict, self-sufficiency and hierarchical relationships.  take center stage o Girls  learn that social interaction is about maintaining cordial relationships, avoiding conflict, and resolving differences of opinion through negotiation  don’t like being bossy  Thus, men and women often have conflict Eg. asking for directions  Glass ceiling – is a social barrier that makes it difficult for women to rise to the top level of management o Eg. women consider everyone’s opinions while in a managerial position “we”, but men don’t “I” and men can see women as indecisive and incompetent Homosexuality Sexuality and Resistance to Conventional Gender Roles  Minority of people resist conventional gender role  varying degrees of maleness and femaleness  Transgendered – people break society’s gender norms by defying the rigid distinction between male and female  1/5000-10000 in North America o Eg. cross-dressers – gender identify with one sex and dress in clothing for the opposite sex o Transsexuals – believe they were born with the “wrong” body. They i
More Less

Related notes for SOCA02H3

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.