SOCC38H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter Gendered Society : Behavioural Sciences, Biological Determinism, Masculinity
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The Gendered Society
Human Beings: an Engendered Species
• "interplanetary" theory. Gender difference also typically way we explain another universal
phenomenon: gender inequality
• Gender is not simply a system of classification, by which biological male sand biological females are
sorted, separated, and socialized into equivalent sex roles. Expresses the universal inequality
between women and men. Also speak about hierarchy, power, and inequality, not simply
• Two tasks of any study of gender. Explain both difference and inequality, or difference and
dominance. Must address two central questions and their ancillary derivative questions
o Why is it that virtually every single society differentiates people on the basis of gender?
o Why is it that virtually every known society is also based on male dominance?
• Dramatic differences among societies regarding the type of gender differences, the levels of gender
inequality, and the amount of violence that are necessary to maintain both systems of difference
• Virtually every society known to us is founded upon assumptions of gender difference and the
politics of gender inequality
• Biological determinism and differential socialization. Or "nature" and "nurture." Different because
they are "hardwired" or difference because they've been taught to be?
• Sex differences. Anatomical, hormonal, chemical, and physical differences between women and
men. Most social and behavioural scientists now use term "Gender" in different way than we use
o Sex refers to biological apparatus.. Gender refers to meanings attached to differences within
o Biological sex varies very little, gender varies enormously.
• Gender means different things to difference people, varies cross-culturally. Differences between
two cultures are often greater than the differences between the two genders. Meanings of gender
very from culture to culture and vary within any one culture and vary within any one culture over
historical time, then understanding gender must employ the tools of the social and behavioural
science and history
• Differential socialization. "Nurture." taught to be different.
o From the moment of birth, treated differently. Gradually we acquire the traits, behaviors, and
attitudes that our culture defines as " masculine" or "feminine." We become different through
this process of socialization
• Domination outcome of different cultural valuing of men's and women's experiences. Adoption of
masculinity and femininity implies the adoption of "political" ideas that what women do is not as
culturally important as what men do
• Both "nature lovers" and "nurturers" see women and men as markedly different from each other.
Both schools of thought assume that the differences between women and men are far greater and
more decisive than differences that might be observed among men or among women. Both nature
lovers and nurturers subscribe to some version of the interplanetary theory of gender
• Both schools of thought assume gender domination is inevitable outcome of gender difference, that
difference causes domination
• Both propositions inadequate. Differences between women and men not nearly as great as are
differences among women or among men. Gender difference is product of gender inequality, and
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