Textbook Notes (363,140)
Canada (158,217)
Sociology (1,479)
SOC101Y1 (470)
Chapter 4

New Society 6th Edition Chapter 4 Textbook Notes

8 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Toronto St. George
Robert Brym

SOC101Y1 TEXTBOOK NOTES (remember to review ppts) Chapter 4 Gender and Sexuality Introduction  How do we define male and female?  Biological sex vs. attitudes and behaviors Defining Male and Female: Sex and Gender Summary of Biological Sex Differences during Typical Fetal Development Variable Female Male Chromosomal pattern XX XY Gonadal Ovaries Testes Hormonal More estrogens than More androgens than androgens estrogens + MIH Sex organs Uterus, fallopian tubes, Epididymis, vas deferens, vagina, clitoris, labia seminal vesicles, prostate, penis, scrotum  Sociological gender comprises the feelings, attitudes, and behaviors of being male/female  Gender identity is identifying with a particular sex (biologically psychologically, and socially)  Gender role is expectations of how male/female should act Research shows that North American’s expectations of gender roles have changed somewhat from 1960s. In 1960s-1970s, males were expected to act tough…as time went by, it became less expected. Accountability structures (e.g. peers, family, church) sanction our ―abnormal‖ behavior.  People are transgendered when their gender identity does not match their sex assignment at birth. Transsexuals identify with the opposite sex from their assigned sex, causing them to change their appearance (sex change).  From Eichler’s point of view, transgendered individuals are a ―problem‖ for people because our society does not understand the intermediate sexes.  No one-to-one relationship exists between sex and gender Sexuality - refers to activities that intend ―to lead to erotic arousal and produce genital response - sexual behavior is guided by a set of sexual scripts (tell us who we should find attractive, when/where it’s appropriate to be aroused, what is permissible, and how to behave sexually), which are linked to gender roles. - The word homosexuality (same sex interests) appeared in 1860s and was thought as a serious psychiatric disorder until 1974 - Heterosexuality = straight people - Compulsory heterosexuality is assumption that people should only desire members of opposite sex Sexual Attitudes and Behavior  Men report more frequent intercourse than women (more women report abstention than men)  In Canada, men francophones are more likely than women and anglophones to endorse the fun standard (sexual activity is acceptable as long as both partners want it) Hatfield (1995)  Men are somewhat more concerned than women with sex  Women are somewhat more concerned than men with love Sexual orientation refers to a way a person derives sexual pleasure, including whether desirable partners are of the same or a different sex. It is inaccurate to think about sexuality in terms of a strict dichotomy between heterosexuality and homosexuality. It is more appropriate to conceptualize sexuality as comprising four continua: Sexual attraction, Sexual desire, Sexual behavior, Sexual identity. In 1975, 28% of Canadian adults think infidelity is ―almost always wrong‖ while 50% felt it was ―always wrong‖. By 1995, these became 25% and 60% respectively. This change in attitudes toward extramarital affairs is part of a more general tendency for people to have fewer sexual partners.  1960s-1970s: promoted multiple sexual partners, HIV/AIDS not big problem yet  1980s: HIV/AIDS became widely known, so people became more cautious Does Sex Determine Destiny? Essentialism  Some analysts see gender as a reflection of naturally evolved dispositions  Essentialists observe male-female differences in sexual scripts, the division of labour at home and in the workplace, mate selection, sexual aggression, jealousy, promiscuity, fidelity, etc. Then they interpret these differences as natural and universal.  Has many variants, most of which originate in biology and psychology. The three most popular variants: brain studies, sociobiology, and Freudian theory. Brain Studies  Male-female differences in brain structure sometimes said to account for their differences in behavior and achievement  2 hemispheres: left hemisphere associated with language abilities, the right with nonverbal perception ad visual and spatial skills  Right hemisphere becomes dominant in men (mathematical, artistic, musical, and visual-spatial abilities)  Left hemisphere becomes dominant in women (allows symmetrical use of hemispheres, edge in feelings, intuition, language skills, and quick judgments)  From this line of reasoning, we can state that the gender division of labor is perfectly natural, structured by our brains rather than by society Sociobiology  Over time, masculine and feminine behaviors became genetically encoded  Genetic factors trigger biochemical processes that further enhance sex differences through varying levels of hormone production in women and men David Buss  Four adaptive strategies or ―universal features of our evolved selves‖ govern the relations between the sexes and contribute to the preservation of the human species o First, men want casual sex with women o Second, men treat women’s bodies as men’s property o Third, men beat or kill women who incite male sexual jealousy o Fourth, women are greedy for money  Women have a bigger investment than a man in ensuring the survival of their offspring. She produces <400 eggs in her reproductive years, while men release 200- 500 million sperm every time they ejaculate, which can be produced every 24-48 hrs.  Men compete for sexual access to women, therefore evolving competitive and aggressive dispositions that include physical violence  Women look for men who can best help support the child after birth. Hence women’s alleged greed for money in contemporary society Freud (1977)  Believed that sexuality is the main human instinct. It motivates human behavior and accounts for the development of distinct masculine and feminine gender roles.  A host of gender differences in personality and behavior follow from the anatomical sex differences that children first observe around the age of three.  Young boy unconsciously develops a fantasy of sexually possessing his mother and envies father but identifies with his father leading to strong masculine personality  Young girls develop sense of inferiority because of her ―penis envy‖ and resents mother and develops an unconscious sexual desire for father A Critique of Essentialism 1. Essentialists ignore the historical and cultural variability of gender and sexuality. 2. Essentialists ignore the fact that gender differences are declining rapidly and in some cases have already disappeared. 3. The research evidence employed by essentialists is often deeply flawed. 4. Essentialists tend to generalize from the average, ignoring variations within gender groups. 5. Essentialists exaggerate the degree to which gender differences are unchangeable. 6. Essentialists offer explanations for gender differences that ignore the role of power. Social Constructionism  Main alternative to essentialism  Argues that gender differences are not the product of biological properties; instead, gender and sexuality are products of social structure and culture.  Culture is composed of shared systems and meaning. Social structure refers to the way major institutions, such as families, the economy, and the political system are organized. Social structures are patriarchal in that they reinforce inequalities between women and men.  Stresses three main sociohistorical changes that led to the development of gender inequality: 1. Long distance warfare and conquest. 2. Plow agriculture 3. The separation of public and private spheres. Constructing Gender through Socialization Primary Socialization  Parents encourage sons to engage in boisterous behavior and competitive play. They tend to encourage their daughters to engage in cooperative play  Parents reinforce gender-specific behavior  Parents encourage their children to play with gender-stereotyped toys (action figure vs dolls) Secondary Socialization  In most schools, teachers assume boys will do better in science and math, girls in languages  Teachers praise boys more and give them more help than girls, thus reinforcing gender stereotypes and resulting in less effective learning experience for girls  Boys tend to establish less intimate friendships than girls do. Moreover, boys’ friendships tend to be based on such activities as team sports, which focus on independence, emotional control, and conquest  Girls tend to form less extensive friendship networks than boys do and focus on sociability, popularity and attractiveness Mass Media  Symbolic representation of gender  Creates and reinforces gender stereotypes  Begins when small children learn that only a kiss from Snow White’s Prince Charming will save her from eternal sleep  Also in magazines, romance novels, ads, music, television, and the Internet  Its big business; the average romance reader spends $1200 a year on the genre Gender Socialization and Sexuality o In society, we receive little systemati
More Less

Related notes for SOC101Y1

Log In


Don't have an account?

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.