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Chapter notes for NS: Gender and Sexuality (5th ed)

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University of Toronto St. George
Sheldon Ungar

2009-10-25 Chapter 4: Gender and Sexuality Introduction o According to Dr. Money, age at which individuals become locked into their gender closes at two years of age; a gender identity gate o David Reimer was assigned a female gender Brenda Reimerhe was given female hormones at puberty and given dresses to wear However, DavidBrenda acted like a boy and still wanted to do male things 1979: David decided to stop living as a girl DavidBrenda started taking male hormones at the age of 16 Committed suicide at the age of 38 o Reveals that we are not defined as male or female based on biology alone Defining Male and Female: Sex and Gender o Sex: distinct male or female genitalia and a genetic program that releases male or female hormones to stimulate ones reproductive system th o About 1 in 400 children is born with an abnormal 46 chromosome (sex determinant, XX being female, XY being male) Caused by failure of sperm to divide properly o Gonads begin to develop in the sixth or seventh week of gestation Differences noticeable in the 14 week after conception o Scientists agree on one sex difference in the brain: the hypothalamus in the female brain is sensitive to estrogen and is responsible for creating menstrual cycles o Gender is composed of feeling, attitudes, and behaviours associated with being male or female Belonging to a particular sex, psychologically, biologically, and socially is known as gender identity www.notesolution.com People adopt gender roles when they act according to widely shared expectations about how males and females are supposed to act Expectations on how men and women are supposed to act has only changed somewhat over the last 40 years o Ex. Boys in the 1960s-1970s were expected to hide their emotions. Today it is true to a lesser extent, but boys still learn that crying in public is associated with being a sissy. o There are pressures on individuals who dont conform to gender roles. The following highlight that biology alone does not define males or females. Transgendered people are individuals who want to alter their gender by changing their appearance or resorting to medical intervention. 1 in every 5000 to 10000 Canadians are transgendered Transsexuals are people who believe they were born in the wrong body; they identify with the opposite sex and often go through procedures (i.e. to have a sex-change operation). 1 in 30000 Canadians WHO classifies transgendered individuals as suffering a psychiatric disorder Margarit Eichler points out that if masculinity and femininity were less rigid, gender identity issues would not be seen as a problem and sex-change operations would not be needed. Transgendered individuals are only seen as a problem because people dont recognize intermediate sexes. Evidence suggests gender reassignment tends to be successful before the age of 18 months Box 4.1: The Third Way: Refusing to Gender Identify Matt Lundie was born Fiona o Doesnt want to be a woman or a man but will begin taking male hormones and undergo a mastectomy (removal of boobs) but not genital reassignment www.notesolution.com
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