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SOC265H1 (21)

SOC265 Readings Week 1 (2 readings)

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Bonnie Fox

- SOC265 Reading 1: Anne Fausto-Sterling: How to Build a Man - Masculinity constructed through social discourse - Aim to consider truths that biologists extract from bodies, human and other wise - Single embryonic gland can give rise to an ovary or a testis - Male and female arise from single structure - Mooney 10 road signs to being male or female: chromosomal sex. Gonadal sex, fetal hormonal sex, internal morphologic sex, external morphologic sex, brain sex, sex of assignment and rearing, pubertal hormonal sex - Road signs problematic because scientists neglect to observe how their own social understanding is integrated within these criteria - Two themes emerge - 1) masculinity is an active presence that forces itself onto a feminine foundation - Example: presence of certain hormones - 2) male is in constant danger - At any time, could revert back to female form..(failure to activate SDY and the gonad becomes an ovary) - Hunting for special proteins the male embryo makes in order to protect itself from feminizing - Theme of protection and strength: able to fight off hormones, become male, if not: remain female - Doctors will perform surgery to regulate gender - Surgical activity goes on to ensure a congruous and certain sex of assignment and sex of rearing - Example: penis must be large enough so boys can feel normal peeing standing up - Belief that masculinity becomes a social phenomenon: for proper socialization to occur, the little boy must have a significantly large penis - See here how gender is beli
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