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SOC265 Readings Week 1.docx

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOC265H1
Professor
Bonnie Fox
Semester
Winter

Description
- 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 believed to be tied to gentila and about feeling normal! - Focus on legitimacy of male identification - John Money: men are made not born - For example, if baby has short penis, will make child into a girl, they believe that feminity can be made in this regard. - Masculinity can be made as well, but in order for it to be successful need to have proper organs (penis) - See how all this is tied together… - Scientific writing can be seen as a particular kind of cultural interpretation- the enculturated scientist interprets nature, in the process, he or she also uses that interpretation to reinforce old or build new sets of social beliefs, thus scientific work contributes to the construction of masculinity - Robert M. Sapolsky The Trouble With Testosterone: Will Boys Just Be Boys? - Does the action of this hormone (testosterone) tell us anything about individual differences in levels of aggression, anything about why some males are exceptionally violent? - Fluctuations in testosterone levels within one individual over time do not predict subsequent changes in the levels of aggression in that one individual - Anywhere from roughly 20% of normal to twice normal and its all the same; the brain can’t distinguish among this wide range of basically normal levels - (testosterone ONLY affects aggression as an extreme value in that having none or A LOT) - Violence is more complex than a single hormone - Our behaviora
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