Sex determined at conception and refers to the reproductive organs you are born with
and your hormonal makeup.
Gender a social role governed by how your culture defines masculinity and femininity.
Changes as cultures evolve
o Women wearing suits or playing sports would be unfeminine in the
There are clusters of traits we designate masculine or feminine
o Make up our conception of masculine and feminine gender
What it means to be a man or a woman.
o Are gender stereotypes or generalizations, about how most men
and women are expected to behave
o How society controls our actions and behaviours, due to
ramifications of breaking societal norms. They enforce rigid
gender behaviour codes.
o Men being effeminate
o Women being “butch”
o Penalties like ridicule, ostracism, workplace discrimination
Diversity or Conformity?
Because gender is a social role and controls are in place to make sure most
people play the right role, gender may limit rather than liberate us.
o Enforces conformity rather than encourage diversity
Challenges to Traditional Gender Identity
Transvestites men and women who adopt the dress and behaviour of the opposite
Transsexuals genetically of one sex but have a psychological urge to belong to the
May seek surgery to bring biological self in line with psychological
self Gender Patterns
Girls are more likely to:
Live longer and be widowed
Live in poverty
Be a single parent
Work part time jobs
Earn 71% less (when working full time) then full time male workers
Boys are more likely to:
Be a victim of violence
Remarry if divorced
Lose custody of his children in divorce
Get cancer or AIDS
Be employed and make more money
People conform to fairly well defined notions of masculinity and femininity which
leads to patterns of male and female behaviour emerging, creating gender
o Areas of work, school and play in which men dominate and areas in
which women dominate
o Three types of gender spheres:
Men still dominate in administration, technology, the professional fields and jobs
requiring physical strength.
Women still dominate the “caring” professions, such as nursing, social work and
o Also predominate clerical and service sectors
Canadian men are more likely to study architecture, engineering and applied
Canadian women are more likely to study secretarial, community and social
services, nursing, education and the humanities.
Leisure Spheres Men are more likely to choose competitive and physically rough sports such as
football and hockey
Women are more likely to choose swimming, cross-country skiing and bowling.
The Issue of Equality
Women do not get an equal share of the pay rewards, whether they work
outside the home or inside.
Even when men venture into female dominated roles they can still expect
to earn more than their female colleagues.
Men may be leaders in the financial sphere although; they lag in the
interpersonal sphere. Women generally care for their children and family
and men being seen as breadwinners for their families miss out on family
moments and are more likely to forgo close relationships with their