PSYC 3480 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Liberal Feminism, Radical Feminism, Cultural Feminism

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7 Feb 2013
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Chapter 1
Central Concepts in the Psychology of Women
Sex and Gender
Sex is a narrow term that refers only to those inborn biological characteristics
relating to reproduction.
Gender is a broader term, which refers to the psychological characteristics and
social categories that human culture creates
According to the concept doing gender, you express your gender when you
interact with other people; and you also perceive gender in these other people
o It emphasizes that gender is active, dynamic process rather than
something that is stable and rigid
o It is virtually impossible to stop doing gender because it’s part of
our actual identity
The Extent of Social Biases
Sexism: a bias against people on the basis of their gender
Racism: a bias against people on the basis of racial or ethnic groups
Classism: a bias based on social class
o Social class is defined by such factors as income, occupation, and
education
o As with sexism, and racism, classism provides special privileges to some
people, based on their social category
Ableism: a bias against people with disabilities
Heterosexism: a bias against anyone who is not exclusively heterosexual
o Encourages many people to believe that male-female romantic
relationships should be considered normative and therefore people in
same-gender relationships do not have the same rights and privileges
Ageism: a bias based on chronological age
Feminist Approaches
Feminism: the principle that values women’s experiences and ideas
o Emphasizes that women and men should be socially, economically, and
legally equal
Four different theoretical approaches to feminism:
o Liberal feminism: emphasizes the goal of gender equality, giving women
and men the same rights and opportunities
Argue that people can achieve this goal by passing laws that
guarantee equal rights for women and men
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