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Chapter 4

Chapter 4 (P. 80-104) Our Gendered Identities.docx

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PSYC 3630
Erin Ross

1 Chapter 4 (P. 80-104) Our Gendered Identities Gendered Identities - Sex = reference to male or female anatomy and physiology - Gender/gender role = societal attitudes and behaviours expected of and associated with the 2 sexes - Gender identity = degree to which an individual sees herself/himself as feminine or masculine Gender Expectations and Cultural Messages - Media/research explore disadvantages faced by women and uncertainty women have about choices - Men consider where they stand in family, relationships, work; move into traditionally female occupations - Message from media present idealized one-dimensional stereotype of what women/men are - Stigmatized = when lives, lifestyles, behaviours don’t match up with media-driven stereotypes o Others act disapprovingly toward us in a way that we feel badly about ourselves - American grown more liberal regarding men’s/women’s roles - Traditional sexism = belief that women’s roles should be confined to family and aren’t as fit as men for certain tasks or for leadership positions (declined since 1970s) - Discriminatory attitudes to transgendered people are rooted in traditional sexism - Modern sexism = replaced traditional sexism; denies gender discrimination persists and includes the belief that women are asking for too much; still a sense that men/women are diff in personality and aptitude o Endemic in mass media – present images suggest full equality for women is real, but simultaneously suggest most women prefer domesticity over workplace o Reinforces women/men together no longer need to pursue greater gender equality at work/home o Caused males to worry they should resemble hypermasculine – act aggressively to other males - Agentic/instrumental character traits = stereotypically masculine people: confident, assertive, ambition o Enable them to accomplish difficult tasks/goals - Communal/expressive character traits = stereotypically feminine people: warm, sensitive, express tender feelings, place concern about others’ welfare above self-interest Masculinities - Masculinities = recent/subtle change to promote appreciation for differences among men - Cultural expectation of men = occupationally/financially successful, working to support family o Confident, self-reliant, aggressive, adventure, violence, need to outwit/humiliate/defeat other men - If male finds avenues to occupational success blocked to him because of lack of education/racial/ethnic status, he makes it through alternative route through physical aggression or striking cool pose - White supremacy movements seen similar response to status disadvantage for less advantaged white males - 1980s: new cultural message – the liberated male or new man is emotionally sensitive and expressive, valuing tenderness and equal relationships with women - Transformation of ideal male image in response to 9/11 – unafraid can-do men who tackle fear and traumatic events head-on, provide unambiguous/uncomplicated performances of masculinity, then shed tears Femininities - Femininities = pivotal expectation of her to offer emotional support - Tradition: ideal women was physically attractive, not competitive, good listener, adaptable; man’s helpmate, aid/cheer his accomplishments; good mother, put her family’s/children’s needs before her - Gender display = behaviours we exhibit because of our socialization as men/women o Female hands aren’t as assertive/controlling of their environment, but let environment control them - Professional woman = more women entered workforce and feminist movement arrived – independent, ambitious, self-confident; attains career success and supports children (superwoman) - Satisfied single = emerging female expectation – hetero/lesbian – not in serious relationship with male 2 Chapter 4 (P. 80-104) Our Gendered Identities Issues for Thought – Wife Socialization and the Heterosexual Wedding - Brides/grooms tend to view themselves as equal participants in wedding planning - Single bride-to-be completed information gathering – greater familiarity with info resources from magazines o Kept track of planning resources and info (telephone numbers, appointments) o Complete kin work – anticipate family needs, facilitate ongoing family ties o Kin work = anticipate special meal requirements; assist guests with rides Issues for Thought – Challenges to Gender Boundaries - Intersexual = children have some anatomical, chromosomal, hormonal variation from male/female biology that is considered atypical (1-4%) - 1950s intersex babies (hermaphrodites) assigned gender identity by doctors, parents advised to treat according o Children underwent surgery, give genitals closely approximating assigned gender - Intersexuality as area of political activism – against arbitrary gender assignment and surgical correction of intersexed infants, demand acceptance of gender ambiguity - Surgical corrections are unethical, reinforce stigma through degradation and shame - Transsexuals = raised as one sex while emotionally identifying with the other o Congenital medical condition born with, whereby gender of brain doesn’t match bodies of physical sex o Wish surgery to conform their bodies to their gender identity o Others adopt the dress/demeanour of the sex with which they identify o Vary their appearance/self-presentation, adopt style that isn’t gender identified - Transgendered = identity adopted by those who are uncomfortable in the gender of their birth o Encompasses many diff gender identities and forms of gender expression o Broad term to include anyone who deviates from standard gender roles in society o In transition to new gender or wish to continue to occupy middle group - Gender reassignment = surgical procedure in which a person’s primary and secondary sex organs are changed to that of the other sex o Responses to changes by friends and family was difficult but eventually become accustomed - There are demarcated masculine and feminine genders and gender roles Gender Expectations and Diversity - Instrumental men and expressive women based on images of white, middle-class heterosexuals - Strong black woman cultural messages for black women: bitches and bad black mothers, modern mammies o Black women stereotyped as extremely educated or high school dropout, sexy or ugly - Latinas and Asian women stereotyped as submissive than non-Hispanic white - Latino men stereotyped as patriarchal – follow machismo cultural ideal of extreme masculinity/dominance - Racial prejudice by whites against Mexicans in late 1800s-1990s emphasized Mexican men as having more feminine attributes: cowardice and preference for wearing fancy clothing - Ideology of male provider role is a powerful theme in all racial/ethnic groups (changed currently) - African American families have flexible family roles; male’s involvement in childcare not have same priority - African American men more supportive of employed wives than white men - African American ideology: importance of male provider role - Women perform more household labour than men - African American men show up as more conservative than white men - Ability to have traditional gender relationships is evidence of economic success in African American families - Mexican American women engage in stereotyped marianismo, primary responsibility for housework/childcare o Roles modified in migration process and entry into labour force - Asian Indo American women obtain greater levels of education and develop careers o Wives make greater demands on husbands to help out with burden of domestic chores/childcare 3 Chapter 4 (P. 80-104) Our Gendered Identities To What Extent Do Women and Men Follow Cultural Expectations - Women have greater connectedness in interpersonal relations; pushed into caregiving professions - Men more socially dominant, competitive, achievement-oriented occupations - Great individual variation and situation context accounts apparent differences between men/women - See overlapping pattern in behaviour vis-à-vis gendered expectations - Within-group variation = differences among women or among men - Between-group variation = differences between men and women - Opportunities available in social structure affect options of men/women and their behaviours - Deceptive differences = men/women assigned to diff social roles o Woman secretary expected to be compliant and supportive to male boss o As observer, she seems gentle and submissive, he has leadership qualities The Gender Similarities Hypothesis - Gender similarities hypothesis = replace usual assumption of gender differences o Males/females are similar on most psychological variables o Men/women are more alike than different - Found no difference on most traits, few moderate differences, very few large differences o Math, verbal ability, self-esteem, aggression - Gender differences: o 1) motor performance – throwing distance/speed o 2) sexuality – male’s greater incidence of masturbation/acceptance of causal sex o 3) physical aggressiveness (no diff in relational aggression) - Mistaken assumption hurt women’s opportunities in workplace, men’s confidence in non-traditional family roles, both confidence in ability to communicate with each other Gender Inequality - Male dominance = male(s) in a dyad/group assume authority over female(s) o Assignment to men of greater control and influence over society’s institutions, greater benefits Male Dominance in Politics - 2009 US Congress: 17 women in Senate, 76 in House of Representatives - 71% public would vote for woman for president; 56% believe their family, friends, coworkers are willing to do so - 19% Congress and minority of cabinet and Supreme court are women Male Dominance in Religion - Women elected as bishops and denomination leaders in African Methodist Episcopol, Anglican - Women lead 8% of congregations in US - Growth of evangelical Protestantism, Islamic fundamentalism, Latter-day Saints religion and Catholic Church – fostered traditionally family ideal of male headship and rejection of feminist-inspired family roles - Strict gender divisions in home lead to family tensions and decreased marital satisfaction - Actual practice of evangelicals are more egalitarian than formal doctrine - Feminist movement of American Muslim women, combine religio-cultural heritage with equal rights for women o A commitment to faith that challenges secular feminist notions about Islam and women Gender and Health - From birth onward, prior to birth, males have higher death rates - 105 boys born for every 100 girls, boys outnumber girls under age 18 - Life expectancy for population is 77.7 in 2006 (80.2 female, 75.1 male) 4 Chapter 4 (P. 80-104) Our Gendered Identities o Greater risk factors for men to smoke, drink, accidents, suicide, murder, vulnerability to infections o Men have fewer doctor visits; middle-aged/traditional men visit even less - Medical researchers paid women little attention for years; now is the national priority - Men’s advocacy group call for increased attention to men’s health and research on their conditions Gender and Education As Students - Women as majority college students since 1797 - 72% girls 65% boys graduating high school = blamed advances made by women from feminism - 1) Men’s college enrolments have not declined; not increased as rapidly as women’s - 2) Disadvantage to males depends on age/class o Upper-income students of traditional age, males (white, black, Hispanic, Asian) remain majority enrolee o Women’s master’s degrees primarily in education, nursing, social work - 3) Sexual harassment continues to be problem on campuses (for men and women, for gays and lesbians) - Some colleges amounts to affirmative action for men, admit men with weaker records than women o This is more prevalent at smaller liberal arts colleges - Reading scores for males age 9, 13, 17 improved since 2004; gaps between boys/girls decreased - Continued disparity in earnings between sexes – women earn 77.1 cents for every dollar men make - 1) College achievement gap is greater among racial/ethnic groups within gender categories; points to black and Hispanic male disadvantage - 2) Apparent difference between males/females in goals and attitudes to schooling o 84% girls 67% boys think it is important to study beyond HS o Boys have poorer study habits, and less concern about doing well ins tudies As Faculty - 2007-2008: 41.8% women full-time college/university faculty o Less likely to be full-time faculty even with expansion of women’s graduate degree attainment (48%) o Less likely to be in tenure-track positions; less likely be tenured; less likely to be full professors - Little gain seen in faculty racial/ethnic diversity – majority white males/females Male Dominance in the Economy - 4% husbands had wives brought home more income than they did in 1970; 22% in 2007 o Fewer married couples in 2007, more women obtain college degrees, men unemployed 3x more - 2008: full-time women earned 80% what men full time did - In same occupational categories, women earn less than men o Differences related to choice of occupational specialty and practice setting o Earning gaps narrowed in recent decades - Convergence is due to: falling wages for men or increased time out of labour force, rising wages for women as they increased their human capital (education, skills) and labour force participation - Men dominate corporate America; women held 15% board director positions; 2% women of colour - Explanations for gender inequality: o Jobs held by males pay better because they are difficult, require more training, poor work condition o Jobs filled by women are less challenging, buy into gender stereotypes and believe they are less competent to achieve certain jobs o Women contend with employers’ assumptions that women will opt out o Employers less likely select women for advanced training and positions with upward mobility o Family favour males’ career over females in residential mobility, taking of time-pressured jobs/promo o Attributed to discrimination: albeit of a nonobvious sort 5 Chapter 4 (P. 80-104) Our Gendered Identities Is Anatomy Destiny? - Lewontin: All human existence is controlled by DNA – has effect of legitimize structures of society o Attribute socially constructed human behaviour to inherited genetics o Look to race, gender differences – find genetic explanation for forms of inequality o Rely heavily on functionalist explanations of social organization – socio-biology - Biological theories of gender difference initially offered by ethologists (study human as evolved animal species) o Homo sapiens inherited condition of dominance through natural selection o Newer data on nonhuman primates challenged this conclusion as socially constructed myths o Primate species vary in behaviour and within species there is environmentally shaped variation - Evolutionary psychology = subsequent socio-biology theory of gendered behaviour focused on genes o Human behaviours is associated with biological adaptation o To continue their genes, individual maximize reproduction or that of close kin o Males seek to impregnate many females; females seek to best conditions in which to nurture children o Others reverse order – examine the ways society/social interactions impact biology - Other evolutionary perspectives: focus on hunting-gathering era of early human evolution o Men with physical strength and freedom from reproductive responsibility were able to hunt o Women pregnant/breastfeeding gathered food close to home while cared for children o Skills adapted by men/women became encoded in the genes  Greater aggression/spatial skills for men  Nurturance and domesticity for women - Current behaviours stem from our adaptation during hunting-gathering era called into question o Basal testosterone levels (found in both males/females) impact level of empathy/aggression o Aggressive/empathetic behaviour has less to do with one’s gender and more with levels of testosterone - Hormonal processes = chemical substances secreted into bloodstream by endocrine glands – influence activities of cell, tissues, body organs; where genetic heritage is expressed o What happen in one’s environment influence hormone secretion levels o Hormonal levels of males in romantic relationships and new fathers undergo changes parallel to those with maternal behaviour (lower testosterone/cortisol, detectable levels of estradiol) - Biologists: relinquished deterministic models in thinking about gender and family o Evolutionary theory acknowledges strong environmental effects on animal behaviour o Stereotype threat have a greater impact on gendered differences in cognitive testing results o Stereotype threat = sense of threat that can arise when one knows he/she can be judged negatively on basis of a negative stereotype about one’s group - Sociologist: work from biosocial perspective find interactions among gender, social roles, biological indicators, rather than categorical gender differences o Biology interacts with culture that cannot be reduced to biological determinism Gender as a Functional Role - Gender role behaviours developed to meet functional system needs of family o Create differentiation in instrumental leader (father) and expressive leader (mother) o 2 roles describe division of labour and interaction within families - Instrumental and expressive roles are valuable, they have equal functional importance o Each role has its own ranking of assumed competence - Childhood gender socialization entails learning instrumental/expressive role o By late teens: gender-appropriate attitudes/behaviours are internalized - Importance to fill 2 gender roles, socialization is repetitive – roles overlearned and encased in them o Fully socialized individual is only able to display one role set o Fully socialized adults have difficulty understanding complementary role to their own - Changing gender role behaviours/attitudes (for greater quality) require changing gender role socialization experiences of children from earliest childhood through late teens 6 Chapter 4 (P. 80-104) Our Gendered Identities o Need to be made in all and most families to change society Gender as a Situational Role - Gender role differences depend on cultural definitions o Require influential, agentic, proactive behaviours and acquiescent, expressive, reactive behaviours o Depend on nature of risk, characteristics of others, other situational facts - Instrumental and expressive roles are unequal in importance, social esteem, perceived value o Instrumental/agentic attitudes are favoured – Associate high general competence o Social-emotional/responsive attitudes are less favoured – Associate low general competence o 2 kinds of roles associated with power and prestige structures - Socialization includes learning superordinate and subordinate behaviours/attitudes o Learning social cues to tell person’s place within situational social hierarchies - Importance of situation-appropriate behaviour, individuals learn flexibility in displaying instrumental/social- emotional attitudes and behaviour - Changing gender role behaviours (for greater equality) require devise situation-specific intervention to change structural characteristics of particular situation Gender and Socialization - Boys’ rough play as earlier separation from adults, poor impulse
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