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Chapter 4

PSYC 3630 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Chicana Feminism, Ethology, Male Privilege

Course Code
PSYC 3630
Erin Ross

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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 = 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 = 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

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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

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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)
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