SOC 35 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Learning Disability, Androcentrism, Content Analysis

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7 Feb 2017
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Chapter 3: Understanding Gender: Its Influence
in Intimate Relationships
Distinguishing Sex and Gender Roles
Role: refer to a set of expected behaviors associated with a specific status, the
position we hold in society; these positions determine how we are defined and
treated by others and provide us with an organizing framework for how we should
relate to others
Ascribed status: born into statuses as to which we have little control over
Achieved status: acquired by virtue of our own efforts
Role expectations defined + structured around the privileges and obligations the
status is believed to possess
Ex. society expects males to be strong, independent, good providers
Stereotypes: certain qualities are assigned to an individual solely on the basis of
her or his social category
Gender role stereotypes: refer to the oversimplified expectations of what it
means to be a woman or a man
Master/key status: the status of being female or male in our society affects all
aspects of our lives
Sex: refers to biological aspects of a person --- the physiological characteristics
that differentiate females and males
Gender: refers to socially learned behaviors, attitudes, and expectations
associated with being female or male, femininity/masculinity
Gender behaviors + expectations are culturally constructed categories
Gender identity: a person’s awareness of being female or male
Gender Differences: The Nature-Nurture Debate
Differences w/in each sex = greater than differences b/t sexes
Gender similarities hypothesis: girls and boys and women and men are more
alike than different
Biological + cultural = interconnected
Transgender: umbrella term for intersexuality, transsexuals and multiple
genders
Sex/Gender Variations
Hermaphrodites: people with ambiguous genitalia
Now referred to as intersexed
Before = sex reassignment = surgery + hormonal treatments
Transsexuals: person who believe they were born with the body of the wrong
sex
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“Gender dysphoria” or “gender identity disorder”
Gender role socialization: a process by which people acquire the gender roles
that their culture defines as appropriate for them
Traditional Meanings of Femininity and Masculinity
Gender-stereotypes: the overgeneralized beliefs about the characteristics
associated with being female or male
Traditional Gender Roles: Female and Male
Female gender role --- clustered around family relationships + belief → women’s
place = home
Should not be: aggressive, loud, competitive, independent
Should be : passive, submissive, dependent on husbands
If employed = work should not interfere w/ family obligations
Male gender role --- providers + protectors
Should be: strong, competitive, aggressive, logical, independent
Should not be: emotional, expressive, weak
Gender Variations: A Cross-Cultural Perspective
Humankind = not composed of two homogenous groupings --- one fem + one
masculine
Gender Roles in Transition
People may have trouble implementing the idea of gender equality in their
everyday lives
Existing social arrangements tend to reinforce traditional gender roles
Theories of Gender Role Socialization
Social-Learning Theory
Social-learning theory: asserts that gender roles and gender identity are
learned directly through a system of positive reinforcement (rewards) and
negative reinforcement (punishments) + indirectly through observation +
modeling --- learning through imitation
Behavior followed by a reward = more likely to be repeated
Behavior that brings forth punishments = more likely to be discontinued
Cognitive-Development Theory
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