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Sociology of Gender - week 2 notes

by: Jessica Twehous

Sociology of Gender - week 2 notes SOCIOL 3320-01

Marketplace > University of Missouri - Columbia > Sociology > SOCIOL 3320-01 > Sociology of Gender week 2 notes
Jessica Twehous
GPA 3.8

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About this Document

These notes are exactly from the week 2 lecture!
Sociology of Gender
Robyn Swink
Class Notes
sociology, Gender
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jessica Twehous on Friday February 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to SOCIOL 3320-01 at University of Missouri - Columbia taught by Robyn Swink in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 17 views. For similar materials see Sociology of Gender in Sociology at University of Missouri - Columbia.


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Date Created: 02/05/16
● What is the relationship between testosterone and aggression?  ○ Testosterone can't​ause​aggression, but it can exacerbate it if the aggression is  already there in the organism  ■ If you have 5 monkeys and put them in an environment, let them establish  their own heirarchy, the 3rd highest monkey is then given a ton of  testosterone... that monkey is not aggressive toward the two monkeys  higher than him, but more aggressive toward the two monkeys below him  ● Does the nature/nurture dichotomy hold up?  ○ Sapolsky says 'it's a sham'   ● Should sociology have more of a public face in explaining the socio­cultural nature of  gender and sexuality? ­ yes, gender is different amongst biologists but sociologists  should put their word in  ● Current interpretations of evolution are often based on a very specific intepretation of  Darwin      Cultural Constructions of Gender  ● Gender identity ­ your own perception of yourself in terms of gender; how you identify  yourself  ● Gender role ­ what exists in the culture; the things you have to do in order to be a man or  woman in the culture you live in  ● Heteronormativity ­ presumption of heterosexuality and that it is the norm in society;  heterosexual privelege ­ you're priveleged to be straight  ● Ethnocentrism ­ my culture is the right way, all other cultures are different and less good    Cross­Cultural & Anthropological approaches to Gender  ● Anthropologists often focus on:  ○ Gendered division of labor ­ work is divided up by gender category  ○ Biology doesn't explain the roles of work we play   ○ The role of RITUALS ­ important bc they serve as symbolic justification for norms  in culture  ● Theorie of Gender Differentiation & Male Domination  ○ Private Property & the Materialism of Male Domination  ■ With capitalism, wealth becomes transferable and private property  arises...  ■ Since men have a lot of insecurity about whether the child their wife is  carrying is theirs, they needed to have control to make sure that that child  is the definite heir to the man's wealth  ○ Warfare explanations  ■ How do you create strong warriors? Separate by sex, choose men  because they are physically stronger and use women as sexual reward   ○ Descent theorists  ■ The idea that bc women can bear children, they're more likely to be  connected to the next generation; men would create a realm that they  could be invested in (in the past, huniting groups, nowawadays, boy  scouts)  ○ Alliance theorists  ■ Women are used as sexual objects in order to secure alliances with other  men (medieval times with arranged marriages or marrying children)    Determinants of Women's Status (just a few)  ● Role of physical strength ­ the more the society relies on strength and dexterity to  survive  ● Size of family groups ­ different sizes between families  ● Division of labor around child care ­ if men particpate more in child rearing, women have  free time to do other things, and then have higher status  ● Relationships between children and their parents ­ closer the relationship between father  and son, then the higher status a woman has in his society  ● Women's control of property after marriage  ● Extent of sex segregation    "Men as Women and Women as Men: Disrupting Gender" (Lorber 1994)  ● Lorber reviews cases of people who don't neatly or easily fall into the category "woman"  or "man"  ○ "Hermaphrodites"/Intersex  ○ Transsexual people/Transgender people  ■ Transgender ­ someone does not identify with the sex they were born with   ■ Transsexual ­ this term is somewhat still used to explain those that  undergo surgical sex change  ○ Cross­dressing and "Transvestites" ­ something that someone might do in their  daily life, but not in the same way that someone might do "drag"   ● Affirming gender  ○ women adapting male traits to get power is still affirming gender; still saying that  femininity isn't as powerful as man's traits  ● Other genders  ○ not all other cultures have a binary gender system  ○ world gender customs (search on google)  ■­spirits  map­html/    "Coming of Age and Coming Out Ceremonies Across Cultures" (Herdt 1997)  ● Important rituals and processes related to gender and sexuality:  ○ Coming of Age ­ rituals surrounding puberty ­ related to gender and sexuality  ○ Coming Out ­ you're presumed heterosexual until stated otherwise, so you have  to announce it; live your life in a secret so it's a personal emotional experience for  someone to come out  "Coming of Age and Coming Out Ceremonies Across Cultures" (cont'd.....)  ● Cases:   ○ Sambia Boys' Ritual Initiation ­ women are naturally dirty; starts age 7­10; have  to clean themselves of dirty blood through nose bleeds; boys perform fellatio on  other boys ­ this is what it means to become a man; is giving head to other guys  a homosexual act? or for kinship?  ○ In our OWN culture, men maintain masculinity by raping in prisons  ○ Mojave Two­Spirit Initiation  ○ Coming Out­Gay and Lesbian Teens in America    "Cultural Patterns and Sex/Gender Diversity" (Nanda 2012)  ● The homosexual/heterosexual divide ­ it is problematic that we tie sexuality to orientation  so much  ● Sex/Gender Systems and the Cultural Idea of the Person    anthropological approaches can be problematic because ­ it can promote ethnocentrism, or the  "other"          Psychological Approaches to Gender   ● Freud's Theory of Psychosexual Development  ○ He dislocated sexuality and gender from biology = good  ○ Saw homosexuality as a developmental problem  ○ you must be "feminine" or "masculine" to fit into your gender category = bad  ● Theories of Cognitive Development  ○ You're born gender neutral, environemental cues and cognitive recognition  determine whether you think you're a boy or girl   ● Feminist Challenges to Psychoanalysis and Developmental Psychology  ○ Argue that men are obsessed with their own penises, NOT women  ○ "Womb envy" ­ men are jealous of women's ability to have babies  ○ Freud says you're not mature if you have clitoral orgasms instead of vaginal  orgasms = problematic bc most women acheive orgasms through the clitoris  ○ Orgasmic birth experiences ­ some women have orgasms during birth which may  make other women feel inferior if they can't  ● Problems with some psychologiical approaches to gender  ○ There's a general role of female or male, masculine or feminine ­ there's not  enough intersectionality = lack of intersectional approach  ○ Many theories ignore power differentials ­ can't ignore this factor  ○ Focuses too much on an individual    "It's Bad for Us Too: How the Sexualization of Girls Impacts the Sexuality of Boys, Men, and  Women" (Tolman 2012)  ● Sexualization of girls (& "childification"/"youthification" of women)  ○ Impact on boys/men         


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