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GSST 001 Week 2 Lecture Notes

by: Tyler Palomino

GSST 001 Week 2 Lecture Notes GSST 001S

Tyler Palomino

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About this Document

Notes from week two Tuesday and Thursday lectures, covers intersex and patriarchy.
Gender and Sexuality
Guenther K
Class Notes
Gender, sexuality, UCR, gsst, gender studies
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Tyler Palomino on Thursday October 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to GSST 001S at University of California Riverside taught by Guenther K in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views. For similar materials see Gender and Sexuality in Women and Gender studies at University of California Riverside.

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Date Created: 10/13/16
G= gender S= sexuality Gender and Sexuality Studies 001: Week 2 Notes 1. Gender Bending a. Gender benders (aka gender variants) risk misattributions and interactional disruption in U.S. society b. Nanda, “Multiple Genders among North American Indians” i. Several Native American tribes had gender variants c. Not all cultures only have two gender categories i. What about at different times (eras) and different places (countries)? d. Example: We’wha i. Ihamana of the Zuni tribe ii. The Zuni man woman 1. Most studied 2. Gender Identities/Categories a. Cis gender: when a person’s gender assigned at birth, their bodies, and their personal identity align b. Transgender: ‘catch all’ term; describes those whose gender assigned at birth doesn’t align with their gender identity and expression c. Intersex: having sex traits associated with males and females d. Genderqueer: identifying as neither exclusively masculine or feminine e. If sex determines gender, then sex and gender would be expected to be organized the same or similarly across societies f. Are gender structures universal? i. Patriarchal societies 1. Society ruled by men 2. Men as a group have more power and control than women as a group 3. Women and femininity are viewed as being inferior to men and masculinity 4. Sexuality depends on men’s dominance of women a. Makes same-sex relationships taboo 3. A Case Study of Patriarchy: Is Patriarchy Universal? a. No i. Anthropologists have research about culture where gender wasn’t a major organizing system in society 1. Western African society 2. Island societies in the South Pacific 3. Some tribes of indigenous America 4. Leprowsky, “Gender and Power” a. Melanesian island culture of the Vanatinai is organized around the principle of personal autonomy i. No ideology of male superiority ii. No economic exclusion of women b. Many countries were home to more gender egalitarian cultures in the past than they are today i. Cleopatra’s Egypt ii. The Amazons iii. Northern and Western African tribes precolonial contact iv. Native Americans/ First Nation Canadians pre-conquest 5. Alternatives to Patriarchy a. Social inequalities based on some trait other than gender (most often age/seniority, family, lineage, or no inequalities) b. Women and men share tasks i. Including care giving and religious/leadership responsibilities c. Are the methods of gender oppression universal? d. Mernissi, “The Western Woman’s Harem” i. Suggests that Western beauty standards are just as oppressive as harems and veiling e. Gender oppression has many forms 6. Ethnocentrism a. Judging a culture by the standards of your own culture 7. Cultural Relativism a. Evaluate the practices and beliefs of a culture from the perspective of the culture itself 8. Violence and Symbolic Violence a. Violence and/or threatened violence are widely used to control gendered behavior b. Conceptualized by Pierre Bourdieu c. The ideas of the dominant group imposed on a dominated social group 9. Changing Conceptualization of Gender in America a. Expectations of women’s and men’s roles have changed significantly i. From highly restrictive to less restrictive b. Attitudes towards same-sex intimacy have changed significantly i. Tolerant to intolerant to tolerant c. Fluidity of dimorphism has changed i. Rigid to somewhat less rigid 10.Variation in Gender Supports Constructionist Perspective a. Why? i. If gender were based on biological differences, we would expect it to be similar across societies and cultures across time (but it isn’t) 11.Comparative Analysis of Gender Variants a. Some cultures do encourage gender non-normative behavior i. Afghanistan, little girl being raised as a boy 1. Only happens in families that have all girl children ii. Kothis (Hijras) 1. Hikira Mona Ahmed said to a U.S. journalist: “ I am the third sex, not a man trying to be a woman. It is your society’s problem that you only recognize two sexes.” 12.The Role of Gender Non-Normative Behavior/ People in Patriarchal Societies a. To cope with patriarchy i. And/or b. To reinforce patriarchy i. And/or c. To challenge patriarchy 13.Social Responses to Intersex a. Who is male? Who is female? i. Possible determinants could be: 1. Biological categories include: a. Chromosomal: XX or XY b. Gonads: testes and ovaries c. Genitalia: penises and vaginas 2. Hormonal: balance of testosterone and estrogen 3. Identity: how a person sees themselves 4. Appearance: how other people see a person 5. Behavior: how a person acts, including their sexual behavior 14.What is Intersex? a. Defined in various ways, most commonly that individuals have physical sex characteristics of both the male and female sex categories 15.Intersex is a Social Problem in the U.S. a. Poses no significant medical risk b. Challenges U.S. social beliefs c. Intersex infants typically “assigned” to a sex within an hour of birth


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