SOC 204 Lecture Notes Week 7
SOC 204 Lecture Notes Week 7 SOC 204
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Scott Morrison on Friday May 15, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to SOC 204 at University of Oregon taught by Dr. C.J. Pascoe in Spring2015. Since its upload, it has received 148 views. For similar materials see Intro Sociology in Social Science at University of Oregon.
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Date Created: 05/15/15
SOC 204 Lecture Notes Week 7 Genden Sex The biological differences between males and females Gender The set of social expectations and arrangements associated with a particular sex Sexuality Sexual desires preferences identities and behaviors Our society is deeply based on gender differences When perceiving a stranger typically the first thing one looks for is sex which is conveyed by the way in which a person presents their gender We use gender to explain behaviors even when these explanations are contradictory lntersex People with ambiguous genitalia Like gender sex is a spectrum not everyone s sex is clearly de ned How do we define sex XXXy Genitalia Hormones Society demands these three things to line up When a baby is born and these three things are out of balance the baby is rushed off to surgery Doctors see intersex conditions as medical emergencies even though they aren t medically necessary procedures Some of these procedures include Micropenis an excessively small penis is often surgically reformed into a vagina Botched Circumcisions also sometimes reformed into a vagina Monstrous clitoris shaved down to a more ladylike size So genitalia doesn t always define a person s sex because genitalia can be ambiguous or it can be a result of procedures like the ones above Hormones There is a correlation between testosterone and aggression But testosterone is not the ultimate cause of aggression estrogen also plays a role Studies have shown that testosterone levels do not accurately represent how aggressive a person is but it has been found that engaging in aggressive behavior elevates testosterone levels The Permissive Effect Almost all of us have some level of testosterone As long as you have some level of testosterone the average amount you are capable of aggressive behavior The only time aggression is guaranteed not to happen is when no testosterone is present at all Mostly everyone has testosterone and mostly everyone is capable of aggression Hormone levels do not dictate sex Chromosomes Chromosomes do not always indicate sex either Some women have a condition called androgen insensitivity in which they have internal testicles but they also possess a vagina but no uterusovaries These women look completely female externally and usually identify as female but they have an XY genotype So chromosomes do not dictate sex either Like gender sex is a spectrum Sex Scientific Knowledge Science textbooks are supposed to be the most clearcut objective textbooks out there but most have genderbiased representations of certain biological concepts like conception We all know the model an army of competitive aggressive sperm fly through the vagina to penetrate the passive egg Whoever gets the egg wins But do sperm really behave this way Are eggs really just passive objects waiting to be penetrated Studies have shown that this is not the case the egg plays a very active role in its own fertilization but the model discussed above is still widely used even though it s weird gross and rapey Why is a rape metaphor used to explain conception when it is both creepy and inaccurate We like to think that gender is based on the defined dichotomy of sex but since sex is so widely varied already this makes the gender dichotomy even more unstable The Sex and Gender System The way that we use biological sex to create social roles The process by which males become men and females become women The Essentialist Approach Men are men women are women they have evolved differences out of necessity and these differences are necessary for society to function eg men hunters women gatherersnurturers There is a natural relationship between sex and gender and we have evolved this way over time There are fixed biological features that make males want to be men and females want to be women Biology determines gender The Constructionist Approach Since sex and gender take on vastly different relationships in different societies fafafine hijra etc gender must be socially constructed People must be taught their gender and this intentional teaching mostly at the hands of one s parents is based on a person s birth sex think of how clearly we push babies into the categories of male and female this is the first societal label a baby receives Gendered Variations CrossCultural Variations different societies define gender differently Many cultures have more than two genders Crosscultural variations can be seen most clearly in the way that we divide tasks between genders what tasks are stereotypically male or female Historica Variations Social norms change throughout time as do the expectations of the behavior of each gender Men for instance would often hold hands or sit with legs entwined to show a bond with one another Now men don t touch as much because this is seen as homosexual which for some has a negative unmasculine connotation Life Course Variations Certain behaviors may be appropriate for a gender at a certain age but inappropriate for that same gender at a different age eg booty shorts on college students are considered fine but not on babies or grandmothers Contextual Variations The way in which one presents their gender in one situation may vary in others men do not always assert dominance like they would in a boxing ring because that would not be appropriate behavior at for instance the oval office Doing Gender Doing gender is what sociologists call the way in which we present our gender to others When we do gender correctly the gender we present accurately conveys our sex and this is the way that others can assume what our sex is When we present gender ambiguously sex can also become ambiguous and this upsets people When you do gender incorrectly people think that you are lying to them about your sex This upsets people We do gender through the clothes we wear speech patterns eisure activities Gender policing The way we remind people of the proper behavior they should be engaged in based on their gender When someone is doing gender incorrectly some people may choose to police their gender don t do this it s mean Gender policing is the rationale behind words like slut and faggot Friends often make games out of gender policing but gender policing is the source of a lot of societal problems There are several institutions in which gender inequality appears Family Women in relationships where there are children tend to do more of the housework It is often thought that this is based off of the fact that women can breastfeed and men cannot the woman gets up in the middle of the night to feed the baby builds a stronger bond with the baby and suddenly the woman is the expert in all things baby and the men feels incapable of doing that kind of work so he doesn t Occupations Occupation segregation women go into stereotypically female jobs and men go into stereotypically male jobs This segregation is built off the sexgender system it is based off of how we teach our children to behave which qualities to develop based on their gender etc For instance a girl is often taught to be polite gentle and nurturing With these qualities will she become a CEO or a preschool teacher More likely a teacher Wages Traditionally female jobs pay less than traditionally male jobs 50 of the wage gap in a profession can be accounted for by the amount of men and women in that profession jobs that are femaledominated pay less when a maledominated job becomes femaledominated the wage for that job will drop Why do professions stay segregated Tokenism When a representative of one group is immersed in a different group When women are tokens among men in a maledominated profession Glass Ceilings Women often hit a limit that prevents them from moving up in a maledominated profession When men are tokens among women in a femaledominated profession Glass Escalators Men are often given a leg up over their female coworkers they are seen as more hard working and more capable and as a result are often given more opportunities to move up in their profession