Sociology of Gender
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This 7 page One Day of Notes was uploaded by Sarah Duplaga on Wednesday September 3, 2014. The One Day of Notes belongs to a course at University of Pittsburgh taught by a professor in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 76 views.
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Date Created: 09/03/14
Women Men and Society Chapter 2 Biology Sex and Gender The Interaction of Nature and Environment 0 Biology genetics is responsible for who we are sociallyphysically 0 Also way of explaining differences between men and women I Goes beyond physical differences I Considers behavior 0 One is considered superior over the other 0 Male superior 0 Female inferior I Scientists also include social interactions when explaining differences 0 Natural differences justify the social norms 0 quotSocial influences biological as much as biological influences social The Sex Chromosomes and Sexual Differentiation Typically born with 46 chromosomes 23 pairs 0 Sex chromosomes one pair that determines whether the fetus will develop into a male or female 0 Male are XY 0 Female are XX 0 Father determines sex by contributing X or Y since mother always contributes X 0 Sexual differentiation begins at 6 weeks 0 Until the sixth week embryos are sexually bipotential 0 Have the anatomy to be either male or female regardless of their chromosomes 0 During the first six weeks the embryo develops the indifferent gonad because it looks the same for both XX and XY embryos and two sets of ducts one male and one female 0 During week six scientists think that a gene SRY on the Y chromosome triggers male development 0 Testes develop and secrete hormones called androgens I Mullerian inhibiting substance 0 Degeneration of female duct system I Testosterone 0 Growth of male 0 Dihydrotesosterone I Formation of external genitals during week 8 I Masculinization of male brain 0 Not too sure about how females develop three theories 0 Lack of Y chromosome 0 Development of ovaries in the fetus secrete hormones not true because extern genitals form first 0 Genetic signal overrides testosterone Chromosomes and Gender 0 Meiosis twostage process in which chromosomes divide and duplicate to form sperm 0 Issues can arise from this process which can affect the fertilized egg s sex development I Nondisjunction sperm fail to divide properly 0 During stage 1 o Sperm with both X and Y o Sperm with neither o If fertilization occurs I Offspring will be 0 XXY 0 XO During stage 2 o Sperm with XX o Sperm with YY o Sperm with none o If fertilization occurs I Offspring will be 0 XXX 0 XYY 0 XO I Turner Syndrome Individuals who are XO Labeled female because external genitals look female No gonadal tissue or sex hormones Seemed more feminine than girls with XX o Could be because parents enforced them to be girly Women with the syndrome o Short o Don39t develop secondary sex characteristics o Prescribed growth hormones and estrogen to fix this o Social problems I Anxiety I Immaturity I Low sef esteem 0 Result of issues with appearance and bullying 0 Helps if there is a support system I XXX women Taller than usual learning disabilities I XXY men Klinefelter syndrome Languagebased learning disabilities Small testes Taller High voices Do not produce sperm o Most common cause of infertility Can experience breast development No hair growth Emotional problems No interest in dating women or sex Anxietydepression o High value of masculinity I XYY Syndrome 0 Common for men in jail 0 Testosterone is linked with aggression o Extra Y doesn t make more testosterone Prenatal Hormones and Gender 0 Congenital adrenal hyperplasia o Adrenogenital syndrome o Malfunction in mother sfetus s adrenal glands or exposure to something that acts on the fetus like an androgen o XX females are affected more severely I Exposed to androgens after genital development 0 Clit is enlarged looks like a small penis 0 Labia may be fused 0 Vagina may close I Surgery and hormone replacement to fix this I Research indicates that they prefer more masculine things I Some women had no issue marrying I Some were late bloomers when it came to dating 0 Might have to do with all the hormones I Some have bisexual fantasies 0 No scientific evidence to prove that it is CAH 0 Androgen insensitivity syndrome o Fetus is unresponsive to androgens secreted by testes Born with female genitals even though they have XY chromosomes Typically raised as girls Don39t have a uterus Don39t have a period Develop secondary characteristics because internal testes make estrogen Regardless of their chromosomes they still act feminine 0 DHT deficiency syndrome o An enzyme 5 apha reductase is low or absent I Responsible for converting testosterone to dihydrotestosterone I Born with undescended testes internal accessory organs I Have female genitals that are masculinized I During puberty the genitals become more masculine because the testes are producing testosterone 0 Little difficulty changing their gender identity at puberty o mperato McGiney s researchexplanation I Exposed to prenatal testosterone I Masculinized in utero o Scientists still question these findings I How were they raised prior to puberty 0 Treated differently because they were special 0 Attempted to change sexgender is hard OOOOOO Genital Ambiguity What Can It Teach Us about Gender 0 Use caution when applying research results o Researchers can be biased when they know which group is the control and which is not o Some aspects are uncontrollable I Ex CAH girls willingness to talk about sex atypica behaviors 0 Research shows that gender identity is independent of sex chromosomes and hormones 0 Sex nor gender is dichotomous 0 Sex can mean o Chromosomal sex o Hormonal sex o Gonadal sex o Genital sex 0 Gender is a spectrum that we acquire from our lifetime 0 Suzanne Kessler o Criticized doctors who correct gender ambiguity o Correct it because it affects the child s culture 0 Some societies accept gender fluidity The Case for His and Her Brains 0 Research rat brains can they compare o No one knows but researchers say that they can t find the same sex differences in each of the brains o Brains change as we age and gain more experience I Brain is malleable throughout life can learn new things o Scientists think that function determines structure 0 Brain organization o Two hemispheres I Each side has a different function 0 Brain lateralizationz brain specialization 0 Left o Right side of body o Language and emotion 0 Right o Left side of the body o Visuospatial activity I It is thought that women draw from both hemispheres while men are more lateralized depend on one side more o Women have more gray matter matter that does the thinking than men o Differences don t mean different outcomes or quality 0 Hypotheses of how sex differences in the brain influence gender o Males outperform women in systemizing o Women outperform men in empathizing o Empathizingsystemizing theory 0 Scientists believe that there is an overlap in male and female distributions o Differences are small o Where do they come from I Present at birth I Learn from different social experiences 0 Biology and society are connected My Hormones Made Me Do It 0 Hormones hardwire sex differences hypothesis o Hormones influence genital and brain development o Hormones from puberty trigger the hormones organized in the brain o No evidence to support this 0 How do sex hormones affect our behavior o A study done on a man whose parents decided that due to a failed medical procedure it would be best to give him a vagina o He was having emotional issues when he hit puberty because he looked like a man even though he had breasts and a vagina o His parents finally told him his medical history and he decided to get a mastectomy and surgery to construct a penis o Diamond and Sigmundson explain this to be due to the fact that his brain was predisposed to testosterone so he is automatically a man Testosterone and Gender 0 People consider the main behavioral difference between males and females is aggression o Testosterone is responsible o Males secrete more of it 0 It is hard to say that males are biologically programmed to be more aggressive o There are differences in each species I Some gerbils are equally aggressive no matter what sex 0 Human research has shown that more testosterone means more aggression and anger o More research shows that testosterone levels rise and fall in response to competitive chaHenges I Dominanceeminence and testosterone 0 Hard to link testosterone to behavior because neurotransmitters chemical compounds that send messages between neurons play a big role Norepinephrine respond to danger Dopamine pleasure Serotonin reaction to information Most research has been done on animals I Need to be cautious when applying to humans o Behavior outcomes associated with specific neurotransmitters vary depending on social and biological history I Social behavior is governed by the situation 0 Can override hormones and chemicals o Women can control aggression to act according to standards I They can be aggressive if need be I They aren39t aggressive if need be I How they express aggression can be based on gender norms I May be aggressive if they feel in danger 0 Aggression decreases with age and increased education in both males and females OOOO Women Hormones and Behavior PMS o 0 Cases where women killed another person and got away with it because they were PMSing Made the stereotype that woman are under the influence of raging hormones I Treatment of PMS has become popular Considered a mental disorder Men only produce estradiol while women produce all the estrogens and progestins Women39s estrogen do not fluctuate daily based on the environment like testosterone Production is influenced by periods and menopause Pe od O O O O 0 Generally 28 days First two weeks increase in estradiol I Egg matures Progesterone increases Another surge of estradiol If egg isn39t fertilized estradiol and progesterone levels decrease and bleeding occurs Changes that happen a week before PMS O OOOOOOO O Acne Cramping Increasedecrease in appetite Bloating Headache Forgetfulness Irritability Considered a syndrome I Medically diagnosable physicalpsychological abnormality I Hard to determine because studies are unreliable 0 Depend on women to sef report 0 Can be exaggerated 0 Can selectively remembers changes not all changes 0 Can feel reluctant to give all information 0 Social and psychological factors influence PMS What behaviors go along with PMS I Mood swings less able to cope with everyday life or I Emotions have to do with external stress rather than PMS 0 Some research has found that women are more productive when PMSing I Majority finds no correlation 0 Some found a relationship between PMS and visualauditoryolfactory functions Most women do not see their period as bad Periods are only seen as negative because people only focus on the bad parts We should not focus on trying to cure it PMS with medicine we should consider factors such as stress that contribute to the symptoms The Interaction of Biology and Culture Birke s belief Continuous change occurs through life 0 Behavior can alter environment and biology 0 Must consider biology and society together 0 Transformative account of gender development how cultu re behavior impacts biology and vice versa o We shouldn39t discriminate based on biological differences Box 21 Biology and Sexual Orientation 0 Simon LeVay study o Anterior hypothalamus thought to influence sexual behavior was 3 times larger in gay men than in heterosexual men I It was the same size in gay men as in straight women 0 Another study reported that the anterior fissure chord that connects the two hemispheres was larger in gay men 0 Both studies caused an uproar o Is sexual orientation innate or learned 0 Members of the gay community like the findings o Reduce prejudice because they can t choose their sexuality o Get same rights as other minorities 0 Some people think including gays that it won t change attitudes o Could support the movement to eliminate homosexuality by genetic engineering 0 Scientists are torn too o Some think that it supports the idea that gay is biological o Others think that they don t know enough to make the assumption 0 There is a theory that thinks hormones secreted prenatally have to do with sexual attraction 0 Research linking genetics to orientation are hard to replicate o Lesbians have been left out I Results are nonconforming 0 It is argued that it is because they have a different genetic scenario o Small samples o Relationship between brain and behavior is unclear I Homosexuality could cause the biological differences not the differences causing homosexuality 0 People have come to accept these findings the biological differences as facts
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