SEX&GENDER IN SOCIE
SEX&GENDER IN SOCIE SOC 327
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Vance Bahringer on Saturday September 26, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to SOC 327 at Iowa State University taught by Staff in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 17 views. For similar materials see /class/214461/soc-327-iowa-state-university in Sociology at Iowa State University.
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Date Created: 09/26/15
Language and Gender We attach meanings to things in the physical world by categorizing naming and typifying An interesting complication is that one category eg female human beings can have multiple names eg woman female lady with different connotations or typifications In English most words for women have some negative connotation Woman and girl have both been used as synonyms for prostitute Girl also connotes childishness Lady was used in the 18th century to describe higher class females as opposed to women and may be considered polite by older generations However it sounds patronizing to many younger people Ma am connotes age in a way that sir doesn t Gal sounds patronizing in a way that guy doesn t Female is now regarded as a mildly contemptuous equivalent for woman that strong minded female is here again WNWD 4th ed Through the process of semantic derogation words for women are debased Spinster from tender of a spinning wheel to a derogatory term for an unmarried woman Hussy from female head of household to woman of low morals Tart from term of endearment to promiscuous woman Biddy from term of endearment to annoying and usually old woman In English words for women have more negative connotations than words for men Manly having the qualities generally regarded as those that a man should have virile strong brave resolute honorable etc Womanly like a woman womanish Masculine having qualities regarded as characteristic of men and boys as strength vigor boldness etc manly virile Feminine having qualities regarded as characteristic of women and girls as gentleness weakness delicacy or modesty Effeminate 1 having the qualities generally attributed to women as weakness timidity delicacy etc 2 characterized by such qualities weak soft decadent etc Source Webster s New World Dictionary 4th ed 1999 Macmillan Also compare governor governess master mistress patron matron sir madam bachelor spinster Other examples of linguistic sexism in English include Male generic language he meaning he or she mankind freshman Spotlighting highlighting of gender to draw attention to gender expectations lady doctor woman lawyer male nurse Women s names and titles draw attention to their relationships with men eg Mrs Miss Mrs John Smith Greater vocabulary and with more negative connotations to describe promiscuous women than promiscuous men Note also that men and women are described as opposite sexes not different sexes complementary sexes neighboring sexes cc
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