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Gender, Sex, Women & Sexual Orientation




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Gender, Sex, Women & Sexual Orientation I. Defining Sex & Gender A. Traditional Definition 1. Sex = biological differences (genotypic and/or phenotypic) 2. Gender = psychological and social differences. B. Problems - Suggests a Causal Relationship that simply can not be established. - What do we call biological processes that are altered by social processes? - What do we call Social processes that are altered by biological processes? C. Kay Deaux Suggests - Sex Research = investigations comparing males and females (however identified) - Gender Research = investigations comparing the maleness (masculinity) and femaleness (femininity) of participants. -Acknowledges that this is arbitrary -No more so than the definitions used previously and avoids unnecessary causal language. II. Sex and Gender a Dichotomy? A. Are there 2 Sexes/Genders? B. Are they Mutually Exclusive & Exhaustive? C. What about the cases that don’t fit in either category? - XO (Turner’s Syndrome) - XXX (Super Female) - XXY (Klienfelter’s Syndrome, considered Males with extra X) - XYY (Super Men) - CAH Females (Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia) - AI Males (Androgen Insensitivity) III. The Majority Minority -Women make up a majority of the U.S. population (51-52%). - Minority status is one of representation and power, Women are under-represented in positions of authority and power. - Question: - What are some of the disadvantages associated with being female? - What privileges are associated with being Male? A. Institutional Gender Bias - The Glass Ceiling - Sticky Floors - 84 years of women voting = 1 female VP candidate - 5 out 50 Governors are Women - 13 of ??? Congressional Members are women - 6 Fortune 500 CEO’s are women. - 2 – 30 Fortune 1000 CEO’s are women - 13% of Upper Management Positions held by women - 30-35% of Middle Management Positions held by women - 49% of Work Force is Female - Women make 73 cents for every $1 a man makes - even when controlling for education and length of service. - changes slightly from year to year, but has not significantly changed since the early 70's B. Masculine Hegemony - U.S. Culture is still strongly Patriarchal - Men enjoy more power, prestige, and wealth than women do. - The Glass Escalator: Men have more direct track to power and success. - Work is Gendered - Males occupy all most all of the highest positions in both the public and private sector, while women tend to be concentrated in clerical, nursing, and service positions. IV. History of Sexism A. Sexism = justification for discrimination against women using theories of “Inherent Sex Differences.” - Sexism is a tool of Masculine Hegemony that predates racism. - removes half the population from competition for resources B. Religious Justifications - Bible: Lot gives his daughter to the towns people of Sodom to keep them from raping his angel. - The story of Eve, she is cursed by god “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing... Your desire will be for your husband and he will ...





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