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UB SOC 101 - exam 4

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CHAPTER 11: GENDER04.20.2020Social Construction of GenderIn order to fully understand how society and biology are combined in a social order, it isimportant to define concepts: Sex The biological aspects of an individual, differences between males and femalesby chromosomal, anatomical, reproductive, hormonal characteristics.Sex status is biologically determined but socially constructed. All humansocieties make distinctions based on inborn (ascribed) characteristics of sex, thephysicological distinctions based on biology and reporductve anatomy thatdistinguished male from female.GenderGender is a status designation derived from the physiological aspects link tomales and females to regulate how individuals should function within particularsocial contexts.At the societal level, gender differentiation is critical in understanding thedifferentiation is critical in understanding the differential distributions of:● Roles● Tasks● Resources● Privileges and disadvantages bestowed upon males andfemales.Gender refers to the social characteristics that a society considers proper for itsmales and females. Although human beings are born male and female, theylearn how to be masculine and feminine.Gender as a ContinuumGender identity: one’s definition of oneself in relation to societal expectations of gender.Basic to our self-concept.Shapes our self-expectations.Shapes how we interact with others.Gender identity influences numerous behaviors.Gender & The MediaKilling Us Softly 4The “cult of thinness” presented in advertisingThe obsession with thinness is about cutting girls down to size - to aspire to become nothing.Yesterday’s sex symbols would be considered fat by today’s standards.Models keep getting thinner and thinner. If they are not thin enough, Photoshop is used to makethem appear thinner.The body type that we see in advertisements as acceptable or desirable is one that fewer than5% of women have.Some ads today seem to encourage unhealthy attitudes - even eating disorders.Gender as PerformanceGender is fluidThere is more than one defining point to what is “gender”.Identity of women is not contingent upon gender.Sexuality is not the underlying definition of gender.Culture does not assume gender identity.A binary view of gender is false.Gender SocializationMen and women learn the expecations of their sex,Socialization affects one’s self-concepts, social and political attitudes, perceptions about otherpeople, and feelings about relationships with others.Not everyone conforms to gender expectations.Gendered InstitutionsThe total pattern of gender relations that structure social institutions, including:Stereotypical expectationsInterpersonal relationshipsThe different placement of men/women found in institutionsNature or Nurture?Sociologist Cynthia Fuchs Epstein, supporting the dominant sociological position linking genderdifferences in behavior to social factors, points out the following:A re-examination of the anthropological record shows greater equality between thesexes in the past than commonly thought, demonstrating that hunting and gatheringsocieties existed in which women are not subordinate to men.The types of work that men and women do in each society are determined by socialarrangements, not biology.Sociologist Stephen Goldberg, challenging the dominant sociological position, argues:● The anthropological records show that all societies for which evidence exists areor were patriarchies (societies in which men dominate women).● In all societies, past and present, the highest statuses are associated with men,and men overwhelmingly dominate the highest political positions.● Men dominate societies because they are more willing “to sacrifice the rewardsof other motivations, the desire for affection, health, family life, safety, relaxation,vacation, and the like, in order to attain dominance and status.”● Exceptional individuals, such as highly achieving and dominant women, dorefute “the physiological roots of behavior.”Some sociologists, while not abandoning “nurture,” acknowledge that biological factors areinvolved in some human behavior other than reproduction and childbearing.● Sociologist Alice Rossi, for example, suggests that women are better preparedbiologically for “mothering” than men; they are more sensitive to the infant’s softskin and to their nonverbal communications.● Rossi stresses that the issue is not necessarily either biology or culture; rather itit that nature provides biological predispositions, which are then overlaid withculture.Case histories provide some support for the proposition that differences in male and femalebehavior are attributable to both culture and biology.● Supporting earlier studies on the relationship between male testosterone andaggression, a health study of Vietnam veterans found that men who have higherlevels of testosterone are more aggressive and have more social problems as aconsequence.● Although this tend to support the biological position for gender differences inbehavior, researchers also found that, in addition to testosterone, social classalso makes a difference. High-testosterone men from higher social classes areless likely to be involved in anti-social behaviors than high-testosterone menfrom lower social class. This suggests that social factors, as well as biologicalfactors, affect the relationship between male testosterone and aggression.04.27.2020Gender ApartheidExtreme segregation and exclusion of women from public life.Gender stratification is supported by beliefs that treat gender inequality as “natural.”Sexism generates social myths that have no basis, but support the dominant groups oversubordinates.Sexism emerges in patriarchies, societies in which men have power over women.Gender Stratification and EducationToday, women earn 56% of all bachelor’s degrees and 58% of all master’s degrees.Furthermore, the proportion of professional degrees earned by women has increasedsharply in recent years.Despite these gains,


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