Chapter 11 - Chapter 11-Sexuality and Gender While biology...

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Chapter 11—Sexuality and Gender While biology determines sex, social structure and culture largely determine gender, or the expression of culturally appropriate masculine and feminine roles. The social construction of gender is evident in the way parents treat babies, teachers treat pupils, and the mass media portray ideal body images. The social forces pushing people to assume conventionally masculine or feminine roles are compelling. The social forces pushing people to heterosexuality operate with even greater force. The social distinction between men and women serves as an important basis of inequality in the home and workplace. Sex Versus Gender Is It a Boy or a Girl Intersexed: people who are born with ambiguous genitals because of a hormone imbalance in their mother’s womb or some other cause Gender Identity and Gender Role Sex: depends on whether you were born with distinct male or female genitals and a genetic program that released either male or female hormones to stimulate the development of your reproductive system, Gender: is your sense of being male or female and your playing masculine and feminine roles in ways defined as appropriate by your culture and society
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Gender Identity: one’s identification with, or sense of belonging to, a particular sex—biologically, psychologically, and socially Gender Role: the set of behaviors associated with widely shared expectations about how males and females are supposed to act. The Social Learning of Gender Contrary to first impressions, the twins case suggests that, unlike sex, gender is not determined just by biology. The main lesson we draw from this story is not that biology is destiny but that the social learning of fender begins very early in life. Heterosexuality: preferring members of the opposite sex as sexual partners For reasons that are still poorly understood, some people resist and even reject the gender roles that are assigned to them based on their biological sex. When this occurs, negative sanctions are often applied to get them to conform or punish them for their deviance. Theories of Gender Essentialism: school of thought that sees gender differences as a reflection of biological differences between women and men Social constructionism: school of thought that sees fender differences as a reflection of the different social positions occupied by women and men Essentialism Essentialist theories argue that humans instinctively try to ensure that their genes are passed on to future generations. Functionalism and Essentialism In the family, wrote Talcott Parsons, women traditionally specialize in raising children and managing the household. Men traditionally work in the paid labor force: gender role socialization
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A critique of Essentialism from the conflict and feminist Perspectives Essentialists ignore the historical and cultural variability of gender and sexuality. o
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Chapter 11 - Chapter 11-Sexuality and Gender While biology...

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