CH 8- Gender.docx - CHAPTER 8 GENDER Sex isn\u2019t a boundary we typically flip back and forth across However it has been known to happen Mars and Venus

CH 8- Gender.docx - CHAPTER 8 GENDER Sex isnu2019t a...

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Sex isn’t a boundary we typically flip back and forth across However, it has been known to happen Mars and Venus Pop sociologist John Gray argues that men and women differ so fundamentally in their values, attitudes, thought processes, preferences, and behavior patterns that they might as well be from different planets altogether Gray writes that men and women don’t even speak the same language, but have distinct biologically and psychically driven styles of communication, feeling, and action Gray’s relationship guidebook Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus (1992) was a best seller for a decade Men and women are different biological organisms, according to Gray, and their biological differences manifest themselves in the ways men and women behave o By nature, allegedly, men don’t like to express their feelings, but instead retreat to their “caves” after a hard day at the office o Women are just more expressive and relational, always communicating about their feelings In the marketplace of ideas, sociological explanations are always at a disadvantage compared with pop psychological explanations of complex social phenomena Sex and gender may, in fact, be the most difficult areas to remember what seems natural is often anything but The seemingly rigid and innate differences between the “opposite sexes” can turn out to be fluid Feminism is a consciousness-raising movement to get people to understand that gender is an organizing principle of life. The underlying belief is that women and men should be accorded equal opportunities and respect Feminists tend to be less interested in erasing the differences between men and women than in uncovering the power stakes behind the socially constructed differences between the genders Sex is the biological differences that distinguishes males from females Sexuality refers to desire, sexual preference, and sexual identity and behavior Gender is a social position; the set of social arrangements that are built around normative sex categories Gender is a carefully defined guidebook that humans use to make distinctions among themselves, to separate one being from another, and to comprehend an otherwise funny mass of individuals o But the gender story can change, and we’ll see how it has done so throughout history and across cultures The paradox: Gender is a social construction, but it is so deeply rooted and seemingly natural that it is a major structure organizing our everyday lives—our goals, our desires, even our bodies R V CHAPTER 8: GENDER
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Although gender is a social construction, it matters in the real world, organizing our day- to-day experiences and having profound consequences for the life chances of men and women Sex: A Process in the Making The study of gender boils down to seeing how the two spheres, nature and nurture, overlap, penetrate, and shape each other The biological world of sex and bodies does not exist outside of a social world, and the
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  • Spring '08
  • MUELLER
  • Sociology, Paradoxes of Gender

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