Gender “You May Ask Yourself” – Dalton Conley Chapter 8 SOC 1305 08 Introduction to Sociology February 18, 2019
SEX, SEXUALITY, AND GENDER • Sex refers to the natural or biological differences that distinguish males and females. • Gender is a social construct that consists of a set of social arrangements that are built around sex. • Sexuality refers to desire, sexual preference, sexual identity, and behavior.
SEX: A PROCESS IN THE MAKING 3 Many believe that there are only two sexes — male and female — and that all people fall into one group or the However, evidence suggests that we need to embrace a more expansive definition of sex that goes beyond two rigid and distinct categories. How do nature and nurture overlap, penetrat e and shape each other?
GENDER: WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A WOMAN (OR A MAN)? • Gender roles are sets of behavioral norms assumed to accompany one’s status as a male or female. • Biological determinism is a line of thought that explains social behavior in terms of who you are in the natural world. • Evidence shows that gender roles have more to do with social status than biology.
FEMINISM • Feminism is an intellectual, consciousness- raising movement based on the idea that women and men should be accorded equal opportunities and respect. • Feminism seeks to get people to understand that gender is an organizing principle of life. • Gender structures social relations on unequal ground, and thus power is fundamentally at play when we talk about gender differences.
THE WOMAN QUESTION – THEORETICAL FRAMEWORKS FOR UNDERSTANDING GENDER STRATIFICATION • Structural Functionalist – fulfill necessary functions in society • Psychoanalytic theories – individualistic explanations for gender differences (nature over nurture) • Conflict theories – patriarchal capitalists benefit from gender- stratified systems
THE WOMAN QUESTION – THEORETICAL FRAMEWORKS FOR UNDERSTANDING GENDER STRATIFICATION • Socialist feminists – all social relations stem from unequal gender relations • Social constructionists – gender is a process that people participate in with every social interaction they have.
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