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SOCIOL 1Z03: Module 7 Gender and SexualitiesEssentialismEssentialists: observe male-female differences in sexual scripts, the division of labour at home and in the workplace, mate selection, sexual aggression, jealousy, promiscuity, fidelity, etc. They interpret these differences are natural and universaloBrain studies: different hemisphere development in males (right) and women (both) gives rise to gender division of labouroSociobiology: biological need to transmit genes results in different adaptive strategies ang genetic factors further enhance sex differences through hormone productionDavid Buss: Universal features of evolved selves (1) men want casual sex, (2) men treat women’s body as their property, (3) men beat/kill women who incite sexual jealousy, and (4) women are greedy for moneyBased on limited resources of eggs and plentiful spermSimon Davis: women list status/money as important in partner while men are concerned with physical attractionoFreud: sexuality is the main human instinct – motivates human behaviour and accounts for distinct masculine and feminine gender rolesOedipus complexEssentialism criticisms:oIgnore the historical and cultural variability of gender and sexualityoIgnore the fact that gender differences are declining and, in some cases, have disappearedoThe research evidence employed by essentialists is often deeply flawedEx. no genes have actually been identifiedoTend to generalize for average, ignoring variations within gender groupsEx. Male and female aggressivenessoExaggerate the degree to which gender differences are unchangeableSocial conditions affect gender differencesoOffer explanations for gender differences that ignore the role of powerSocial ConstructionismSocial constructionists: main alternative to essentialism. Gender differences are not he product of biological properties- chromosomal, gonadal, or hormonal- but, instead, are products of social structure and cultureoLong-distance warfare and conquest: hailing from Kurgan and Semitic civilizations that conquered Old EuropeoDevelopment of plow architecture: required strength and reinforced male work and female childcareoSeparation of public and private spheres: men’s work moved outside household while women remained at home in early industrial eraConstructing Gender through Socialization