SOCIOL 1Z03 - Module 7.docx - SOCIOL 1Z03 Module 7 Gender...

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SOCIOL 1Z03: Module 7 Gender and Sexualities Essentialism Essentialists : 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 universal o Brain studies: different hemisphere development in males (right) and women (both) gives rise to gender division of labour o Sociobiology: biological need to transmit genes results in different adaptive strategies ang genetic factors further enhance sex differences through hormone production David 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 money Based on limited resources of eggs and plentiful sperm Simon Davis: women list status/money as important in partner while men are concerned with physical attraction o Freud: sexuality is the main human instinct – motivates human behaviour and accounts for distinct masculine and feminine gender roles Oedipus complex Essentialism criticisms: o Ignore the historical and cultural variability of gender and sexuality o Ignore the fact that gender differences are declining and, in some cases, have disappeared o The research evidence employed by essentialists is often deeply flawed Ex. no genes have actually been identified o Tend to generalize for average, ignoring variations within gender groups Ex. Male and female aggressiveness o Exaggerate the degree to which gender differences are unchangeable Social conditions affect gender differences o Offer explanations for gender differences that ignore the role of power Social Constructionism Social 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 culture o Long-distance warfare and conquest : hailing from Kurgan and Semitic civilizations that conquered Old Europe o Development of plow architecture : required strength and reinforced male work and female childcare o Separation of public and private spheres : men’s work moved outside household while women remained at home in early industrial era Constructing Gender through Socialization

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