#5 - Gender Definition: A. Sex and gender reflect different...

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Gender Definition : A. Sex and gender reflect different bases. 1. Sex refers to biological characteristics distinguishing males and females— primary sex organs (organs related to reproduction) and secondary sex organs (physical distinctions not related to reproduction). 2. Gender is a social characteristic that varies from one society to another and refers to what the group considers proper for its males and females. The sociological significance of gender is that it is the means by which society controls its members; it sorts us on the basis of sex, into different life experiences. B. Some researchers argue that biological factors (two X chromosomes in females, one X and one Y in males) result in differences in conduct, with men being more aggressive and domineering and women being more comforting and nurturing. C. The dominant sociological position is represented by the symbolic interactionists, who stress that people in every society determine what physical differences mean to them: males and females take the positions that society assigns to them. D. Alice Rossi suggested that women are better prepared biologically for “mothering” than are men: nature provides biological predispositions which are overlaid with culture. E. Real-life cases provide support for the argument that men’s and women’s behaviour is influenced by both culture and biology. 1. A medical accident led to a young boy being reassigned to the female sex.
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This note was uploaded on 01/12/2011 for the course SOC 600 taught by Professor B during the Fall '10 term at Seneca.

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#5 - Gender Definition: A. Sex and gender reflect different...

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