gen 2 - Different explanations for gender...

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Different explanations for gender difference/inequality Biological : why are these popular ? 1) right of “true” science to them—based on “objective scientific fact” 2) accord with our own observations—men and women do seem different, so we want to find a reason for this 3) reassure us that it’s a natural difference—the social is natural 4) …so they’re not our fault We have always looked for biological explanations for our differences, it’s just using scientists is relatively new (OVERVIEW) religion ( we were created by God to do different things, so giving women more rights would “reverse the very laws of God” evolution Darwin—men are more competitive and ambitious, women less selfish and more tender Social Darwinists: distorted his theories even more, using ideas about natural selection to claim decisive biological differences between races, and men and women Women’s brains are different, so could they even be educated? Smaller (women are smaller) Evidence: college-educated women in the late 19 th century were marrying less and having fewer kids, and also more were admitted to mental institutions. Why ? Enlarged opportunities/frustration Conservative arguments: Today eg: Newt Gingrich 1995—can’t put women in the trenches Because we have biological problems, whereas men don’t Biological based differences and SOCIOBIOLOGY/EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY …comes out of evolutionary theory; applied to non-humans, there’s no controversy But applied to humans, it is, because it says that genes are central to human behavior and variations come from our biology, not from the social environment Eg: aggressiveness—some people are more aggressive
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This note was uploaded on 03/24/2011 for the course WOMEN'S S 851-06 taught by Professor Cohen during the Spring '11 term at Temple College.

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gen 2 - Different explanations for gender...

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