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Chapter 3 Gender and Families

Chapter 3 Gender and Families - Chapter 3 Gender and...

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Chapter 3 Gender and Families The Berdache Native Americans that behaved like the opposite sex Individuals became berdaches in one of two ways: 1. developed characteristics as children (showing androgynous nature) 2. experienced spiritual visions during adolescence Generally accepted by society Could marry person of same sex Sometimes females of reproductive age were not allowed to take on berdache role Number of berdaches rapidly declined by end of 1800s What is difference between sex and gender ? Sex: Biological characteristics Gender: Social and cultural characteristics How many genders are there? Two, but berdache represented a “sort of” third sex Intersexuals: Born with ambiguous sex organs Can a person’s gender identity be modified? Brain forms gender identity in response to biological and social cues How much do gender differences reflect men’s attempts to retain power over women? Some cultures blocked women’s moves towards a male role The Gestational Construction of Gender Gestation: Nine-month development in the womb Genetic sex is determined at moment of conception -egg contributes X chromosome; sperm contributes X or Y chromosome (XX – girl; XY– boy) Hormonal Influences Some scientists believe that the sex hormones, androgens, do more than change genitals Level of androgens may affect brain development Biosocial Influences Biosocial approach: Gender identification and behavior based on peoples innate biological differences Exist only “on average” Depends on environment in which a person is raised The Childhood Construction of Gender Social role: Pattern of behaviors associated with position in society Gender role: Different sets of behaviors commonly exhibited Parental Socialization Process by which one learns the ways of a given society/social group in order to function in it Socialization approach: Children rewarded for appropriate gender behavior; punished for inappropriate Males and females are treated differently from birth on Standard Role-Theory Model of Socialization Children passively learn lessons from their parents Some researchers believe this is too simplistic Children and parents influence each other’s behaviors as socialization proceeds The Media Children learn from what they see Books, T.V., videos, etc. As recently as the 1960s, children’s media was most likely to have male main character Since feminist movement, more equal treatment is evident Early Peer Groups Peer group: People same age, status Same sex peers are strongly influential Boys reinforce competitive, dominant interaction Children’s Preferences Messages teach boys and girls different gender roles Boy’s aggressive behaviors may have biological basis Later Peer Groups Children develop an internalized sense of appropriate behavior Socialized by playing games and sports
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