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GENDER & SEXUALITY
Lecture Aims Reconsider our assumptions aboutbeing male or female– and the differences it makes Explaining gender &gender differences How, not just gender, but also sexuality, are culturally produced, reproduced, or challenged,through everyday practices and social structures.
How much do you know about a person once you have identified his/her gender?
Gender inherent in biological makeup ? the female brain
Gender inherent in biological makeup ? the male brain
Explaining Gender DifferencesBiological Determinism Relativism Political. Moral & Religious Convictions
Survival of the species (Evolutionary imperative) WomenLimited in capacity to reproduce. Few partners Programmed to seek out fewer mates & to care for offsprings MenHuge capacity to reproduce. Seek multiple partners Leads to competition among men (competitiveness, aggression, jealousy)
Gender in Society Are women and men fundamentally unequal everywhere? Is it inevitable? Why are societies generally patriarchal? What alternatives are there?
Matrilineal vs Matriarchal society •Matrilineal Descent – principle of tracing descent through women •Women own property; but men control them •Matriarchal societies a theoretical construct •Other examples: Navajo; Hopi (N. America); Basque (Spain); Lahu (Southwest China) Minangkabau Rumah Gadang (Great House) in West Sumatra
Functionalist Perspective – Talcott Parsons Traditional gender roles integrate society Division of Labour Reproduced through gender role socialization Boys – essence of masculinity (instrumental): rationality, self-assuredness, competitiveness Girls – essence of femininity (expressiveness) - nurturance &