3115 midterm

3115 midterm - John Hodgins CMST 3115 Sec. 2 10/22/07...

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John Hodgins CMST 3115 Sec. 2 10/22/07 Mid-Term Exam Question 1: In general terms, the phrase, “opposite sexes” is the correct way to define the basic differences between men and women. In most cultures, this phrase differentiates the masculine and feminine roles in those cultures. But what happens when the line between masculine and feminine is blurred? This is when “opposite sex” ceases to be relevant in the conversations about a person’s gender. In today’s western culture, labeling people as male or female tends to contribute to the “opposite sex” theory. The line is drawn in the sand and there are males on one side and females on the other. No one is allowed to stand on the line. This causes a problem for people who have blurred gender lines or who were born with different sexual features than their label requires. The book Gender Lives states, “there are many similarities between women and men---ways in which the two sexes are more alike than different (p.18).” Most people tend to look at the differences, and label them instead of looking at the similarities. Men and women are biologically opposite, thus their sex remains different. Although many people change their sex later in life, people are either born as a man or a woman. There are many instances when a child has biological features of each sex, or hermaphrodites. Hermaphrodites are people whose sexually characteristics are different than their genetic makeup shows. A man can have women biological features and vice versa. This genetic feature renders these people as “different” than their normal male or female groups. They are usually seen as outcasts or genetic “freaks.”
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Gender, on the other hand, is something that is learned through social environments and other issues someone is surrounded with. Gender is psychological, and can be quite unstable. Like sexes, genders are also labeled as either “male” or “female.” In most cultures, society dictates whether you are male or female. Although there are androgynous people who have traits typical of male and female, society usually controls the appropriateness of being one or the other. Men are usually masculine and females are feminine. We hear it everyday, when males tell other males not to cry, and females are told to “act like a lady.” There are males who grow up in a feminine environment and females who grow up in masculine environments. Does labeling someone as a male work if they show more feminine qualities? How about if a female is called a “tomboy”? Labeling someone as male or female, or boy or girl, only denotes their sexually qualities that they are born with. One of the biggest questions is whether we call masculine females or feminine males something different? Our society has already created sub-categories for these people. Essentializing that all men and all women are exactly the same has caused our society to create negative stereotypes for people on the outside of these categories. Nothing good comes of
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course CMST 3115 taught by Professor White during the Spring '08 term at LSU.

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3115 midterm - John Hodgins CMST 3115 Sec. 2 10/22/07...

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