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•Men and masculine men not only have had more power over women, children, and less conventionally masculine men, with benefits, privileges, etc., they are assumed to enjoy these social benefits of gender on the basis of “natural” qualities that set them apart from women, children and less conventionally masculine men.
Sex as a Fact of Life, Gender as a Social Constraint•Many women and many men have experienced their opportunities in society, personal relations, and intimate life as restricted by the codes of gender that they have been expected to abide by, but by choice or necessity are unable to do so.•Their “inferiority” or “exclusion” has been explained as natural and inevitable since the gendered codes they do not live up to are assumed to be natural and inevitable.•We see now that the codes are “artifactual” and often “strategic” created to achieve a specific set of goals•Their performance is learned, reinforced, policed, sanctioned.
Contributions of Gender Scholars•Kimmel – male solidarity and delayed maturity among young adult men•Simmons – The popularity regime and relational aggression -- mean girl” behavior in teens•Pascoe – high school routines and normative heterosexual masculinity •Ridgeway – Gender distinctions persist in the workplace, not because men and women are different, but because jobs are gender-typed and candidates for positions and promotion are viewed as “essential” representatives of their gender classification.•Hinshaw -- Young women, freed to develop their talents and pursue expansive goals, feel burdened by persistent gender expectations to be self-sacrificing, nurturing, and sexually alluring.
What they offer•Each scholar identifies a set of behaviors and attitudes about gender assumed to be “normal” and “natural” among the males and females in society.•Each questions the inherent character of the behaviors•Each problematizes gender as reflecting hierarchies of social power or as sustaining those hierarchies.•Each describes contexts within which typical gender behaviors are created and learned and reinforced
Masculinity and Femininity as Social Phenomena•Gender is a Feature of the Social System, Social Order, or Larger Culture. It serves its purposes and has been normalized, unless challenged, at all levels.•Gender is a Feature of Institutions, whose rules and practices reflect, reinforce, and tacitly mandate, different gender scripts.•Gender is a Learned characteristic of individuals who learn the meanings of their bodies in social situations and learn the expected behavioral roles and attitudes, which are superimposed on a more neutral set of human capabilities.
Institutional Processes of Gender Construction•Pascoe: High School Organization and Practices around Sexuality and “Self Development” express the “Norm” of the Gender Binary – Males and Females are different by nature and of necessity.