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25600 - "The Gender Blur" by Deborah Blum

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by Daniel Moore on 19 March 2013

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Transcript of 25600 - "The Gender Blur" by Deborah Blum

"The Gender Blur"
by Deborah Blum
+
Revising image via libcom.org WRITER FACTS Born in Illinois and raised in Louisiana
Daughter of entomologist who brought her along on research trips
Won Pulitzer for series on animal experimentation, which later became her first book, "The Monkey Wars"
Professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison
Prolific science writer for diverse publications, including the Wall Street Journal and Nature VOCABULARY BANK amplify
predisposition
behavioural
prototypical
heritable
fledgling
colloquial
socialization
relevant
congenital
consensus Aggression as Biology SOCIALIZATION Consider the following passage: What social changes occur around the age of six that might influence gendered behaviour in children? Many thinkers posit that science itself is not free of cultural bias. Judith Butler argues that gender is entirely socially constructed. What do you think? Is gender determined socially or biologically? Blum's opening paragraph... I was raised in one of those university-based, liberal elite families that politicians like to ridicule. In my childhood, every human being--regardless of gender--was exactly alike under the skin, and I mean exactly, barring his or her different opportunities. My parents wasted no opportunity to bring this point home. One Christmas, I received a barbie doll and a softball glove. Another brought a green enamel stove [. . .] and also a set of steel-tipped darts and competition-quality dartboard. Did I mention the year of the chemistry set and the ballerina doll?
It wasn't until I became a parent--I should say a parent of two boys--that I realized I had been fed a line and swallowed it like a sucker (barring the part about opportunities, which I still believe). (184). What two strategies does she use for her introduction? Does the love of carnage begin in culture or genetics, and which drives which? Do the gender roles of our culture reflect an underlying biology, and, in turn, does the way we behave influence that biology? (184) Blum's (research) question: Main topic: aggression

Subtopic: lessons for gender debate How could cultural ideas about gender affect our biology? These defects are rare and don't alter the basic male-female division of our species. They do emphasize how fragile those divisions can be. Biology allows flexibility, room to change, to vary and grow. With that comes room for error as well. That it's possible to live with these genetic defects, that they don't merely kill us off, is a reminder that we, male and female alike, exist on a continuum of biological possibilities that can overlap and sustain either sex. (188) Her question refined... Blum's answer... ... the issue becomes not whether there is a biological influence sex difference in aggression--the answer being a solid, technical "You betcha"--but rather how rigid that difference is. (186) moves away from an either/or, yes or no set up
shows us how to read her question Which examples support this point? Reminds us what she is not debating "There's plenty of room in society to influence sex differences," says Marc Breedlove. . . . "Yes, we're born with predispositions, but it's society that amplifies them, exaggerates them. I believe that--except for the sex differences in aggression. Those [differences] are too massive to be explained simply by society." (185) Revising Revise : to improve logic, organization and style Edit : correcting errors in grammar, spelling, word choice and punctuation Revising Paragraphs What are 4 things to look for when evaluating a body paragraph? Topic sentence

Development

Unity

Coherence a sentence that indicates the main idea of a paragraph. the main idea is discussed fully with supporting details that adequately explain and demonstrated it the whole paragraph focuses on the one main idea the whole paragraph flows logically, using transition words to signal separate points and proofs in the argument Which topic sentence doesn't work for this argument? Thesis: Deforestation in the Amazon has tremendous implications for people's quality of life. TS 1: First, logging, mining, and agriculture displace indigenous peoples in the Amazon.

TS 2: Also, scientists believe that deforestation in the Amazon will lead to a rapid increase in global climate change, which will affect people worldwide.

TS 3: Many development experts are trying to find methods to have sustainable development in the Amazon. i.e. Where does the essay lack unity? (p. 61) Underline each of you topic sentences. Is the connection between each TS and the thesis clear?

If not, circle the topic sentence that doesn't directly support your thesis and draft a stronger one. Read through 1 body paragraph of your essay. Write a small "Pt" for Point or a "Pr" for Proof at the end of each sentence, indicating whether it makes a point or supply a proof. Revising Thesis Statements Employment challenges are everywhere. Technology is rapidly changing higher education, and there are many ways to incorporate technology into the classroom. This essay will discuss different kinds of social media and their application to post-secondary education. Incomplete + vague More than 1 main idea Announcement + no controlling idea Underline the thesis statement in your essay. Reread it and write down next to it... C (for complete) 1 (1 main idea) CI (controlling idea) If it doesn't pass one of these tests, circle the problem you notice (C, I, or CI) and revise to correct it. Same applies to research questions... What are some employment challenges? I + V How is the recession affecting business development opportunities, and will cost-cutting measures actually stimulate growth during the recession? 2 Ideas I want to know how entrepreneurs are surmounting various employment challenges. A + no CI Complete Research Q. + Thesis S. How is cloud computing changing the types of employment opportunities available to IT specialists in the GTHA? The recent expansion of several cloud computing companies in the GTHA make it a desirable location for IT specialists. Revising for Development i.e. Point - Proof - Comment order To become a better dresser, follow these steps. First, ask friends or family members what colours suit you. Also, don't be a slave to the latest fashion. Finally, spend money on a few good items rather than filling your closet with cheap outfits. My closet is half-full, but the clothing I have is of good quality. (p. 64) Where does this paragraph need to include proofs? Revised with proofs To become a better dresser, follow these steps. First, ask friends or family members what colours suit you. I love green, for instance, but a close friend said it brought out the green in my skin and made me look ill. Also, don't be a slave to the latest fashion. Although tank tops and low-waist jeans were popular for several years, I didn't have the right body type for that fashion. Instead, I wore longer shirts with my jeans, so I looked stylish but not ridiculous. Finally, spend money on a few good items rather than filling your closet with cheap outfits. My closet is half-full, but the clothing I have is of good quality. (p. 64) 1. 2. Show your paragraph to someone else. Ask them if they can find: a. 1 Pt that doesn't match the topic sentence b. 1 Pr that doesn't directly support a Pt 3. Draft a quick Pr for any Pt's that don't have one. Revising for Coherence Transition words + phrases show logical connections between points as well as between proofs and points. Within paragraphs Between paragraphs They also connect each main point of the essay in the topic sentences back to the thesis. Coherence is how you lead your reader from one idea to the next, usually with transition signals: Transitions within Paragraphs Transitions must be followed be a comma. Moreover, they must have a complete sentence attached to them if they begin a sentence.

They can also be used within a sentence. also, besides, finally, first (second, third), for one thing, furthermore, in fact, moreover...

equally, even so, however, in contrast, instead, likewise...

certainly, even so, indeed, of course, no doubt...

above all, clearly, especially, in particular, principally... Addition Comparison or Contrast Concession Emphasis Example Transition Phrases (p. 66) Transitions between Paragraphs Repeating key ideas or words from the thesis in each topic sentence: Referring to the main idea in the previous paragraph: One reason to "unplug" is our growing inability to communicate with people face-to-face.
Another reason to unplug is ... Aside from our inability to communicate face-to-face, we are also ... Find one topic sentence that needs a transition word or phrase to improve coherency. Find one point in a body paragraph that could use a transition word to signal: Addition
Comparison or contrast
Concession
Effect or result
Emphasis Example
Reason or purpose
Space
Summary or conclusion
Time What do you look for when trying to improve style? Sentence Variety

Academic Language

Conciseness Sentence Structures People are too dependent on digital devices. (simple)

People are too dependent on digital devices, so they need to "unplug" every once in a while to restore balance in their lives. (compound)

If people want to restore balance in their lives, they need to occasionally "unplug" from their digital devices. (complex) Choppy Sentences People use Facebook too much. People have become dependent on it. They get all of their information about family and friends from Facebook. Some people have more than 5000 "friends" on Facebook. They know personal things about a lot of people. They might never have a face-to-face conversation with any of them. Revised for Sentence Variety People use Facebook too much. They have become dependent on it to get all of their information about family and friends. Even though some people have more than 5000 friends on Facebook and know many personal things about them, they might never have a face-to-face conversation with any of them. Revising for Academic Language Use third person (a person, people, one, our, we)
Avoid vague or weak descriptors (good, bad, nice)
Improve vocabulary I think that it's bad for people to use Facebook too much to talk with their friends because they end up not seeing them in person
Our overuse of Facebook as a communication tool has a detrimental effect on our ability to communicate and engage in face-to-face interactions. Revising for Conciseness People who use Facebook regularly are often the ones who have a large, excessive number of virtual friends. They are also more likely than people who only use Facebook occasionally to "friend" people that they don't know very well or have only met once or twice. (wordy) Regular Facebook users often have numerous virtual friends and are more likely than occasional users to "friend" casual acquaintances. (concise) Find 2 sentences you can rewrite to: add sentence variety,
improve academic language, or
avoid wordiness and be more concise Revising for Unity Which sentences don't belong? Canadians should not fear the practice of outsourcing by businesses. First, outsourcing is the same practice as subcontracting. In the past, many companies subcontracted work to companies within the same country. Now, businesses simply subcontract to other nations. Furthermore, outsourcing usually leads to higher profits because the product or service is produced more cost effectively. Therefore, the head company's profit margin increases, allowing it to reinvest in domestic markets. In addition, when a company increases its profit, not only do the stockholders benefit, but so do the employees of the company. The stockholders receive more value for their stock, and the employees receive more salaries and benefits. My sister worked in computers and her job became obsolete when the company outsourced the work India. Now my sister is devastated. She has lost her house and car and cannot find another job in her field. Thus, with more disposable incomes, people can help the domestic economy by buying more products. (p. 61-62) Simple Simple Complex How does Blum's argument borrow from Breedlove's point here, and how does she also question it too? A Contrasting Model Done!
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