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Chapter 1

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William Cockrell

on 15 February 2016

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Transcript of Chapter 1

Introduction to Gender Roles
You have all heard arguments that men and women are "inherently different".
Examples include "different brain chemistries", "different brain organization", and "different hormones" are all examples used to say men and women are totally different.
According to John Gray, he argues that men and women "think, feel, perceive, react, respond, love, need, and appreciate differently".
Just because differences are present, does it mean that these differences are

One major reason there is such a focus on gender differences, is that it leads to comparing the differences. Remember, this is not very helpful!
Gender Inequality :
The unequal treatment of men and women. Placing different expectations or requirements on genders is viewed as gender inequality.

Across the globe, very few (if any) countries practice gender equality.
Why is it that virtually every single society differentiaties people on the basis of gender?
Why is it that virtually every known society is also based on male dominance?
Searching For Gendered Differences
Biological Determinism :
the idea that males and females are born different. This argument states our biology (read : genes and cellular makeup) make men and women drastically different.
Differential Socialization :
the opposite of biological determinism. Differential Socialization is the argument that men and women are taught to act differently.
Differential Socialization can occur through friends, family, society, media, and many other countless ways.
One does not have to "pick" between the two stances. They can be viewed as working together.
There are physical differences between men and woman. The important part is that these differences are not significant.
For example, men do typically have larger brains than women, but we know that this does not impact intelligence.
A second famous difference is that men and women do receive different levels of hormones.
Sex Differences :
a term used by gender researchers to denote any
physical difference
between men and women.
Differences Continued
When we compare ranges on physical features we tend to see the largest differences.
In comparing means we tend to see that these differences are not significant.
Look at this example of comparing ranges and means. Men's range 70 - 91, Women's range 70 - 87.
Men's mean = 85.4, Women's mean = 84.3
Do you see how using means is the more appropriate way to compare differences?
One significant difference is that men have a significantly higher level of androgens (primarily testosterone) and women have higher levels of estrogen.
Testosterone fosters more muscular development while estrogen is necessary for a menstrual cycle and breast development.
Strength is one of the most commonly mentioned examples of physical differences. Remember, what is strength? In science, it all depends on how we
the measurement (pg. 3, last sentence, 1st paragraph)
Sex or Gender?
biological predisposition, genetics
Genitalia - Primary
Facial Hair - Secondary
Breasts - Secondary
Adam's Apple - Secondary
Potential Outcomes
- Female
- Male
- Kleinfelter's Syndrome
- Turner Syndrome
(Diamond, 1994; Fausto-Sterling, 2007)
psychological characteristics
Feminine (e.g., Passive, Caring, Emotional)
Masculine (e.g., Aggressive, Competitive)
Measuring Gender?
(Bem, 1981)
Sex and Gender Recap
Sex :
For the most part, we reference sex with the terms male or female.
There is less variability in sex than there is gender. Make sure you know what this means.
Gender :
not related to biology, but references emotional and psychological characteristics. We typically think of masculine and feminine.
Many different countries and cultures have various different beliefs about what is considered masculine or feminine.
This is an important factor in why gender has a large range of variability. Gender is heavily influenced by culture.
Perhaps sex can be influenced by culture and society, but we then have to study natural selection and expand the research scope to thousands of years.
Gender Socialization
Gender binaries (masculine <---> feminine) are taught through society
Not innate in children (Biernet, 1991)
Gender socialization is consistently taught in multiple countries (Williams & Best, 1982)
Most common attributes for men:
adventurous, independent, stoicism, and sexual prowess
. For women:
sentimental, submissive, helpess, and dependent.
Less agreement for male stereotypes than female stereotypes. The discrepancy is believed to be due to status power difference (Edwards, 1992; Six & Eckes, 1991). Similar research has been found for race perceptions.
Time and place are two very important factors of gender socialization.
Current Gender Studies Classes
No surprise, Gender Roles or Gender Studies usually have a majority of female teachers and students.
Male students typically avoid gender studies like the plague.
A skewed perspective has emerged from the past decades of gender studies in academia.
Gender studies absolutely have a heavily female gendered approach. This is one critique people against feminism use to argue the field is pointless.
Feminists often respond to this by stating that almost every other field of academia is male dominated in perspective.
Remember, in most countries, women have not been allowed access to higher education until the past hundred or so years.
This implies that all of the "classics": Math, the Arts, Biology, History, etc., have all been formed with a male dominated perspective.
Be sure to read paragraphs 3 & 4 on pg. 6 to understand the "invisibility of man".
One aspect of this is related to what is expected of men. Men are not expected to be emotional or reflective.
On the other hand, women are expected to reflect and discuss their femininity because it is not the norm, masculinity is the norm.
Yet again, similar concepts can be applied to Whites and minorities in America.
Invisibility of Privilege
You really need to read page 7 and truly reflect on this concept.
"Invisibility is a privilege in another sense - as a luxury. Only white people in our society have the luxury not to think about race every minute of their lives. And only men have the luxury to pretend that gender does not matter". (Kimmel, pg. 7, 2013).
There is also the concept of American privilege. How many of you would go to a concernt of a French band that never sings in English? Plenty of Japanese people have been crazy about Mariah Carey for years now.
So remember, people in privilege typically do not notice their sameness, they typically only notice people that are not like them.
Invisibility of Privilege :
the term referencing that people in power often feel annoyance or are defensive when they are forced to acknowledge differential treatment that they do not experience themselves.
Hegemonic Masculinity :
the ideal male. In American culture, hegemonic masculinity is commonly associated with a White, middle class, Christian, heterosexual, male. Gender studies argue that men are "socially punished" when they do not reach hegemonic masculinity.
Emphasized Femininity :
An extremely skewed focus on women being submissive to men, emotional, domestic, and focused on family.
Many researchers argue that men have less freedom to express their masculinity than women.
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