Introduction to gender
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Introduction to Gender. Gender a Social Construct. All academic disciplines as they now exist, whether sociology, psychology, astronomy, physics, theology or chemistry, have been developed largely by men.

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Introduction to Gender

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Introduction to gender

Introduction to Gender


Gender a social construct

Gender a Social Construct

  • All academic disciplines as they now exist, whether sociology, psychology, astronomy, physics, theology or chemistry, have been developed largely by men.


Introduction to gender

  • It is men who run governments, control education systems, who earn most of the money, and who are generally consider the movers and shakers of the society.


A vindication of the rights of woman 1792

A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792),

  • In 1792, Mary Wollstonecraft, wrote a book entitled, Vindication of the Rights of Women in which she showed how women have been historically influential in all of the areas of above. The mainstream should be deemed malestream.


Women sidelined

Women sidelined

  • Women have been sidelined in history…Historical sociology questions great man history, Sociology pretends to be about people when in fact it is about men.


1987 un report

1987 UN Report

  • A 1987 United Nations report claimed, “women constitute half of the world’s population, perform nearly 2/3s of it work hours, receive one tenth of its income, and own less than one-hundredth of its property.


Introduction to gender

  • The need for more research into gender is evident….Although we’ve had the feminist movement….we still have Barbie girls….Math is hard….I’m a Genie in a bottle….


Objectification reification

Objectification, reification…..

  • Go to a club, what do you witness sex role stereotypical behaviour….men flashing their wallets, women selling their sexuality. Objectification, reification…..


Gender concepts defined

Gender Concepts Defined:

  • In order to fully understand how society and biology are combined in a social order it is important to define concepts:


Introduction to gender

Sex-

  • The biological aspects of an individual, differences between males and females by chromosomal, anatomical, reproductive, hormonal characteristics.


Sex status

Sex Status

  • -Sex status is biologically determined but socially constructed. All human societies make distinctions based on inborn (ascribed) characteristics of sex, the physiological distinctions based on biology and reproductive anatomy that distinguishes male from female.


Gender

Gender-

  • Gender is a status designation derived from the physiological aspects link to males and females physiological aspects link to males and females to allow individuals to function within particular social contexts.


Gender1

Gender-

  • At the societal level, gender differentiation is critical in understanding the differential distributions of

    • . roles

    • . tasks,

    • . resources,

    • . privileges and disadvantages bestowed upon males and females.


Biological sex

Biological Sex

  • Sex is made up of several components. In fact, some babies (2-3%) each year are born with ambiguous external genitalia. These babies receive a sexual assignment as one of the two sexes and if required, surgical intervention is provided.


Sex assignment

Sex Assignment-

  • Sex Assignment- The categorization into either male or female seems like an irrefutable biological fact. However, How do we know if these babies are male or female???? One’s biological sex is in fact multidimensional….


Several sex components

Several sex components

  • There are several components which may comprise BIOLOGICAL sex:

    • . chromosomal sex,

    • . gondola sex (sexual production organ),

    • . internal sex organs,

    • . external genitalia.


Video gender tango video 4322

Video: Gender TangoVIDEO 4322

  • Anthropological Evidence:

  • Three Contexts.. Papua New Guinea

  • A. Sambians-war, patriarchy

  • B. Trobrians-peace, matriarchy

  • C. Mid West Plains Indian-Berdache


Gender a continuum

Gender: A Continuum?

  • Transsexuals are individuals who have the genotype of one sex but are convinced they are in the wrong body, in other words, they are really the opposite sex. Transsexuals do not see themselves as homosexual. They feel trapped by their exterior.


Transsexual operations

Transsexual operations

  • Sex change surgery to effect reassignment is sought out by many to this crisis. Transsexual operations tend to flow more male to female than female to male….(Perhaps this might suggest something about our culture)


Sexual reassignment

Sexual reassignment

  • It has been argued that the dramatic choice of sexual reassignment is the product of societal intolerance. In societies where notions of masculine and feminine are more flexibly defined, such procedures might seem unnecessary. For example, Australia with its rigid gender role exceptions has a much higher incidence of sex reassignment surgery than Sweden.


Gender a societal construction

Gender a Societal Construction

  • In societies where notions of masculine and feminine are more flexibly defined, such procedures might seem unnecessary. For example, Sambians of New Guinea with its rigid gender role exceptions has a much higher incidence of sex reassignment surgery than Sweden.


Introduction to gender

Transsexuals are individuals who have the genotype of one sex but are convinced they are in the wrong body, in other words, they are really the opposite sex. Transsexuals do not see themselves as homosexual. They feel trapped by their exterior. Sex change surgery to effect reassignment is sought out by many to this crisis. Transsexual operations tend to flow more male to female than female to male….(Perhaps this might suggest something about our culture) It has been argued that the dramatic choice of sexual reassignment is the product of societal intolerance. In societies where notions of masculine and feminine are more flexibly defined, such procedures might seem unnecessary. For example, Australia with its rigid gender role exceptions has a much higher incidence of sex reassignment surgery than Sweden.


Two polar theoretical explanations of gender

Two polar theoretical explanations of Gender:

  • There are two explanations of sexual orientation: Essentialist who believe that biological disposition or the core self develops in early life.


Social constructionist

Social constructionist

  • The social constructionist who believes that heterosexuality and homosexuality are matters of mere definition that vary across time and place


The institution of the family patriarchy and gender

The Institution of the Family-Patriarchy and Gender

  • Structural Approach-essentialist

  • Social Exchange Theory-essentialist

  • Social Conflict Theory-constructionist

  • Symbolic Interactionist-constructionist


Sexual orientation as a social construct

Sexual Orientation as a Social Construct

  • Prior to groundbreaking research of Alfred Kinsey, the research literature equated sexual orientation with the essence of that person...

  • Sexual Behavior in the Human Male 1948,

  • Sexual Behavior in the Human Female 1953.


Biology vs construction

Biology vs. Construction

  • Kinsey criticized the rigid dichotomization of homosexual vs. heterosexual. He proposed that sexual behavior existed on a continuum.

  • Categories of sexuality are not predetermined or universal.


Feminist approaches to the study of gender inequality

Feminist Approaches to the Study of Gender Inequality

1.  Liberal Feminism -seeks to make incremental changes to legislation and piecemeal changes in attitudes. Aim is working towards gender equality.An example is Margrit Eichler and her concept “monolithic bias,” she uses this to influence piecemeal changes to family law


Socialist marxist feminism

Socialist/Marxist Feminism-

  • 2.Marxist Feminists believe that gender inequality was given an added boost by the capitalist mode of production.


Marxist feminism 4 points

Marxist Feminism 4 points

  • Capitalism separates home and work,

  • The public and the private spheres

  • Women’s sphere is the private domestic sphere, her labour in the home is devalued.

  • The solution is transformation of the capitalism


Socialist marxist feminists

Socialist/Marxist Feminists

  • An example is M.Barret and Mary McIntosh, The Anti-Social Family

  • Shows that the bourgeoisie use family to promotes an `Ideology of Familialism’ that affects all institution in this culture.


Radical feminists

Radical Feminists

  • Radical Feminists     - Believe gender stratification is not just the result of capitalism….

  • The problem is capitalism and patriarchy.

  • Patriarchy is much more pervasive and historical..ie. Traditional religion-patriarchy.


Suzanne keller s firestone

Suzanne Keller/S. Firestone

  • Firestone, The dialectic of sex: The case for feminist revolution (1972).

  • Suzanne Keller, “Ðoes the Family Have a Future” (1971) each contend that radical changes are required before women will have equality.


Minority anti racist

Minority Anti Racist

Race, Class and Gender must be examined together.

The experiences of white, middle class women are not universal and monolithic.Carol Stack (1974) research into impoverished Black Families in Southern U.S.


Post modernist feminism

  Post Modernist Feminism

  • 5.   - Seeks to deconstruct old theories on family.

  • Modernist theorizes are grand narratives which limit understanding.

  • Emphasis should be on uniqueness and diversity. Jane Flax (1981) Thinking Fragments: Psychoanalysis, Feminism, and Postmodernism in the Contemporary West


Feminist concerns

Feminist Concerns

  • Five Key

  • 1. Social construction gender

  • 2. Social Change

  • 3. Family

  • 4. Social theory

  • 5. Social Justice


Social construction gender

Social Construction: Gender

  • The central concept of feminist theory is the social construction of gender.

  • Feminists all critique the essentialist view of gender and family…

  • Ie. T. Parsons-instrumental and expressive role=nuclear family.


Commit to social change

Commit to Social Change

  • 2. Feminists are committed to gender equality and social change.

  • It is an analysis of women’s subordination for the purpose of figuring out how to change it.


Feminists question the family the personal is political

Feminists question the family: The personal is political

  • Feminist theories question the family

  • Capitalism and patriarchy thrive upon traditional family (father as provider, mother as homemaker)…

  • Nuclear family fits industrial society…invisible labour in the home…


Feminist theory

Feminist theory

  • Feminist theory emphasizes women’s lives and their experiences. The emphasis is upon putting on a new set of glasses.

  • For example, they do not study fathering unless the construction of gender is the central concept.


Feminism and social justice

Feminism and Social Justice

4.     Feminist theorists and researcher put their beliefs into action.

5. Barbra Allen was one of the first who put into practice a feminist pedagogy.


Feminist sociology history

Feminist Sociology History

  • First Wave-Suffragettes –Maternal

  • Second Wave-Civil Rights late 60’s and beyond-has various branches.

  • Third Wave-1990’s-more inclusive


Research

Research

  • Socialization is not as important as social stratification

  • THE SYSTEM (capitalism) IS DESIGNED BY MEN (patriarchal) and is UNFAIR!!


Summary

Summary

  • By the 1980's, writers identified liberal, radical and socialist feminism.

  • Important points to remember about the feminist approach to family and gender:

  • The central concept of feminist theory is the social construction of gender.  


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