Chapter 5 Gender and Gender Roles
Sex, Gender, and Gender Roles • Sex: whether one is biologically female, male, or intersex • Genetic sex: chromosomal and hormonal sex characteristics • Anatomical sex: our physical sex; gonads, uterus, vulva, vagina, or penis • Gender: social and cultural characteristics associated with being male or female • Gender identity: gender one believes self to be
Sex and Gender Identity • Assigned gender • Based on anatomical appearance at birth • Gender identity • Internalized feeling of femaleness or maleness • Gender role • The attitudes, behaviors, rights, and responsibilities that society associates with each sex • Old term was “sex role” • Influenced by culture, age, ethnicity, other factors
Gender-Roles • Gender-role stereotype: (video) • A rigidly-held oversimplified belief concerning all males or all females • Gender-role attitude: • The belief one has for self and others concerning what’s appropriate for male or female traits • Gender-role behavior: • Activities or behaviors a person engages in as a female or male
Masculinity and Femininity • Sexes seen as polar opposites in traditional Western view, e.g. “opposite sex” • Different qualities associated with different genders (List contradictory qualities often expected in our cultures) • Sexism - discrimination • Some qualities are biologically based, some culturally based
Gender and Sexual Orientation • Gender, gender identity, and gender role are conceptually independent of sexual orientation • However, many assume they are closely related • Heterosexuality has been assumed to be part of masculinity and femininity • Therefore, some believe that gay men can’t be masculine and lesbian women can’t be feminine.
Gender and Sexual Orientation • Studies show a link between individuals’ • Negative attitudes towards gay and lesbian people • And those individuals’ adherence to traditional gender roles • These negative stereotypes have fueled homophobia • "Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood." Correta Scott King
Gender Theory • Gender Theory developed as a field in the ’80s and ’90s to explore the role of gender in society • What is our relationship between our biological sex as male or female and our gender role as masculine or feminine? • Do we act the way we act because our gender role is bred in us or because of socialization? • Important in the social power structure, and is reliant on the concept than men and women are “opposite” sexes.
Gender Theory • Seeks to understand society through understanding how its organized by gender • Views gender as a basic element in social relationships • Examines socially-perceived differences between genders that are used to justify unequal power relationships
Gender Theory in Psychology • In psychology, gender theory focuses on: • How gender is created and what its purposes are • How specific traits, behaviors, and roles are defined as male or female • How gender creates advantages and disadvantages • Gender theory rejects the idea that gender differences are primarily biologically-driven • Operates from a social-constructivist framework • With more professional women in the workforce than men, how will gender theory predict the changing gender roles and characteristics among men and women?
Theories of Socialization • Cognitive Social Learning Theory • We learn behaviors via social interactions with others • Consequences control behavior (Punishment vs. Reward) • Cognitive Development Theory • While cognitive social learning assumes adults and children learn the same way, cognitive development theory stresses that people learn differently dependent on their age.
Cognitive Social Learning Theory • Emphasizes consequences as shaping gender related behavior • Cognition: Mental processes such as evaluation and reflection (examples, p.132) • Includes ability to use language • Anticipate consequences • Modeling (making observations)
Cognitive Development Theory • Focuses on children’s active interpretation of gender messages at various developmental stages • Children at age 2 can identify self as “boy” or “girl” based on superficial features • Argues that after age 6 or 7, motivation to act like one’s gender is primarily internal, and that gender-role behavior is intrinsic
Social Construction Theory • Gender is a set of practices and performances that occur through language and a political system. • Language – mediates and deploys how meaning power and gender will be expressed. • Queer Theories – identifies sexuality as a system that cannot be understood as gender neutral or by the actions of heterosexual males and females. Meanings of sexuality are socially constructed political systems to perpetuate white heterosexual men
Gender-Role Learning: Childhood and Adolescence • Parents as socializing agents (see p.133 -134) • Manipulation • Channeling • Verbal appellation • Activity exposure • Connections between sons/daughters and fathers/mothers • Ethnic group variations
Gender-Role Learning: Childhood and Adolescence • Teachers as Socializing agents • Females are more common • Bias in presentation of topics • What roles did you learn in primary school ? • Peers as socializing agents • Play • Approval • Perceptions • Media
Gender Schemas: Exaggerating Differences • Interrelated ideas which help information processing • Cognitive organization of world by gender • Emphasize dichotomy • Minimize valuing of the individual • Typical Schema Senarios(p.137) • Activities • Emotions • Behavior • Clothing • Colors
Contemporary Gender Roles • Women’s roles have changed • Men’s roles have changed • Must include diverse groups • Egalitarian approach to gender roles
Aggressiveness Emotional toughness Independence Feelings of superiority Decisiveness Power orientation Competitiveness Dominance Violence Traditional Male Gender Role
Traditional Male Sexual Scripts: Zilbergeld • Men should not have or express certain feelings • Performance is the only thing that counts • The man is in charge • A man always wants sex and is ready for it • All physical contact leads to sex • Sex equals intercourse • Sexual intercourse leads to orgasm
TraditionalFemale Gender Role • There are striking ethnic differences in female role • American middle-class Whites: women as wives and mothers. Recently includes work outside the home (rapid changes in the workforce) • African Americans: more egalitarian roles for men and women • Latinas: women subordinate to men out of respect
Traditional Female Sexual Scripts: Barbach • Sex is good and bad • It’s not okay to touch yourself “down there” • Sex is for men • Men should know what women want • Women shouldn’t talk about sex • Women should look like models • Women are nurturers: they give, men receive • There is only one right way to have an orgasm
Discussion Topic • Do our gender roles reflect an instinctive/biological nature or are they created by society? • What kinds of data, such as animal or anthropological studies, are needed to support such theories. What are their shortcomings? • Is male aggression and female nurturance biological or social in nature—or both. What evidence is there to support this assertion?
Changing Gender Roles • Egalitarian position • Androgyny: flexibility in gender roles, combining elements of each traditional role • An androgynous lifestyle allow men and women to choose from a full range of emotions and behaviors, according to their temperament, situation, and common humanity rather than their “gender”
Contemporary Sexual Scripts • Sexual expression is positive • Sexual activities involve a mutual exchange of erotic pleasure • Sexuality is equally involving, and both partners are equally responsible • Legitimate sexual activities are not limited to intercourse but also include masturbation and oral-genital sex • Sexual activities may be initiated by either partner • Both partners have a right to experience orgasm, whether through intercourse, oral-genital sex, or manual stimulation • Non-marital sex is acceptable within a relationship context
Discussion Questions… • What gender-role attitudes and behaviors of the other sex they would like to see become more like your own ? • What are gender-role issues in relationships? How has your partners have led your to modify your gender-role attitudes and behaviors and vice versa? • How does ethnicity affects gender roles. Does ethnicity affect female/male gender roles equally?
Gender Variations • Intersexuality • Transexuality • Transgenderism
Intersexuality • Describes people who possess mixtures of male and female genitalia or reproductive physiology • Prevalence ranges from .0128% to 1.7% of population. Known until recently as “hermaphrodites” • Intersex used to refer to these variety of conditions where the sexual reproductive structures are not “typical”. Aka. Disorders of Sex development (DSD).
Chromosomal Anomalies: Turner Syndrome • Females who lack a chromosome: XO rather than XX • Occurs in 1/2000 live births • Female external appearance • No ovaries • Hormonal therapy • Assisted fertility (in vitro fertilization, donated ova)
Chromosomal Anomalies: Klinefelter Syndrome • Males who have extra X chromosomes: XXY, XXXY, or XXXXY rather than XY • Occurs in 1/600 live births • Variable effects; many men never diagnosed. Designated as male. • Small firm testes; double XX = some female physical traits • Lower testosterone levels
Hormonal Disorders: Androgen-Insensitivity Syndrome • Inherited condition occurring in 1/20,000 individuals • Genetic males whose tissues to not respond to testosterone, estrogen influence prevails • Female external genitals, no female internal organs • At puberty, develops hips and breasts, no pubic hair and no menstruation. Surgery may remove undescended testes • Many experience female gender identity
Hormonal Disorders: Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (pseudohermaphroditism) • A genetic female (XX) with ovaries and a vagina develops externally as a male • Due to malfunctioning of adrenal gland • Occurs in 1/10-18,000 live births • At birth, child has ambiguous genitalia • In the past, doctors and families choose to assign female gender at birth • Gender role behavior typically male
Hormonal Disorders: DHT Deficiency (cannot convert Testosterone to DHT) • Internal male organs • Clitoris-like penis at birth • Undescended testes at birth • Testes descend at puberty and penis grows • Socialization ? – Biology can be a large determinant of gender identity among some intersexed individuals.
A Related Condition: Hypospadias • Urethral opening located at non traditional location • Urethra exists on underside of glans midway through the underside of the shaft or at the base of the scrotum • Occurs in 1/250 male births • Repair is possible
Gender Identity Disorder • Defined by the APA as a strong and persistent cross-gender identification and persistent discomfort about one’s assigned sex (2000) • Diagnosis not associated as hormonal or physiological • Requires experience of distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other areas of functioning
Gender Identity Disorder • The goal of treatment for people with GID is “lasting personal comfort with the gendered self” • Treatment is individual and multifaceted; can affirm cross-gender identification through: • Psychotherapy • Real-life experience living externally as desired gender • Hormonal therapy • Sex-reassignment surgery
Transsexuality • Gender identity and sexual anatomy are not congruent • Prevalence of transsexuality unknown: estimated 1/12,000 males and I in 30,000 females • May occur with heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual orientations • Gender reassignment
Transgender Phenomenon • Transgender community embraces possibility of numerous genders and multiple social identities • Other cultures recognize multiple genders • Paradigm shift of gender dichotomy • Employment protection is rising for the transgendered.