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A review of the impact of society on sex and gender, particularly in America. Appropriate for 100-level sociology courses. If you like it, feel free to use it!
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"You May Ask Yourself" second edition (2011), D. Conley, W.W. Norton - Chapter 8
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*** This is only my "reworking" of pre-packaged PPT files included with Dalton Conley's "You May Ask Yourself" second edition, published by W.W. Norton. Some materials copyright by W.W.Norton.

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Gender and Society (Chapter 8, "You May Ask Yourself")

  1. 1. SECOND EDITION You May Ask Yourself Dalton Conley An Introduction to Thinking Like a Sociologist Chapter 8 Gender
  2. 2. Sex, Sexuality, and Gender •Sex - the natural or biological differences that distinguish males and females. •Sexuality – desire, sexual preference, sexual identity, and behavior. •Gender - social construct that consists of a set of social arrangements that are built around sex.
  3. 3. Falling In Between •American perceptions of sex: – Sex = gender – Sex (and gender) are dichotomous • Intersexed – person born with genitals of both sexes, or with genitalia that looks like neither sex. • Transgendered – person who has “normal” genitalia of one sex, but identifies as another gender.
  4. 4. Gender: What Does It Take to Be a Woman (or a Man)? • Ancient Greece: – “One-sex” model – Women were just males with inverted genitals. – Females were lesser, but not so different. – Both male and female orgasm were thought to be necessary for conception.
  5. 5. Differences in Other Cultures • Navajo: – Masculine, feminine, and nadle • India: – Hijras • Brazil – Travesti • Margaret Mead – Arapesh, Mundugumor, and Tchambuli
  6. 6. Differences across Time • Changes in feminine “beauty” – 17th Century • Fat = rich and healthy – By 1920's • Medical standards for healthy weight – 1950's • Beautiful, perfectly coiffed stay-at-home mom – 1980's • Sporty, independent working woman – Modern era • Supermom, who cooks, cleans, and still makes it to soccer practice
  7. 7. Differences across Time • Masculinity is also contested, but not as strongly. • Masculine ideals have changed more often to reflect what is viewed as “powerful” at the time.
  8. 8. Differences across Time
  9. 9. Gender Differences Today • The Pain of Beauty – 8 million Americans have an eating disorder. •Of those, 90% are female. – 10.7 million women had cosmetic surgery •Women constitute 90% of cosmetic medical patients. •$12.5 billion on cosmetic surgery in 2004 in AMERICA ALONE! •Vulvoplasty and “vaginal rejuevination”
  10. 10. Gender Differences Today
  11. 11. Gender Differences Today • Hegemonic masculinity – dominant and privileged, if invisible, category of men. – So dominant that it easily escapes our attention. – Regarded as the norm against which all others are judged. • Gender roles - sets of behavioral norms assumed to accompany one’s status as a male or female.
  12. 12. The Woman Question •A wide range of theories and approaches have been applied to the study of gender, including structural functionalism, psychoanalytic theory, conflict theory, microinteractionist theory, postmodern theory, middle-range theories, and ideas from black feminists.
  13. 13. The Woman Question • Essentialism – line of thought that explains social phenomena in terms of natural ones. • Biological determinism – line of thought that explains social behavior in terms of biological givens.
  14. 14. The Woman Question • “What explains the nearly universal dominance of men over women? What is the root of patriarchy?” • Patriarchy – a nearly universal system involving the subordination of femininity to masculinity.
  15. 15. The Woman Question • Rubin's Sex/Gender System – Biological sex is transformed through kinship into asymmetrical gender statuses. – Incest taboos lead to commodification and trafficking of women. – Every society participates in some form; it is not a given, but the result of human interaction.
  16. 16. The Woman Question • Parson's Sex Role Theory – Structural functionalism – Nuclear family is ideal arrangement. – Nuclear families reproduce workers to keep society going. – Sex, sexuality, and gender are stable and dichotomous, and each sex has a role to play. – Generally viewed as a flawed theory.
  17. 17. The Woman Question • Psychoanalytic Theories – Freud's Developmental Psych •Masculinity and femininity developed through interactions with parents. •Oedipal complexes and penis envy – Nancy Chodorow •Parents' unequal childrearing leads little girls to identify as mothers and little boys as fathers. •Egalitarian gender relations would come from equal childrearing.
  18. 18. The Woman Question • Psychoanalytic Theories (cont) – Carol Gilligan •Women – ethics of care •Men – System of rules – Janet Lever •Boys – competitive, rule-intensive •Girls – cooperative, shorter, less complex games
  19. 19. The Woman Question • Psychoanalytic Theories (cont) – Melanie Klein •Boys suffer breast envy. – Jacequeline Stevens •Boys suffer pregnancy envy, and use career, power, and money to replace the baby they cannot have.
  20. 20. The Woman Question • Conflict Theories – Socialist (or radical) feminists •Gender, not class, was the driving force of conflict and change. •All social relations stem from unequal gender relations. – Hartmann & MacKinnon •Capitalism combines with patriarchy to keep women in a dependent position.
  21. 21. The Woman Question • Micro-level Interactionist – West and Zimmerman •Gender comes from interactions with others. •We don't exist as a gendered person; we “do” gender. – Social constructionism •Gender roles have open-ended scripts. •Individuals are always free to act, sometimes in unexpected ways. •Usually affirm expected gender scripts
  22. 22. The Woman Question •Feminism - an intellectual, consciousness- raising movement based on the idea that women and men should be accorded equal opportunities and respect.
  23. 23. The Woman Question •Gender is an organizing principle of life. •Gender structures social relations on unequal ground, and thus power is fundamentally at play when we talk about gender differences. •Black Feminism: – Discussions of feminism are framed in white, middle-class women's voices. – Patricia Hill Collins • Matrix of domination - intersections of race, class, and gender
  24. 24. The Woman Question • Postmodern Theories – Oyeronke Oyewumi •The “woman question” is product of Western thought and cannot be applied to African (and maybe other) societies. •Yoruban society in West Africa •“Bio-logic”
  25. 25. The Woman Question • Middle-range Approaches – Robert Connell •The social and the personal always depend on one another. •Gender structures are a feedback loop •The “woman question” is more about accounting for how people navigate within structures like gender.
  26. 26. Growing Up, Getting Ahead, and Falling Behind • Sexism – occurs when a person's sex or gender is the basis for judgment, discrimination, and hatred against him or her. • Gendered differences – Career tracks – Birthweight and infant mortality – Adolescence and self-esteem – Mental Health
  27. 27. Growing Up, Getting Ahead, and Falling Behind •Academic Differences – Behavior • Boys - called on more, interrupt girls, and are expected to be better at math and science. • Girls - bullied, put down, and expected to be better and language arts and social sciences. – Textbooks • U.S. Dept of Health, Education and Welfare (1975) – Boys – outdoors, active, important adventures – Girls – omitted or passive, dependent, and bored
  28. 28. Gender in the Workplace •Workforce Participation – In 1970, 43% of women worked. – In 2008, 60% of women worked. • Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act • Sexual harassment – an illegal form of discrimination, involving everything from inappropriate jokes on the job to outright sexual assault to sexual “barter” - all intended to make women feel uncomfortable and unwelcome on the job – 1982 – Supreme Court ruled that sexual harassment is violation of Title VII.
  29. 29. Gender in the Workplace • Wage gap – – 81 cents to every $1 – May be shrinking in some markets • “Pink collar” jobs • Male flight and female occupation of careers • Glass ceilings • Glass escalators
  30. 30. Gender in the Workplace •“Opting out” – Perceived trend among mostly middle- class women. – Leaving the workforce to be full-time wives and mothers. – Popular in media, but little evidence to support it.
  31. 31. Gender in the Workplace • Nijole Benokraitis & Joe Feagan – Nine types of subtle sexism • Condescending chivalry • Supportive discouragement • Friendly harassment • Subjective objectification • Radiant devaluation • Liberated sexism • Benevolent exploitation • Considerate domination • Collegial exclusion
  32. 32. Gender in the Media
  33. 33. Gender in the Dairy Section
  34. 34. W. W. Norton & Company Independent and Employee-Owned This concludes the Lecture PowerPoint Presentation for For more learning resources, please visit our online StudySpace at: http://www.wwnorton.com/college/soc/conley2/ Chapter 8: Gender 34
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A review of the impact of society on sex and gender, particularly in America. Appropriate for 100-level sociology courses. If you like it, feel free to use it! ---- "You May Ask Yourself" second edition (2011), D. Conley, W.W. Norton - Chapter 8 ---- *** This is only my "reworking" of pre-packaged PPT files included with Dalton Conley's "You May Ask Yourself" second edition, published by W.W. Norton. Some materials copyright by W.W.Norton.

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