1.) Women talk more than men.
2.) Women are more likely than men to
communicate through physical touch.
3.) Women use less personal space than men.
4.) Men do not live as long as women.
Sex and Gender Identity
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and Spice
And everything nice.
That is what little girls are made of.
What are little boys made of?
Snips and Snails
And puppy dog tails.
That is what little boys are made of.
► Sex-classification of people as male or
female based on biological characteristics
► How are you assumed to look?
► How are you assumed to behave?
► Gender: in social science it specifically
refers to social differences such as gender
► Gender identity: an awareness of being
masculine or feminine, based on culture.
►Belief that the behavioral
differences are the result of
(male/female behavior is
► Parents often point out
- Muscular legs and broad shoulders in baby
- Long eyelashes, rosebud mouth, delicate
curls in girls
Parents stress characteristics of the ideal male
or female: modes of dress, ways of walking,
ways of talking, play activities, life goals,
A sense of being male or female based on learned
► Muscle to bone ratios
► How fat is stored
► Reproductive organs
► Ability to impregnate or be impregnated
► Can you think of any more?
Does this lead to different Social
► Female babies are more sensitive to sound
► Male children are more likely to hit or shout
in their early forms of play
► Males ► Females
- Value physical - Value social class and
appearance in a mate income in a mate
- Prefer women slightly - Prefer men slightly
younger than older than themselves
Is this Biological or Cultural?
► How do sociologists see it?
the Arapesh, Mundugmar and
Tchambuli cultures in New Guinea.
► Arapesh:Females conditioned to be
cooperative, unagressive, and empathetic
► Mundugumor: both men and women are
“masculine”: aggressive, ruthless,
unresponsive to eachother’s needs
► Tchambuli: women were dominant and
aggressive , men were dependent and
► Mead concludes: gender roles are not
fixed at birth
Section 2: Theoretical Perspectives
► Functionalism & Gender: Functionalists believe
the division of responsibilities between males &
females exists as long as it benefits human living.
► Ex:Early humans found that the division of labor
based on sex was efficient
► Functionalists recognize that the traditional
divisions of labor have created problems or
“dysfunctions” in modern society
Theoretical Perspectives on Gender
► Conflict Theory & Gender: Conflict
theorists believe that by keeping the
traditional division of labor intact, men can
preserve the privileges they enjoy.
► Conflict theorists see traditional gender
roles as outdated and impractical in modern
Theoretical Perspectives on Gender
► Symbolic Interactionism & Gender:
Symbolic interactionists focus on –
* gender socialization: the social process
of learning how to act as a boy or girl
We learn this from parents, school, the media,
Section 3 Gender Inequality
Women as a Minority Group –
► Sexism: set of beliefs, attitudes, norms, and
values used to justify sexual inequality
► Sexist ideology: the belief that one sex is
naturally superior to the other
What type of sexist ideology has been historically
Occupational & Economic Inequality
► US labor force in 1900 82% were men and
18% were women
► Today women make up just under half of the
US labor force.
- What kind of jobs are women doing?
- Do women earn less than men in the US?
- In which country are women earning more
► Even though women constitute more than
half the population, they hold a small # of
key political positions.
Look at Figure 10.7 in your text & analyze the
Section 4: Ageism
► Age stratification: the unequal
distribution of scarce resources based on
► Ageism: discrimination against people of a
certain age group
Functionalism & Ageism
say that the role of the aged
varies from one society to another.
► Some cultures respect and honor the aged.
► In technical societies the status of the aged
may diminish if they do not possess current
Conflict Theory & Ageism
► Competitionover scarce resources is the
primary concern for a conflict theorist.
► High-pricedolder workers are replaced by
cheaper younger ones. Forced retirement
has been used to remove elderly
competitors: This is why elderly stereotypes
Symbolic Interactionism & Ageism
► Through socialization stereotypes of elderly
people are often firmly established.
Section 5: Inequality in America’s
► Read pages 333-338 on your own.