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					Socialization and
   Gender Roles
          Chapter 5
Is There a Difference Between
Sex and Gender?

Sex refers to biological characteristics with
which we are born. Such characteristics
determine if we have male or female genitalia,
among other things.

We refer to primary sex characteristics as
those physical characteristics at birth such as
testicles for boys or ovaries for girls.
Secondary sex characteristics are those that
develop during puberty.
Is There a Difference Between
Sex and Gender?

Gender is more fluid—it represents learned
attitudes and behaviors that characterize
people as men or women.

Children develop gender identity as a
perception of themselves as masculine or
feminine.
Sex and Gender
   Sex refers to the biological characteristics with which
    we are born.
   Gender refers to the learned attitudes and behaviors
    that characterize people of one sex or the other.
   Gender roles are the characteristics, attitudes,
    feelings, and behaviors that society expects of females
    and males.
   Gender identity, usually learned in early childhood,
    refers to one’s perception of him or herself as either
    masculine or feminine.
   Gender stereotypes are the cultural believes about
    how men and women are supposed to behave.
Assumptions / Stereotypes
Nature-Nurture Debate
Nature-Nurture Debate
   Arguments favoring “Nature” (biological
    differences between men and women) come
    from the following sources:
       Developmental and Health differences
       Effects of sex hormones (chemical substances
        secreted into the bloodstream)
       Sex differences in the brain
       Unsuccessful sex reassignment
Nature-Nurture Debate
   Arguments favoring the “Nurture” side of the
    debate, suggesting that culture shapes
    human behavior, come from:
       Cross cultural variations in gender roles
       Cross cultural variations in male violence
       Successful sex assignment particularly with
        intersexuals (people born with both male and
        female sex organs).
Nature-Nurture Debate
   What can we conclude?
       Women and men exhibit some sex-related genetic
        differences.
       Cross cultural research shows much variation in
        characteristics typically ascribed to men and
        women.
       Nature and Nurture clearly interact to explain our
        behavior.
How we learn gender roles
   Social learning theory:
       People learn attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors through
        social interaction.
       Learning occurs through reinforcement or imitation and
        modeling.

   Cognitive development theory:
       Children acquire female or male values on their own by
        thinking, reasoning, and interpreting information from their
        environments.
       Gender schema theory suggests people have mental
        organization systems (schemas) to help them identify as
        male or female.
How we learn gender roles
   Sociobiology
       Evolution and genetic factors can explain why men are
        generally more aggressive than women. To propagate
        their genes, they must defeat their competition.

   Symbolic interaction theory
       Says that gender roles are socially constructed categories
        that emerge in social situations.

   Feminist approaches:
       Gender is a role that is socially constructed.
       Focus on power differences and inequality.
Who teaches gender roles?
   Parents
       Talking and communication patterns
       Setting expectations
       Providing opportunities

   Toys, Sports, and Peers
       Toys tend to be sex typed
       Female athletes still face institutional barriers
       Young children prefer same sex play partners
Who teaches gender roles?
   Teachers and Schools

       In elementary and middle school, boys usually get
        more time to talk, are called on more often, and
        receive more positive feedback.

       In high school, counselors may steer students into
        gender-typed futures.

       In college, there are gender differences in
        academic discipline.
Who teaches gender roles?
   Books & Textbooks
       Many books show gender typed behaviors
       More nonstereotypical books are now available

   Popular Culture and the Media—There are many
    sex stereotyping examples in:
       Advertising
       Newspapers and Magazines
       Television and other Screen Media
       Music Videos
Gender Roles
Traditional Gender Roles
   Instrumental roles direct men to be procreators,
    protectors, and providers.

   Expressive roles direct women to provide
    emotional support by being warm, sensitive, and
    sympathetic. Women are the kinkeepers and family
    mediators.
Traditional Gender Roles
   Benefits
     Promote stability, continuity, and predictability
     Expectations are clear


   Costs
     For men, losing a job can become
      catastrophic.
     Women can feel trapped in exhausting, never
      ending tasks of housekeeping.
     Both men and women can be unhappy.
Traditional Gender Roles
Gender Roles at Home
   The “second shift”
    refers to the household
    work and child care
    many mothers face
    after coming home from
    work.

   Men’s and women’s
    perceptions of their
    domestic contributions
    vary.
Gender Roles at Home
Why Do Traditional Roles
Continue?
   For many families, traditional roles are
    beneficial for several reasons, especially
    when one partner can be the sole
    breadwinner and one partner can be the
    caregiver when it comes to the children.
Gender Roles in the Workplace
   Two key issues affect women, men, their partners
    and families:
     Sex discrimination continues to exist in many
      professions.
     Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual
      advance or other conduct that makes a person
      uncomfortable and interferes with her or his work.
       Many men are confused about what sexual
        harassment is and many women are reluctant to
        report it.
Gender in the Workplace
   In the U.S. (as is true in most of the world),
    occupations are gendered. While we say that
    anyone can do any job, there still tend to be
    jobs that are “women’s” jobs and jobs that are
    “men’s” jobs. There is certainly greater
    equality in the U.S., but we still have a long
    way to go.
Gender and Politics
   Again, as with workplace discrimination,
    discrimination in politics has come a long
    way.
   We still don’t have a female president, but
    with Hillary Clinton being appointed as the
    Secretary of State, and some female
    governors now, we are starting to make
    progress.
Gender and Education
    Our educational system seems to be gendered to
     some regard. When children enter kindergarten
     they score the same on similar tests, but by third
     grade the boys are scoring better on math and
     science.

     In higher education women earn the higher
     percentage of post-graduate degrees, but in
     typically “male” fields like engineering, a woman is
     much less likely than a man to be hired in higher
     education as an instructor in that course.
Gender and Education
Contemporary Gender Roles
   Gender and the consumer marketplace
       Numerous examples exist where women are
        overcharged for car and home repairs or receive
        inaccurate financial advice.
   Gender and Communication
       Deborah Tannen, a sociolinguist, suggests men and
        women have different communication styles that
        include:
         Different purposes
         Different rules
         Different ways of interpreting communications
Current Gender Roles:
Changes and Constraints
   Role conflict refers to the frustration and
    uncertainties a person experiences when confronted
    with the requirements of incompatible roles.
   Are we waging war against boys and men?
       There are concerns about men’s and boys’ development,
        especially with respect to education.
       Some argue this concern is a backlash against girls’ and
        women’s progress.
   Is Androgyny the Answer?
       In Androgyny, both culturally defined masculine and
        feminine characteristics are blended in the same person.
The Global Gender Gap Index
   The GGGI tries to measure the well- being of
    women on a global scale. It gauges the
    relative equality between men and women on
    an indicator.
       Top Ten: Norway, Finland, Sweden, Iceland,
        New Zealand, the Philippines, Denmark, Ireland,
        the Netherlands, and Lativia
       Other High Ranking Countries: U.S., Canada,
        South Africa, most of the European countries,
        Australia, S. Korea, Cuba, Argentina, Greece,
        Israel, and Kuwait
       Low Ranking Countries: India, several Middle
        Eastern countries, and several African societies.

				
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posted:9/3/2012
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