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					Socialization and Gender Roles
Chapter 5

Sex and Gender
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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 Quiz: Are Women and Men Different?
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

7. 8.

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10.

T/F Women are the weaker sex. T/F Boys are more group-centered, active, and aggressive than girls. T/F Women are more emotional than men. T/F Women talk more than men. T/F Women suffer more from depression. T/F Women are more likely than men to divulge personal information. T/F Men smile more than women. T/F Women and men don’t care whether a baby is a boy or a girl. T/F Most women are confident about managing their financial affairs. T/F A heart attack is more likely to be fatal for a man than for a woman.

Gender Quiz: Are Women and Men Different?
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

7. 8.

9.

10.

False Women are the weaker sex. True Boys are more group-centered, active, and aggressive than girls. False Women are more emotional than men. False Women talk more than men. True Women suffer more from depression. False Women are more likely than men to divulge personal information. False Men smile more than women. False Women and men don’t care whether a baby is a boy or a girl. False Most women are confident about managing their financial affairs. False A heart attack is more likely to be fatal for a man than for a woman.

Nature-Nurture Debate

Nature-Nurture Debate
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Arguments favoring “Nature” (biological differences between men and women) come from the following sources:
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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
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Arguments favoring the “Nurture” side of the debate, suggesting that culture shapes human behavior, come from:
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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
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What can we conclude?
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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
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Social learning theory:
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People learn attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors through social interaction. Learning occurs through reinforcement or imitation and modeling. 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. Gender is a role that is socially constructed. Focus on power differences and inequality.

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Cognitive development theory:
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Feminist approaches:
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Who teaches gender roles?
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Parents
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Talking and communication patterns Setting expectations Providing opportunities

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Toys, Sports, and Peers
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Toys tend to be sex typed Female athletes still face institutional barriers Young children prefer same sex play partners

Who teaches gender roles?
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Teachers and Schools
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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.

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In college, there are gender differences in academic discipline.

Who teaches gender roles?
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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

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Traditional Views and Gender Roles
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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.

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Traditional Views and Gender Roles
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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.

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Gender Roles at Home
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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 in the Workplace
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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.

Contemporary Gender Roles
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Gender and the consumer marketplace
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Numerous examples exist where women are overcharged for car and home repairs or receive inaccurate financial advice. Deborah Tannen, a sociolinguist, suggests men and women have different communication styles that include:
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Gender and Communication
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Different purposes Different rules Different ways of interpreting communications

Religion and Gender Roles
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Parenting
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Religion shapes gender roles and family roles in many ways. Example: the Ten Commandments.

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Domestic Roles
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Religion shapes the division of labor in the home. In evangelical households, wives spend more time on traditional women’s work.

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Role models
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Religion influences role models. For example, many Christian colleges remind female students to not work outside the home, though this is in conflict with their female professors working.

Current Gender Roles: Changes and Constraints
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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?
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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. In Androgyny, both culturally defined masculine and feminine characteristics are blended in the same person.

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Is Androgyny the Answer?
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A Global View: Women around the World
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The Gender Development Index (GDI) is used to rank countries
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Its indicators include life expectancy, educational attainment, income, and “intentional commitment to equality principles and policies”. Top Ten countries are United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Iceland, the Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands, and Belgium. Bottom Ten countries are in Africa, including Ethiopia, Niger, and Sierra Leone.

A Global View: Women around the World


				
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