Chapter 5 Outline





Chapter 5 Outline

  1. Introduction
    1. The fundamental way of differentiating between men and women is through their genitals. In social situation, this definition is inappropriate and largely supported by other secondary sex characteristics such as breasts and bone structure.
    1. Culture presents a wide variety of ways through which men and women can be distinguished.
  2. Studying Gender and Gender Roles
    1. Definition of key terms including sex, gender, and gender roles
    1. Sex refers to the biological orientation that is either male or female. Gender is based on the cultural perception of males and females.
    1. On most occasions, sex is similar to gender. However, on specific occasion, there are gender variations where sex and gender fail to match and this prompts sexual reassignment surgery. The other alternative is changing gender attitudes that may prove difficult.
    1. Gender identity disorders occur when people feel they are trapped in the wrong body.
  1. Gender roles
    1. Gender-role behaviors are the expected actions or behaviors a person engages in depending on their gender.
    1. These roles have been passed down for many generations.
      1. Masculinity and Femininity
        1. In Western societies, masculinity and femininity are considered polar opposites.
        1. Each of the sexes is awarded different qualities and while some are biologically based, others are cultural in origin.
        1. At this point, the separation between the two becomes more defined and opposite. The division creates sexism, a type of discrimination based on their sex rather than their qualities or achievement.
  2. Gender and Sexual orientation
    1. Sexual orientation is the main reason for the attraction between males and females. Consequently, gay men and lesbian women cannot be considered masculine or feminine.
  3. Gender-Role Learning
    1. This section deals with the different ways in which people learn about their specific gender roles.
    1. Theories of socialization such as the cognitive social learning theory and the cognitive development theory seek to offer answers to how people learn their gender roles.
    1.  The cognitive social learning theory argued that people learnt attitudes and behaviors from their different social interactions with other people.
  4. Gender-Role Learning in Childhood and Adolescence
    1. Girls and boys start being treated differently from birth and this has a lasting effect on how they grow up as well as their sexual orientation and attitudes. Infancy is the starting point for socialization.
      1. Parents as socializing agents
        1. The caregiver, who may be the parents, relatives or guardian, treat girls and boys differently using manipulation, channeling, verbal appellation and activity exposure methods.
        1. Most parents are unaware of their actions and effect on the children.
        1. Parents are greatly affected by cultural backgrounds. White parents generally influence their girls to adopt the homemaker model while African-American parents foster independence and assertion among their young girls.
      1. Teachers as socializing agents
        1. In most schools, teachers are women and this has a massive effect on the perceptions acquired by children. Boys are either shamed or coerced into masculinity while girls are instructed to be submissive and compliant.
        1.  Teachers are influential in socializing children as they spend the largest amount of time together. Therefore, by the time they reach college, gender bias has manifested into sexual violence, academic inequality, and mental health issues.
      1. Peers as socializing agents
        1. Age-mates in school, at home or in the playground influence each other through verbal and activity methods. Boys play aggressive and violent video games while girls play skipping rope and with dolls.
        1.  Peers are equally influential socializing agents since during puberty and beyond, people have issues with self-esteem and identity. Therefore, they prefer to go along with the crowd even in matters concerning sexual perceptions and orientations.
      1. Media as a socializing agent
        1. Media has wide range of content that may contain elements of gender stereotypes that target the ethnicity, age, body size, ability, and sexual orientation.
        1. Females on television are young, well groomed and beautiful while males are creative, strong and problem-solvers.
        1. Various forms of digital media including the internet, television, and radio are socializing instruments that have the ability to entrench specific sexual perceptions.
  5. Gender schemas
    1. Differences between males and females are collected into a set of interrelated ideas (schemas) and used a categorization tools.
    1. Nearly all aspects of everyday life include inanimate ones are categorized as either masculine or feminine. For instance, gender schemas are used when choosing clothes so that boys end up with blue while girls end up with pink.
    1. The same is also true for certain activities and behavior.
  6. Contemporary Gender Roles and Scripts
    1. The current generation is characterized by gender equality. Women are the biggest beneficiaries.
    1. The change has affected male and female traditional roles that included aggression, independence, and superiority for men and passivity, physical attractiveness and supportive nature for women.
    1. These traditional gender roles are largely influenced by culture as can be witnessed by African American women.
  1. Changing Gender Roles and Scripts
    1. Contemporary gender roles have allowed women to have more flexibility especially in terms of sexual activities, perceptions, and stands.
    1. There is an increased amount of androgyny between males and females.
    1. More females can access professional and social opportunities that were previously dominated by males.
  2. Gender Variations
    1. There is a struggle to place and understand the transgender individual who lacks a clear definition.
    1. The emergence of the transgender community has been difficult to accept as people are used to the male/ female dichotomy.
    1. The contemporary view of gender has transformed from the binary view into a continuum having many gender variations such as male/ female transvestites, cross-dressers, and full male/female transsexuals.
    1. Sex Chromosome Anomalies included Turner Syndrome, a condition where the female lacked the two X chromosomes. Such females have minimal physical changes during puberty.
    1. Conversely, Klinefelter Syndrome affects males who have an extra X chromosome. This is evident in men with slightly feminine traits such as rounder breasts and smaller genitals.
    1. Mosaicisim is a condition where an individual’s cells have different genetic makeup. Other disorders affect the hormones or the physical appearance such as congenital adrenal hyperplasia and hypospadias.
  3. Gender Identity Disorder (GID)
    1. This type of disorder affects the perception of one’s assigned sex. The exact characteristics of GID include cross-dressing, acting as the opposite sex and a fixation on their alter gender.
    1. The conventional therapy for GID involves exposing the patient to their desired gender, giving them hormones and finally conducting genital surgery.
    1. Transsexuals are people who are interested with changing their sex rather than their personality.
    1. Society has illustrated its difficulty in accepting such gender variations and allowing them to enjoy basic rights such as employment, voting and more.
  4. Coming to terms with Differences
    1. Society has a hard time accepting and dealing with all the diverse sexual orientations.
    1. It is imperative for people to be educated on these variations.
    1.  Every individual has his or her own sexual orientation and this makes it necessary for elaborate sex education to raise the level of tolerance.

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