Sex & Gender mini lecture


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Because the material for the Sociology of Sex and Gender was so long, I've presented the information as a SlideShare file. It's a PDF so you can still download and print the material, but hopefully this presentation will appear less visually dense than the alternative.

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Sex & Gender mini lecture

  1. 1. What is GenderStratification?“males’ and females’ unequal access to property,power, and prestige.” 1
  2. 2. Sex versus GenderSex is based on Biological Characteristics:Primary (reproductive organs) and Secondary Sexual Characteristics (muscle mass, fat composition, body hair, width of hips, pitch of voice, etc)Divided into Male or Female categoriesGender is based on Social Characteristics:Appropriate Behaviors based on cultural gender rolesDivided into Men or Women, Masculinity or Femininity 2
  3. 3. Stereotypical Gender RolesMasculine Characteristics: Feminine Characteristics:● Dominant ● Submissive● Intelligent ● Unintelligent● Rational ● Irrational● Assertive ● Weak● Strong ● Emotional● Brave ● Receptive● Competitive ● Cooperative● Insensitive ● Sensitive● Independent ● Dependent● Associated with the transcendental ● Associated with the earthly realm realm
  4. 4. Criticisms of the Sex/Gender Distinction: “Sex is social, too”Many critics argue that sex is also a social constructionlike gender, rather than a purely biological concept, for thefollowing reasons:The Binary Reasoning of sex only allows 2 choices (male or female); however, most Native American cultures categorize people into 3 gendersBiological distinctions based on reproductive organs are not clear cut: • Intersex individuals (4% of the population) are naturally born with some combination of male and female reproductive organs • Transgender individuals identify as one sex but posses genitalia of the other sex 4
  5. 5. Criticisms of the Sex/GenderDistinction (continued)● Distinction based on the presence of Testosterone & Estrogen is unclear since both hormones are found in men & women at varying levels and can be injected● Chromosomal distinctions separate males (XY) and females (XX) but doesnt account for other variations (XXY, XXX, YYY, XYY, XO)● Distinction based solely on Reproductive Capabilities doesnt account for sterile men, infertile women, or post-menopausal women...Hence, critics argue that sex is a social construction,much like the concept of gender
  6. 6. Gender Differences InBehavior: Biology or Culture?Dominant Position in Sociology:Social Factors, Not Biology, determine gender differencesIf Biology was the sole cause, there should be less variation among genders The Nature vs. Nurture debate: The Nature argument is often simplified to Sexism (the belief that women are inherently inferior to men, even if for benevolent purposes) The Nurture side argues that gender socialization leads to different gender roles 6
  7. 7. Gender and Inequality inGlobal PerspectiveFemales are a Minority Group because they have lessproperty, power, and prestige as a group•Patriarchy refers to a male-dominated system  Some critics argue that every society in human history has been patriarchal• Matriarchy refers to a women-dominated systemAn Egalitarian society refers to a society in which men & women have equal authority 7
  8. 8. Global Gender Inequality Discriminatory, Patriarchal Trends: Global Gap in Education Women are more likely to be illiterate 2/3 women in developing countries have never been to school (only ½ men haven’t been to school) Global Gap in Politics Women are legally restricted from politics in many developing countries Global Gap in Work • Prestige is usually granted to male-dominated activities • men earn more than women Violence Against Women Suttee (widow burning) Female infanticide Wife beating Female genital mutilation (FGM)/female circumcision 8
  9. 9. Gender Inequality in the U.S.Feminism – the perspective which argues that women and men areessentially equal and should be treated equallyFirst Wave - Early 1900s: fought for the right to vote (obtained in1920)Second Wave - 1960s: inspired by Civil Rights Movement –wanted equality in all aspects of life (“white women’s feminism”)Third Wave – current stage: AKA “women of color feminism” -focuses on the importance of ethnicity, sexuality, nationality andhow these statuses interact (known as intersectionality) 9
  10. 10. Gender Inequality in the U.S.Gender Inequality in Daily Life: Devaluation of the Feminine • Society places more value on masculine traits (competition and strength) than feminine traits (cooperation and empathy) Masculine as standard • Words like “he,” “mankind,” “guys,” and “policeman” are used as the standards for ambiguous subjects or mixed-company parties The Feminine as Insult • Phrases like “throw like a girl,” “youre a pansy,” “acting like a girl,” and much more derogatory statements devalue femininity 10
  11. 11. Gender Inequality in Healthcare-Discrimination as a patient (women are often not taken asseriously, are controlled by male gynecologists during pregnancy, etc)-Discrimination as a healthcare employee:Half of Med students are women, but only 25-30% ofMDs are womenFemale doctors spend more time with patients, exudemore empathy & bedside mannerMedical specialties are gendered: few female surgeons,women are more likely to be family practitioners orpediatricians 11
  12. 12. Gender Inequality inEducation -Inequality as a student: Young students are covertly treated differently by teachers based on gender “Gender tracking” means the genders are socialized into particular fields: men into math and hard sciences and women into social sciences and liberal arts -Inequality as an educational employee: Women less likely to become full professors Women have lower salaries when teaching Men tend to teach at more prestigious universities 12
  13. 13. Gender Inequality in the Workplace Glass Ceiling – the invisible barrier that keeps women from advancing in the workplace • Women with children are particularly vulnerable, they are seen as a liability since they could become pregnant, or leave work for their kids • Working women with children are paid less than their childless women counterparts Sexual Harassment – involves a power differential; women can be perpetrators, but men are more likely to have power in the workplace • This can involve uncomfortable workplaces (with sexual jokes, etc) or advances/sexual coercion from superiors to keep or receive a job or promotion 13
  14. 14. Female-dominated (pink-collar) occupations tend to beless prestigious (pink-collar jobs here are denoted by an arrow): 14
  15. 15. Gendered Occupations: men and women areoften socialized into gender-appropriate positions 15
  16. 16. Gender Pay Gap over time1960 = women made 58¢/man’s $11980 = 61¢1985 = 65¢1990 = 71¢1995 = 74¢2000 = 78¢2010 = 82¢*Women of color and mothers are paid less than childless womenComparable Worth – the idea that jobs with similar educationalrequirements should be paid fairly even salaries 16
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  19. 19. Causes of the Gender Pay GapWomen work different kinds of jobs than men Male-dominated jobs tend to pay more, are more prestigious Pink collar jobs (dominated by women) pay less and have less prestigeWomen pick jobs that allow them to balance work & home life Some jobs aren’t year-round, fewer hours, flex time optionsPay differentials & position restrictions (accounts for 1/3 – 1/2 of the pay differential) women are relegated to lower level management positions, passed over for promotions Initial salaries are lower for women; women receive smaller raises than male counterparts Institutional sexism – women restricted from battle and clergy in some situations; policies limit childcare options; standard is male 19
  20. 20. The Second ShiftSecond shift – women work in paid labor then go home to perform unpaid housework and childcareOn average, women work 3.5 hours/week more than men, including paid and unpaid labor (this is a conservative measure) That’s 182 hrs/year, which is 4.5 more workweeks/year66% of women’s work goes unpaid 20
  21. 21. Changing Face of Politics(And Criminal Justice) Women are the numerical majority but are underrepresented in government Women are Underrepresented in Law and Business Careers Women make up about half of law students, but only about 27% of lawyers Greatest ratio of women in the Supreme Court: 3/9 Only 1.5% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women Women make up only about 14% of law enforcement agents 21
  22. 22. Women in Politics 22
  23. 23. 23
  24. 24. Gender and ViolenceViolence Against WomenForcible RapeDate (Acquaintance) Rape (overwhelming majority of perpetrators are known to the victim)Domestic Violence: Most common admission to ER for women in the 1990s Leading cause of death & injury for US women in the 1990s About 6 million US women abused by a man they live with Of all female homicide victims, 33% of perpetrators were husbands or boyfriends There are three times more animal shelters than battered women shelters 24