Gender & Sexuality

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Gender role socilisation & hegenomic definitions

'Gender' refers to the cultural expectations which are socially constructed that society associates with masculinity and feminity.

Sex- the biological differences between males and females

Hegenomic definitions of masculinity and femininity

Connel- first came up with the idea of 'hegenomic masculinty'

They are roles males and females are stereotyped to be. E.g. male is masculine, strong. Female is timid, homely.

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The family and gender role socilisation

Infants are trained about their gender from an early age. Oakley says that this is through...

  • Manipulation- Encouraging or discouraging certain behaviours.
  • Canalization- The way which parents direct a childs certain interests
  • Domestic activities- Daughters having cultural expectations about their responsibilities
  • Verabl appeleation- Parents reinforcing cultural expectations by saying children are 'girlly' or 'handsome'.

Gender Codes

Colour codes, Appeareance Codes, Toy codes, Play codes, Control Codes

Statham found by the age of 5, most children have a clear sense of gender identity.

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Education, Media influence and critique of gender

Education- Feminist studies have shown girls were underachieving in the 1970's because girls education was seen as less important than boys. Sue Sharpe's study found the wc girls of the 70's tastes revolved around the home.

Mass Media- Billington et al argued that the mass media portrays women as subordinate and men as dominant. Females have stereotypical, home maker roles on TV and men have a variety of roles.

Criticising gender role socilisation...

  • Experiences differ among age, nationality and ethnicity
  • Recent social changes
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Social Changes with gender

Masculine identity in the 21st century

  • The 'new man' has  emerged in the last ten years who is more in touch with his feminine side.
  • Mort said there is now a 'metrosexual man' who is connected with personal grooming
  • Decriminilisation of homosexuality
  • Man an Ghail suggests there to be a 'crisis of masculinity' because of unemployment in recent years. Work has been central to male identity and unemployment leads to losing self esteem.
  • Against changes of masulin identity- Collier says lads mags still objectify women.
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Social Change and feminine identity

Females overachieve because of  things like GIST and an equality based national circiculum. The demand for mens job have also decreased because of the globalisation of he ecomonmy leading to changes in the market.

Gender quake and female identity...

Wilkinson argues that there have been a shift in values with women under the  age of 35 and this 'gender quake' has led to differences in power between men and women.

Argues furthermore that the feminization of the economy and the workplace have led to a revolution in womens ambitions. Young women are encourgaged to think along aspiring lines.

Sharpes study have found young females are becoming assertive about their rights and are now more likely torank education and career over family and marriage.

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Identity and Sexuality

Being a gay man has always been hard.

Taylor notes that it was easier to be a lesbian because of the lower social profile than a gay man

Gay Subculture- By the 1970's a distinct gay subculture could be seen by British subculture.

Homeosexuality, leisure and consumption- 'pink pound' targeted by gay bars and resturants. Gay marches happened for equal rights. Gay celebrities by prejudice and discrimination have not totally disapeared.

Heterosexuality and identity

Hetrerosexuality can be socially constructed rather than biologically

Lee suggested women may be seen as whores if they are like men

Feminine beauty concepts have changed

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