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Gender and Sexuality Evaluated by: Andoni Oxana 111 MP-group
CONTENTS: Sexual Differentiation Sources of Sexism Perspectives on Gender Inequality Gender as Social Construction and Social Structure Differences in Life Chances by Sex Gender and Power The Sociology of Sexuality
Sex and Gender Biology differentiates the sexes. Society differentiates male and female roles. Gender roles ascribed to men and women vary greatly from culture to culture.
Gender Roles Across Cultures In virtually all cultures: Women are expected to focus on child-raising. Men tend to have more power. Male children are valued over female children.
Do gender and sex differences affect the way people engage in conversation? Yes. Language was a particular feature and target of Women’s feminist movements in the ‘ 60 s and ‘ 70 s. “The very semantics of the language reflects [women’s] condition. We do not even have our own names, but bear that of the father until we echange it for that of a husband. ”
(Robin Morgan (1977: 106), Going Too Far) Claim: Language is sexist! Examples chairman, spokesman, barman.
Robin Lakoff: Language and the Woman’s Place (1975) Sexist language Shift to gender differences in discource Dale Spender, 1980: Man Made Language. (UK) Differences in conversational styles actually turn out to disandvantage women, contributing to women being effectively silenced. This is the hightime of the feminist movement!
Some Characteristics of Women’s Talk Marry Haas, 1944: Men’s and Women’s speech in Koasati, Language 20. In Koasati, a Muskogean language, men and women’s speech have different phonological and morphological features. English is different.
More sexist elements in language that are not that innocent (1) a. He is a master of the intricacies of academic politics. b. She is a mistress of the intricacies…. (2) a He is a professional. b. She is a professional. Sexual connotations in both cases (3) a Mary hopes to meet an eligible bachelor. b. Bill hopes to meet an eligible spinste
Womens’ talk is a cultural product Deborah Tannen, 1990. You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation Women speak a language of connection and intimacy Men speak a language of status and independence Thus: Their communication can be like cross-cultural communication.
Premise: Women and men live in different worlds And segregation starts early! Boys and girls grow up largely in one-sex groups. Maltz and Borker, 1982: A cultural approach to malefe male miscommunication. In Language and Social Identity, Cambridge University Press. Boys : • Tend to play in large groups that are hierarchically structured
• Their group has a leader • Status is negotiated via orders, or telling jokes/stories • Games have winners and losers • Boast about skills, size, ability Girls: • Tend to play in small groups or in pairs • The center of a girl’s social life is a best friend • Within the group, intimacy is the key • Differentiation is measured not by status, but by relative closeness
• Many of their activities do not have winners and losers (e. g. in hopscotch or jump rope, everyone gets a turn). • Girls are not expected to boast (in fact they are encouraged to be humble), or give orders (they would be bossy) Girls do not focus on status in an obvious way. They just want to be liked.
Fact : Men are problem solvers Comment on living with an autistic child: Mother: The real sufferer is the child. Father: Life is problem solving. This is just one more problem to solve. Problem talk: For a woman: a bid for an expression of understanding For a man: a request to solve the problem
Myth : Women talk more than men Some folk “wisdom”: (1)Foxes are all tail, and women are all tongue. (2)A woman’s tongue wags like a lamb’s tail. (3)The North sea will sooner be found wanting in water than a woman be at a loss for a word. However: Research found that men talk more often (Eakins and Eakins): men’s turns 10. 66 secs, women’s 3 -10 secs at faculty meetings
At academic conferences (Swacker): women 40. 7% of the presentations, 40% of audience. But only 27. 2% asked questions. There seems to be an asymmetry between private and public speaking—Tannen’s rapport versus report talk
Claims: • For women, the language of conversation is for rapport: a way to establish connections and negotiate relationships. • For men, it is a way to negotiate and maintain status in a hierarchical order.
Myth : Women don’t tell jokes Consider how many female American commedians you know. Culture plays an important role in allowing women to express their humor. Certain ethnic backgrounds allow it more than others.
Gossip Telling details of other’s lives and telling one’s friends details about own’s life Gossip is about: • Informing • Share secrets • Promote closeness Gossip is also a form of social control
But surely men talk to their friends too! And here are the topics: • Work • Sports • Institutional power • Politics • Not so much about family Personal issues are not expected to feature prominently in the conversation
Dealing with Conflict Tannen’s claim: Men are more confronational than women. Preschool doctor-patient play (Sachs, Anderson, and others): • Boys wanted to be the doctors. • Girls were more flexible. Used more “Let’s”, or made joint proposals (I’ll be the nurse and you be the doctor).
In school, girls appear: • More refined (polite) than boys in their social interactions • More willing to consider the other’s point of view • More willing to be assigned roles in a team. • Less competitive Does this pattern predict that girls will be less confrontational than boys? Does it predict that boys are better prepared for success?
Interrupting Tannen’s anecdote: A woman sues her husband for divorce. When the judge asks her why she wants a divorce, she explains that her husband hasn’t talked to her in two years. The judge asks her husband: “Why haven’t you spoken to your wife in two years? ” He replies: “I didn’t want to interrupt her. ”
The study of interrupting is important because it carries a load of meta-messages: • That one doesn’t listen • That one doesn’t care enough to listen • A sense of worthlessness • A sense of dominance and control Interruptions with or without overlap
Lakoff provides a list of ten linguistic features which characterizes women’s speech as follows: lexical hedges or fillers: eg. You know, sort of well you see. tag questions: she’s very nice isn’t she? rising intonation on declaratives: It’s really good? empty adjectives eg. divine, charming precise colour terms: magenta, aquamarine
intensifiers such as just and so: I like him so much. , , hypercorrect” grammar eg. consistent use of standart verb forms. , , superpolite” forms indirect request, euphemisms avoidance of strong swear words: judge, my goodness emphatic stress: eg. It was a BRILLIANT performance.
Structural-functional Theory of Gender Inequality Focuses on the functions of gendered division of labor: Reduces competition between men and women. Makes both sexes specialists in their roles. Requires an interdependence of men and women.
Conflict Theory of Gender Inequality Subjugation of women to subordinate roles benefits men and capitalism. Capitalists benefit from a labor market that splits the interests of men and women workers—in favor of men. Segmented labor market provides a low-wage female labor reserve.
Sexism and Gender Inequality Sexism refers to the range of attitudes, beliefs, policies, laws and behaviors that discriminate on the basis of gender Power and Male Hegemony Male hegemony refers to the political and ideological domination of woman in society
Symbolic Interaction and Gender Inequality Sexism arises through culturally patterned interaction in everyday life. Studies demonstrate differences in the ways boys and girls are treated by teachers and each other.
Sources of Sexism Socialization is the process by which we learn to act according to our culture and group norms in society Sources of socialization are » Interaction with others » Schools » Work » Popular media
Sources of Sexism The Family The role of wife and mother has been a subordinate role in society Increase in working wives and moms and the juggling of work and family
Sources of Sexism Language and the Media Language often reinforces traditional sex role stereotypes Media portrays men and women in traditional roles Organized Religion has reinforced secular traditions and gender roles » Religion has been male dominated
Sources of Sexism Organized Religion In the last few decades some religions have begun to ordain women as ministers » Episcopalians » Presbyterians » Reformed Jews
Sources of Sexism Government The 1964 Civil Rights Act Government employment was excluded from the act The Legal System Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and job discrimination Legal protection against sexual harassment
Sexism and Gender Inequality Power and Male Hegemony Males have greater access to: » Cultural prestige » Political authority » Corporate power » Wealth » Material comforts Ideology plays a role in legitimizing male hegemony
Sexism and Gender Inequality Homemaking Sex roles in homemaking have been changing Women still continue to bear the primary responsibility for homemaking Husbands and fathers with working wives that support non-traditional roles are taking on a larger share of homemaking responsibilities
Symbolic Interaction and Gender Inequality Teachers tend to ask boys analytical questions. Boys in a summer camp setting tend to be ranked based on athletic prowess and aggressiveness. Girls are devalued and denied power relative to even the lowest status boys.
Differences in Life-chances by Sex There is a gap between the sexes when it comes to doctoral or professional degrees. The care of children makes it difficult for women to be considered on an equal occupational footing with men. Labor-force participation by women approaches that of men.
Bachelor’s Degrees Earned, by Field, 1971 and 2000 % Female Field of Study 1971 2000 Business 9. 1 49. 7 Computer and information sciences 13. 6 28. 1 Education 74. 5 75. 8 Engineering 0. 8 20.
Bachelor’s Degrees Earned, by Field, 1971 and 2000 % Female Field of Study 1971 2000 Health sciences 77. 1 83. 8 Home economics 97. 3 87. 9 Pre-law 6. 0 73. 0 Mathematics 37. 9 47. 1 Social sciences and history 36. 8 51.
Labor-Force Participation of Men and Women 16 and Over
Reasons Why Women and Men Have Different Jobs 1. Gendered jobs. Lower paying jobs like nursing and teaching tend to be “women’s work”. 2. Different qualifications. Women are less likely to have as much experience or education as men. 3. Discrimination , often based on sexism, works against women’s options in the world of work.
Same Job, Different Earnings Three reasons why men earn more than women who do the same work: 1. Different titles. 2. Segmented labor market. 3. Family responsibilities.
Sex Differences in Earnings from the Same Occupation Median Weekly Earnings Occupation Males Females Accountants $953 $690 Engineers 1, 126 949 Natural scientists 1, 007 726 Computer programmers 968 868 Lawyers 1, 439 1,
Male Disadvantages Men also pay for the imbalances of power and privilege in gender roles. Mortality rates for men are higher throughout the life cycle partly due to norms that encourage men to suppress their feelings.
Male Disadvantages The male role does not encourage the cultivation of emotionally supportive relationships. Men may suffer serious stress from associating self-esteem with net worth.
Social Policy The Women’s Movement was officially founded in the United States in 1848 Seneca convention and the women’s rights movement Right to vote in the 1920 s Civil Rights act of 1964 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Social Policy Future Prospects • In coming years, the women’s movement is likely to focus on single-parent families and, within this group, the special needs of low-income, female-headed families. • Another area in which policy changes are likely is same-sex marriage.
Bibliography: 1. Robin Lakoff , , Language and the Woman’s place” (1975) 2. Dale Spender , , Man Made Language” (UK) (1980) 3. Deborah Tannen (1990) , , You just don’t understand women and men in Conversation” , , Gender and discourse” Oxford University Press. 4. Gumperz (1978) , , The Conversational analysis of interethnic communication”
5. Maltz and Barker (1982) , , A cultural approach to male-female miscommunication in language and social identity 6. Eckert and Mc. Connel- Ginet (1992) , , Communities of Practice where language, gender, and power all live” 7. Caraveli, Anna (1986) , , The bitter wounding” 8. Holmes J. (2001) , , An introduction to Sociolinguistics” 9. Trudgill P. (2001) IV edition , , An introduction to language and society “ 10. Robin Morgan (1977) , , Going too far”