Gender expectations can vary widely from culture to culture. Is this a question of sex, gender or simply sexism? Around the world, gender is the primary division between people. This relates to a general criticism that sociology has tended to see the social as disembodied, with the infant as a tabula rasa upon which socialization may write at will, to produce social consciousness and action (as in the work of Émile Durkheim). Wikipedia CC BY-SA 3.0. https://www.boundless.com/users/493555/textbooks/sociology-cochise-college/gender-stratification-and-inequality-11/gender-and-biology-85/the-role-of-biology-494-10210/, Define and differentiate between sex and gender, Though males and females have biological differences, they are. Across history in most parts of the world, women have been denied access to economic independence and legal and political rights more often than men have. For example, in some countries, wearing make-up is associated with women and is seen as feminine. Answer. Individuals who have a sex phenotype that defies categorization as either ‘male’ or ‘female’ are known as intersex. Around the world, gender is the primary division between people. 2014-08-22 13:41:18 2014-08-22 13:41:18. Similarly, males have a shorter life expectancy than females do, on average. Gender identity is the extent to which one identifies as being either masculine or feminine (Diamond 2002). You could not be signed in, please check and try again. Sociology, View all related items in Oxford Reference », Search for: 'sociology of gender' in Oxford Reference ». Consequently, sociologists classify females as a minority group. Wiki User Answered . With regards to digestive, respiratory, circulatory, lymphatic, musculoskeletal, nervous, immune, sensory, endocrine, and integumentary systems, males and females have many more similarities than differences. Therefore it can be difficult for researchers to determine which came first: the expectation of greater strength for men, or the biological development of greater upper body muscle mass. Social sciences In fact, the majority of ‘male’ and ‘female’ biology is identical. It is important to distinguish between sex and gender. This includes growth and is as a result very important in explaining our gender differences. There have been two major kinds of criticism of the concept of gender. This difference is partially the result of differences in the biological development of the musculoskeletal system but is exacerbated by the cultural tendency for men to use their upper body muscles more than women through gendered physical labor and athletics. Again, this may partially result from different biological make-ups, but decreased life-expectancy gaps in developed countries prove that cultural institutions contribute to the gap. The first is that it is based upon a false dichotomy between the biological and the social. (1959) The sex/gender distinction, it is said, is linked to a particular form of feminist politics that seeks the eradication of gender and a move towards androgyny; it leaves little space, for instance, for other feminist concerns with the biological politics of menstruation, contraception, reproductive technology, abortion, or the management of childbirth. In the 1970s, sociological and psychological interest was focused upon demonstrating that gender exists; that is to say, upon showing that the differences and divisions between men and women cannot be accounted for by biological difference, and that the culturally dominant ideas about masculinity and femininity are stereotypes which correspond only crudely to reality. These expectations are often shaped by religious, political, legal, philosophical, linguistic, and other traditions. Some of these genetic or hormone variations can cause the body to develop reproductive organs that are both male- and female-associated. You may have heard of the largely male hormone: testosterone and the largely female hormone: oestrogen - and know that they have effects in our bodies that lead men and … (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2013. In these two-phenotype cultures, male and female are generally understood as the sex binary, or the dichotomy of the sexes. Source: Boundless. The Trouble with Women! However, some individuals have neither XX nor XY variations in chromosomes, and instead they have XXY, XYY, XXX, XXYY, XYXY, XXXX, or other variations. Following the more recent writings of Michel Foucault, sociologists are now less inclined to take the body for granted, and to see it rather as an object of social analysis, recognizing that the social meaning of the body has changed through history. Every society sort's men and women into separate groups and give them different access to property, power, and prestige. Typically, males are defined as having an XY 23rd chromosome and male-associated reproductive organs, while females are defined as having an XX 23rd chromosome and female-associated reproductive organs. So, for an individual, gender is an interaction between the social norms expected of their biological sex, and their innate feelings what they believe their gender actually is. A Dictionary of Sociology », Subjects: Likewise, males and females have nearly all the same hormones present in their bodies, though the amount of certain hormones (such as estrogen and testosterone) varies. Gender Theories in Sociology What is Gender? At the structural level, there were studies of the unequal division of labour in the household, even between women and men who both have full-time jobs outside, and of discrimination in employment, where sex (rather than individual skills and qualifications) plays a large part in determining types of job and chances of promotion. For example, on average, males have more upper body strength than females. Top Answer. These divisions always favor men as a group. On the other hand, there is the criticism that would reassert biological difference as being extra-social, and argue against a view of gender that discounts the true significance of the body. Source: “Male anatomy en.” While sex is the determination of whether a person is biologically male or female, gender is the sociocultural determination of understanding of what it means to be a man or a woman.

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