Chapter 12. Gender, Sex, and Sexuality
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Figure 12.1. Some youngsters may find out at very early age the their sex does not correspond v their sex. (Photo courtesy that trazomfreak/flickr)

Learning Objectives

12.1. The Difference in between Sex and Gender

Define and also differentiate in between sex and also genderDefine and discuss what is intended by sex identityUnderstand and also discuss the duty of homophobia and heterosexism in societyDistinguish the interpretations of transgendered, transsexual, and also homosexual identities

12.2. Gender

Explain the influence of socialization on sex roles in CanadaUnderstand the stratification of gender in major North American institutionsDescribe sex from the view of every sociological perspective

12.3. Sex and Sexuality

Understand different attitudes connected with sex and also sexualityDefine sexual inequality in various societiesDiscuss theoretical perspectives ~ above sex and sexuality

Introduction come Gender, Sex, and Sexuality

When Harry to be born, his parents, Steve and also Barb, were delighted to add another young to their family. However as their baby boy started to grow and develop, lock noticed the Harry began to express himself in a manner that they perceived as much more feminine than masculine. He gravitated towards dolls and also other toys that our culture typically associates with girls. But Harry’s choice was no simply about liking pink more than blue or flowers more than fire trucks. That even started to draw himself together a girl, finish with a dress and also high-heeled shoes. In fact, Harry go not just wish to it is in a girl; he thought he was a girl.

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In kindergarten, Harry often got into arguments with male classmates since he insisted that he to be a girl, not a boy. He also started calling himself “Hailey.” Steve and also Barb met with several psychologists, every one of whom called them the Hailey was transgendered. However Steve and Barb had a tough time expertise that their five-year-old son could have currently developed a gender identity that went against society’s expectations. Concerned with the society ramifications linked with his kid being transgendered, Steve hope this was just a phase. But Barb, and also eventually Steve, realized that Harry’s feelings were genuine and unyielding, and also they do the decision to let take care of live together Hailey—a girl. They pertained to this decision ~ concluding that the criticism he would endure indigenous his peers and also other members of society would be much less damaging than the confusion he could experience inside if that were forced to live as a boy.

Many transgendered youngsters grow up hating their bodies, and also this population can have high prices of drug abuse and suicide (Weiss 2011). Fear of these outcomes and also eager to do their child happy, Steve and Barb currently refer to Harry together Hailey and allow her come dress and also behave in courtesy that are considered feminine. To a stranger, Hailey is likely to appear just like any kind of other girl and also may also be considered extra girly due to her love that all points pink. But to those who once knew Hailey as Harry, Hailey is likely to endure more ridicule and rejection as the an outcome of adopting a feminine sex identity.

Currently, seven-year-old Hailey and also her parents are comfortable with her gender status, yet Steve and also Barb room concerned about what questions and problems might arise as she it s okay older. “Who’s going to love my child?” asks Steve (Ling 2011). This question isn’t asked since Hailey is unlovable, but because North American society has however to totally listen come or know the personal narratives of the transgendered populace (Hines and also Sanger 2010).

In this chapter, us will comment on the differences between sex and gender, together with issues like gender identity and also sexuality. What does it typical to “have” a sex in ours society? What go it typical to “have” a sexuality? us will likewise explore miscellaneous theoretical perspectives top top the subjects of gender and also sexuality.

12.1. The Difference between Sex and Gender

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Figure 12.2. While the organic differences between males and females are fairly straightforward, the society and social aspects of gift a man or woman have the right to be complicated. (Photo courtesy of FaceMePLS/flickr)

When filling out a file such as a project application or institution registration kind you are frequently asked to provide your name, address, call number, birth date, and sex or gender. However have you ever before been asked to administer your sex and her gender? as with most people, it may not have arisen to you the sex and also gender are not the same. However, sociologists and also most other social researchers view sex and gender as conceptually distinct. Sex refers to physical or physiological differences between males and females, consisting of both primary sex features (the reproductive system) and an additional characteristics such together height and muscularity. Gender is a hatchet that describes social or social distinctions linked with being male or female. Gender identity is the level to i m sorry one identifies as being either masculine or feminine (Diamond 2002).

A who sex, as figured out by his or her biology, does not constantly correspond with his or her gender. Therefore, the terms sex and gender are not interchangeable. A infant boy that is born through male genitalia will be figured out as male. Together he grows, however, he may determine with the feminine elements of his culture. Due to the fact that the term sex ad to organic or physical distinctions, qualities of sex will certainly not vary significantly between different human being societies. For example, all persons of the woman sex, in general, regardless of culture, will at some point menstruate and develop breasts that have the right to lactate. Features of gender, on the other hand, may vary greatly in between different societies. Because that example, in American culture, that is taken into consideration feminine (or a properties of the female gender) to wear a dress or skirt. However, in countless Middle Eastern, Asian, and African cultures, costume or skirts (often referred to as sarongs, robes, or gowns) have the right to be thought about masculine. The kilt worn through a Scottish masculine does not make him show up feminine in his culture.

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Figure 12.3. George Catlin (1796-1872), Dance come the Berdache. Caitlin’s sketch depicts a ceremonial dance among the Sac and also Fox indians to celebrate the two-spirit person. (Photo couresy of Wikimedia Commons).

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The dichotomous watch of gender (the id that one is either masculine or female) is particular to specific cultures and also is no universal. In some cultures, gender is perceived as fluid. In the past, some anthropologists offered the term berdache come refer to people who periodically or permanently dressed and lived as the the contrary gender. The practice has been detailed among details Aboriginal teams (Jacobs, Thomas, and Lang 1997). Samoan society accepts what they refer to as a “third gender.” Fa’afafine, which equates as “the way of the woman,” is a term provided to explain individuals who room born biologically male yet embody both masculine and also feminine traits. Fa’afafines space considered critical part of Samoan culture. Individuals from other societies may mislabel them together homosexuals due to the fact that fa’afafines have actually a varied sexual life the may encompass men or ladies (Poasa 1992).