Gender and Families

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Gender and Families. Sex and gender Gender role theories Biosocial Psychoanalytic Cognitive development Social learning/socialization Conflict (sex/gender system) Male point of view Gender and family work. Sex vs. Gender. Sex: Biological Gender: Social and cultural
Gender and FamiliesSex and genderGender role theories Biosocial Psychoanalytic Cognitive development Social learning/socialization Conflict (sex/gender system)Male point of viewGender and family workSex vs. Gender
  • Sex: Biological
  • Gender: Social and cultural
  • Gender identity: response to biological and social cues
  • Recent thinking: gender identity may be more fluid than we believe, but society emphasizes male/female boundary.
  • Gender roles
  • Social role: Pattern of behaviors associated with a position
  • Gender role: Pattern of behaviors commonly exhibited by males and females. Socially constructed and enforced.
  • The Male BrainBiosocial Approach
  • Innate biological differences
  • Hormones influence behavior (aggression, maternal instinct)
  • Male and female brains different
  • Reinforced by social experiences
  • Social influences can counteract biological
  • Differences exist only “on average”
  • Psychoanalytic approach (Freud)
  • Roles develop subconsciously
  • Begin with attachment to mother
  • Boy wants mother; must compete with father
  • Solution: identify with father, transfer attachment to another woman
  • Psychoanalytic approach (Freud)
  • Girl identifies w/mother; accepts male dominance
  • Envies male power (penis envy)
  • Solution: Have man’s baby
  • Implies: “traditional” roles are natural and right
  • Psychoanalytic approach (Feminist)
  • Response to Freud:
  • “Womb envy:” Men envy childbearing
  • “Power envy:” Women envy economic and political (not sexual) power
  • Emotional differences: father as distant role model, mother present;
  • boys learn separation, girls learn connectedness
  • Cognitive Development Theory
  • Understanding of gender develops in stages
  • Age 2: Can identify own and others’ gender
  • based on superficial features
  • see gender as changeable
  • Cognitive Development Theory
  • Age 3-5: Rigid conception of M/F roles
  • Need to classify and categorize
  • Need for “black and white” distinctions
  • Age 6-7: See gender as permanent
  • Not dependent on clothing, hair
  • May continue to insist on rigid gender roles
  • Socialization/Social learning
  • Socialization by parents
  • Begins at birth (“Baby X” experiment)
  • Manipulation: treat boys and girls differently
  • Channeling: direct attention to specific objects
  • Verbal appellation: different language
  • Activity exposure
  • Socialization/Social learning
  • Socialization by peers
  • Same sex peers are influential
  • Boys engage in competition, individual play
  • Girls engage in cooperation, group play, communication
  • Imitate peers’ behavior and attitudes
  • Socialization/Social learning
  • Socialization by media:
  • Kids watch TV 4 hrs/day
  • >60% of major characters are men
  • Women shown as sexual, youthful, thin
  • Conflict Theory: Sex-Gender System
  • Patriarchy: Social order based on domination of women
  • Reinforced by capitalist system
  • Lower pay for women
  • Conflicts between men and women
  • Unpaid housework: men can work for lower wages
  • The Male Point of View
  • Often study gender from woman’s perspective
  • Masculine role may harm men
  • Assault, homicide
  • Drinking, smoking, neglecting health
  • Difficulty expressing feelings
  • Pressure to provide
  • Estrangement from families
  • Women want control at home – discourage husband’s participation
  • Gender and Family Work
  • Arlie Hochschild (80’s-90’s)
  • “Second Shift” = maintaining home and caring for family
  • How is family work divided among employed couples?
  • *Recent Newsweek article on this issue: Gender Ideologies:
  • Traditional – 2nd shift is women’s work; her employment has lower priority; identifies with family; husband has more power
  • Three Gender Ideologies:
  • Egalitarian – true 50/50 sharing; both partners identify with work and family
  • Three Gender Ideologies:
  • Transitional – husband more traditional, wife more egalitarian
  • Women’s answers:18% had men who shared30% tried to get men to share52% didn’t tryMen’s answers:20% said they shared80% didn’t think they had to shareWho Shares 2nd Shift?*Recent data from 2002 General Social Survey: 25% of women and 30% of men say that men share household responsibilitiesWhy men didn’t share:
  • Needs reduction – “she doesn’t need my help;”
  • Substitution – “I do other kinds of work.”
  • Comparison – “I do more than most guys.”
  • How Women Responded1. Change his behavior –
  • ask for help;
  • indirect tactics
  • How Women Responded2. Change her own behavior –
  • “Supermom” – do it all
  • Cut back on work, career
  • Cut back on home, self, marriage, children
  • Hire help or get family members to help
  • How men responded when asked to share
  • Cooperation – 20% changed behavior
  • Resistance
  • Feigned incompetence
  • Wait for wife to ask
  • Bargaining (“I’ll do it as a gift”)
  • Needs reduction (“What mess?”)
  • Why don’t women ask for help?
  • Traditional ideology
  • Avoid conflict
  • Want control (“he’d never do it right”)
  • Related Search
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