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Social Sci LibreTexts

10: Sex and Gender

  • Page ID
    5632
  • [ "article:topic-guide", "gender", "sexuality", "authorname:lumen" ]

    • 10.1: Sex and Gender Distinction
      The distinction between sex and gender differentiates sex (the anatomy of an individual’s reproductive system, and secondary sex characteristics) from gender, which can refer to either social roles based on the sex of the person (gender role) or personal identification of one’s own gender based on an internal awareness (gender identity). In some circumstances, an individual’s assigned sex and gender do not align, and the person may be transgender, non-binary, or gender-nonconforming.
    • 10.2: Sexual Orientation
      Sexual orientation is the pattern of sexual and emotional attraction based on the gender of one’s partner. Heterosexuality refers to the emotional and sexual attraction between men and women. In the contemporary American culture, heterosexuality is the only sexual orientation to receive complete social and legal legitimacy. Though heterosexuality is viewed as the “norm” in the United States, many other cultures maintain a very diverse perspective on sexuality and sexual orientation.
    • 10.3: Inis Beag
      The Inis Beag community has often been cited by anthropologists and sexologists as an example of extreme sexual repression. Inis Beag had no formal sex education, and sexual intercourse was treated by both sexes as a necessary evil which must be endured for the sake of reproduction. Phenomena such as menstruation and menopause were regarded with fear and disgust. Breast-feeding was avoided.
    • 10.4: Ritual Homosexuality of the Sambia
      The Sambia are a tribe of mountain-dwelling, hunting and horticultural people who inhabit the fringes of the Eastern Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea, and are extensively described by the American anthropologist Gilbert Herdt. The Sambia — a pseudonym created by Herdt himself — are well known by cultural anthropologists for their acts of “ritualized homosexuality” and semen ingestion practices with pubescent boys.
    • 10.5: Margaret Mead's Gender Studies
      Mead’s findings suggested that the community ignores both boys and girls until they are about 15 or 16. Before then, children have no social standing within the community. Mead also found that marriage is regarded as a social and economic arrangement where wealth, rank, and job skills of the husband and wife are taken into consideration.
    • 10.6: Gender Role
      A gender role is a set of societal norms dictating what types of behaviors are generally considered acceptable, appropriate, or desirable for a person based on their actual or perceived sex. These are usually centered around opposing conceptions of femininity and masculinity, although there are myriad exceptions and variations. The specifics regarding these gendered expectations may vary substantially among cultures, while other characteristics may be common throughout a range of cultures.
    • 10.7: Two-Spirit
      Two-Spirit is a modern umbrella term used by some indigenous North Americans to describe gender-variant individuals in their communities. The term was adopted in 1990 at an Indigenous lesbian and gay international gathering to encourage the replacement of the anthropological term berdache. It is a spiritual role that is recognized and confirmed by the Two-Spirit’s indigenous community.
    • 10.8: Hijra
      Hijra is a term used in South Asia – in particular, in India – to refer to transwomen (male-to-female transsexual or transgender individuals). In other areas of India, transgender people are also known as Aravani, Aruvani or Jagappa. In Pakistan and Bangladesh, the hijras are officially recognized as third gender by the government, being neither completely male nor female.
    • 10.9: Gender and Language
      Not all members of a particular sex may follow the specific gender roles that are prescribed by society. The patterns in gender and communication that follow are only the norms for each gender, and not every member of the corresponding sex may fit into those patterns.
    • 10.10: Gender Inequality
      Gender inequality refers to unequal treatment or perceptions of individuals based on their gender. It arises from differences in socially constructed gender roles.[1] Gender systems are often dichotomous and hierarchical; gender binary systems may reflect the inequalities that manifest in numerous dimensions of daily life. Gender inequality stems from distinctions, whether empirically grounded or socially constructed.
    • 10.11: Double Burden (Part 1)
      Double burden is a term used to describe the workload of people who work to earn money, but who are also responsible for significant amounts of unpaid domestic labor. This phenomenon is also known as the The Second Shift as in Arlie Hochschild’s book of the same name. In heterosexual couples where both partners have paid jobs, women often spend significantly more time than men on household chores and caring work, such as child-rearing or caring for sick family members.
    • 10.11: Double Burden (Part 2)
      When faced with the double burden of having to deal with the responsibilities of both a career as well as domestic duties, sometimes a person’s health is affected.
    • 10.12: Gender and Employment
      A glass ceiling is a term used to describe the unseen, yet unbreakable, barrier that keeps one from rising to the upper rungs of the corporate ladder, regardless of qualifications or achievements.” Initially, and sometimes still today, the metaphor was applied by feminists in reference to barriers in the careers of high achieving women. In the US the concept is sometimes extended to refer to obstacles hindering the advancement of minority men, as well as women.
    • 10.13: The Global Gender Gap Report
      The Global Gender Gap Report was first published in 2006 by the World Economic Forum. The 2014 report covers 144 major and emerging economies. The Global Gender Gap Index is an index designed to measure gender equality.
    • 10.14: Violence Against Women (Part 1)
      Violence against women (VAW) is, collectively, violent acts that are primarily or exclusively committed against women. Sometimes considered a hate crime, this type of violence targets a specific group with the victim’s gender as a primary motive. This type of violence is gender-based, meaning that the acts of violence are committed against women expressly because they are women.
    • 10.14: Violence Against Women (Part 2)
      Human trafficking refers to the acquisition of persons by improper means such as force, fraud or deception, with the aim of exploiting them. Because of the illegal nature of trafficking, reliable data on its extent is very limited. The WHO states that: “Current evidence strongly suggests that those who are trafficked into the sex industry and as domestic servants are more likely to be women and children.”
    • 10.14: Violence Against Women (Part 3)
      There exist several approaches that were set up by international health organizations and civil societies (for example, Tostan) aimed at eliminating the practice of Female genital mutilation (FGM) in implemented countries: FGM as a Health issue (also known as health risks approach) and FGM as a Human Rights issue (also known as Human Rights-based approach).
    • 10.15: Missing Women of Asia
      The phenomenon of the missing women of Asia is a shortfall in the number of women in Asia relative to the number that would be expected if there were no sex-selective abortion and female infanticide and if the newborn of both sexes received similar levels of health care and nutrition.

    Thumbnail: The rainbow flag is a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) pride and LGBT social movements in use since the 1970s. Image used with permission (CC BY 2.0; Ludovic Bertron).