Are Millennials Putting An End to Gender Differences?

Women and Gender Studies Videotapes in the Media Resources Center, UC Berkeley
Photo provided by Pexels

women and gender studies Flashcards | Quizlet

Nancy Chodorow (1978; 1995) has criticised social learning theory astoo simplistic to explain gender differences (see also Deaux &Major 1990; Gatens 1996). Instead, she holds that gender is a matterof having feminine and masculine personalities that develop in earlyinfancy as responses to prevalent parenting practices. In particular,gendered personalities develop because women tend to be the primarycaretakers of small children. Chodorow holds that because mothers (orother prominent females) tend to care for infants, infant male andfemale psychic development differs. Crudely put: the mother-daughterrelationship differs from the mother-son relationship because mothersare more likely to identify with their daughters than their sons. Thisunconsciously prompts the mother to encourage her son topsychologically individuate himself from her thereby prompting him todevelop well defined and rigid ego boundaries. However, the motherunconsciously discourages the daughter from individuating herselfthereby prompting the daughter to develop flexible and blurry egoboundaries. Childhood gender socialisation further builds on andreinforces these unconsciously developed ego boundaries finallyproducing feminine and masculine persons (1995, 202–206). Thisperspective has its roots in Freudian psychoanalytic theory, althoughChodorow's approach differs in many ways from Freud's.

Sex selection is a false choice – our destiny is not defined by our genitalia Ally Fogg The would-be parents travelling from the UK to the US to choose their child’s gender may be asking for disappointment
Photo provided by Pexels

Start studying women and gender studies

Most people ordinarily seem to think that sex and gender arecoextensive: women are human females, men are human males. Manyfeminists have historically disagreed and have endorsed the sex/gender distinction. Provisionally: ‘sex’ denotes humanfemales and males depending on biological features(chromosomes, sex organs, hormones and other physical features);‘gender’ denotes women and men depending onsocial factors (social role, position, behaviour oridentity). The main feminist motivation for making this distinctionwas to counter biological determinism or the view that biology isdestiny.

If destiny is predefined, then why do our actions affect our karma? Indeed true. "If whatever I'll do in my life is already predefined, then certainly I shouldn't be held accountable for my actions."
Photo provided by Pexels

According to social learning theorists, children are also influencedby what they observe in the world around them. This, again, makescountering gender socialisation difficult. For one, children's bookshave portrayed males and females in blatantly stereotypical ways: forinstance, males as adventurers and leaders, and females as helpers andfollowers. One way to address gender stereotyping in children's bookshas been to portray females in independent roles and males asnon-aggressive and nurturing (Renzetti & Curran 1992, 35). Somepublishers have attempted an alternative approach by making theircharacters, for instance, gender-neutral animals or genderlessimaginary creatures (like TV's Teletubbies). However, parents readingbooks with gender-neutral or genderless characters often undermine thepublishers' efforts by reading them to their children in ways thatdepict the characters as either feminine or masculine. According to Renzettiand Curran, parents labelled the overwhelming majority ofgender-neutral characters masculine whereas those characters that fitfeminine gender stereotypes (for instance, by being helpful andcaring) were labelled feminine (1992, 35). Socialising influences likethese are still thought to send implicit messages regarding howfemales and males should act and are expected to act shaping us intofeminine and masculine persons.

Gender & Diversity Issues Articles in this section examine how differences among various subgroups of students — boys, girls, students of color, socioeconomic statuses — may impact learning style and achievement.
Photo provided by Pexels