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University Degree: Gender Studies

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  1. Construct a comprehensive argument for constructionist and essentialist beliefs about homosexual identity development. State each position and defend each theory,

    Philosophically, the concept of essentialism originated in the work of Plato, in the 4th century B.C. He argued that universal truths formed the basis of human life, and that the phenomena of the natural world were simply a finite number of fixed, unchanging forms, or essences. The crucial properties of essences were constancy and discontinuity. "That is, an essence does not change and is categorically different from other essences"1. In social sciences today, essentialism implies a belief that certain behaviors are natural, inevitable and biologically determined, and it usually refers to a biological basis of sexual behaviors.

    • Word count: 1125
  2. Is gender about what children are or about what they do?

    The sex differences can be referred to as the feelings that as child is born with, this is often referred to as the child's nature. It is common nowadays to hear a parent saying "it's in my child's nature", meaning that they were born a certain way. The opposite of this therefore, is gender. This is the experiences that a child goes through in their lives, such as their upbringing and is known as the child's nurture. It is possible to nurture a child, for example, with their self esteem.

    • Word count: 1954
  3. To what extent are gender differences socially constructed? To what extent are gender differences socially constructed

    this means individuals are taught the behaviour that is expected of males and females within their society. "These processes create systems of ideas and practises about gender that vary across time and space. They also create gender divisions of labour, allocating women and men to different activities and responsibilities." Bilton, Bonnett, Jones, Lawson, Skinner, Stanworth and Webster (2002) Pg 132. Many studies have shown that gender roles can differ considerably due to the culture of that society. This illustrates "whatever the biological differences between males and females, it is the culture of the society which exerts most influence in the creation of masculine and feminine behaviour."

    • Word count: 1700
  4. gender and society

    Social sciences have been researching this subject for years now. A lot of them agree that we live a life that is structured by the social world. They feel that gender roles are forces by us and the challenge us to think about anything without relating it to gender (Connell, 2009). Of course you cannot deny that there are biological differences between men and women, but, according to the sciences, that does not automatically explain the differences in gender roles and the inequalities that we are dealing with nowadays. We are creating those roles ourselves and they are just an illusion.

    • Word count: 1000
  5. Media culture studies: looking at the affects of advertising aimed at men and masculinity - identity products. The adverts for Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana are both ultimately appealing to a male audience.

    What we are faced with here is a signification process whereby a certain commodity is made the expression of a certain content (the lifestyle and values)." (1985, 73). Man has found himself trapped in the glorified position he has placed himself in, having the need to follow the life style built by a system of values developed by advertising. This is a man made from which he consumes, not which he is naturally but superficially. A lot of pressure is caused by the consumer ideals on both men and women.

    • Word count: 1987
  6. Phyllis Schlafly is clearly someone who rejects the idea that American women are oppressed and mistreated. Most people will have the opposite opinion but the essays in her book Feminist Fantasies explains clearly why she feels the way she does.

    However, the ERA proved to be a controversial topic concerning women's rights. Some feminists such as the National Consumers League's Florence Kelly felt that this amendment will undermine legislations protecting female workers. They believed that it will threaten the minimum hours and other protective legislations that were fought for previously in the late 19th century and early 20th century. (Tobias: 134) The amendment, however, was gaining momentum after the 1940 Republican platform endorsed the ERA and the Democratic Party endorsed it four years later. Phyllis Schlafly's remarkable anti-ERA campaign, many years later, managed to expostulate many of the supporters and helped rid of the ERA.

    • Word count: 1422
  7. DD100. TMA01. What can social sciences tell us about the formation of identities? How do race(TM) and ethnicity(TM) impact on the formation of identities?

    or masculinity through their choice of toys (cars and trucks for boys, dollies and prams for girls; home economic classes for girls and manual craft technology classes for boys) but this is influenced by the parents and or institutions making that choice available to be offered. Our identity may change with time and circumstances as we grow older we begin to understand the complexities of who we are. We use our identity to communicate how we see ourselves to others.

    • Word count: 1517
  8. Examine the ways in which gender has an impact upon developing a sense of identity. Children learn about gender-specific behaviors from adults in the family

    There are many environmental influences that can help understand a person's identity, it usually starts at a young age and then is changed as we get older. Family and friends perception of masculinity and femininity may affect the child at a young age and eventually have an effect on the child's opinions and views in the future. For example the male figure in the family usually the father will speak differently to his mixed gender children for example a father with his son will be more aggressive and assertive then he is with his daughters because he sees his son as tough and in control and his daughter gentle and passive.

    • Word count: 1634
  9. Personal ads in UK

    Personal ads, as a source material, were been first used in the late 70s when Cameron, Oskamp and Sparks made a research for their article "Courtship American style: Newspaper ads. (Cameron et al., 1977). In 1998, Hatala, Baak and Parmenter provided a rationale for why personal ads can be used as research data. They suggested that researching personal ads has the following advantages. Firstly, they are high in external validity, meaning that participants are na�ve and they haven't placed themselves in the psychological state of taking part in a psychological study.

    • Word count: 1866
  10. How has identity been theorized as an effect of performance? Discuss with specific reference to gender.

    Cooley used the term 'reflective self' because our identity is in a way a mirror image of what others think of us. Goffman states that individuals go one step further in acting out these traits in a way to portray themselves in a certain light to their audience. For Goffman 'performing' social roles was meant in the literal sense, we as human beings incorporate our everyday lives in to a huge on stage performance, switching out status' between front stage and back stage.

    • Word count: 1276
  11. 1000 word analysis on contemporary representations of gender referring to two contrasting texts. The Full Monty and Bridget Jones

    Both the Full Monty and Bridget Jones' Diary show how the perception of gender roles has changed over time. Both demonstrate how in today's modern society females are gaining attributes that were usually associated with the male gender and vice versa. For example the Full Monty explores the female gaze - while it is usually assumed that males lust after the female body. Typical working class labourers are required to perform a strip show and the main protagonists are a father and his son, whereas in the 20th century, fathers were not really promoted in films as the dominant parents to a child, nurturing being seen as more of a female attribute.

    • Word count: 1152
  12. How gender is created

    First is infantile sexuality, and how as infants we gain our sexuality on our own. When we are babies we use thumb sucking to pleasure our self, replacing the nipple. Being young, we do not realize the right and wrong of public sexuality. In the second step, latency, we start learning right and wrong. Our mouth is no longer a place for pleasure, and we move on to other things like potty training. Sexuality is mainly constructed in our third and fourth year of our life. Finally, puberty reaches us and we acknowledge our sexuality.

    • Word count: 1118
  13. How have gender roles in Japanese theatre influenced and affected societal view on homosexuality and masculinity?

    He informs that "in the context of performance, the production of the same no play by an all-female cast as opposed to an all-male one, would not be significantly different or send out to the audiences significantly different messages" (Powell 2005). Then for the sake of argument can it be said that the views that Japanese society have held towards male masculinity, homosexuality and cross-dressing since the fourteenth century stemmed from the subversion of gender roles in their national forms of theatre? In the form of kabuki the male actor who specialises in female roles is known as the onnagata.

    • Word count: 1791
  14. An Investigation in media representation of gender in sport

    Duncan et al. (1993) studied 126 newscasts from ESPN's SportsCenter and CNN's Sports Tonight (both American sport news programs) and it was shown that only 5% of airtime was allocated to women's sport. In addition to this they also found that the stories about women tended to concentrate on physically revealing shots of women. This is consistent with Tuggle (1997), whose analysis included the 1995 U.S. Open tennis tournament, yet it was also shown that the little airtime was usually pushed to the end of the program after the men's more detailed stories.

    • Word count: 1469
  15. Free essay

    Textual Analysis

    Edley and Wetherell (1995) argue that in most cultures in modern society there are characteristics that exemplify a set of themes which relate to men and masculinities. These images of masculinities represent below can be said to reinforce common ideals about what it is meant to be a 'real' man. I have decided to deconstruct two texts which provide different interpretations about the meaning of masculinities. One being the fictional characters of James Bond, assisted by an image of Daniel Craig and the other showing a man in a posture that shows him working.

    • Word count: 1758
  16. Discuss GENDER IDENTITIES

    When we hear the word gender we automatically think male and female which is correct, but what does identity involve? Identity is "Who we are?" as individuals, it provides us with the link between individuals and society, its known that we form our own identities when we are young through relationships we encounter and how society involves us as a person. As we can form our own identities we can fix them or change them in later life, this can be done by either self preservation or psychological help.

    • Word count: 1737
  17. How do sociological perspectives on sexuality differ from biological explanations?

    According to this theory, men are more promiscuous than women because nature has given them the opportunity to father countless offspring (millions of sperm). Therefore, their instincts drive them to have as many partners as possible, thereby ensuring that their genetic configuration will be successful in the following generation (Wilson, 1975a, p.314). Women, on the other hand, again because of biological imperatives (finite number of possible children), are more selective of partners. Although not monogamous, their biological imperative drives them to select the best possible mating partner.

    • Word count: 1847
  18. A report on prejudice and discrimination towards sexism

    SEXISM Sexism refers to prejudice and discrimination against a person because of their gender (Deaux, Dane & Wrightsman (1993). Sexism incorporates attitudes and actions that treat one group as subordinate to the other. In general sexism is more prominent by males with prejudices towards women. In the past there has been a widespread belief that men are more competent and independent than women, whilst women are often seen as warmer and more expressive compared to men. Certain occupations often become labelled as 'women's work' and as a result are valued less.

    • Word count: 1690
  19. Feminist Theories

    Radical feminist Firestone (1970) held that it was the enormous pressure on a woman to gain fulfilment through motherhood, and only through motherhood in a strong traditional sense and setting, that placed women in a position where they were greatly dependent on a male to provide financial support. Thus effective under the control and subject to the man. They stated that the most basic and first form of oppression was that of the patriarchal society, that it was a given that man would have control over women.

    • Word count: 1664
  20. Free essay

    Effects of Gender

    A number of managers saw that this line of questioning was indicative of a caring attitude towards their employees, but to the majority of managers it was a simple form of risk assessment to determine if the woman would be a reliable member of their workforce. The option of parenting being a joint responsibility, as opposed to solely the women's task, was not one that was taken into consideration by the managers surveyed. This attitude also explains why fewer women are promoted to a more senior position.

    • Word count: 1681
  21. Evaluate the extent to which the role of males and females in modern Britain result from biological determinism

    There is the hormonal argument which is part of the biological view point, which outlines the influence of hormones on the body and a person's behaviour. Males and females have the same hormones but in differing levels, males have large quantities of testosterone whist females have progesterone and oestrogen. Both also have the hormone Serotonin but the quantities are higher with females which increases the boredom threshold and patience, which in turn prepares the woman for childcare and household chores.

    • Word count: 1267
  22. Explore Kingston's presentation of the relationship between gender, community stories and identity in Woman Warrior.

    According to Chinese Confucianism women must show obedience consecutively to their father, husband and sons. Their debased status is internalised by Chinese women who must sacrifice their lives in service to their community. Through the technique of rewriting them in an American manner the narrator is able to distinguish her personal identity from the cultural one the stories construct. Kingston's mythopoeic text works to construct the author's bi- cultural identity, and she shows her independence by reading herself into existence through the traditional stories. Whilst Kingston has embraced her culture, she has forged her own identity only through their interrogation.

    • Word count: 1840
  23. "Lesbians and gay men have always existed in every historical period and across all cultures."Discuss, with particular reference to the relationship between category labels

    But do lesbians and gay men have always existed? Probably yes by the definitions written above. However, the behaviour of love-making was not identified as neither heterosexual nor homosexual in the past. These terms was not given until 1869 (Katz, Jonathan Ned. 1997). The word "heterosexual" did not have the same meaning as it does now, it was meant to be the sexual intercourse with men and women which was not necessarily reproductive (Katz, Jonathan Ned. 1997). Thurs it was a pretty negative word from then on till about twentieth century.

    • Word count: 1667
  24. The problems gone through by Professor Anderson in Trailblazing. The story presented went almost exactly how it was expected to go, it followed all theories on the subject and most of the people responded to his coming out of the closet

    Professor Anderson's principal, who was initially very supportive, quickly turned on Anderson and seemed to be trying to get him fired at every possible opportunity. He must have been receiving daily complains from parents who could possibly tolerate the fact that their students were being taught by someone who was gay, despite the fact that several members of the faculty were closeted. Even as early as preschool, boys and girls are treated differently, anything outside of those very specific gender boundaries is considered wrong and must be adjusted.

    • Word count: 1648
  25. Gender and its impact on contemporary childhood

    Children's lives are shaped differently depending on their gender. Gender is the undermining factor that determines the social status in any given culture. Scientist's through experiments have proved that there are sexual differences between men and women, that these are biological are products of nature. On the other hand gender differences are a product of the mannerism in the way children are bought up i.e. nurturing. Although some elements of gender is connected to biological differences. From the moment of origin, even earlier as soon as biological parents contemplate about having children, they think of either having a boy or a girl, male or female.

    • Word count: 1775

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • "Discuss the extent to which traditional masculine and feminine roles are changing"

    "In conclusion, I don't think that traditional roles are disappearing as such, but women are changing their priorities. As women are able to get into the labour force and into the highly paid jobs, they are able to provide economic stability for themselves and their children. Increased childcare facilities are enabling women to work and single mothers to cope. However, it seems that after their day at work, women go home and return to their traditional roles by doing the housework and looking after the children. Men's roles do not seemed to have changed much. More men are staying at home and looking after the children during the day yet it seems that this responsibility is handed over to the wife on her return from work."

  • Discuss the nature of women's history and the reason why women are mostly absent from most historical accounts.

    "This theory is highlighted by the debate between the optimists and pessimists. Sociologists of the 1960's and 1970's and many recent historians have been optimistic in the situation for women prior to the industrial revolution, for example Shorter. They believe that the industrial revolution supported the marital family and an increase in equality between men and women. This resulted from educational opportunities, which encouraged and aided women to enter the labour market, increasing their visibility and freedom. However Marxists and Feminists, for example Clark disagree portraying that as a result o capitalism which created cheap labour, women's position in the home was highlighted. It is possible that the two schools will never agree upon a conclusion of the position of women. It remains questionable whether the past could and will ever be rectified. Women's history remains premature. Roger's highlights women's historiography remains ambiguous because the status of women and their domination in the private arena conceals as much as it enlightens. In Thomas suggests that until more precise categories and clearer questions can be formulated the research will remain incomplete. To date women's history is a social history, which seeks to recover the position of invisible women portraying them both as individuals and as part of a group."

  • Philosophy of Sex Essay: 'Explain Mackinnon's critique and critically assess it."

    "In conclusion MacKinnon seems to over rate the effect of pornography on the everyday social structure and the harm that it causes. Her assumption that it sets the standards for all sexual acts and gender roles is over generalised, neglecting the fact many do not view pornography as a realistic portrayal of gender roles or the sexuality of gender. In the end pornography may not be promoting women's rights to equality, but it is hardly as damaging as she claims. Reference: C. MacKinnon, 'Not a Moral Issue' from Feminism Unmodified, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1987. pp. 146-162. Est 1000 words"

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