They might be playing with each other, interacting with adults, or writing down solutions to hypothetical scenarios given to them by a researcher. For example, women cry more often than men do. The title of a book presenting the evolutionary psychology argument summarizes this implication: New directions in theory and research pp. Women smile more often than men. A second sociologist, Barrie Thorne , studied fourth- and fifth-graders in California and Michigan. The rise in team sports opportunities for girls in the years since Lever and Thorne did their research is a welcome development, but young children continue to play in the ways that Lever and Thorne found. At all grade levels, many textbooks and other books still portray people in gender-stereotyped ways. Or do these latter differences stem, as most sociologists think, from cultural expectations and from differences in the ways in which the sexes are socialized?
From this basic genetic difference spring other biological differences. Females, of course, have two X chromosomes, while males have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome. Other studies are more experimental in nature. Continuity and Change by a publisher who has requested that they and the original author not receive attribution, which was originally released and is used under CC BY-NC-SA. These are critical questions, for they ask whether the differences between boys and girls and women and men stem more from biology or from society. These expectations are called femininity and masculinity. This variation underscores the impact of culture on how females and males think and behave. Newsweek, 28 Brettell, C. They tend to call on boys more often to answer questions in class and to praise them more when they give the right answer. Several biological explanations for gender roles exist, but sociologists think culture and socialization are more important sources of gender roles than biology. Fourth, evolutionary arguments implicitly justify existing gender inequality by implying the need to confine women and men to their traditional roles. Although the terms sex and gender are sometimes used interchangeably and do complement each other, they nonetheless refer to different aspects of what it means to be a woman or man in any society. They give their girls dolls to play with and their boys action figures and toy guns. This intermediary category combines aspects of both femininity and masculinity of the society in which it is found and is thus considered an androgynous gender. Even if biology does matter for gender, they say, the significance of culture and socialization should not be underestimated. More generally, women are constantly depicted as the property of men. Comparative data on the division of labor by sex. If culture does affect gender roles, socialization is the process through which culture has this effect. Peers Peer influences also encourage gender socialization. One thing is clear: Of the major characters in Bikini Bottom, only Sandy Cheeks is a female. Critics challenge the evolutionary explanation on several grounds Begley, ; Fine, A sociological perspective 5th ed. Television commercials reinforce this image. This implication makes it essential to understand the extent to which gender differences do, in fact, stem from biological differences between the sexes or, instead, stem from cultural and social influences. In prehistoric societies, then, biology was indeed destiny:
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