For Butler, sexed bodies never exist outside social meanings and howwe understand gender shapes how we understand sex (1999, 139). Sexedbodies are not empty matter on which gender is constructed and sexcategories are not picked out on the basis of objective features ofthe world. Instead, our sexed bodies are themselves discursivelyconstructed: they are the way they are, at least to a substantialextent, because of what is attributed to sexed bodies and how they areclassified (for discursive construction, see Haslanger 1995, 99). Sex assignment (calling someone female or male) is normative (Butler 1993, 1). When thedoctor calls a newly born infant a girl or a boy, s/he is not making adescriptive claim, but a normative one. In fact, the doctor is performing an illocutionary speech act (see the entry on ). In effect, the doctor'sutterance makes infants into girls or boys. We, then, engage inactivities that make it seem as if sexes naturally come in two andthat being female or male is an objective feature of the world, ratherthan being a consequence of certain constitutive acts (that is, ratherthan being performative). And this is what Butler means in saying thatphysical bodies never exist outside cultural and social meanings, andthat sex is as socially constructed as gender. She does not deny thatphysical bodies exist. But, she takes our understanding of thisexistence to be a product of social conditioning: socialconditioning makes the existence of physical bodies intelligible to usby discursively constructing sexed bodies through certain constitutiveacts. (For a helpful introduction to Butler's views, see Salih2002.)
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Although women actually do assume the bulk of caretaking responsibilities in most families and many women do curtail their work responsibilities when they become caregivers, Title VII does not permit employers to treat female workers less favorably merely on the gender-based assumption that a particular female worker will assume caretaking responsibilities or that a female workers caretaking responsibilities will interfere with her work performance. Because stereotypes that female caregivers should not, will not, or cannot be committed to their jobs are sex-based, employment decisions based on such stereotypes violate Title VII.
GENDER ROLES AND STEREOTYPES Gender roles are cultural ..
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Proposes that prejudice against female leaders is driven by the fact that stereotypes for women are incongruent with the traits that are generally attributed to successful leaders, and when women display the correct behavior for a leader they are also seen as less suitable.
PSYCHOLOGY - TACOMA - University of Washington
Like teachers, peers contribute to the socialization of gender difference via multiple pathways. Upon entering school, children encounter large numbers of peers, many of whom model traditional gender behaviour, producing and reinforcing the content of gender stereotypes.
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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.