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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Gendered Lives, Chapter two

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1. Discuss Video Theme�Define/Relate terms


The theme of this video states that it is not proven that when doctors make a decision as to the newborn being a boy or a girl they do not take into account how the baby will grow up, as a boy or a girl. Doctors assume a position when they suggest to the parents what should be done. In their assumption they do not take into account that anything will change in that newborn’s mindset as they grow into adolescence.


Sex is a biological factor. In the cases of John-Joan and Jade the doctors saw an informality that the child was born with and they changed the sex organs to what they believed the child would grow into being, in both cases a girl. In the case of John-Joan the follow-up that was done falsely stated that everything was going fine and the John-Joan was happy growing up as a little girl. In this case, however, John was not.


Gender is a social, symbolic system through which a culture attaches significance to biological sex. In the case of John-Joan he was raised as a girl but was uncomfortable in this setting. As he grew older, he realized he was a boy and that is what he wanted to be. Though through his gender role he was brought up to dress, look, and act like a girl he realized that his true gender identity was that of a boy’s.


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While at Baker’s on Saddle Creek one day my roommate and I were buying groceries. Our checkout person looked very much like a man but sounded very much like a girl. I remember the person was very thin and had short hair. The face was sunken in but I was sure the person was wearing make-up. The way they talked implemented that the person was a girl, though the person did not have the look of a girl. When my roommate and I left Baker’s that day we both looked at each other and I specifically remember him looking at me and saying, “What was that!” We both laughed at the thought.


This effected the way we responded to the person behind the counter. I am usually polite and have something to say, but I recall being at a loss of words and I tried not to look at the person behind the counter. I remember my roommate’s facial expression as the person said “Hello” to us. I looked at him and he smirked at the person behind the counter, as to question “What are you?”


. Summarize and discuss the video, “Boy or Girl?” as it relates to the theories found in Chapter Two.


According to the biological theory John-Joan and Jade are both male, not female. The doctors who gave birth to these children or who performed the surgery all said that these two babies were born with disfigured male genitalia. As this is, these children were born under the XY chromosome standards for male but were given surgery so as they could grow up as females with female genitalia.


The parents of these children used psychodynamic theory to shape John-Joan’s and Jade’s gender identity. In this case, to grow up to be healthy, young girls. According to the social learning theory John-Joan and Jade should have been comfortable with their gender identity because of the role their parents played in bringing them up. John-Joan was told to act like a girl and dress like a girl and brought up by his parents and society to be a girl. The parents reinforced the actions that he took as a girl to mold him into a female gender identity.


From cognitive development theory John-Joan learned for himself that he was not a she. He said in his interview that he remembered not feeling right about the way he was, referring himself as an “It”. In John-Joan’s case his actions spoke louder than the words of those around him trying to tell him to be a she.


If I had to make a decision in this case I would gain perspective from people who have dealt with this same situation and then make my decision. If it came down to a point-blank decision I would choose to not have surgery and see what comes about. It is hard to think how people that are put into this situation feel. I cannot put myself in their shoes, but I would be confused.


. Define and briefly discuss “standpoint theory”.


I am a Caucasian male and a full time student who works two jobs to pay for school and my lavish lifestyle. My standpoint in society has effected me by wanting to interact with people similar to me. I can easily engage in conversation with anyone but find it hard to establish lasting friendships with people who never have to work for anything. I do not like snooty people who believe the world owes them something. I believe in hard work and hard workers. People who are different from me are good because they give me a different perspective on life that I do not engage in.


A person on the other end of the perspective would be a black male who lives life off of others. They maybe a thief or just someone who lives off of unemployment or welfare. I believe that this individual would not see anything wrong with his life if they were not brought up to be any other way. They may judge me as someone who holds them down or doesn’t give them a chance because of their color or their place in society.


What I would see of this individual is that he doesn’t try for anything. It would seem to me that this person would more likely live a life in trouble than try to get out of his situation. I believe standpoint theories focus helps us better understand those people who we do not know nor try to understand. Standpoint theory gives us a better idea of how we relate to others in society and how our gender shapes us.





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