Society: Gender and Social Factors

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We live in a society where there are two and only two sex and gender categories. Betsy Lucal gives examples of her own life in “What It Means To Be Gendered Me” of how she crosses gender boundaries. We categorize people into one of two gender categories, masculine and feminine. Masculinity is assumed when there is no evidence indicating femininity. People who do not clearly fit into these two gender categories are not placed into a third gender category. These people are assigned into one and only one gender category, even if the person does not want to do gender. Lucal argues that we cannot escape doing gender because of this gender phenomenon. Society does gender for us.

Lucal gives example of her own life and how she could not escape doing gender. She has no problem being categorized as a male and much difficulty passing as a female. Her appearance is very masculine. She wears baggy clothes and does not shave her body like a female would. This caused many misattributions of her gender. When she enters a public restroom people assign her as a male and are not comfortable with her being in a women’s bathroom. When she goes to a car parts store the male clerks assign her a male and they assume that since they assigned her a male she knows what she is talking about. People also assign her a male when they deal with her credit card. People have difficulty believing that the credit card is hers. On the other hand when she needs to pass as female she does gender to pass as female. She paints her nails, and makes her breast more apparent. She could not escape doing gender in a society with two and only two gender categories. Society does gender for us by automatically assigning us to one and only one of the categories. #2

Robert Sapolsky demonstrates in “The Trouble With Testosterone” that testosterone does not cause aggression in males. It was first believed that increased testosterone equals increased aggression. His disproves this...
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