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Tuesday, 02 October 2012 09:35

notes: gender/sexual orientation

Written by David Sheppard
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lChapter 4: Gender and  Chapter 5 Sexual Orientation

Differences in the Sexes

During the first eight years of life, boys and girls have similar hormonal levels and physical development.
Puberty marks the difference in hormonal levels, which control physical development.
Body fat increases in girls and decreases in boys.
Structural changes in females diminish strength and lower endurance for heavy labor.
Brain-Based Differences
Some researchers have found differences in functioning between boys and girls in mathematical, verbal, and spatial skills.
Some researchers suggest the differences are attributable to biological differences related to hormones affecting hemispheric specialization in the brain.
Gender and Sex
Sex is biologically determined.
Chromosomes determine how one is born.
Gender is culturally determined. 
Gender is what society or culture thinks males and females should be, how they should behave, and what constitutes masculine or feminine behaviors.
Gender identity is a core part of one’s self-identity.
Gender Socialization
A culture’s elders (those in authority: parents, relatives, teachers) socialize children.
Children are active participants in their own socialization.
Males tend to be socialized to be independent, assertive, and emotionally stable.
When an individual’s behavior is contrary to society’s norms, challenges may occur.
Gender Roles and Identity
Gender roles are often stereotyped.
They are also influenced by the media and textbooks.
They are influenced by a family’s ethnicity, class, and religion.
Females are typically allowed more flexibility in roles than males.
Sexual Orientation
Sexual orientation is established early in life.
Heterosexuality is the valued sexual orientation in the United States.
While a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2003 overturned the last of anti-homosexual laws, discrimination still exists in many areas of the country.
In many areas, gays and lesbians are unable to find housing and jobs, and they are physically attacked.
History of Homosexuality
The term first appeared in 1869.
Until the 1970’s, it was considered a sickness, at best, and a condemnable offense, at worst.
Many people lost their jobs and were actively discriminated against.
The Stonewall Riot in 1969 was a turning point for LGBT rights.
For obvious reasons, gay men and lesbian women are hesitant to acknowledge sexual orientation.
Increasing numbers of individuals are identifying themselves as homosexuals. 
Estimates range from 5% to 10% of the general population are homosexuals.
Gay and Lesbian Issues
Marriage between same-sex couples continues to be argued in U.S. Courts.
Although the public is becoming more accepting of gay and lesbian relationships, powerful anti-gay movements still exist.
Gays continue to be the group most targeted by hate crimes.
In the Schools
Reports suggest that gay and lesbian students face considerable rejection, abuse, and harassment in the schools.
Forty percent of students surveyed indicate that they have been physically harassed in school.
Some feel unsafe in school and sometimes stop attending.
Educators’ Responsibilities
A disproportionate number of gay and lesbian students have ended their lives by suicide.
Educators are entitled to their own beliefs or religious convictions related to homosexuality.
It is important to emphasize in all our teaching that we as teachers and leaders have a right to personal beliefs in all the areas of life. Sometimes we start thinking we can’t have any beliefs or we have to believe everything. This is not true.
Educators’ Responsibilities
Every educator has the moral, ethical, and professional responsibility to provide a safe and accepting environment for every student regardless of sexual orientation.
The school should be a safe zone for everyone.
We can be different and varied, but we should be
SAFE and convey that sense of safety to all.
The Women’s Movement
Since the mid-nineteenth century, women’s groups have continued to struggle for equality.
Initial struggles involved the rights to divorce, to control property, to speak in public, and to vote.
Antifeminists include men and women—political conservatives who believe a woman’s responsibilities are to be a good wife and mother.
Sexism and Gender Discrimination
Sexism is a belief that men are superior to women and should dominate them in the home and at work.
Some women, even today, are encouraged to advance themselves through marriage rather than through their own achievement and independence.
Advances in the 1960s
The most significant advances occurred in the 1960s as feminists gained the support of more women and men, developing out of the civil rights movement.
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 required the same pay for the same job for men and women.
Title VII, approved in 1964, prohibited discrimination based on race, color, national origin, or sex.
Gender Discrimination
Sexism is the belief that males are superior to females.
Sexism is practiced in both personal and professional settings.
It is supported by socialization patterns and in institutional policies and practices.
Jobs and Wages
Both women and men will earn higher incomes with increasing education.
Women typically earn less than men when their educations are equal.
Women with bachelor’s degrees or beyond have median incomes 63% of incomes earned by males with the same education.
Gender and Occupation
Women workers are more heavily concentrated in low-prestige, lower-income occupations.
Men in traditionally female fields (e.g., education) typically hold the higher-status, higher-paying, administrative positions.
Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is prevalent in schools, between students.
It is often viewed as “just typical adolescent behavior,” however, the effects are harmful.
Educators are beginning to feel legal pressures to stop sexual harassment of students.
Classroom Focus
One’s chances to pursue postsecondary education is greatly influenced by one’s elementary and secondary education.
Title IX (federal legislation) makes it illegal for schools to discriminate against women and girls in educational programs.
Gender gaps in tests scores have narrowed in the past few decades.
Nonsexist classrooms incorporate curricula that support the learning of both males and females.
Gender and Technology
Technology jobs are among the fastest growing occupations.
Girls are more likely to be involved with computer tools, whereas boys are more likely to program and design technology.
Nonsexist Education
Teachers can point out differences between genders, discuss how inequities are portrayed, and provide a balanced view of the roles and contributions of both men and women.
Required readings should include works by women as well as men.
Non-stereotypical male and female examples should appear on bulletin boards and in teacher-prepared materials.
Gender and Classroom Interactions
Research finds that educators treat boys and girls differently in the classroom.
To overcome gender bias, educators must recognize that subtle and unintentional biases exist.
Nonsexist education attempts to eliminate classroom-based power relationships based on gender.
Rather than treating girls and boys the same, nonsexist education is focused on gender equity.
Gender and Classroom Interactions

In preparation for content of the following slides keep the following guidelines in mind:

1) Sex education is a sensitive issue.

2) Be sure your presentations are age appropriate.

3) If you are planning to cover issues regarding sex, be sure you check the policies of your school, your district, and your state.

4) You may be required to notify parents and get written approval in advance, etc. Get administrator approval in writing.

Sexual Orientation and Curriculum
lThe topic of sexual orientation is typically included in health, sex education, and family life courses.
lIt could, however, be included in meaningful ways in social studies, language arts, and literature curricula.
Curriculum that is sensitive to these issues promotes a greater understanding of homosexuality among all students, and the healthy development of self-identified homosexual students.
Single-Sex Education
This includes segregated classes, as well as, in some instances, schools segregated based on sex.
Traditionally, schools were not legally allowed to segregate based on sex.
However, in 2002, federal regulations provided greater flexibility to schools to segregate based on sex.


Last modified on Tuesday, 02 October 2012 09:39