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Free AIOU Solved Assignment Code 4690 Spring 2023
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Course: Sociology of Gender Issues: Gender Dynamics (4690)
Semester: Spring, 2023
ASSIGNMENT No. 1
- Define gender and highlight gender issues in different walks of life.
A person’s sex, as determined by his or her biology, does not always correspond with his or her gender. Therefore, the terms sex and gender are not interchangeable. A baby boy who is born with male genitalia will be identified as male. As he grows, however, he may identify with the feminine aspects of his culture. Since the term sex refers to biological or physical distinctions, characteristics of sex will not vary significantly between different human societies. For example, all persons of the female sex, in general, regardless of culture, will eventually menstruate and develop breasts that can lactate. Characteristics of gender, on the other hand, may vary greatly between different societies. For example, in American culture, it is considered feminine (or a trait of the female gender) to wear a dress or skirt. However, in many Middle Eastern, Asian, and African cultures, dresses or skirts (often referred to as sarongs, robes, or gowns) can be considered masculine. The kilt worn by a Scottish male does not make him appear feminine in his culture.
The dichotomous view of gender (the notion that one is either male or female) is specific to certain cultures and is not universal. In some cultures, gender is viewed as fluid. In the past, some anthropologists used the term berdache to refer to individuals who occasionally or permanently dressed and lived as the opposite gender. The practice has been noted among certain Aboriginal groups (Jacobs, Thomas, and Lang 1997). Samoan culture accepts what they refer to as a “third gender.” Fa’afafine, which translates as “the way of the woman,” is a term used to describe individuals who are born biologically male but embody both masculine and feminine traits. Fa’afafines are considered an important part of Samoan culture. Individuals from other cultures may mislabel them as homosexuals because fa’afafines have a varied sexual life that may include men or women (Poasa 1992).
The terms sex and gender< have not always been differentiated in the English language. It was not until the 1950s that American and British psychologists and other professionals working with intersex and transsexual patients formally began distinguishing between sex and gender. Since then, psychological and physiological professionals have increasingly used the term gender (Moi 2005). By the end of the 2oth century, expanding the proper usage of the term gender to everyday language became more challenging—particularly where legal language is concerned. In an effort to clarify usage of the terms sex and gender, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in a 1994 briefing, “The word gender has acquired the new and useful connotation of cultural or attitudinal characteristics (as opposed to physical characteristics) distinctive to the sexes. That is to say, gender is to sex as feminine is to female and masculine is to male” (J.E.B. v. Alabama, 144 S. Ct. 1436 ). Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had a different take, however. Viewing the words as synonymous, she freely swapped them in her briefings so as to avoid having the word “sex” pop up too often. It is thought that her secretary supported this practice by suggestions to Ginsberg that “those nine men” (the other Supreme Court justices), “hear that word and their first association is not the way you want them to be thinking” (Case 1995).
In Canada, there has not been the same formal deliberations on the legal meanings of sex and gender. The distinction between sex as a physiological attribute and gender as social attribute has been used without controversy. However, things can get a little tricky when biological “sex” is regarded as simply a natural fact, especially in the case of transsexuals (Cowan 2005). For example, in British Columbia, people who have surgery to change their anatomical sex can apply through the provisions of the Vital Statistics Act to have their birth certificate changed to reflect their post-operative sex. If a person was born male, does this mean that after surgery that person is fully regarded as a female in the eyes of the law though? In the 2002 case of Nixon v. Vancouver Rape Relief Society, a male to female transsexual, Kimberly Nixon brought an application to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal that she had been discriminated against by the Vancouver Rape Relief Society (VRR) when her application to volunteer as a helper was rejected. The controversy was not over whether Kimberly was a woman, but whether she was woman enough for the position. VRR argued that as Kimberly had not grown up as a woman, she did not have the requisite lived experience as a woman in patriarchal society to counsel women rape victims. The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal ruled against VRR, finding that they had discriminated against Kimberly as a transsexual. The ruling was overturned by the Supreme Court of British Columbia, which argued that the Act ‘‘did not address all the potential legal consequences of sex reassignment surgery’’ (Cowan 2005, p. 87). The court acknowledged that the meaning of both sex and gender vary in different contexts. The case is currently under appeal.
These legal issues reveal that even human experience that is assumed to be biological and personal (such as our self-perception and behaviour) is actually a socially defined variable by culture. The question of “what makes a woman” in the case of Nixon v. Vancouver Rape Relief Society is a matter of legal decision making as much as it is a matter of biology or lived experience.
Sexual orientation refers to a person’s emotional and sexual attraction to a particular sex (male or female). Sexual orientation is typically divided into four categories: heterosexuality, the attraction to individuals of the opposite sex; homosexuality, the attraction to individuals of one’s own sex; bisexuality, the attraction to individuals of either sex; and asexuality, no attraction to either sex. Heterosexuals and homosexuals may also be referred to informally as “straight” and “gay,” respectively. North America is a heteronormative society, meaning it supports heterosexuality as the norm. Consider that homosexuals are often asked, “When did you know you were gay?” but heterosexuals are rarely asked, “When did you know that you were straight?” (Ryle 2011).
According to current scientific understanding, individuals are usually aware of their sexual orientation between middle childhood and early adolescence (American Psychological Association 2008). They do not have to participate in sexual activity to be aware of these emotional, romantic, and physical attractions; people can be celibate and still recognize their sexual orientation. Homosexual women (also referred to as lesbians), homosexual men (also referred to as gays), and bisexuals of both genders may have very different experiences of discovering and accepting their sexual orientation. At the point of puberty, some may be able to claim their sexual orientations while others may be unready or unwilling to make their homosexuality or bisexuality known since it goes against North American society’s historical norms (APA 2008).
AIOU Solved Assignment Code 4690 Spring 2023
How do you see the situation of gender-based discrimination in employment?
Workplace gender discrimination comes in many different forms, but generally it means that an employee or a job applicant is treated differently or less favorably because of their sex or gender, or because the person is affiliated with an organization or group that is associated with a particular sex or gender. Even though the words “sex” and “gender” have different meanings, laws against discrimination at work often use them interchangeably.
Sometimes workers experience discrimination because of their gender and something else, like their race or ethnicity. For example, a woman of color may experience discrimination in the workplace differently from a white female co-worker. She may be harassed, paid less, evaluated more harshly, or passed over for promotion because of the combination of her sex and her race.
Some examples of treatment that could be gender discrimination include:
- not being hired, or being given a lower-paying position because of your sex (for example, when an employer refuses to hire women, or only hires women for certain jobs)
- being held to different or higher standards, or being evaluated more harshly, because of your sex, or because you don’t act or present yourself in a way that conforms to traditional ideas of femininity or masculinity
- For example, if a worker who identifies as a woman receives a negative performance evaluation that criticizes her for being too “aggressive” (while men who behave the same way are praised for showing “leadership”), or if she wears her hair short and is told she needs to be more “presentable,” she may be experiencing discrimination based on sex stereotypes, which is a form of gender discrimination.
- being paid less than a person of a different sex who is similarly or less qualified than you, or who has similar (or fewer) job duties than you
- If you think you are being paid less than someone of a different sex to do the same job or substantially similar work, check out our Equal Pay Know Your Rights Guide.
- being denied a promotion, pay raise, or training opportunity that is given to people of another sex who are equally or less qualified or eligible as you
- being written up or disciplined for something that other employees of a different sex do all the time but never get punished for
- being insulted, called derogatory names or slurs because of your sex, or hearing hostile remarks about people of a certain sex, gender, or gender identity
- being intentionally or repeatedly called by a name or referred to as a different gender that you don’t identify with – as when a transgender man is called by his former (female-associated) name or referred to as “Miss”
- being subject to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature (If you think you’ve experienced sexual or gender-based harassment, please see our Sexual Harassment Know Your Rights Guide.)
- being rejected for a job, forced out on leave, or given fewer assignments because you’re pregnant
Not all gender discrimination is intentional or explicit. It could still count as discrimination if your employer does something that ends up excluding or harming workers of a particular sex without intending to. Oftentimes, a certain practice or policy — say, a hiring test or requirement — does not say anything about gender, and may not have been put in place for the purpose of keeping women out of certain jobs, but ends up having that effect. This kind of practice or policy could still be considered “discriminatory,” and if you’ve been denied a job-related opportunity, paid less, or lost your job (were fired) as a result of it, you might have a discrimination claim.
For workplace gender discrimination to be considered illegal, it has to involve treatment that negatively affects the “terms or conditions” of your employment. Terms or conditions of employment are all the responsibilities, rules, and benefits of a job. Most of the time, they are set by an employer or negotiated by a worker and the employer at the time of hire. In unionized workplaces, they are negotiated and agreed on as part of the “collective bargaining” process. “Terms and conditions” include but are not limited to things like your job responsibilities, work hours, dress code, vacation and sick days, starting salary, and performance evaluation standards.
AIOU Solved Assignment 1 Code 4690 Spring 2023
Write a comprehensive note on gender and communication.
Gender and communication is an area of study in the communication discipline in which the focus is on how verbal and nonverbal communication affect and are affected by gender. A common misconception about gender and communication is that it is the study of differences in the way men and women communicate. Of course, some research has focused on those differences; however, the definition in this entry is broader and more encompassing. To best understand the definition of gender and communication, it is important to distinguish between the terms sex, gender, and sexuality. These terms are often used interchangeably; however, there is a distinct difference. Sex refers to biology—how one is born: male, female, or intersex. Gender is socially constructed; that is, communication practices. Gender communication is a specialization of the communication field that focuses on the ways we, as gendered beings, communicate. Gender research might look at roles for people of different genders in academia, sports, media, or politics. For example, research in this area could examine the similarities and differences in the conversations that take place in the comment section of a Youtube video created by Bethany Mota verses one created by Philip DeFranco. Researchers could also look at how people of different genders have been represented throughout history. Gender communication is also a field that strives to change the way we talk about people, in order to make a more empathetic and safe space for our entire community. For example, the word “queer” used to be a slur for people who were homosexual. Now we see the LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual) community has reclaimed the word queer to mean any person who is not straight. It is now a self proclamation and one that can be empowering for many people.
A distinction between sex and gender before providing an overview of this specialization’s areas of research, main theories and theorists, and highlights from research findings about feminine and masculine communication styles. While we are taking a communication lens to the study of gender, we need to acknowledge the contributions made by other academic disciplines such as women’s studies, linguistics, and psychology (Stephen, 2000).
As with other specializations in communication, definitions of gender abound (Gamble & Gamble; Gilbert; Howard & Hollander; Lorber; Vannoy). Ivy and Backlund define gender communication as, ‘“communication about and between men and women”’ (4). Central to this definition are the terms about and between, and men and women. About addresses the attention this specialization pays to how the sexes are “discussed, referred to, or depicted, both verbally and nonverbally.” Between addresses how members of each sex communicate interpersonally with others of the same, as well as the opposite, sex (Ivy & Backlund 4). We find this problematic because it limits the discussion about gender to only men and women. For our purposes, we will be adapting the Ivy and Backlund definition and instead using the definition: communication about and between people of all genders. This new definition is more inclusive of the large number of gender identities that are present in our community. For example gender queer, transgender, and a-gender. We will discuss and define some of these identities later in the chapter, for a more in-depth exploration of these identities, check out this article from the Huffington Post.
In our society, we use the gendered terms women and men instead of male and female. What’s the difference between these two sets of terms? One pair refers to the biological categories of male and female. The other pair, men and women, refers to what are now generally regarded as socially constructed concepts that convey the cultural ideals or values of masculinity and femininity. For our purposes, gender is, “the social construction of masculinity or femininity as it aligns with designated sex at birth in a specific culture and time period. Gender identity claims individuality that may or may not be expressed outwardly, and may or may not correspond to one’s sexual anatomy” (Pettitt). This definition is important because it discusses the separation between sex and gender as well as the idea that gender is socially constructed.
This basic difference is important, but it’s most important that you know something else about these two sets of terms. One set has fixed meaning and the other set maintains fluid or dynamic meaning. Because they refer to biological distinctions, the terms male and female are essentially fixed. That is, their meanings are generally unchanging (as concepts if not in reality, since we do live in an age when it’s medically possible to change sexes). Conversely, because they are social constructions, the meanings of the gendered terms masculine and feminine are dynamic or fluid. Why? Because their meanings are open to interpretation: Different people give them different meanings. Sometimes, even the same person might interpret these terms differently over time. For example, as a teenager a girl may portray her femininity by wearing make-up. Eventually, she may decide to forego this traditional display of femininity because her sense of herself as a woman may no longer need the validation that a socially prescribed behavior, such as wearing make-up, provides. We use the terms fluid and dynamic to describe the social construction of gender because they will change based on the time, place, and culture a person lives in. For example, did you know that high heels were first invented for men to make them look taller? These days, if a man wears high heels, he would be described as “feminine.” This is an example of how our ideas of gender can change over time.
AIOU Solved Assignment 2 Code 4690 Spring 2023
How do you see the role of women in politics of Pakistan? Discuss
The Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN)’s report, ‘Women Parliamentarians Performance 2018-2019’, evaluated the performance of women parliamentarians in Pakistan by focusing on their contribution to parliamentary business.
The study found that, whereas women constituted about 20 percent (or one-fifth) of the total combined membership of both houses of parliament, they contributed 33 percent (or one-third) to the parliamentary business. The average attendance of parliamentary sessions by women members of either house was also significantly higher than their male counterparts.
Although national level parliamentary politics is the most noticeable, and in some ways a more impactful, level of political participation, women’s participation in politics is hardly limited to that level. While there is limited data about the level of women participation in politics at the local level, the data that exists paints a similar picture of women’s participation and performance in the local government institutions.
For instance, a 2004 CIET study titled ‘Social Audit of Governance and Delivery of Services’ highlighted that, in general, the respondents to their study expressed greater satisfaction with the performance of women councilors than of male councilors.
The above statistics provide an encouraging, but only a partial, view of the accomplishments of women in Pakistani politics. In evaluating the performance of women politicians, one has to also take into account the considerable structural challenges, both social and political, they have to contend with in carrying out their responsibilities.
The foremost challenge, of course, starts even before women actively participate in politics. Politics everywhere, and more so in Pakistan, is considered a man’s domain. Women are often explicitly and implicitly discouraged from taking part – since politics is supposed to be a ‘dirty business’. This is especially true for Pakistan, where women are the representative of a delicate sense of honor. Political ambitions for women, therefore, in most cases perish at the outset.
If a woman does indeed cross the initial barriers to active political participation through her own determination or a rare encouraging environment, her success in electoral politics is rendered limited by short-term political pragmatism and unfavorable social attitudes.
As a former woman parliamentarian put it to me, “As unfortunate as it sounds, it only makes sense for the leaders of a political party to not award election tickets to women party members, since most of the constituents have this misplaced notion that an elected woman member of parliament or a member of a local government body will not be able to actively engage in matters that are in predominantly male space, such as thana and hujra.”
It is hard to see many women succeeding in electoral politics when politics is dictated by such social attitudes. Therefore, it was reasonable to allocate and reserve seats for women in parliaments and local government bodies.
Pakistan made a significant stride forward when Gen Musharraf’s government increased the number of reserved seats for women at all levels of politics. One would expect that women by finding a seat at the table, even if they are still much fewer in number, would be able to focus on the task at hand in the same manner as their male colleagues. However, that is hardly the reality.
Women representatives on reserved seats face the charge of elitism. It is often claimed that these women parliamentarians hail from certain prominent political families and that they have made it to parliament on the back of that family name.
The charge is not entirely untrue. One hopes that parliament, or any representative body for that matter, is more closely representative of the population it is supposed to represent. However, it is ironic that the same charge of a lack of true representativity is not considered disqualifying for men in houses of parliament.
I do not think that anyone can argue with any level of conviction that the male parliamentarians in general represent a truer demographic snapshot of the country. Further, some claim that, whereas male parliamentarians, even if they also come from a higher socioeconomic background, are at least directly elected by people they represent. However, the same argument is rarely, if ever, repeated for men in elected bodies that are indirectly elected, such as the Senate.
Inside parliament, women legislators face a different set of challenges. The FAFEN report also describes that although proportionately greater legislative business is initiated by women members, fewer of these initiatives are actually adopted by parliament.
Enhancing women representation in politics is important not because it is good optics, but because it demonstrably leads to better governance outcomes.
Pakistan shares similarities with countries struggling to build democratic institutions in such contexts. In Palestine, extreme polarization amongst political parties can make it difficult to overcome political and ideological differences to work towards a common goal, rendering the quota an almost meaningless, “facelift for a political authority that pays lip service to women calling for more political participation”. 13 In Sudan the introduction of a quota through separate women’s lists dramatically increased the numbers of women in government, but they found themselves isolated and marginalized within their parties and legislatures, indebted to the men who nominated them without their own a constituency on the ground, and in some cases subject to intimidation and harassment. 14
One issue in the quota debate in South Asia is that elected women can be portrayed as little more than male proxies, since they may owe their election to male relatives who have earned political credentials in their own right and also possess the requisite class and kinship ties to succeed. 15 Women resist the spectre of being dismissed as male proxies and to some extent have been successful. The experience of quota seat-holders in local government in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan demonstrate women can work around structural and attitudinal obstacles and still make important contributions to their communities. 16 Survival and trajectories of political empowerment, therefore, require women to draw on a wide number of social and political repertoires. Their positioning within networks, access to resources, and interaction with male colleagues are often critical to their political trajectories. 17
It would appear that women on quota seats in Pakistan have been highly effective in representing gender interests. Table 1 shows the wave of legislative reform that ensued since the restoration and increase of the quota in 2002, which was in fact passed by presidential ordinance. This wave marked the first new progressive laws for women since the 1961 Muslim Family Laws Ordinance that expanded women’s rights in marriage and divorce. The legal reform continued despite changes in government with lowered levels of stated commitment to gender concerns under the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) (PML(N)) than during the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP’s) tenure in power. The collaboration between women legislators, support from civil society organizations, a newly-established National Commission on the Status of Women, and funding from donor agencies helped to win political support for the new laws. 18 After a 2010 constitutional amendment most current and future law-making has been devolved to the provincial assemblies, making it more complex to build political support for gender equality legislation in more conservative parts of the country.
- Men and women talk different languages. Discuss in detail.
- A new psychology study finds differences in speech patterns between men and women.
- Men tend to use more abstract language, while women focus more on the details.
- This tendency is due to power dynamics that can be changed, concluded the researchers.
It’s more than a cultural trope that men and women speak different languages – a new psychology study shows us that they indeed have very distinct communication styles.
A team of researchers from the San Francisco State University, led by Priyanka Joshi, took a close look at how men and women used “communicative abstraction” to relay their emotions and ideas through their word choices.
“Communicative abstraction” is a preference for using “abstract speech that focuses on the broader picture and ultimate purpose of action rather than concrete speech focusing on details and the means of attaining action,” say the researchers. Macro vs micro.
What the scientists found is that men were much more likely to speak abstractly than women, who were more zeroed in on the details.
Joshi confirmed that while this kind of difference between men and women was previously noted “anecdotally,” they found this to hold true across a series of six studies.
The psychologists looked at linguistic patterns of men and women in both written and spoken word. One of the studies involved poring over 600,000 blog posts on Blogger.com to determine if men wrote more abstractly than women. The researchers attributed abstractness ratings to 40,000 most frequently used English-language words like “table” or “chair’ (with low abstractness) or “justice” and “morality” (high abstractness). The blog posts showed that men used the abstract verbiage much more often.
Women’s speech is usually considered to be emotional and conflict-free. They are characterized by the inclusion in conversation topics about family, human qualities, and details of action descriptions. Women cite personal experiences and provide examples of specific cases from their own environment. Typical features of the female speech include expressiveness, for example: Ouch! Wow! What do you mean? How so? Awesome! Women’s peculiar vocabulary includes the presence of many introductory words, definitions, circumstances, pronominal subjects, additions, as well as modal constructions expressing variety degrees of uncertainty such as may be, apparently, in my opinion. Women have a tendency to use “prestigious stylistically elevated forms”, clichés, as well as “book vocabulary” that relates to women. Ladies also use evaluative statements and great imagery when describing their feelings. A variety of adjectives design such as “adverb + adverb” could be used. Men’s speech is aimed to achieve and maintain an independence, as well as high status. Men are less likely to criticize, but often tempted to resort to irony and authority. The representatives of the stronger sex use language that expresses less uncertainty and doubt, and the result is the impression of a more self-confident person. A man’s language includes an abundance of terms because of their desire to be accurate through the use of professional vocabulary. Also, a man’s speech includes an abundant use of introductory words, especially relevant detections such as “it is obvious” and “of course”. Furthermore, newspaper and journalistic cliché, as well as swear words as input are dominant.