Monday, 9 November 2015

Glossary of Sociological Terms

SexHow humans and other living creatures are divided by their internal organs (Oxford Dictionary, 2015).    

Sex a biological term that societies use to place people into the category of either male or female, whether it be through chromosomes, genitalia or some other physical ascription (Zevallos, 2014).  

Gender: Being male or female within reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones (, 2015).

Gender is defined by whether someone is masculine or feminine and not to be confused with sex, it isn’t about external or internal organs, it is defined as the social expectations of each sex. It is the socially produced differences between being feminine or masculine (Holmes, 2007).

Gender Roles: A set of behaviours that indicates one’s gender, specifically the image projected by a person that identifies their femininity or masculinity (, 2015)

Gender roles refer to the socially defined attributes and expectations associated with social positions. Gender roles reflect social norms and patterns of socialization, roles that are distinguished between men and women (Abercrombie, Hill and Turner, 2006). An assumption of a women’s role is be family and home-centred, caring and nurturing for children whereas the male figure would be to earn the money and provide for the family – these are just assumptions of traditional gender roles. (Abercrombie, Hill and Turner, 2006) 

Masculinity: The possession of the qualities traditionally associated with men (, 2015).

Masculinity assumes that one’s behaviour results from the type of person one is (Connell, 2005). Masculinity is a conception that presupposes a belief in individual difference and personal agency. A simple definition would be ‘what men actually are’ (Connell, 2005).

Femininity: The quality of being female (, 2015)
Femininity is a sex-role stereotype or gender stereotype what we expect of females. It includes beliefs about behaviours, attitudes and traits (Marshall, 2008) The way a female may act and how society expects a female to act.

Sexuality: A person’s sexual orientation or preference (, 2015)

Heterosexuality: a person who is heterosexual is one who is attracted to people of the opposite gender (Anon, 2014).

Homosexual: one who is attracted to people of the same gender that he or she identifies with. A man who is attracted to other men is referred to as gay, whereas a woman who is attracted to other women is referred to as lesbian (Anon, 2014).

Bisexual: a person who is bisexual is attracted to people of both their own gender and of another gender (Anon, 2014).

Pansexual: are attracted to others regardless of sex or gender. They could be attracted to people who are male, female, transgender (Anon, 2014).

Above are some examples of the differing sexual preferences.

Gender Identity: A person’s perception of being a particular gender, which may or may not correspond with their birth sex (, 2015)
Gender identity can match a person’s sex however sometimes that persons gender identity does not match his or hers sex identity. Can refer to people a transgender men who are feminine and women who are masculine (Shoesmith, 2014). Gender identity is the way a person portrays the person they see themselves as.

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