Category Archives: gender

Scientists = Men, Say Biased Scientists 

Gender bias in science

Gender bias in science

If men are better systematizers — better at unraveling the rules of the universe — then it’s only fair that science research labs are bastions of testosterone.

Biased (unscientific) research has made it seem so. Read the rest of this entry

The Hairy Gender Gap

However hair is styled, it says something about gender. Let’s take a look at recent Western history.

Men and women both have long hair, but…

In the 18th-century men and women both kept their hair long — but women’s stylings were more elaborate and ornate, as with King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette (as played by Kirsten Dunst and Jason Schwartzman, pictured here):

Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI

Marie Antoinette and King Louis XVI

Read the rest of this entry

Are Men Mentally Tougher? 

Tough guise

Tough guise

Men are strong and stoic and women are weak and dependent, right?

That’s the stereotype. But stereotypes can create social patterns. And surprisingly, things that appear weak may turn out to be strong. And vice versa. Read the rest of this entry

Are Women The Weaker Sex? 

The weaker sex?

The weaker sex?

Are women physically inferior to men?

I ask my students.

“Yes, isn’t it obvious?” some say.

“No,” say others. “A female bodybuilder is stronger than any guy in this room.”

“True. What if she walked into a room full of male bodybuilders?” I prod.  Read the rest of this entry

Why Don’t Feminists Have Gender-Neutral Kids?

Gender equalitySome parents believe in gender equality but conclude that boys and girls are just naturally different.

After all, they tried raising their sons and daughters the same way, yet their girls still liked frilly pink dresses and their boys still played with guns.

But do they raise boys and girls the same?
Read the rest of this entry

Why So Angry At Trans-Racial Folk?

Orange is the new Black?

Orange is the new Black?

I’m puzzled by the reasons people give for their anger over Rachel Dolezal’s transracial turn.

Like arguments that contradict each other:

It’s okay to be transgender but not transracial because Read the rest of this entry

Women Must Be Fit; Men Can Be Flabby

Can men be valued even if their bodies appear flabby and “gross”? What about women? Can they be? Maybe. But men may have more leeway.

While looking thru the archives at Sociological Images, I ran into this. The pictures are from a few years back but they’re still relevant. Dr. Lisa Wade makes some interesting points here.


By Lisa Wade @ Sociological Images

Mercedes DeM. sent in this Vanity Fair cover (for April 2009)…


…spoofing this previous coverRead the rest of this entry

I’m Ok, You’re Ok, Bruce Jenner’s Ok

Bruce Jenner transitioning.

Bruce Jenner transitioning.

Bruce Jenner is the most high-profile transgender person to come out of the closet.

And people seem fairly accepting of the transition so far. But transgender folk face hate crimes at astonishing rates, says Nick Kristof at the New York Times. He points out:

So far this year at least three transgender people have been reported murdered in the United States. The Human Rights Campaign issued a report the other day listing 13 transgender women murdered in 2014: They were shot, strangled, burned and beaten.

Bullies project their own shame onto others. And then they beat the crap out of what they hate inside themselves. Sometimes verbally, and sometimes physically.

What is it about transgendered-ness that cues insecurity? Read the rest of this entry

Women Are Passive? Think Again

Rosie the Riveter

Rosie the Riveter

Most of us think women are more passive than men. It’s natural, right? Men’s testosterone makes them tough and assertive.

Think again.

Actually, it’s hard to untangle the effects of biology and society.

In fact, it’s hard to untangle the effects of biology, alone.

Testosterone makes men aggressive?

Yes, men have more testosterone. But:  Read the rest of this entry

Cross-Dressing’s Erotic Side

Grayson Perry-sexy

Grayson Perry, in drag

Being a transvestite is a complex cocktail of motivations. It’s different for everyone, but there’s often a strong sexual component to cross-dressing, although trannies sometimes find it hard to admit this. I feel it’s like the elephant in the room. I feel it’s really there, but nobody’s talking about it.

Maybe it’s this erotic dimension which is the hardest part for others to accept.

That’s what artist and cross-dresser, Grayson Perry thinks.

“Vivienne,” over at Bluestocking Blue began blogging to better understand why “she” feels compelled to cross-dress male-to-female.  Read the rest of this entry

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