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Demographic structure of society - sex, gender, and sexual orientation

Video transcript

sex gender and sexual orientation are all connected but are also important individually the media often portrays gender and sexual orientation as a simple binary either your male or your female either you like men or you like women but there is so much more to this picture than just two options there are at least five main considerations when examining a person's gender and sexual orientation there is the sex the person is born with the gender they identify as the gender they express the gender they are romantically attracted to and the gender they are sexually attracted to these are all part of a person's identity and they don't all have to align let's break this down a bit a person's sex is whether they are biologically chromosomally male or female do they have two X chromosomes or an x and y but even that isn't just a binary there are intersex people who are born with one or three or more sex chromosomes as opposed to the more common two and so they express slightly different physical sex characteristics and they're diploid to sex chromosome counterparts some intersex people are born with both male and female sex characteristics due to unusual hormone levels okay so now that we have added a new layer of complexity to the sex of a person let's do the same to their gender while sex is a biological factor gender is a social construction there are two main factors - gender the gender you identify as and the gender you express outwardly it is probably easiest to look at the people whose sex and gender do not correspond to understand this fully there are many possible combinations of sex and gender a person who is biologically male can either identify as male which is considered cisgendered because their biological sex and their gender identity match or they can identify as female which is considered transgendered because their biological sex and gender identity don't match and then you have the other factor of gender namely which gender the person expresses to the world a cisgendered male can present either a socially male appearance by adherent to the strict male guidelines or they can present a socially female appearance by following the female guidelines like wearing dresses or makeup all these same options are true for biologically female or intersex people as well but again gender is not a binary some people identify as genderqueer meaning they don't identify as either male or female or they can present this genderqueer while identifying as male or female there are so many possibilities when looking at gender identity now that we figured out the many possibilities of sex and gender let's take a look at sexual orientation sexual orientation is not dependent on the sex or gender of a person whom we are sexually attracted to can be as varied as how we identify and there can be a difference between whom we are attracted to and whom we have sex with for example you can be attracted to any gender but only if sex with females or any combination of the gender and sexual identities you can be attracted to all genders or to none it all depends on the person the stereotype norm for people in our society is straight so you see here if I am biologically female I would identify and present as female and I would be attracted to only males and have sex with only males and as it turns out in this handy dandy chart I made it makes a simple straight line down through all the options but if I was cisgendered but was attracted to everyone and only had sex with females the line tracing my identity turns off the straight and narrow whether or not sexual orientation is a choice has been a topic of hot debate for many years now there's so much talk of a gauging but is it really so important that there be a specific gay gene what if a person who doesn't have the gay gene likes people of their own gender or what if a person who does have the gay gene likes people of the opposite gender does this make either of their preferences their love any less real in today's society discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation happens almost everywhere discrimination is when different categories of people are treated unjustly simply because they belong to that category in our Western world everyone begins life with a determined sex either male or female and from the moment they are born and sometimes even earlier Society gives them messages about how they should behave and think and this shapes who they will grow up to be girl should grow up to be feminine and boys should grow up to be masculine these gender roles are the expectations of the proper behaviors toons and activities of males and females as though men and women only display one type of quality all the time girls are taught to be soft emotional submissive while boys are taught to be aggressive tough dominant our society is inundated by images from the media that tell us what we should be it is very easy to see the societal gender norms just try breaking one of them and watch the responses you get if you're a female try spitting in public or if you're male try knitting on the bus it is interesting to note that it seems worse for a man to act feminine than it does for a woman to act masculine the roles that are generally considered feminine don't have the same value in our society as traditionally masculine roles taking care of a family particularly considered a feminine role is not as important as succeeding in a job which is traditionally considered a masculine role working mothers are considered ambitious well people wonder why a father would choose to stay at home and raise the kids but that doesn't mean that women have it easy in this patriarchal society for the same job men will get paid more than women with the same qualifications succeeding in school is often attributed to intelligence in boys and to hard work from girls as though girls don't have the innate intelligence to succeed a woman who prioritizes her job over her family is looked down upon while a man is congratulated for the exact same behavior on average women tend to live longer than men perhaps this is because of biological factors or perhaps because men are expected to take more risks and be more daring than women there are differences in certain disorders between men and women as well men are more likely to have heart problems while women are more likely to have psychological disorders this might not entirely be due to biology though men tend to occupy high-stress positions which increases the risk of heart problems it is also seen as weak for men to admit to having a psychological problem like depression or anxiety which means that even if a man is depressed he is less likely to seek help than a woman in the same circumstance societal expectations affect what problems will be reported and where people will seek help it is not just a person's gender that will determine how society reacts to them it is also their sexual orientation there are restrictions the rights of homosexuals but don't apply to heterosexuals and some people believe that they should not be granted those same rights either like the right to marry or to visit their partner in the hospital this discrimination often brings up the question of whether homosexuality is a choice or if people are born as they are if it is genetic then sexual discrimination is a socially dysfunctional as race gender or a disability based discrimination at the same time if it isn't genetic and is a choice or social construction then it is still equally dysfunctional because race itself is a social construction our understanding of gender sex and sexual orientation may seem thorough and complete but there is still a ton of research into each of these topics and we learn something more every year gender sex and sexual orientation are all independent of each other and there are many combinations of the three in our society there is discrimination and segregation despair for everyone and perhaps by understanding the sources a bit a bit better we can help make everyone feel more welcome