Unit 7: Gender and Sexual Development

“…Whatever role biology plays (and that role is by no means clear) in the way boys are characteristically different from girls in their emotional expression, those differences are amplified by a culture that supports emotional development for girls and discourages it for boys. Stereotypical notions of masculine toughness deny a boy his emotions and rob him of the chance to develop the full range of emotional resources. We call this process, in which a boy is steered away from his inner world, the emotional miseducation of boys. It is a training away from healthful attachment and emotional understanding and expression, and it affects even the youngest boy, who learns quickly, for instance, that he must hide his feelings and silence his fears. A boy is left to manage conflict, adversity, and change in his life with a limited emotional repertoire. If your toolbox contains only a hammer, it’s not a problem as long as all your equipment is running right or repairs call only for pounding. But as tasks grow more complex, the hammer’s limitations become clear.”

Raising Cain p. 4

Assigned Reading: (click below to open links)

Raising Cain p10-20

The Good Son Ch 2

Guiding  Questions:

  • Discuss your reaction to the movie Ma Vie En Rose
  • If you had a child like Ludovic, how would you respond?
  • What are the problems with raising gender-stereotyped children?
  • Discuss your reaction to Raising Cain and/or The Good Son. What stood out to you from the readings?
  • Discuss how a parents reaction to childhood sexual expression can help or harm development


~ by danielle3215 on November 14, 2009.

2 Responses to “Unit 7: Gender and Sexual Development”

  1. I will recommend an article to you called “Testosterone Rules,” by Rober sapolsky (1997). Many people have felt that the different levels of testosterone in males and females makes the difference between the feelings of aggression and feminity. At the end of the article it states, “The genetics of behavior is usually meaningless outside the context of social factors and environment in which it occurs.” Our society is one of “doing” gender. Check this article out when you have the time.

    -Jeff Scott

  2. Your absoultley right. the only thing we can do is not adhere to these stereotypes and be an example to our friends, family children of not feeding into the rest of socities ignorance

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