Question #1: 

Please choose ONE of the following to make an original response. Focus on quality, CRITICAL THINKING, sharing YOUR perspectives/ideas with a little bit of support for your assertions.  

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  • Violence and Women: Violence against females is a worldwide issue. What types of gender roles, cultural beliefs, political systems, and SOCIALIZATIONS influence and tolerate violence against women? Think deeply; what types of things are said or behaviors condoned or tolerated that cause, promote, or sustain violence against women?  Provide support. 
  • Violence and Men: Violence against men, between men, and by men is a worldwide issue (no male bashing here, just going by prevalence rates). What types of gender roles, cultural beliefs, political systems, socialization processes, impact violence for men? Specifically, what do we say and do as a culture (not necessary you) to teach, condone, sustain certain masculine characteristics that could lead to violence? What can be done to help counteract unhealthy aspects of socialization? Pay attention to why you think women may have less rates of violence due to psychological or socialization processes. 
  • Violence against non-binary (including but not limited to binary transgender, non-binary transgender, non-binary in general, agender, bigender, gender fluid). What types of gender expected roles, cultural beliefs, socialization processes, attitudes, political systems, religious systems, and misinformation/myths contribute to violence towards non-binary persons? How does biopsychosocial scientific evidence challenge misconceptions? Include in your critical thought important measures needed to reduce violence. 
  • Helping and Gender: Discuss whether or not you see gender differences in helping behaviors of males vs. females. Be specific. Some examples:  Are men more kind or females? How about instrumental vs. communicative style? Which gender might be rewarded more for specific helping behaviors: do we reward men for doing the dishes than women? Do we say men are instrumental ignoring the vast amount of "doing to show love" by women? Do we praise women for being more communicative in helping others while shaming men for having male to male "heart to hearts talks?" Does what we do, along gender lines, in terms of helping on a daily basis show a societal value and expectation that is gender influenced? Ex: Helping by caring for others, helping by protecting, helping by serving in different roles, help by risking life?
  • Self Efficacy: Elaborate on the concepts of self-efficacy and gender. What aspects of gender identity or socialization may impact a person's sense of confidence, ability, and mastery? Elaborate and provide examples.
  • Sexuality as vulnerability: Compare and contrast the concept of sexuality as a weakness/vulnerability between males, females, non-binary and those with non-hetero attractions. Provide some specific examples and let me see your critical thinking.  Are male, female, and/or non-binary sexuality more prone to negative outcomes. What are they and why?
  • Moral Reasoning: Elaborate on the types of moral reasoning that might influence gendered differences. Do men have different perspective on morals than women? Do all genders value the same things or have the same morals? How might morals be relative or be adjusted in context? Give a few examples and elaborate! 
  • Violence Examples: Provide three examples of gender based violence (any and all genders) or exploitation. Discuss the role of socialization, biology, evolution, cultural norms, status/power in regard to these acts of violence. Focus on status and power's role in violence and exploitation. What aspects of power will influence real and imagined threat? Support your ideas. 
  • Dissonance: Many agree that females are "nurturers" and males are "protectors." Discuss the socialization process, adjustments in moral reasoning, changes in belief systems, other contexts that may influence females and males to exploit instead of nurture or protect. EX: A women who kills or a male who rapes. Support your ideas. Ever wonder what is done with the dissonance of those who protect a daughter from sexual objectification while objectifying other women? Protecting a son from being exploited while exploiting men? (I know this is hard, but being aware of how we deal with dissonance is important). 
  • Sexual Slavery: Provide information and statistics regarding sexual slavery (or prostitution of minors or coerced prostitution)  in the US. Is it a problem? Who is at risk? Provide psychological, sociological, and physical risk factors and demographics. Your response will coincide with your peers response on the next bullet 
  • Gender Beliefs and Sexual Slavery/Exploitation: What gendered beliefs play a role in sexual slavery/exploitative prostitution? How do we stop this behavior? Do we focus on the providers/pimps, the buyers "Johns", or the exploited sex providers? Do we change the way we socialize those who will become the buyers (predominantly males)? Do we need to focus on more public shaming to guide moral/ethical behavior as a learning tool? Why or why not? Be specific and provide support. 
  • Change the messages: Tell us, specifically, how we might need to adjust the messages we teach young people regarding sexual scripts, expectations, sexual "rights" or privilege, minimizing feelings over sexual "scoring," "winning," or "getting it," agency, verbal consent vs. silent consent (making advances without protest as a sign of consent). 
  • Characteristics of Holocaust Heroes: Read this short research article: Discuss a few key "take-a-ways" that stood out to you. Discuss how gender might impact features of upbringing, moral development, attitudes, belief systems, parenting styles, attachment, or family life. For example, after reading this, are there certain features of parenting or moral development that you would prescribe for all genders? Are we doing well with this in our current culture?
  • Be the clinician. Pretend you have a male/female couple that has been referred to you by the Dept of Family and Children Services for domestic violence counseling. You have a couple who have both admitted to physical altercations, with the male being the initiator and the woman fighting back. In general, tell me your approach to counseling the couple and then provide three objectives with techniques that you would use to help reduce the abuse. Be specific. (For example, you could teach ten of the most applicable rules for fighting and set up a reward for their successful implementation. Provide which rules.) 

Below are the required learning resources for this week.

Helping Behavior 

  • Helping behavior is defined as “providing aid or benefit to another person.” In this article, social psychologists analyze the reasons why some people help others. They touch on the impact of gender and other individual differences.

Gender and Violence

  • Gender violence is rooted in inequality. It can be defined as violence in which the “gender roles of the perpetrators and victims are predominant influences on motive, experience, response, and prevention of the violent act.” Read this article to learn more about the history of gender violence, its social ramifications, and what is being done globally to educate men and women about preventing it.

Moral Development

  • This chapter relating to the development of moral judgment focuses on the work of Freud,  cognitive theorist Jean Piaget and psychologist Lawrence Kohlberg. Read the entire article to learn about “gaps” in Kohlberg’s research and theories of prominent critics such as Carol Gilligan.

Question #2:

Gender is a central concept in our beliefs about families and intimate relationships. This week’s learning resources look at the ways the reality of gender identity and gender roles in family life may differ from some idealized notion of the perfect family, or the perfect life partner.

As a response to this post,

  1. Briefly describe what you think Americans today believe gender roles should be within a family, including both parents and children, and why you think that (for example: from the television, film, other media, parents, school, religion, etc.).
  2. Briefly discuss how well you think gender roles in American families in reality match up with that ideal, and why any differences between the real and the ideal exist (this is a good place to bring in the reading).
  3. At greater length, and with direct references to the learning resources, discuss ONE of the following topics:

Choice A: How can the differences between ideal gender roles and real gender roles be explained? How can these differences between the ideal and real lead to conflict within the family (relationships between adults, and/or relationships between parents and children)? How do ideas about gender roles make conflicts more or less likely? How can families navigate these conflicts successfully?  How is intimate partner violence or child abuse, or the outcome of this abuse, connected to gender issues? Consider intersectional identities in your response, including families of different races, classes, gender identities, and sexual orientations.


Choice B: Consider this week’s topics from the perspective of children in families. How does the relationship between ideal and real gender roles and gender identity affect children? How is the relationship of the child to the family different from the relationship of the parent to the family? How do different marital relationships affect children (heterosexual marriage, homosexual marriage, blended families, single-parent households, cohabiting households)? How might ideas about gender identity or gender roles affect a child’s experience in a family, for good or for bad? How might a transgender child or parent affect those relationships? Consider intersectional identities in your response, including families of different races, classes, gender identities, and sexual orientations.

If you are interested in more data and discussion about how gender roles are changing in American families, browse The Pew Research Center's list of articles analyzing contemporary families: Pew Research Center Social & Demographic Trends: Family and Relationships. Feel free to use any information you find here in your response, or to post a particularly interesting article to the Student Lounge for all of us to discuss. Be sure to tell us what you found so interesting if you do so!


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