Sociocultural Project Paper

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The purpose of this assignment is to build off of the ideas from Part A of the Sociocultural Project that you completed earlier in the semester. You are to answer the 5 questions listed below in a paper format*** (rather than simply writing out each question and the answers; see example below). In other words, the paper must have a flow to it, rather than just being separate ideas answered independently.

The paper must be at least 3-4 pages in length and follow the posted rubric to achieve the maximum possible points. Please submit a Word Document or PDF, using 12-point font and 1-inch margins. There is no need for a title page, but do include your name, the date, and CRN on the upper-left side of the paper. You can include a title if you like.

1. Reflecting on the cultural attitudes and sociocultural messages explored in this course and in your sociocultural project, in what ways are race, gender, and sexuality social constructions? Use specific details from the textbook, Sociocultural Project Part A, and/or outside research.

2. What influence have these sociocultural messages had on the social constructions of race, gender, and sexuality? What is the significance of the impact of sociocultural messages related to race, gender, and sexuality? Feel free to bring in information from outside research and other readings you have done for class.

3. To what extent do the sociocultural images you selected reinforce myths/stereotypes about gender and sexuality?

4. What new knowledge or perspectives about sexuality has your sociocultural project, as well as the text and discussions in your class, provided you? How do these issues relate to your life and your own personal assumptions about sexual identity and gender?

5. What are some methodological issues that impact our knowledge about race, gender, and sexuality. Explain how and why they can cause issues when doing research. Include a discussion of sampling, measuring behaviors, and application of research findings.

  • Sex/gender and race/ethnicity are complex traits that are particularly useful and important because each includes the social dimensions necessary for understanding its impact on society, myths and stereotypes.
  • Sexuality is a complex concept that can be measured based on various aspects. Depending on the variable of interest, investigators may wish to focus on sexual behavior (activity), sexual orientation (attraction to a particular gender), or sexual identity (self-identification with a particular group of people). Further complicating the process is the fact that these aspects of sexuality are not always congruent with one another.
  • The terms sex and gender are often used interchangeably, they, in fact, have distinct meanings. Sex is a classification based on biological differences—for example, differences between males and females rooted in their anatomy or physiology. By contrast, gender is a classification based on the social construction (and maintenance) of cultural distinctions between males and females. Gender refers to “a social construct regarding culture-bound conventions, roles, and behaviors for, as well as relations between and among, women and men, boys and girls” (Krieger, 2003).
  • Race is not firmly biologically based but rather is a “construct of human variability based on perceived differences in biology, physical appearance, and behavior” (IOM, 1999). According to Shields and colleagues (2005),
  • Race also is notoriously difficult to define and is inconsistently reported in the literature and in self-reports.

***Example: After a brief introduction, paragraph 1 (that addresses the first question listed might start out something like: “Throughout the course, we have examined ways in which race, gender, and sexuality are social constructions. The following are reasons why this is the case:”

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