Archive for category Blog Entry 5

Androgynous, Ash Chambers

Androgyny refers to a quality of mixed feminine and masculine (traditionally speaking) traits in a single person.

A good example of andgrogyny is my boyfriend and I. We both have quite a few masculine and feminine traits. For example, I love to do extreme sports. I get filthy, risk my limbs, and don’t bother with ‘dressing up’ when I go do these sports. I also love to play video games and often ‘hang with the boys’ playing call of duty. I also have feminine traits of enjoying hair and make up when I go out with friends, reading romance, and talking about my feelings. My boyfriend is a great communicator and often asks me to be more forthcoming with my emotions. He also hasn’t cried himself in years and enjoys every sport you can think of.

We make good examples of androgyny because we illustrate a mixture of gender traits. While these traits are more gender typed because of culture than sex, they are still considered gender traits. And we exhibit a good mix of both.

Leave a comment

Personal Space by Catherine Dodart

Personal Space is the area around us that we like to keep between ourselves and others.

Many people begin to feel extremely uncomfortable if they feel others begin to invade this personal space. There is a social norm that many Americans will stick to themselves and try not to breach this area of personal space, unless extremely familiar with the person. We keep space on buses, at restaurants, at parks, and even movies. Some distance can also vary, for example adults favor personal space much more than children would. Men also keep more distance from each other than women do and in some cultures personal space doesn’t really apply. People will hug and even kiss some people they don’t know. I have tried sitting near someone I don’t know before and watching them start to be uncomfortable and wonder what I’m doing begins to make me feel awkward and unsure.

1 Comment

“Gender vs. Sex”-Liz Ammons

A person’s sex is their biological make up. A female has the two x chromosomes while the male has one x chromosome and one y chromosome. Gender is the mental and social characteristics and aspects that have to do with norms and roles strongly suggested by society.

In one of the episodes in the show Grey’s Anatomy there is a couple at the hospital and the husband is about to undergo surgery to change his physiological anatomy to that of a woman’s. Although his biological sex is male he is unhappy with his gender role and decides to take on the role of a female. Even this is not enough, though, and he decides to change his sex, as well.

This example provides a clear look at the difference between sex and gender, but also looks at how closely related they are. It is also a good example of how a person’s sex and gender affect who they are and what their identity is in society.

Liz Ammons

Leave a comment

Personal Space by Austin Peterson (blog entry 5)

In any class I go into I have one main goal when I enter. Find a spot where it will be very hard for people to violate my personal space. My personal space is something I enjoy and if it gets invaded my class period will be fare more stressful. Personal Space is the buffer zone we like to maintain around our bodies. Its size depends on our familiarity with whoever is near us.  It is essentially the amount of room between you and the person next to you. For some its huge and for others its very small. I guess that why it got personal in its name, it different for all of us.

While in class is a place that personal space can get violated a lot, the other place it normally gets violated is the library. You know you have been there too when your studying at a table. You have all your books laid out and have staked your claim on the table and all the space at the table so you can move freely from book to book and not have to go around anyone.  And then that guy or girl comes and sits at the chair across from you and gradually tries to make their claim to the space as well. This can quickly become a huge violation of personal space and happens often. Here is a video clip of a girl doing it to a young man who was just hoping to have a harmless study hour.

This video clearly show this girl violate this guys personal space she starts by just grabbing the chair, she then puts her magazine down and slowly makes her way into his area. You can see him start to look around as she got closer and closer. Funny example of someone getting their personal space violated.

To conclude the idea of personal space and how close those around you can get is different for everyone. Your “buffer zone” is up to you. But a social norm it is, just look at around and violations will be occurring all around you!!

1 Comment

Evolutionary Psychology at Work-Ian Hawkes

The topic I chose to illuminate in todays reading is evolutionary psychology. Though most people are familiar with applying the concept of natural selection to biology, evolutionary psychology applies this concept to psychology as well. This means we can attribute the specific psychological traits which we have now to those generations before us. Those individuals with the best psychological conditions were able to reproduce more, and therefore passed these traits on to their offspring. This can help us understand many inherent human traits, such as distinctively knowing which foods are tasty and which are toxic, seeking to find those we can trust, yearning for safety, and making careful decisions with whom to have offspring. Because these are all traits that would have helped earlier man to survive, they are apparent in almost every culture.

This reminded me of a RadioLab show that I heard recently, which shed some light on evolution. Dmitri Belyaev, a Russian geneticist and Darwinist, did studies on the domestication of a certain species of fox. He would take a litter of foxes and select from that litter any foxes which did not run away from humans. This fox was then selected to breed in the next generation. After only 10 generations of breeding between the nicest foxes, the foxes were completely docile and would not harm humans. Perhaps more amazing is that the foxes also exhibited changed physical traits, such as floppier ears, curly tails, multicolored coats, smaller teeth and thinner bones. Essentially, in only 10 generations, the entire animal became more delicate, even though these were not the traits being selected for. Here is a link to the radio show:

This research is extremely important to evolutionary psychology as well. In a modern lifestyle it is far more effective to be docile than it is to be aggressive, as those who try to achieve their way through brute strength often end up in jail, where they cannot reproduce, and those who are kinder often end up marrying and producing. This means, just like the foxes, mankind is becoming more and more docile, and we are changing through evolutionary psychology.

Leave a comment

My marriage is androgynous- Christine Sellers

I have been married for about 10 months now…. I know, it’s a REALLY long time and I’m super good at it. Any questions about marriage and you can ask the professional right here. Something that I’ve noticed that has always been a little “different” about my and my husband’s relationship is the fact that we have different roles… before reading this chapter, I described it like “he is the girl and I am the boy in the relationship.” Now, I understand that our relationship is androgynous- this means that we mix our girly and boyish tendencies. Usually it happens during middle age, especially if you have been in a relationship for a whiiiiiiile. Collin and I just got lucky, I suppose.

Here’s a picture and an example story for you to really visualize what I mean.

Yes, we’re adorable. And yes, it’s a miracle he didn’t drop me with a wedding dress that weighs a bajillion pounds.

So let’s say that Collin and I get into an argument. It isn’t super unnatural for us to not see eye-to-eye, so arguing is something that can definitely arise in any given situation. (Side note: arguing is MUCH different from fighting. We never fight. Thank goodness.) So we are arguing about something like… where to shop for groceries. Smith’s? WinCo? Macey’s? The discussion is getting heated, and who is the one who gets emotional? Collin. Collin is a crier, and I am definitely not. So Collin may start crying. I am more.. introverted like a boy. Collin is talking about his feelings, wanting to talk it through immediately, continuously asking how I am feeling. “Come on babe, let’s talk it out.” I am not saying anything because I do NOT want to talk it out, I just want the situation to disappear and we can forget it happened.

Doesn’t that sound like we switched roles? I dunno, maybe it doesn’t sound like it, but to me it certainly feels like it. Am I glad that we are androgynous? Abso-freaking-lutely. Without our switched roles sometimes, we wouldn’t get anything done. We would never be able to function or communicate or be so happy!We are balance. We are a ying yang, and I love it. He makes me… me. And now I’m glad to know that our situation has a name. Androgyny.


What is the norm? What is expected? by Matthew Landeen

Normal behavior or expected behavior is the etiquette or rules that each culture has that makes up acceptable behavior.

It is very hard to know what the norm is.  I think most people, if they are observant, can get a good idea on what kind of behavior is expected of them.  It is easy to watch what others around us are doing and get a good feel for what the norm is.  I would like to tell two stories that illustrate that sometimes this can be hard, and sex and gender play a big part of this.

I went to pick up a girl for a date.  The expected behavior is that the guy would open the girls door for her.  This is not because the girl is an invalid and can not open her own door, but rather to show that the guy is treating her like she is special.  Naturally I go to open the door for my date and in a kind way she says that she can open her own door.  I was not offended but caught off guard.

I met a different girl and went to her house to pick her up.  This instance was not a date but when she got in my car her father started yelling at her to get out of the car, but she could not open the door by herself.  Her father made me go open the door and have her get out.  I then had to shut the door and re open it to let her get back in and then shut the door.  Anytime she got in and out of the car her father expected me to open the door for her.  This became a habit and sometimes I find myself, out of habit wanting to open the door for anybody that gets in my car.

With peoples opinions becoming more diverse its nearly impossible to understand fully what someone expects especially when it comes to gender roles.  One date didn’t want me to  open her door for her and another girl expected it opened every time.  Its also not in our culture for guys to open the door for guys nor girls for girls or girls for guys.  I wonder if this will become an extinct practice as women become more independent.  Who is to blame?


1 Comment