answering the question

profileMaohua Zhou

How does one study gender, race, or sexuality? What does it mean to study social phenomena “scientifically”?

What research methods are employed most often to study gender, race, sexuality? How is data collected via these research methods? What are the strengths and limitations of each method?

  • Ethnography
  • Interviewing
  • Experiments
  • Surveys
  • Analysis of secondary statistical data
  • Historical methods
  • Comparative methods

What is a “social construct” according to Christiansen and Fischer (2016)?

Regarding the fair treatment of the research subjects, what ethical principles are integral and necessary for conducting a research project? How do we ensure that the risks are minimized?

What are the ethical dilemmas in the social experiments you watched during Week 1?

What effects did the Tuskegee Study have on the US according to Brandt (1978)? What aspects of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study did you find most surprising? What are the implications of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study for African Americans concerning their views on and participation in research?

What were the most important contributions of the Kinsey Report according to Bullough (2014)?

What challenges might you run into as a sex researcher trying to secure funding for your study? How would you address those concerns according to Stombler et al (2014)?

What is an informed consent?

What institutional body within Rutgers is responsible for monitoring the research ethics compliance?

What is the difference between how we define sex and gender according to O’Brien (2018)?

Is gender biological, social, or both?

What genders are acknowledged in contemporary society? What is the gender binary, and how does it operate in society? What does “nonbinary,” “transgender,” or “intersex” mean, according to Lopez (2017) and Davis and Preves (2017)?

How would gender be viewed from the biological essentialist angle?

According to Martin (1991), how did the stereotypes of femininity and masculinity influence how scientists interpreted the actions of human cells under their microscopes? To what extent did the cultural biases color scientific discoveries? What are the best ways to avoid the biases exposed in this article?

What does it mean to say that gender is socially constructed? What biological, cultural or historical evidence led scholars to conclude that gender is a social construct?

What does “gender socialization” mean? When does it begin? Who and what propels this type of socialization? What are the effects of gender socialization? Is it possible to avoid gender socialization altogether? Have there been attempts to avoid it in history? Imagine that you and your family want to raise a child in a gender-neutral way. How would this process of gender-neutral socialization be affected by agents of socialization other than your own family as your child grows into a young adult?

What are some ways in which power is symbolically linked to masculinity in our society? What are some privileges men enjoy that others do not according to Deutsch? For women, how does their gender serve as a disadvantage in their work and life experiences?

What are some examples of “doing gender”?

Using the !Kung of the Kalahari Desert, the bacha posh in Afghanistan, the hijras in India, the Native American berdache, the guevedoches in the Dominican Republic, and the nádleehí in Navajo culture as support, discuss how gender can be seen as a social construction.

What are the underlying roots of contemporary gender inequality? 

What is gender policing, and how does this impact boys and men? 

What are some consequences of the sexual objectification of women’s bodies in the advertising media? How do you think these trends might impact how women are viewed and treated in broader society? In the workplace? In government and politics? In their intimate relationships?

What is the “tough guise” according to the Week 3 documentary? How is it related to hypermasculinity?

In Hossain’s (1905) Sultana’s Dream, what happens when the gender roles in the imaginary Indian society get reversed?

Many people believe that race has always existed in its current form. How has the concept of race changed over time? Where does the idea of race come from according to Taylor's (2017) explanation and Golash-Boza's (2019) video? Compare and contrast "race" in the ancient world (this would include ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, and early Christendom) with "race" in modern times (this would include European colonization up to the present).

What is the difference between race and ethnicity? Which is voluntary and changeable, which is ascribed and less flexible?

What does it mean that “race is a social construction” and not a biological reality? Why do you think most people continue to think of race as biological?

According to the Race: the Power of an Illusion documentary, how did the racial definitions evolve over the US history? What do the famous legal cases of Bhagat Singh Thind and Takao Ozawa illustrate?

How did the racial logic influence the waves of immigration to the US? How were the European migrants like the Irish, the Italians, the Jews, or the Slavs classified by race when they moved across the Atlantic to the US in the 19th - early 20th centuries?

What is “red-lining”? What have its long-term impacts been?

What racialized systems existed throughout world history and across various geographical regions?

How have the racial categories on the US Census change between 1790 and 2020? How are Hispanics classified today – as white or non-white?

How does race structure individual life chances such as health, education, residence etc? Which racialized group is more likely to suffer from hypertension? More likely to live in segregated spaces? More likely to graduate from college?

What are the examples of racism? Define institutional racism and explain how it differs from racial discrimination at the individual level.

What does the “one drop rule” refer to? What is “white privilege”?

What is the connection between racism and colonialism? Did race classifications and racism exist in the pre-Columbus era?

Why is it difficult for white people to see their own race? What does McIntosh (1988) mean when she refers to whiteness as an "invisible knapsack of privileges"? What are some of the privileges that whites experience?

What does adultification refer to in Ferguson’s (2000) chapter? Who is more likely to be adultified? What are the likely consequences of adultification?

How does the model minority myth influence the dynamics within interracial marriages in the US according to Nemoto (2011)? Why are Asian-born women a preferred choice as marital partners for some men rather than the US-born Asian American or white women?

The resources you need:(movie)

Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment (1932-1972) (11 min)

Humphrey’s Tearoom Trade Study (1970) (7 min)

Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment (1971) (14 min)

Toronto couple raising "gender free" child. (7min)

9 Questions about Gender Identity and Being Transgender

Killing Us Softly 4: Advertising's Image of Women (2010), a talk by Jean Kilbourne, 45 min

Tough Guise 2 (2013) documentary, 80 min

Baldoni - Why I'm done trying to be "man enough" 2018

What is Race?

Where does the idea of race come from?(Before 1492, when Columbus arrived in Hispaniola, the notion that people belong to different races didn’t exist. Europeans created racial categories to explain the differences between themselves and the rest of the world. Watch this video to find out what made the idea of race possible.)

Pew Research Center (2020) What Census Calls Us

Race: The Power of an Illusion (2003) documentary


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