Iluț 3/2006

Sociologie Românească, Vol. IV, no. 3/2006, pp. 68-85.



SR 3 2006 coperta

Clarificări în problematica gender (gen social)

Clarifying the Gender Issue

Petru Iluț


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Abstract (Rezumat în limba engleză): When embarking on considering the distinction between sex and gender we cannot elude the answer to the question of the origin of gender stereotypes. Such a question arises because gender stereotypes are transcultural universalis , i.e. with minor exceptions they exist, with an almost identical content, in all cultures and with all social categories. The article advocates the idea that stereotypes, prejudices and the peculiar roles male-female are “social constructs”, even if not arbitrary ones. They are based on real differences between the characteristics of the two sexes. The text asserts the definite distinction between two categories of causes: the hystorical-anthropological ones, based (relying) on the differences in the opposition between specific roles (at down of civilisation, when physical force was paramount) and the causes for the functioning of typifications and gender distinctions existing at present, within on informational society. In our days, the obsessive search for the psychosocial male-female distinctions prevales over a claim of similitudes and this serves but for the perpetuation of the inequality man/woman (the latter is prejudiced). While opening with the idea that, to a certain extent, inequalities favour differences (be they real or imaginary), we claim that a more appropriate epistemological option should be the existence of a causal circularity between stereotypes, distinctions and inequalities (discriminations). The concluding remarks refer to the biases that can be noticed in the approaches to the gender issues. The source of some of these is to be found in the close association between research and the feminist ideology. Others emerge from the “damned halo effect promoted by mass-media. The source of quite a few distorsions is what the author calls the lyrical-speculative paradigm”, in the Romanian cultural milieu. It is due either by unawareness or by ignorance of the notion that items which several decades ago were exclusively the concern of philosophy or fiction studies, have irreversible penetrated a field of research that operates with accurate scientific data.