Public Presentations of Gendered Bodies: A Look at Gay and Lesbian Online Dating Profiles

UCF Sociology Masters’ Student Andrew Latinsky recently had his article entitled “Public Presentations of Gendered Bodies: A Look at Gay and Lesbian Online Dating Profiles” accepted for publication in Sociation Today. 
An excerpt from the article is below.
For most people, gender is a taken for granted part of everyday life, a crucial, but rarely examined part of one’s identity. However, when examined, the role becomes part of a complex picture, where debate ranges upon the role and impact of the normally invisible notion of male and female. According to Butler (1990), notions about sexuality and gender are social constructions, recreated and reinforced through stylized acts in everyday existence.
Expectations about gender can have such powerful influence as to affect the expectations of physical bodies differently for men and women (Crawley, Foley, and Shehan 2008). For men ‘working out’ and being healthy means adding muscle, leading to increased size and strength for men. In contrast, exercise and health magazines for women encourage behavior such as dieting and cardio, which reduce the physical size of women (Crawley, Foley, and Shehan 2008).
These socially defined differences become part of a larger social structure that influences male dominance over women in social situations (Crawley, Foley, and Shehan 2008). According to West and Zimmermann (1987), this creates and perpetuates the notions surrounding a gender binary, two separate, socially unique genders who ‘naturally’ act differently from each other via differential social conditioning.
Read the full paper here.

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