Sociological Perspectives of News Events

Paper Info
Page count 10
Word count 2662
Read time 11 min
Topic Sociology
Type Essay
Language 🇺🇸 US

Gender Identity at Birth

Participation of girls in sports has been the subject of most news media articles recently. This trend may be partly attributable to the existing “Fairness in Girls’Girls’ Sports” Bill. Devan Cole, A CNN reporter, asserted that it was impossible to define a child’s gender identity at birth during CNN breaking news (Desanctis, 2021). Therefore, there was no agreed procedure for assigning sex at birth.

Biological Reality of Sex at Birth. Image from CNN (Desanctis, 2021).
Figure 1: Biological Reality of Sex at Birth. Image from CNN (Desanctis, 2021).

In his news article, Desanctis (2021) states that most people depend on a simple criterion of identifying sex at birth, which is misaligned and damages individuals to accept their biology’s reality. The Executive orders signed by Noem fail to mention transgender athletes explicitly but place the claimed harms of participation of males in women’s athletics supporting the other legislative drives that transgender women are not women. The mention of “biological sex”, which is a contested term, requires an insight into the issue using what social science research says about gender identity.

Gender Typicality in the Youths

Like children, findings in young adults show that self-perceived gender typicality incorporates both gender groups in which limited average correlation between own and other gender similarity indicates that both measures considerably contribute to the perception about self. However, increased cognitive maturity may make young adults distinguish between the elements of gender typicality (Andrews et al., 2019). Young individuals become less associated with the other social determinants such as the likelihood of doing similar activities as a gender group.

Biological, Genetic Contributions to Gender Identity

Research on biological factors in influencing gender identity and gender identity has focused on genes and how they affect identity. A person’s gender identity and the corresponding social gender paradigms partially depend on natural elements such as genes (Polderman et al., 2018). Intrinsic genetic factors are significant in developing both transgender and cisgender characteristics, while environmental and unique shared ecological aspects have a negligible effect on identity.

Socialization and Culture

Gender and gender identity about male and female or masculine and feminine are constructs that depend on cultural orientation. Despite several similarities between different cultures regarding male and female responsibilities, there are variations between cultures concerning the elements of masculine and feminine behaviors (Nadal, 2017). Essentialist’s theories suggest that gender is firmly based on sex and that men are inherently masculine. At the same time, females are intrinsically feminine and hence have no recognition for other gender or sex such as intersex or transgender.

The developmental theory hypothesizes that gender identity evolves with time in various stages. Children grow and internalize gender requirements they learn, such as labeling others as male and female, and that gender identity is persistent irrespective of any progressive variations. Children develop the mindset that gender identity is constant, unlike the current situation where gender is flexible and dynamic. The development of gender constancy makes children exhibit stereotypical behaviors. Individuals who don’t conform to gender face challenges such as stigma, discrimination, and other psychological stressors in society (Nadal, 2017). The actions of the community are due to opposing viewpoints and feeling toward transgender individuals based on their inner gender identity. Transgender individuals experience various institutional prohibitions that prevent them from obtaining necessary information and health care that help in gender conversion. Transition is essential due to the risks associated with being recognized as gender nonconforming. Transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals are vulnerable to severe forms of oppression such as physical violence and sexual abuse. Such people are also likely to be homeless and develop psychiatric issues.

Transgender Athletes’ Participation in Female Sports

The participation of transgender athletes in sports has continued to be a contested topic, with the national conversation happening in the Ohio House and the Senate. House Bill 61 and Senate Bill 132 are aimed at saving the women’s sports categories (Rippin, 2021). The Bill, Representative Jena Powell and R-Laura of the Ohio House, and Senator Kristina Roegner and R-Hudson of the Senate argued that the transgender female’s participation was unfair as it gives such group undue advantage over their opponents (Rippin, 2021). Other members opposed the bill citing it to be transphobic and unfairly targeting the small and vulnerable cluster. Ohio High School Athletics Association addressed transgender through a 2018 policy that promotes sports athletes for all students. The association champions equal opportunities for transgender students to participate in sports while also stating the importance of preserving the integrity of women women’s sports. The policy demands that a transgender female athlete needs to take a one-year hormone analysis or give evidence of lacking physical advantage over female opponents of a similar age.

International perspectives on female transgender competing with female opponents

Research on the implications of the third gender on elite sports athletes indicates that athletes’ determination to compete in the men’s category and compete in the women’s division should not depend on their gender identity at birth. Gender identity alone would not be an efficient criterion for determining the sports division for any athlete (Harper et al., 2018). The Olympic charter and other sporting organizations need to transform scientific-based approaches to categorize athletes into male and female participants.

Public Attitude towards Transgender Athletes

Several states are in the process of drafting legislation to force student-athletes to participate in sports based on their gender recorded in their birth certificates instead of using gender identity for team selection. The study indicates that women generally give more support than men to the idea of transgender athletes’ involvement in games based on gender identity instead of biological sex (Flores et al., 2020). However, both male and male sports fans oppose the basis of gender identity in team inclusion criteria.

Study shows that more women agree with allowing transgender athletes to engage in sports based on their gender identity compared to men. For instance, the Olympics were inclusive to the transgender athletes during the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, which was a good gesture for human rights and fair competition (Flores et al., 2020). The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has firm demands around hormonal management instead of the previous surgery for transgender athletes.

Unfair Physical Advantage

The primary argument against a policy permitting the inclusion of transgender female athletes is a fair play based on the belief that such athletes have an advantage over testosterone. The athletes benefit from the initial muscular development, higher testosterone levels, superior muscle fat percentage, and enhanced heart and lung capacity (Buzuvis, 2021). All these factors give a transgender female athlete an overall unfair advantage.

Gender Diversity in the WorkPlace

Gender discrimination in Workplace (Robinson, 2021).
Figure 2: Gender discrimination in Workplace (Robinson, 2021).

In his news article, Robinson (2021) “Gender Discrimination is still alive and well in the Work Place in 2021” describes how a young doctor in an operating room with other male physicians at a hospital in the Northeast greeted his colleagues when entering the operation room. The lead surgeon, Dr. Taylor ignored a young woman’s response to his greeting and she later raised the issue to the departmental chairperson (Robinson, 2021). The section leader dismissed the woman’s allegations stating that she was too sensitive, a situation that other male counterparts also failed to understand.

The federal law describes gender discrimination as illegal when a worker experiences unfair treatment and or different treatment based on gender. A study in February 2021 indicates that internal medicine hospitals frequently experience gender-based segregation and sexual abuse. A survey in institutions shows that women reported incorrect tough, sexual comments, gestures, and suggestive stares.

The Gender Gap in Leadership

Research work has examined the experiences of gender bias among women hospital leaders across Ontario and determined various aspects that show the gender gap in executive hospital leadership. The current representation of women’s Leadership has become dissociated from feminism resulting in different effects on women (Soklaridis et al., 2017). Women in this generation have more freedom due to various policies, such as sexual harassment policies that support them. There is a belief that career opportunities for women are equal to those for male individuals. The study indicates that it is a challenge for successful women to discuss gender bias and Leadership. There is a disparity and lack of consensus about the effect of gender on women’s Leadership, while gender equity in the workplace is still an existing challenge (Soklaridis et al., 2017). The problem of discrimination manifests in hiring practices, salary debates, promotions, and performance appraisals.

Gender Bias in Wage Gap

Developed countries have experienced increased maternal employment, although gender roles of parenting and work negatively affect mothers in the workplace. Motherhood pay gaps are still dominant due to the understudied uncertain mothers’ overrepresentation in low-paying job categories. Investigation in Canadian associated job providers provides data that indicate that discrimination in low-wage workplaces has mothers dominating the positions compared to childless women (Fuller, 2018). Disparities in wages are due to women disproportionately getting employment opportunities in workplaces that give all workers relatively poor wages. Organizations that strive to reduce discrimination in their workstations dramatically reduce or eliminate the existing motherhood pay disparities (Fuller, 2018). Such organizations consider the pay gap as a factor that prohibits gender diversity in the workplace.

Gender Bias in Professional Ability for Women

Research indicates organizational limitations to women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields in workplaces and requires all the stakeholders in the STEM field to confront the issue. Women experience biases and barriers in the scientific sector, such as publishing, funding, hiring, and promotion to higher positions in their workplaces. Women have lower chances of receiving professional recognition and wards than men due to their relative representation in the award category. Despite the higher representation of women in the ward pools at college levels, less than 25% of women in similar fields receive the most prominent awards (Grogan, 2019). Women also face biases in recommendations and hiring despite a higher number of women who graduate with bachelor’s degrees in numerous scientific fields.

Hate Speech and The first amendment

In “Yosef Getachew recommends regulation of social media to mitigate hate speech”, the author shares insights about how to address the problem of hate speech in news media (Getachew, 2021). A violent mob of revolutionaries attacked the US Capitol on January 6th with the desire to overturn the country’s 2020 presidential elections. The attack was due to persistent misinformation and hated speech from Donald Trump and several other inappropriate actors on social media platforms during the electioneering period. Although the social media platforms have civic integrity and content equability policies, social media have frequently failed to reduce the spread of information that can potentially interrupt the democracy of the United States. The platforms operate on business models and practices and hence fail to moderate the harmful speech as the approach incentivizes the propagation of such speech. Hate speech and conspiracy are contents that produce maximum user involvement and therefore increase the profits; hence the platform operators prioritize the profits to regulating harmful content.

The First Amendment limits the government’s regulation of speech. However, various legislative and regulatory organs regulate the social media practices that bad users exploit to propagate and magnify speech that endangers democracy. The Trump campaign team used Facebook to target many Black citizens with cheating information to disrupt their election participation.

Comprehensive privacy law can direct data minimization criteria, reducing the gathering and sharing of individual information to what would be appropriate for service provision to social media users. The law can also prohibit personal data from participating in intolerant habits that can spread damaging content such as online voter subdual. These limitations of data would reduce the power of bad actors targeting the users with propaganda. Social research has various recommendations concerning the First Amendment and the privacy legislation on speech regulation.

Hate Speech and the First Amendment

Hate speech is a highly debatable topic of the First Amendment since it includes both protected and unprotected speech. The protection of hate speech is due to the characteristics that do not categorize it as an actual threat or fighting words. The First amendment limitations cover the government-citizen affiliation of speech restriction (Guiora, & Park, 2017). Social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook are private organizations and hence belong to the citizen-citizen alignment (Guiora, & Park, 2017). Citizen-citizen constraints could apply when private speech endangers public safety and democracy or when direct personal injury develops. Legal standards need to consider a case-by-case approach to be adopted due to the effect of social media on daily lives and the need for a value-based approach subject to legal standards and limits.

Psychological Impact of Online Hate Speech

The purpose of speech is to be heard. Yet, the social media platforms extend the definition by offering a powerful avenue of relaying speech while also deforming an individual’s mindset about the address. Online hate speech can affect the users’ psychological well-being to enhance violence and instill hateful opinions. The US First Amendment protects hate speech since such speech does not belong to any category outside the Amendments protection (Beausoleil, 2019). However, there is a need to consider the Amendment’s inability to accommodate new communication means through the online platforms and hence the need to amend the law due to the various harms of hate speech and its psychological effects.

Confederate Flag

Partial confederate flag (Chandler, 2021).
Figure 3: Partial confederate flag (Chandler, 2021).

Figure 3 above is a partial display of the confederate flag on an elevator in the Alabama Capitol as a section of the state seal. Governor Keith Jackson directed the removal of the flag from the memorial outside the Capitol but the fragments remain on the capitol property (Chandler, 2021). The Confederate battle flag is a section of Alabama’s battle flag. Keith Jackson said that he wore his uniform flag of the Confederacy in remembrance of the State’s racist and painful history (Chandler, 2021). The flag also reminded him of his parents’ struggles to maintain him in segregated schools and the flags that white American students carried at his older brother’s school. Rep. Laura Hall proposed redesigning the flag since she believed it led to Alabama’s struggles with its reputation, as such a change would promote positive outcomes. A public hearing was held to discuss the idea of eliminating the confederate flag, with some people arguing while others were against the proposal of modifying the flag. Various scholars have given different viewpoints about the confederate flag and its significance to the people.

Racial Issues

The confederate flag continues to be a controversial symbol, and the people have different attitudes toward the Confederate flag and its public emblem. The flag is based on the historical association between race and politics in the California region, with the flag representing the cultural constructions of its symbolism. The shooting incidences in the Charleston Emmanuel AME Church gave a chance to remove the confederate flag from the South Carolina Capitol grounds (Talbert, 2017). The flag debate will increasingly cultivate racial inequities within the society.

Regional Pride

The Young Patriotic Organization and the Patriotic Party planned in the 1960s and 1970s to reconsider the Confederate battle flag to symbolize non-racism of working-class empowerment, regional conceit, and cross-racial collaboration. The Patriots failed to impart the flag with a long-term antiracist representation even though they had public alliances with the Black Power movement (Abraham, 2021). The failure implies that the flag has a deeply rooted racist inference that is almost irreversible with continuous anti-capitalist and antiracist political orientation. There is a need for people to discuss the flags of racists and violent history and reflect directly on their cultural condition and politics of class.

Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome and Macroaggressions

The confederate flag as a symbol initiates post-traumatic slave syndrome and macroaggression among the African American people. African American individuals have different perceptions of the Charleston shooting and the confederate flag and other flag symbols (Murty & Vyas, 2017). Most individuals view the shooting as a hate crime and terrorist practice which also triggers the feelings connected to the historical life of slavery and racism through socialization among generations.

References

Abraham, J. (2021). No Justification for a “Symbol of Counterrevolution”: Toward an Intersectional Reading of the Confederate Flag. New Political Science, 1-17. Web.

Andrews, N. C., Martin, C. L., Cook, R. E., Field, R. D., & England, D. E. (2019). Exploring dual gender typicality among young adults in the United States. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 43(4), 314-321. Web.

Beausoleil, L. E. (2019). Free, hateful, and posted: rethinking first amendment protection of hate speech in a social media world. BCL Rev., 60, 2101. Web.

Buzuvis, E. (2021). Law, policy, and the participation of transgender athletes in the United States. Sport Management Review, 1-13. Web.

Flores, A. R., Haider-Markel, D. P., Lewis, D. C., Miller, P. R., Tadlock, B. L., & Taylor, J. K. (2020). Public Attitudes about Transgender Participation in Sports: The Roles of Gender, Gender Identity Conformity, and Sports Fandom. Sex Roles, 83(5), 382-398. Web.

Fuller, S. (2018). Segregation across workplaces and the motherhood wage gap: Why do mothers work in low-wage establishments? Social Forces, 96(4), 1443-1476. Web.

Grogan, K. E. (2019). How the entire scientific community can confront gender bias in the workplace. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 3(1), 3-6.

Guiora, A., & Park, E. A. (2017). Hate speech on social media. Philosophia, 45(3), 957- 971. Web.

Harper, J., Martinez-Patino, M. J., Pigozzi, F., & Pitsiladis, Y. (2018). Implications of a third gender for elite sports. Current sports medicine reports, 17(2), 42-44. Web.

Murty, K. S., & Vyas, A. G. (2017). African American students’ reactions to the confederate flag: a social-psychological approach to integrate post traumatic slave syndrome and macroaggression theory. Race, Gender & Class, 24(1-2), 133-159. Web.

Nadal, K. L. (Ed.). (2017). The SAGE encyclopedia of psychology and gender. Sage Publications. Web.

Polderman, T. J., Kreukels, B. P., Irwig, M. S., Beach, L., Chan, Y. M., Derks, E. M., & Davis, L. K. (2018). The biological contributions to gender identity and gender diversity: Bringing data to the table. Behavior Genetics, 48(2), 95-108. Web.

Soklaridis, S., Kuper, A., Whitehead, C. R., Ferguson, G., Taylor, V. H., & Zahn, C. (2017). Gender bias in hospital leadership: a qualitative study on the experiences of women CEOs. Journal of Health Organization and Management. Web.

Talbert, R. D. (2017). Culture and the Confederate flag: Attitudes toward a divisive symbol. Sociology compass, 11(2), e12454. Web.

Robinson, B. (2021). Gender Discrimination is still alive and Well in the Work Place in 2021. Forbes. Web.

Desanctis, A. (2021). CNN news writer denies the biological reality of sex at birth. Web.

Getachew, Y. (2021). Yosef Getachew recommends regulation of social media to mitigate hate speech. Web.

Chandler, K. (2021). Alabama debates removing Confederate flag from coat of arms. Web.

Rippin, K. (2021). 2 Ohio Bills would ban transgender athletes from female sports. CNN. Web.

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NerdyBro. (2022, October 6). Sociological Perspectives of News Events. Retrieved from https://nerdybro.com/sociological-perspectives-of-news-events/

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"Sociological Perspectives of News Events." NerdyBro, 6 Oct. 2022, nerdybro.com/sociological-perspectives-of-news-events/.

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NerdyBro. (2022) 'Sociological Perspectives of News Events'. 6 October.

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NerdyBro. 2022. "Sociological Perspectives of News Events." October 6, 2022. https://nerdybro.com/sociological-perspectives-of-news-events/.

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NerdyBro. "Sociological Perspectives of News Events." October 6, 2022. https://nerdybro.com/sociological-perspectives-of-news-events/.