Discussion: Gender Stereotypes, Sexism, and Sexual Violence
Gender stereotypes influence and perpetuate what is known as patriarchy. Patriarchy is a concept that considers men the holders of power and authority resulting in domination of all sectors throughout society. Men have held the most powerful positions in the world and have guided our laws, policies, and culture. Patriarchy not only impacts society on a global scale through structural oppression but also our daily lives. It influences individual relationships and the daily interactions amongst husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, and colleagues. Feminist theory posits that men use violence in attempt to maintain this power and privilege. Domestic abuse and sexual assault are forms of violence that clearly exert power and control over a person. While abuse can be demonstrated by both men and women and survivors of abuse could be of either gender, statistics show that women are the overwhelming victims of abuse and violence. Patriarchy and the sexist and misogynistic viewpoints propagate views of women as subordinates who are meant to be kept in “their place.” Violence is a form of managing and maintaining a male’s role in society. To prepare for this Discussion, review the Johnson case. Reflect on the gender and sexism stereotypes expressed and the essential skills for social work practice you have learned throughout the program.
To prepare: View Johnson (Episode 2) and consider the gender and sexist stereotypes made around sexual assault by the professional in the episode. These stereotypes may revolve around gender, life circumstances, socioeconomic status, and education level. Below is the transcript:
Johnson Family Episode 2 Program Transcript [PHONE BUZZING] SANDY HARRIS: Hello? VICKI FRANCIS: Is this Sandy Harris? SANDY HARRIS: Yes. Yes, it is. VICKI FRANCIS: I’m Vicki Francis. I’m a nurse at City General. You’re with the sexual assault response team, right? SANDY HARRIS: Yes, I am. VICKI FRANCIS: Sorry to wake you. SANDY HARRIS: No, it’s fine. What is it? VICKI FRANCIS: We have a young woman here who says she was raped earlier tonight. Anyway, she’s looking for someone to talk to before she goes through a rape kit. SANDY HARRIS: Yes, yes. Of course. VICKI FRANCIS: She also says she was pretty intoxicated the time it supposedly happened. SANDY HARRIS: Supposedly? VICKI FRANCIS: Well, she had a pretty high BAC when she came in. SANDY HARRIS: So it’s possible she was given a lot of alcohol to drink or GBH, maybe? VICKI FRANCIS: Given, drank herself, who knows? You know how those frat parties can get, the good ones anyway. SANDY HARRIS: The good ones, huh? Where can I meet her? VICKI FRANCIS: She’s in a room at the ER. Just check in at the desk. I’ll tell them you’re coming SANDY HARRIS: Great. Thank you. Goodbye. Wow. Someone needs a talking to. ©2013 Laureate Education, Inc. 1 Johnson Family Episode 2 Johnson Family Episode 2 Additional Content Attribution MUSIC: Music by Clean Cuts Original Art and Photography Provided B
Post an explanation of gender and sexist stereotypes and assumptions around sexual assault made by a professional you observe in the case study episode. Explain how these stereotypes perpetuate violence against women. Apply social work skills for social change advocacy to address sexism. Explain how social workers can respond to the stereotypes and assumptions you have identified in the Johnson case and how you might advocate for social change related to sexism while working with families, clients, and groups and collaborating with other professionals. Be specific about the skills you would apply and the actions you would take.
Respond to at least two colleagues by providing additional or alternative ways to respond to the stereotypes and assumptions identified by your colleagues in the Johnson case. Provide additional or alternative ways social workers can address these assumptions and advocate for social change related to sexism while collaborating with other professionals to address the needs of clients.