MCAT Social and Behavioral Sciences : Gender

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for MCAT Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Sociological Foundations And Principles

Which of the following terms appropriately describes a person assigned the male gender at birth who identifies and/or lives as a female?

Possible Answers:

Genderfluid

Transman

Transwoman

Transgender man

Correct answer:

Transwoman

Explanation:

Respectful observation of gender identity requires recognition of an individual's personal identity as male or female, rather than the opinion of the outside observer. In these incidences, "man" or "woman" refers to the identity of the individual, rather than that individual's biological or genetic sex.

A common term for an individual who was assigned a male gender at birth (i.e. most frequently individuals with an XY genotype) who lives as and/or identifies as female is known as a "transwoman" or transgender woman. A transgender man or transman, on the other hand, would be an individual assigned a female gender at birth who lives and/or identifies as male, while a genderfluid individual may identify as male, female, neither, or both, or may have a gender identity that changes depending on time or circumstance (hence the use of the word "fluid").

Example Question #2 : Group Behavior And Sociological Phenomena

Which of the following is a term used to describe an individual whose gender assigned at birth matches their gender identity?

Possible Answers:

Cisgender

Transgender

Male

Female

Correct answer:

Cisgender

Explanation:

"Cisgender" is a term used to describe an individual for whom the gender assigned to them at birth matches their gender identity. "Transgender" is a term for an individual who identifies as a gender other than the one assigned to them at birth. "Man" and "woman" are not correct responses in this case because they do not necessarily describe an individual's relationship to their assigned gender: while someone assigned male or female at birth may indeed identify as that gender, the majority of transgender individuals also identify as men or women. Thus one can identify as a cisgender man or woman or a transgender man or woman. 

Example Question #3 : Group Behavior And Sociological Phenomena

Which of the following terms may be used by an individual whose gender identity is neither male or female, both male and female, or as a gender outside the male/female binary all together?

Possible Answers:

Genderfluid

All of these are correct

Polygender

Genderqueer

Correct answer:

All of these are correct

Explanation:

There are several terms for individuals who identify as both male and female, neither male or female, or as having a gender identity that falls entirely outside of the male/female binary. These include "genderqueer," "genderfluid," and "polygender." 

Example Question #4 : Group Behavior And Sociological Phenomena

Excerpt from "The Chicago Employment Agency and the Immigrant Worker," Grace Abbott, American Journal of Sociology 1908 14:3289-305 

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, immigrants poured into the United States without knowledge of English or American customs. They were also usually unaware of the local cost of living or typical wage. These immigrants turned to employment agencies that would help them find work, for a fee. The extreme dependence of immigrants on the employment agencies coupled with their general ignorance of the American system brought about an ethical dilemma for the employment agent in which it became very easy to take advantage of people seeking a job. This resulted in an extreme prejudice directed at immigrants by the American employment system. A study was conducted in the early 1900s gauged the degree of corruption among employment agents and the results of this study have been provided (see Tables 1, 2, and 3)

Table 1

Table1

Table 2

Table2

Table 3

 Table3

Table 1 shows the variety of fees charged by different employment agents. Supposing that a fair price for employment services was $1.50, which of the following is NOT a reasonable conclusion?

Possible Answers:

Employment agents take advantage of men more than women.

Employment agents take advantage of women more than men.

Employment agents take advantage of women less than men.

Employment agents treat men and women differently.

Correct answer:

Employment agents take advantage of women more than men.

Explanation:

Of the 51 agencies polled for women, only 11 (22%) charged significantly more than the fair price. Of the 59 agencies polled for men, 38 (64%) charged significantly more than the fair price. It could reasonably be concluded that employment agents take advantage of more men than women, thus treating them differently. These data do not give reason to conclude that women are taken advantage of more often than men.

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