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The Taming of New York's Washington SquareA Wild Civility$
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Erich Goode

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781479878574

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479878574.001.0001

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Sex and Gender in Public

Sex and Gender in Public

(p.194) (p.195) 6 Sex and Gender in Public
The Taming of New York's Washington Square

Erich Goode

NYU Press

Gender is linked to deviance, both with regard to women as victims, that is, the recipient of the unwanted actions of others, and as perpetrators, as the actors of behaviour others consider wrongful. Even the very occupation of a given space by women may be regarded as unacceptable by certain male audiences; sometimes, males may blame unwanted attention on the woman for appearing in public, or in a particular public place, on her unwanted presence in such spaces. Men are more likely to be crime victims than women but women fear being victimized in public more, developing a “geography of fear.” Men are more likely to be in singletons than women, and as the size of the unit increases, women increasingly predominate. Even among men, with respect to numbers, men are more likely to be in a social group than alone; this tendency is greater for women. The patterns of gender socializing may influence the park’s relative safety. Still, women are significantly more likely to socialize in the fountain area, which is safe, than in the perimeter walkway; men are much more likely to be in the perimeter walkway than women.

Keywords:   Gendered public space, Feminine space, Masculine space, Geography of fear, Strategies of defiance and resistance, Ecology of gender, Homosocial, Homophily, Heterosocial, Heterophily

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