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Exam One Study Guide

by: Paige Lenczden

Exam One Study Guide ANT2301

Paige Lenczden

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About this Document

These notes cover what is going to be on Exam One
Human Sexuality
Clarence Gravlee
Study Guide
Human Sexuality and Culture
50 ?




Popular in Human Sexuality

Popular in anthropology, evolution, sphr

This 5 page Study Guide was uploaded by Paige Lenczden on Saturday February 6, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to ANT2301 at University of Florida taught by Clarence Gravlee in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 84 views. For similar materials see Human Sexuality in anthropology, evolution, sphr at University of Florida.


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Date Created: 02/06/16
Introduction to Anthropology - Anthropology is the study of the entire human experience o Has a holistic perspective o Seeks to understand how humans travel through life o Considers how the human experience changes through time and space o Concerns all aspects of human experience - Four subfields: o Cultural anthropology – studies variations in thought and behavior of humans  Different cultures have different points of view o Archaeology – uses material physical evidence from past civilizations to make connections about what their behaviors may have been  Studies the variation in thought and behavior among people of contemporary societies  May use pottery, written records, jewelry, bones, etc. o Linguistic anthropology – analyzes languages across the globe by examining structure, form, and evolution by tracing the distribution of languages of today’s society  Also study how language shapes thoughts and behaviors of each society  Studies the variation in thought and behavior among people of contemporary societies o Biological (physical) anthropology – focuses on the evolution of humans through their adaption methods in different environments  Try to find similarities and differences between varying times and locations of societies - Applied anthropology – approach to solve human problems by combining the four subfields - Medical anthropology – uses four subfields to form a broad perspective on health care and human disease o Includes biocultural influences on health and cultural differences in health behavior and healing practices Sex in the Media - Can be directly advertised or subliminally - Appeals to senses by using images or language that is sexual in nature o i.e. Axe, Old Bay - Ages 8-18 spend about 45 hours a week using media (TV, internet) - More than 70% of TV shows contain sexual references - Sex tends to be portrayed inaccurately o Doesn’t represent possible risks - Less than 15% of TV shows reference the risks associated with sex - Kissing o Sheril Kirshenbaum - 2011 book titled The Science of Kissing  Takes an all-encompassing viewpoint  Defines a kiss as “the rubbing or patting of the arms, breasts, or stomachs to striking one’s face or the feet of another” o While most Western societies participate in “romantic kissing” (intentional touching of lips), the Mehinaku indigenous peoples of the Brazilian Amazon see kissing as non-human o Only 46% of cultures engage in kissing  Most common in Middle East and Asia  Almost nonexistent in sub-Saharan Africa and Central America  Also found that societies with a more complex economy (greater stratification and specialization) had an 82% participation in kissing. More simple systems only had 37% participation, and egalitarian systems had a 29% participation rate Culture - Culture defines what is normal or natural - Culture molds our sexual interests o For most of us, the only guidelines of normality we have are cultural norms o The definition of “normal” differs across different cultures - What anthropologists mean by culture: shared symbols and meanings that people create in social interaction, which orient people o Key elements of anthropological view:  Culture is dynamic and emergent rather than fixed  Culture orients us to action but doesn’t strictly determine behavior  Culture is not bounded by social identities such as ethnicity or race or religion  Culture varies within social groups and may be shared between them  It is created every time someone communicates with another; it is therefore constantly changing  Common misconception: it is synonymous with a specific social identity i.e. ethnicity/race/religion  Culture is not bound by a social identity - Fact and Value o Cross-cultural diversity challenges idea of inherently natural or unnatural behavior o Labels of natural or unnatural, normal or abnormal are value judgments o Job of social science is to describe variation in sexual behavior o Labeling preferences as natural or unnatural is a value judgment o Ethnocentrism – belief that one’s own culture is superior to others o Cultural relativism – one culture cannot be judged by the standards of another  Do not confuse with moral relativism  Individual moral judgments and ability to condemn actions they see as immoral - Human sexuality continuum o The Mangaia  Indigenous society in Polynesia that experience high levels of sexual desire  At age 13/14, boys are taught how to please a girl  Girls are taught how to be orgasmic  In adulthood, Mangaia experience rapid decline in sexual activity o The Dani  New Guinea society that show little interest in sex  No concern about improving sexual techniques  Intercourse is performed quickly, ending with male ejaculation  Female orgasm is unknown  Following childbirth, both parents abstain from sex for five years o The Sambians  Sambian males of new guinea have malleable sexual orientation  Believed boys can grow into a man only by ingestion of semen “Anthropology holds up a great mirror to man and lets him look at himself in his infinite variety.” – Clyde Klockhohn Evolution and Sexual Selection - Different species have adapted to maximize their survival rate of their kind o Praying mantis: female eats male after mating to provide nourishment for her eggs o Pacific salmon: swim upriver to spawn o Humans: risk death to protect their offspring - Asexual reproduction o Offspring are identical clone of parent o Do not inherit genetic variation  Unable to adapt to changing environment o Whiptail lizard: Mexican and southwest U.S.  Females can reproduce asexually  Genetic monotony makes it vulnerable to disease, mutation, or environment changes o Mexican fish: asexual reproducers are more vulnerable to parasite - Sexual selection o Natural selection – organisms most suited for surviving in their environment are more likely to pass on their genes to offspring  Discovered by Charles Darwin  Over a long enough time the entire gene pool will shift to adapt a new trait  This is known as evolution  Evolutionary psychologists connect human behaviors to historical events o Look at aspects such as mate choice, social exchange, and standards of beauty  For centuries women with full lips and shorter lower jaws have been favored  This indicates high estrogen and low testosterone, and therefore higher fertility  Women prefer short-term mates with more masculine features, but long-term mates with softer, kinder faces o Sexual selection – natural selection that happens due to preference of specific traits in either sex  i.e. male peacocks  This is also present at the biological level; egg cells require more energy than sperm cells o Gender reversal – males delivering more care to offspring  Gives males more preference in choosing female mates o Gender roles are therefore not concrete but rather depend on which parent is responsible for providing for the offspring  Chimpanzees have a violent, patriarchal community while bonobos have a peaceful community  This is because male chimpanzees must “dominate” females  Bonobos participate in peaceful sexual reproduction Methodological Issues in Human Sexuality - Error in Everyday Reasoning o Overgeneralization – concluding what was observed or what is known to be true for some cases is true for all cases o Selective or inaccurate observation – confirmation bias; when people only perceive facts that confirm their own ideas and values o Illogical reasoning – prematurely jumping to conclusions or arguing on the basis of invalid assumptions o Resistance to change – reluctance to change ideas even in light of new information - Scientific Method o Aims to reduce errors in everyday reasoning  Systematic sampling: reduces overgeneralization by using a well-defined procedure to choose the sample population. Allows researchers to evaluate the potential reach of their conclusions without generalizing  Explicit criteria: reduces illogical reasoning by establishing a causality relationship between the manipulated variable and the outcome. It is specific, predetermined, and clear standards that will be used during research  Systematic measurement: reduces selective and inaccurate observation by requiring researchers to be specific when explaining how they will measure results or record observations in their study  Empirical data: reduces resistance to change by proving evidence that will hopefully erase false ideas o Science is imperfect; a system of proposal and disposal - Methods in Sexuality Measurements o Ethical issues:  Informed consent is full disclosure of the purpose, risks, and benefits of participating in a study  Research participants are entitled to protection from harm  Researchers must guarantee confidentiality o Sampling bias in sexuality research:  Most studies depend on volunteers  Most studies take place in university setting  Ethnic minorities are underrepresented  Can only sample gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people who have come out  Minorities are greatly underrepresented in studies on human sexuality  Sampling error: assuming the sample group is reflective of the entire population (overgeneralizing) o Measurement  Measurement is made difficult by taboos around sexuality  People may not accurately report sexual behaviors or attitudes  Direct observation and experiments face ethical and practical hurdles  Vagueness in questions is a measurement error  Respondents may interpret the questions differently o Sampling and measurement are the two main sources of error


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