Chapter 18 Outline: Gender - Kottak Introduction to Anthropology
Chapter 18 Outline: Gender - Kottak Introduction to Anthropology SOCA 105
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Introduction to Anthropology Notes 10/29/2015 Chapter 18: Gender SEX AND GENDER o Men and women differ genetically. Women: XX The mother always provides an X chromosome. Men: XY The father determines the baby’s sex b/c only he has the Y chromosome to transmit. o The chromosomal difference is expressed in hormonal and physiological contrasts. o Humans are sexual dimorphic. Sexual Dimorphism: differences in male and female biology, beyond breasts and genitals Women and men differ in average weight, height, strength, and longevity. **Women tend to live longer than men and have better endurance… o Many of the behavioral and attitudinal differences b/w the sexes emerges from culture rather than biology o Sex differences are biological, but gender encompasses all the traits that a culture assigns to and inculcates in males and females Gender: cultural construction of whether one is female, male, or something else o Anthropologists can detect recurrent themes and patterns involving gender differences They can observe that gender roles vary with environment, economy, adaptive strategy, and type of political system. o Gender Roles: the tasks and activities a culture assigns by gender o Gender Stereotypes: oversimplified, strongly held views about the characteristics of males and females o Gender Stratification: an unequal distribution of rewards (socially valued resources, power, prestige, human rights, and personal freedom) b/w men and women, reflecting their different positions in a social hierarchy… Double standards that restrict women more than men are one illustration of this… RECURRENT GENDER PATTERNS o Ethnologists compare ethnographic data from several cultures to discover and explain differences and similarities Data relevant to the cross-cultural study of gender can be drawn from the domains of economics, politics, domestic activity, kinship, and marriage… Exceptions to cross-cultural generalizations may involve societies or individuals. Introduction to Anthropology Notes 10/29/2015 Ex. Men usually always built boats or hunted… Ex. Women tend to be the main caregivers in most societies… GENDER ROLES AND GENDER STRATIFICATION o Economic roles affect gender stratification o Gender status also is more equal when the domestic (w/n or pertaining to the home) and public spheres aren’t sharply separated o Domestic-Public Dichotomy: strong differentiation b/w the home and the outside world (or private-public contrast) The outside world can include politics, trade, warfare, or work… Often when domestic and public spheres are clearly separated, public activities have greater prestige than domestic ones do. This can promote gender stratification, b/c men are more likely to be active in the public domain than women are… Cross-culturally, women’s activities tend to be closer to home than men’s’ are… o Reduced Gender Stratification—Matrilineal-Matrilocal Societies o Cross-cultural variation in gender status is related to rules of descent and postmarital residence o Many horticultural societies have matrilineal descent (descent traced through women only) and matrilocality (residence after marriage with the wife’s relatives) o Matriliny and matrilocality disperse related males, rather than consolidating them. By contrast, patriliny and patrilocality keep male relatives together, which is advantageous when warfare is present… Matrilineal-matrilocal systems tend to occur in societies where population pressure on strategic resources is minimal and warfare is infrequent… o Women tend to have high status in matrilineal-matrilocal societies… B/c of descent-group membership, succession to political positions, allocation of land, and overall social identity all come through female links… o Matriarchy o Cross-culturally, anthropologists have described tremendous variation in the roles of men and women, and the power differentials b/w them… o If a patriarchy is a political system ruled by men, is a matriarchy necessarily a political system ruled by women? Or is the term matriarchy applied to a political system in which women play a more prominent role than men do in social and political organization? o Increased Gender Stratification—Patrilineal-Patrilocal Societies Introduction to Anthropology Notes 10/29/2015 o Artin and Voorhies (1975) link the decline of Matriliny and the spread of the patrilineal-patrilocal complex (male supremacy based on patrilineality, patrilocality, and warfare) to pressure on resources… o Societies with patrilineal descent trace descent through males only In patrilocal societies, a woman moves to her husband’s village after marriage… o These customs keep related men together in the same village, where they make strong allies in battle. o Such societies tend to have a sharp domestic-public dichotomy, and men tend to dominate the prestige hierarchy Men may use their public roles in warfare and trade and their greater prestige to symbolize and reinforce the devaluation or oppression of women… o Patriarchy and Violence o Patriarchy describes a political system ruled by men in which women have inferior social and political status, including basic human rights Such practices as dowry murders, female infanticide, and clitoridectomy exemplify patriarchy, which extends from tribal societies such as the Yanomami to state societies such as India and Pakistan… o In most patrilocal polygynous (multiple wives) settings, women often count on the support of their cowives and sons in disputes with potentially abusive husbands Many nations have declared polygyny illegal… o With the spread of the women’s rights movement and the human’s rights’ movement, attention to domestic violence and abuse of women has increased GENDER IN INDUSTRIAL SOCIETIES o The domestic-public dichotomy also influences gender stratification in industrial societies, including Canada and the U.S., where gender roles have been changing rapidly… o Maxine Margolis (2000) describes how gendered work, attitudes, and beliefs have varied in response to American economic needs Ex. Wartime shortages of men have promoted the idea that work outside the home is women’s patriotic duty During the World’ War’s, the notion that women were biologically unfit for hard physical labor faded Inflation and the culture of consumption also have spurred female employment o The increase in female paid employment in the U.S. since WWII also reflects the baby boom and industrial expansion o Economic changes paved the way for the contemporary women’s movement, which was also spurred by the publication of Betty Friedan’s book The Feminine Mystique in 1963 and founding NOW, the National Organization for Women, in 1966… Introduction to Anthropology Notes 10/29/2015 The movement in turn promoted expanded work opportunities for women, including the goal of equal pay for equal work o As women increasingly work outside the home, ideas about gender roles of males and females have changed o The Feminization of Poverty o Alongside the economic gains of many American women stands an opposite extreme: the feminization of poverty This refers to the increasing representation of women (and their children) among America’s poorest people… o Globally, households headed by women tend to be poorer than those headed by men o It is widely believed that one way to improve the situation of poor women is to encourage them to organize New women’s groups can in some cases revive or replace traditional forms of social organization that have been disrupted Membership in a group can help women to mobilize resources, to rationalize production, and to reduce the risks and costs associated with credit. Organization also allows women to develop self-confidence and to decrease dependence on others o Work and Happiness o o GENDER ROLES AND GENDER STRATIFCATION o Gender is socially constructed, and societies may recognize more than two genders i.e. the U.S. included individuals who self-identity can include labels such as “transgender,” “intersex,” “third gender,” and “transsexual” Such persons contradict dominant male/female gender distinctions by being part male and part female, or neither??? o Sex is biological!! o Gender is socially constructed!!! Transgender is a social category that includes individuals who may or may not contrast biologically with ordinary males and females… Within the transgender category, intersex people usually contrast biologically with ordinary males and females, but transgender also includes people whose gender identity has no apparent biological roots Intersex: pertaining to a group of conditions reflecting a discrepancy b/w external and internal genitals (or hermaphroditism) The causes of intersex are varied and complex… Klinefelter’s Syndrome – XXY configuration, most common condition (after down syndrome) caused by the presence of extra chromosomes in humans… Triple X Syndrome– XXX, extra X chromosome in each cell of a human female, usually no physically distinguishable difference b/w triple X women and other women Introduction to Anthropology Notes 10/29/2015 Turner Syndrome – 0X (absence of one sex chromosome) is most common…in this case, all or part of one of the sex chromosomes is absent…nonworking ovaries (no menstrual cycle) o Self-identified transgender people tend to be individuals whose gender identity contradicts their biological sex at birth and the gender identity that society assigned to them infancy Feelings that their previous gender assignment was incorrect, they assert or seek to achieve a new one SEXUAL ORIENTATION o Gender Identity: a person’s identification by self and others as male, female, or something else One’s gender identity DOES NOT dictate one’s sexual orientation o Sexual Orientation: sexual attraction to persons of the opposite sex, same sex, or both sexes Indifference toward or lack of attraction to either sex is also a sexual orientation… o Sexual norms vary widely from culture to culture… o Our primate sexual potential is molded by culture, the environment, and reproductive necessity… o Like our gender roles, the sexual component of human identity—just how we express our “natural” or biological, sexual urges—is a matter that culture and environment influence and limit