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1AA3 Day 14.docx

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McMaster University
Sandra Preston

March 11/2013 Anthropology 1AA3 Introduction of Sex and Gender Required reading – chapter 2. Pp. 40-52 - Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus o Touched on the belief that males and females are very different and have trouble understanding each other What do we mean by sex? - Sex o Biological differences between males and females o XX = female o XY = male o Rare exceptions – XXY, XXX, etc. - There are fundamental differences between males and females that differentiate them (tied to biology) Differences in functional morphology – related to childbearing - Females can carry a fetus Sexual dimorphism: - Refers to characteristics that males and females have that are different enough that show a bimodal distribution - Two sexes expressing things differently o Eg. Size differences – females tend to be shorter, males tend to be taller  There is an overlap between females and males where there ARE similarities  Most sexually dimorphic traits: height, length of limbs Two types of sex characteristics: 1) Primary sex characteristics a. Reproductive organs (ovaries, testes, external genitalia) i. Directly responsible for human reproduction ii. Can be seen initially at birth 2) Secondary sex characteristics a. Physical differences not directly related to reproduction i. Eg. Male facial hair, female breasts, armpit hair, etc. ii. They happen at a specific point during human development What do we mean by gender? - Gender: social role(s) in society, learned - Cultural category o Gender is part of our culture, it is learned by our interactions with other people o What is “normal” varies rd - Many societies have 3 genders – separation of the social being (gender) from the biological body (sex) March 11/2013 Gender Roles - Behaviours culturally associated with each gender - When gender roles are broken/challenged, people notice E
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