Sex and Gender
The narratove of the leopard woman from Liberia shows attitudes about the proper work of
women and men and the dangers of violating social norms about the gender.
People‟s norms for gender behaviour vary widely, yet, common pattern exists. These patterns of
thought and behaviour relate in part of the way people make their living and the ideologies that
support those ways.
Sex and Gender
Gender: refers to the roles that people perform in their households and communities and the
values and attitudes that people have regarding men and women. Thus gender is a cultural
Sex: is a biological differences between male and females (reproductively).
Gender Identity: refers to how people internalzie and enact thise attitudes and expectations that
are conveyed. i.e how people dress, walk and speak.
Gender Construct (Gender model): refers to the set of cultural assumptions about gender roles
and values and the realtions between the genders that people learn as members of their societies.
Unlike sex, gender is in every way “culturally constructed”. Gender constructs are deeply
ingrained beginning in earliest socialization experiences and becomenaturalized so that they are
taken to be part of a person‟s “nature” and not usually recognized as culturally derived.
The observablephysical characteristics that distinguish the „two‟ kinds of human beings, males
and females, required for reproduction
Also sometimes referred to as morphological sex, because sometimes sex is broken down
Usually referred to as dichotomous terms
Much more definite, can‟t change it ur either male, female, or other
Attributes Associated With Sex
Sexual Dimorphism males being taller in stature and larger. Female tends to be more rounder.
Tend to store fat differently, women store it anywhere.
Secondary Sex Characteristics-physical differences not directly related to reproduction
Morphology related to childbearing
Further Definitions of Sex
Gonadal Sex: the presence of ovaries in females and testes in males
Chromosomal Sex: 2X chromosomes in females and an X and Y in males.
Affects 1-2500 girls
Girls only possess one chromosomes. Second chromosome is missing pieces, so it‟s not a
Shorter is stature, poor breast development etc.
Prevents ovaries from developing properly
Affects 1-500 males although many don‟t show symptoms.
XXY condition in which males have an extra X chromosome.
Reductions in testosterone and produce little to no sperm.
Tendecy to grow fewer chest hairs, breast development, narrow shoulders, whide hips
Affects 1-1000 male babies
Males possess an extra Y-chromosome
Typically causes no unusual physical features and a range of developmental challenges.
Condition associated with the presence of both male and female reproductive organs Sex and Gender
o 46, XX Intersex: Female having male characteristics
o 46, XY Intersex: Male having female chracteristics
o True Conadal Intersex: Don‟t develop properly, testes are inside the body
o Comples or Undetermined Intersex
Anthropologists have sometimes looked to the evolutionary and archaeological records to explore
the origins of gendered roles and behaviours.
Based on DNA evidence, biological anthropologists suggest that the ancestor s of human and
nonhuman primates (chimpanzees) diverged 5 or 6 million years ago.
The first direct evidence of cultural patterns comes from about 2 million years ago with the
manufacture and use of stone tools. The association of tools and animal bones has led some
researchers to emphasize the significance of meat eating and therefore of hunting in the
development of human culture.
Anthropologists have theorized that the dietary emphasis on hunting privileged males as the
Because males are assumed to have been the primary hunters in early hominid groups, they are
also assumed to have invented tools and weapons. From these assumption, early hominid males
are represented as using their intelligence and skills to provide food for themselves and others.
In contrast, females are represented as passive recipients of meat provided by males and caring
According to Margaret Ehrenberg, bipedalism more likely developed because eary hominid
mothers had to carry their infants because infants were unable to cling to their mother as earlier
primate young had.
The “man-the-hunter” construct emphasizes male dominance behaviour. Homind males and their
human descendants are seen as protectors of dependent females and children.
During periods of early human evolution, female roles combined reproduction. Food procuring
and social responsibilities.
Males also gathered plant foods, at first primarily for themselves, following the primate pattern.
Gradually, traits of sharing and cooperation were favoured as females selected mates and
established pair bonds.
Males provided meat and offered protection primarily to their female mate, but their offspring
benefitted indirectly from the male‟s investment in the female.
The Cultural Construction of Gender Identity
Gender as a social or cultural construct is a primary aspect of one`s personal and social identity. It
develops in earliest socialization through the ways that a baby is handled, treated and spoken to.
Cultural Constructs: aremodels of behaviour and atittudes that a particular culture transmits to
Childhood learning teaches appropriate behaviour and molds personality to conform to cultural
Ideological messages about women`s and men`s places in their families and communities and
bout their social value may be conveyed through religious beliefs and practises, languages, and
daily interactions between men and women in their families, communities and wider social
One unviersal expression of identity is the signaling of gender differences by bodily aodrnments
and comportment. For example, men and women generally wear different kinds of clothing and
It was not until 1995 that transvestim, or cross dressing to look and act like someone of the
opposite gender, was removed fromt the official list of mental illnesses.
Gender Sex and Gender
Patterns of culturally constructed and learned behaviours and ideas attribu