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ANTHROP 1AA3 Lecture Notes - Secondary Sex Characteristic, Multimodal Distribution, Human Reproduction

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Sandra Preston

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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
- 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
- Many societies have 3rd genders separation of the social being (gender) from the biological body (sex)
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