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University of Calgary
ANTH 331
Tania Saj

Sept 11, 2013 - sex: biological differences btw males and females - gender: cultural differences btw males and females - what is gender - “the cultural meaning given to an individuals physical sex” - “the socially and culturally produced ideas about the differences between females and males in a particulare society” - gender differences “based” on sex differences - how we are labeled at birth sets us on a track - who decides wat is masculine or feminine? Dependent upon society one lives in - you behave according to the gender norms of your society - N.A.: rigid dichotomy btw traits we have assigned to masculinity and femininity - Gender norms are not universal -Dimensions of gender - these dimensions constantly interact with each other: - Symbolic: media representations, stereotypes - Structural/Institutional: wage gaps, policy - Individual: the way an individual experiences and expresses their gender identity - Definitions: - Gender Identity: this reflects a persons subjectively felt experience of being masculine, feminine, or ambivalent - Different than sexual identity - Your sexual identity: who you get into bed with, gender identity: who you get into bed as -where does our gender identity come from? Not by hormones, - chromosomes, or genitals, it is by our internal sense of self. That will be influenced by biology, environment, culture - Gender Stereotypes: society, beliefs and attitudes about what activities or behaviors are appropriate for men and women - violations of not living up to the male/female prescriptions - we have created gender polarization in our society th - ideas about gender are not fixed – ex. Louis 16 vs Rambo - this dichotomy does not account for everyone inAmerica- also, 1) intersex: refers to a person whose biological/anatomical sex is outside of the conventional classification of male or female - accept their bio body and do not feel a need to change it despite feeling they are the opposite sex 2) transsexual: state of ones gender identity does not match ones biological sex - experience gender disphoria- hatred for their bio body 3) gender variance around the world- ex. Hijra of India- “third gender/alternate gender” - What is sex? - biological/genetic differences between males and females - physical traits - what makes someone male or female? - in general, different chromosomes - XX or XY - however, intersex and gender variant/creative individuals challenge this 2 sex system Sex vs. gender differences o male and female are sex categories, while masculine and feminine are gender categories -ex. men get paid more than women in the US vs. women can breastfeed and males cannot - Gender differences hypothesis - women and men are more different than similar - in our society we have become accustomed to this thinking - Gender similarities hypothesis - men and women are a lot more similar than different - Gender differences hypothesis leads to the “essentialist trap” - notion that all women/all men share certain universal experiences because of their biological similarities - shared traits btw women and shared traits btw men - “anatomy is destiny”; women are reproducers and men are the producers- essentialized as a reproducer/producer - essentialism is alive and well in our society - leads to prescriptions and prohibitions for men and women- what they should and should not do - Evolutionary theory predicts relatively few differences btw men and women - Peach takes on the 4 “biological arguments” commonly used to support the exclusion of women from combat roles/arena of war o 1) male strength hypothesis o 2) male aggression hypothesis o 3) womens child bearing hypothesis o 4) male bonding hypothesis  women in combat would reduce unit cohesion by interfering with male bonding and fraternization - Gender ideologies of war o “the male warrior” o “women as needing protection” o could this dichotomy (male warrior/women nurturer) be a gender construction? o The idea of women in war may be problematic for a society that doesn’t tolerate the overlap of “masculine” and “feminine” ideologies In a nutshell… 1) nothing natural (no bio reason) we label the things we do masculine or feminine (N.A.) 2) distinctions created by our society 3) How? We learn the signals of masculine and feminine behavior = gender display - we learn what society expects from us through signals in our society- we learn how to perform gender/our roles/behaviors – these performances are called gender displays 4) one of the best ways to learn the signals = advertising – “commercial realism” and popular media Sept 18/13 Sex Differences I: Evolutionary Theory & Sexual Selection Theory Codes of Gender - Codes of Gender: helps to make the invisible visible - What is the ‘invisible’? o Gender displays: gender displays are 1) the non verbal, conventionalized portrayals of women and men in the media, and 2) in northAmerica the media relies on the traditional codes of masculinity and femininity *** - “men ups”: posing men in “female poses” o why is it sexual for a female to pose one way and not a male? - what is presented to as “natural” (real, biological) differences btw men and women in the media are not actually “natural” but constructed differences What are the innate differences btw men and women? - Studying animals o we are not interested in finding a role model for human behavior in the animal world - The Naturalistic Fallacy o The idea that what is natural (appears in nature) is good and/or inevitable o Eg, black and white colobus: egalitarian tho also infanticidal o “ nature is witless” – meaning impartial  “It is not kind, cruel, not red in tooth and claw, nor benign in its ministrations. It is utterly, absolutely impartial.” - What is Evolution? o Change in the gene frequencies of a population over time *** o What is evolution by natural selection?  Darwin proposed this- evolution by Natural Selection  Individuals face environmental challenges (ex: drought, predators, limited space, etc.)  Individuals better adapted in their current environment survive and reproduce  Their genes represent the next generation  Differential Reproduction: some individuals leave more offspring than others  Reproductive Success = currency used to measure ‘success’– the number of offspring they leave behind - AFew More Caveats: o 1) No conscious strategizing implied o 2) Talking about averages – biology is not destiny, it does however effect probability o 3) Adaptive behaviors subject to change - “Accidents” Happen o Ex. Mount Vesuvius in Pompeii – erupted in 79 CE killing most of the city – 16,000 out of 20,000 died – almost wiped out the whole population - Proximate vs Ultimate Levels of Causation/Explanations o Why do birds migrate?  Proximate: immediate triggers  Ultimate: always concerns reproductive success o Ask these questions at both levels- both levels are pertinent - Darwin vs Spencer o Important not to mix up evolution via Natural Selection (Darwinism) and Social Darwinism o Darwin was a biologist o Spencer was his contemporary o Both were very successful and wealthy o “Social Darwinism”  Spencer came up with this!  “elite” philosophical position  19 century philosopher  “Survival of the Fittest” – he came up with this- sums up Spencers ideas, not Darwins  “Survival of the best and most deserving” – very elite position  endorsement of the status quo by using this – the way that things currently are are the way things should be (not true)  Spencer was speaking to fellow elite Victorians, thus it was receptive • Flaw: Spencer’s assumption that the environment doesn’t change o vs Darwin = no special place for anyone- he emphasized the continual change of the environment  just because youre on top now does not mean you will be on top in the future - Not Talking about Genetic Determinism o Genetic/Biological Determinism aka Sociobiology Controversy  The belief that some behaviors, in particular aspects of our sociality, are solely caused by bio/genetic factors  And therefor difficult/impossible to change  vs. Idea that genes can influence behavior, but don’t dictate behavior  genes influence some behaviours (not all) tho rarely dictate behaviours Evolutionary theory predicts relatively few differences btw males and females - both males and females equally need to survive, expect similar (survival) traits in successful individuals - both sexes have sweat glands, similar taste preferences, both grow callouses, etc. - sex differences will mainly be found in the domains of mating and reproduction - sex-limited traits: o peahen and peacock, male moose antlers vs female no antlers o the more elaborate the trait, the more likely you will see that trait in males o 2 features Darwin noticed about sex-limited traits:  1) they are costly to produce (the energy that goes into the antlers for instance are costly to produce in terms of the energy/calories the animal has) ***  2) these are traits that make that individual more conspicuous to predators *** - Darwins Theory of Sexual Selection o Body of theory biologists use to explain how sex differences btw males and females (Sexual Dimorphism) evolved o Similar to, but different from, natural selection o Natural selection = traits associated with better survival o Sexual selection = traits associated with acquiring mates  If we are going to find sex differences in a species, this is where we will find it o Two mechanisms of Sexual Selection  1) intrasexual competition: members of one sex (males) can successfully out-compete members of their own sex in a process of intrasexual competition - male-male competition • males compete to: o 1) exclude rivals o 2) mate more often o 3) mate at the right time  2) intersexual competition is usually female choice: some traits have evolved because some members of one sex prefer them in members of the opposite sex Evolution ->  Sexual Selection -> intrasexual competition and intersexual competition  Natural Selection - with a large size dimorphism, we know that there is more male-male competition (ex. the elephant seals) - certain traits give males an advantage when physically competing for a mate - what is the evidence for direct male-male competition for mates among humans? o Hominin Fossil Record (humans and our ancestors) o Size dimorphism in the earliest hominins?  Huge- about 50% (this means males were much larger than females for a long period of our human evolution) o size dimorphism (males larger than females) associated with physical male-male competition for mates in other mammal species o Today: what is the size dimorphism between human males and females?  The size dimorphism has been shrinking- today it is 8% different in terms of height, 15-20% different in terms of weight  This tells us something about our behavior – there has been a change in male-male competition- it is less intense/less important Natural Selection or Sexual Selection? - Large canines in both males and females? Natural selection - If only males have large canines? Sexual selection Intersexual Selection (female choice) - some traits have evolved because members of one sex (females) prefer them in members of the other sex - “we shall further see, and this could never have been anticipated, that the power to charm the female has been in some instances more important than the power to conquer other males in battle.” – Darwin - does female choice amount to consciousness in animal decision? o NO o This isn’t conscious strategizing - Male-male competition results in ‘weapons’or size - Female choice results in ‘ornaments’or displays - What kinds of things are females “looking for”? (proximate cues) o The sage-grouse- during breeding season, males congregate in leks. Females choose the most attractive (acoustic and visual displays) males to mate with. Only a few males get to mate. o In the Satin Bowerbird, females are looking for a male who can build a bower (not a nest, structure that is built from twigs and stuff, just a courtship arena) o Take home point: sexually selected courtship displays o What about Female Choice in humans? (finding a preference for a trait by women)  Dance reveals symmetry especially in young men (body symmetry in bilateral traits may be an indicator of overall health- Fluctuating Asymmetry or “lopsidedness” in bilateral traits – FAmay indicate poor health  Evaluations of the dance study in Jamaica concluded that people who had more symmetrical bodies were better dancers- this effect was stronger for women watching male dancers; than men watching women- the dances performed by men scored more highly overall than those by women  Body symmetry = better coordination ?  Better dancing indicates health? Only healthy people can dance well?  Ultimately… females are looking for “good genes” • Exaggerated displays may indicate good health • Prediction: good genes in males may lead to better offspring health - Sexual selection acts differently on males and females - In general, intrasexual competition more likely among male - In general, intersexual selection more likely among female Movie: “What Males Will Do” - Superb Lyre Bird o Constructs a dislay platform- mound made of moss, leaves, sticks- he sings on this platform o His costume is as remarkable as his voice- curved plumage- designed to dazzle o 80% of their songs are copied from other species o very good at impressions - Cicadas: spend 17 yeard underground as nymphs and then emerge - Brown Capuchin o Play the drums to win a mate o Bashing shows youre strong, healthy and takes skill o They practice for 4-5 years to become adept - Jumping Spiders o Combines song and dance o Better eyesight with any insect or spider- on par with some vertebrates o Complicated song and dance to entice females - Side-blotched Lizard o What is the “colour war” mating stategy?  What strategy works the best?  Orange/yellow/blue (just know general ideas) • Three teams- orange are aggressive and pushy, yellow make up in stealth what they lack in strength, blue guys use the buddy system (guard to mate)- all vye for the same females  Teams play different and have different rules- use competing Strategies  all three colors have a way of getting what they want • blues identify themselves to team mates • blues with sacrifice their life for their buddy, they share so many genes it doesn’t matter which one mates and which one dies • lone blue is no match for orange invader  Communicate with head bobs, push ups, hand waves, etc.  Snakes (their predators) thin out the ranks  They all win enough mates to continue their 3 types of existence - Fireflies: unique code of flashing for each of the 2000 species - females have “expensive” reproductive organs and males are often just “sperm packets”- they eat the males when they can because they can - female fire flies eat the males to use their phosphorescence - Male sharks bite the females to hold them in place during copulation- luckily females have thicker skin than males and do not get injured - No female choice in sexual selection of garter snakes- they all pile on her and immobilize her. Once the male is finished he leaves behind a gelatinous plug so no other males can mate with her afterwards - this plug only last a day or two, then she can be mated with again - males try to mate right after hibernation so she is stiff and cold - the female exerts choice in which sperm she uses to fertilize her eggs, this is called “cryptic choice”- she cant choose who mates with her but she can choose which sperm to use- she can eject sperm she does not want to use - Duck penis grows longer during breeding season- can grow to half of their body length or more- corkscrew shape - females have equally as complicated of sex organs - ducks are in the midst of an evolutionary arms race- the males evolved in response to the females - barriers in the female vagines to make it harder for males to deposit - females seem to have the upper hand - pushy male ducks, tho females have the edge Sept 25/13 Movie: What Males will Do Continued… - natural selection modifies both the superficial parts as well as deeper changes such as bone density *Test info: - multiple choice exam -50 mc questions -1 hr and 15 mins for the test- no class afterwards -everything is testable- movies, text, lectures -a good study guide are the outlines at the start of the lectures and movie questions -no memorize stats or numbers- know patterns -major themes, ideas, theories connected with animal examples- don’t need to know specific animals/details -practice questions will be put up on BB Sex Differences II: Investigating Human Behavior - Two mechanisms of sexual selection o Intrasexual competition (usually male competition) *** o Intersexual selection (usually females) - Parental Investment Theory o Robert Trivers – extended the Theory of Sexual Selection o (we have to understand) the relative amount of investment a parent makes in an offspring o “any investment by the parent in an individual offspring that increases the offspring’s chance of survival (and hence reproductive success) at the cost of the parents ??? o Unpack the theory:  1) there is an investment made by the parent in the offspring (anything, time, resources, energy, protection, etc.)  2) but the parent has a “limited investment budget” (parents cant spend unlimited resources on any given offspring and still have time/energy/resources to give to another offspring or to herself- often means delaying having other offspring)  3) Parental Investment is the “relative” parental investment of the sexes in their young (male investment always vs female investment- always curious to know who invests more) - Female vs Male investment  in the vast majority of mammals (85%) females provide more or all of the parental investment  exceptions: carnivores and primates (including humans) – paternal investment is 30-40%  Human males invest heavily in offspring compared to virtually all other mammals  In general, females are the higher investing sex***  In general, males are the lower investing sex***  2 other facts to consider: in some species, males are the higher investing sex, compared to -High-Female Investment  in most mammals (including humans) Female Investment is generally higher than makes in terms of:Anisogamy- reproduction by the union of two difference gametes (the over and the ?)  Investment for females last from pregnancy, through lactation (a massive metabolic process)  Females have a higher obligatory investment  Consequences: • On average, number of offspring females can produce is relatively low (compared to males) • Human females: hypothetical and unlikely maximum rate for a woman to has a baby every 1.5 -2 years btw ages 13- 45 = 16-22 children • Aman during this same time frame can have many, many more offspring (and he can father children much later/older than women) -Females: - over the course of a lifetime = relatively low # of offspring compared to males  variance/skew in reproductive success btw females p
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