ANTH 331 Lecture Notes - Takers, Silent Treatment, Agonism

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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
- ideas about gender are not fixed – ex. Louis 16th vs Rambo
- this dichotomy does not account for everyone in America- 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?
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- in general, different chromosomes
- XX or XY
- however, intersex and gender variant/creative individuals challenge this
2 sex system
Sex vs. gender differences
omale 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
o1) male strength hypothesis
o2) male aggression hypothesis
o3) womens child bearing hypothesis
o4) 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”
ocould this dichotomy (male warrior/women nurturer) be a gender
construction?
oThe idea of women in war may be problematic for a society that doesn’t
tolerate the overlap of “masculine” and “feminine” ideologies
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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’?
oGender displays: gender displays are 1) the non verbal, conventionalized
portrayals of women and men in the media, and 2) in north America the
media relies on the traditional codes of masculinity and femininity ***
- “men ups”: posing men in “female poses”
owhy 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
owe are not interested in finding a role model for human behavior in the
animal world
-The Naturalistic Fallacy
oThe idea that what is natural (appears in nature) is good and/or inevitable
oEg, 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?
oChange in the gene frequencies of a population over time ***
oWhat is evolution by natural selection?
Darwin proposed this- evolution by Natural Selection
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