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gender and culture.docx

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Gender and Culture  sex and gender isn’t the same thing  sex is biological characteristics (XX/XY chromosomes, genitals etc.)  gender is culturally constructed (what it means to be male/female is defined by the culture/society)  gender is culturally constructed through:  symbols associated with gender (specific clothing)  values of gender (are males and females equal)  behavioural (how should males behave? how should females) Female Identity and Culture  many females make choices based on expectations and strive to meet the ideals of their female gender as set out by their culture  ex: Western culture, women are more nurturing and caring than men Body Image in Niger  body image is the most variable way that we construct our sense of self  in Canada (and other Western nations) the ideal body for women is tall and thin  body image is culturally constructed, the ideal body shape varies between cultures  Niger is located in the desert of the Arabs (south of Algeria and Nigeria)  in this society (and the rest of Western and Central Sahara), the fat female form is celebrated, desired, and actively pursued  women try to become and continue being fat  when they step on a scale at the doctors, they carry their purse/shall to weight them down  girls eat a porridge of millet and milk  after puberty and in early marriage, they eat a dry couscous (to maintain fat)  stretch marks are desired (they’re sung in love songs)—they believe anyone can get stretch marks on the stomach; but stretch marks on the arms and legs is a real achievement  when researcher Rebecca Papenoe studied them, the Niger women preferred not to talk about their fat  they didn’t want to be looked down upon by a westerner  fat was a sexual and desire topic—their society was very restrictive on sex  fat is ideal in certain cultures as it represented status, wealth and reproduction (being fat = eating food = money) Male Identity and Culture  what it means to be a man (and how masculinity is defined) varies across cultures  in Canada, gender roles are changing—it use to be thought of that women cared for children; however, today many men are forced to take more responsibility than before (because women are in the workforce now)  masculinity caries across cultures: in some hunting is masculine (Philippines, woman hunts); in others writing poetry is (Western—romantic); in others wearing a skirt is
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