Lec 06 Notes
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October 19th, 2010
Gender & Sexuality
•Humans have “underdeveloped instincts”
oLes chiens arrivent a sentir les chienne chaudes, mais les hommes ne
peuvent pas sentir une femme en chaleur
•Humans require symbolic systems (or culture) to compensate for lack of instincts
•Culture is the sum of socially transmitted ideas, practices and material objects
that people create. Culture gives us guidelines for how to think and act. Culture
is everywhere, but nowhere at the same time. It is a part of us, and we can’t see
•Society exists when people interact and share culture, generally a geographically
•Some people are born with biological characteristics of both male and females,
often consisting of both male and female genitals intersexed
•Transgenders are people whose gender identity doesn’t match their birth sex
•Some transgender people presend as either male or female, while others present
as a third gender, neither male nor female.
oTransmasculine: you know you are female, but you feel 75% more male
oTransfemale: you know are male, but you feel 75% more female than male
•We have ideologies. Ideologies are rooted in culture and structure, not nature.
But we believe ideologies are supported by nature.
•Native Americans have a third gender. Berdache or two spirit. They were not
considered to be either sexes, but a combination of the two. Their culture made
room for a third gender.
•Travesti value the penis. They don’t consider themselves female or male.
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