Oct. 19 – Gender and Sexuality
Will focus on the interconnections between gender and sexuality
But before that can be discussed, culture needs to be analysed
Berger and Luckmann 1966
1.Humans have "underdeveloped instincts"
2.Humans require symbolic systems to compensate for lack of instincts
3. If human sexual life is not determined by instincts, what is it determined by? -
4.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.
5.A society exists when people interact and share culture, generally in a
geographically delimited area.
6.We have little power to SEE culture - Some parts of our culture are so basic that we
find it natural and universal
7.Ex) We assume that when a baby is born, it is either male or female, however this
may not be the case...
8.A person with biological characteristics of both males and females, often consisting
of some combination of male and female genitalia
A person whose gender identity does not match their birth sex.
Some transgender people present as either male or female, while others present as a
third gender, neither male nor female.
Culture can have its dark side - some people find it hard when things go against their
Basic assumptions : often called ideologies
Gwen; example of a male who was transgendered, was murdered by a gang
Another example: Berdache or Two-Spirit - we're considered both male and female
In India: the Hijra - born male, but prefer to dress as female; reach full Hijra status
when penis is cut off
In Brazil: the Travesti: born male, but appear very female; rarely, if ever, cut off their
penis (prefer to be called a third generation)
Ethnocentrism - involves judging another culture exclusively by the standards of one's
Sex itself is a social construct