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ANTH 2170 Lecture Notes - Partial Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome, Intersex, Gender Role

Course Code
ANTH 2170
Sonja Mac Donald

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ANTH 2170 Lecture January 31st, 2013
RECAP of last week
Gender stereotypes about men and women have influenced both basic science and its applications. Two
1. Scientific descriptions of human reproduction use gendered metaphors
2. The development of contraceptive technologies has been influenced by pre-existing beliefs
about men and women
Why do we have such conflict in understanding other genders or the possibility of other genders
.. There is such a strict view and such a strict boundary of what we already know hard to break
these barriers
Anthropological Contributions to understanding Gender
Two-sex / Two-gender model is not universal.
o The idea that there is just male and female therefore there is just heterosexuality
o They serve a social and cultural function
Gender is highly variable across cultures and over time
o Some places and cultures have other forms of gender (IE two readings for this week)
o The sex model is not static it is changing
o The beginning of acceptance of other genders
Gender is not simply a biological expression of sex.
o There is no link between sex and gender there is a system and a set of values that
influence your behaviour
Cultural evaluations of gender attributes also vary
o Different cultures adopt different kinds of gendered attributes (labour, dress, actions,
o Many people try to map on the dominant gendered attributes onto other cultures (IE
African women don’t farm, but people try to give farm tools to men expecting them to
do the farming)
Category of person institutionalized gender role a set of roles and expectations associated
with them
Cross Cultural Examples
Margaret Mead’s classic comparative study of New Guinea Arapesh and Tchambuli gender
attributes and roles
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