Class Notes (811,225)
Canada (494,571)
York University (33,715)
Anthropology (639)
ANTH 2170 (47)
all (8)


4 Pages
Unlock Document

York University
ANTH 2170

Sex, Gender and the Body: Cross-Cultural Approaches to the Body, Gender, Sexuality and Kinship ANTH2170 – Fall/Winter 2011/2012 – Karen McGarry Lecture 3 – The Animal Body – Sept 21 Last Week: - Nature/nurture debate in anthropology. o Nature theories were helped by evolutionary thinkers at the time. - Problematic role of science in promoting the body and human behaviours as natural. Researchers Attempt to ‘Prove’ the Naturalness of Human Behaviours and Bodies: - By using evolutionary paradigms to explain human behaviour. - Through animal studies. - Evolutionary paradigms to ‘prove’ the naturalness of gender. Franz Boas - Cultural relativism. - Historical particularism. Physical Anthropology - Family hominidae. o i.e. humans. o Often time, within this family, we include humans, human ancestors, fossils, chimps, gorillas, etc.  Primates that don’t have tails. o Habitual bipedalism – walking at least some of the time on two feet. - ‘Man the hunter’; ‘woman the gatherer’ (published 1968). o Around the 1970’s people started asking things along the lines of gendered role distinction. o They felt and assumed that there was a gendered distinction in terms of labour in most societies.  Men seemed to be the one’s doing the hunting in any given society. • They felt this was a cultural universal – this lead them to believe that there must be a genetic evolutionary reason for this – that this was adapted in an evolutionary sense.  Women seemed to be the gatherer – collecting wild fruits, plants and supplementing the main diet of meat.  They argued that hunting by many of our early ancestors stimulated the evolution of hominids. - Washburn and Lancaster in 1960s – 1970s. - Argued that hunting stimulated hominid evolution. Washburn and Lancaster argued: - That bipedalism led to: o Hands free. o Tools can be made, which increased brain size.  Tools can be used for hunting and for slaughtering animals. o Large animals can be hunted/slaughtered. o Hunting parties – needed language to communicate as a group.  A great degree of planning and communication skill.  You need a plan and everyone would have a specific role.  Human like sort of traits. Critique by Feminist Scholars against Washburn and Lancaster - Sally Slocum o Believes that Washburn and Lancaster composed a theory that is very male oriented and gives females and inferior role in human evolution. o It’s just as probably, that if women were out gathering, they would need to be bipedal because they would need to develop and use tools and be hands free. o Argues that Washburn and Lancaster underestimated the use of protein consumption. o Chimps and gorillas are known to eat meat but it’s a very small proportion of food. Washburn and Lancaster are assuming that our ancestors were simply mostly eating meat. o Projecting contemporary ideas of food habits into the past. o A lot of human evolutionary models that try to root gender roles in human evolution seek to create essentialist or universalizing narrative.  Over simplifying explanation that overarches.  An explanation that ignores a lot of human diversity. • Example: Washburn and Lancaster were assuming that men in all societies are the ones who do the hunting. o Women do hunt in different societies around the world. o E.g. Agta (Philippines); aka Central African Republic; some Australian aboriginal groups. o In North American today, hunting
More Less

Related notes for ANTH 2170

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.