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Lecture 12

Lecture 12 -- Identity, Personality, & Gender.docx

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ANT 2000
Elyse Anderson

Identity, Personality, & Gender (Last Topic Covered by Exam #2)  Enculturation begins with the development of self-awareness; happens in childhood (some argue even earlier in the womb)  Self-awareness = the ability to identify oneself as an individual, to reflect on oneself, and to evaluate oneself  Personality = the distinctive way a person thinks, feels, and behaves; it is a product of enculturation as experienced by individuals with their own distinct experiences and genetic makeup  Child-rearing activities influence personality development  Dependence training = childrearing practices that foster compliance in the performance of assigned tasks and dependence on the domestic group, rather than reliance on oneself  Independence training = childrearing practices that foster independence, self-reliance, and personal achievement  Anthropologists try to strike a balance between recognizing “unique individuals” and “cultural tendencies”  Modal personality = those character traits that occur with the highest frequency in a social group and are therefore the most representative of the culture  Core values = those values especially promoted by a particular culture  Sex = refers to the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women  Gender = the social construction of femininity and masculinity; the roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women (still a culturally influenced definition; how Westerners define sex and gender!)  Men = XY = penis = masculine = strong, provider for wife/children  Women = XX = vagina = feminine = gentle, nurturer of husband/children  Intersexuals = people born with reproductive organs, genitalia, and/or sex chromosomes that are not exclusively male or female o Over 70 known sex chromosome variants other than XX and XY (1 in every 400 births??) o Over 70 million people born worldwide intersexed o E.g., Stella Walsh, Olympic gold medalist in 1932 and 1954; some cells were XX and some XY; raised and lived as a woman, but had nonfunctional male sex organs  Hermaphroditism = a category of intersexuality; is when a person is born with both male and female reproductive systems “as a result of failure of the primitive gonads to differentiate properly during embryonic development” (Western definition?) o E.g., Cheryl Chase, Founder of Intersex Society of North America; suggests we replace the world hermaphrodite (due to negative connotations) to differences of sex development (DSD)  Perceptions of sex and gender have a lot to do with the society you are born into!  Transgender = when one’s gender identity does not match one’s biological sex, sometimes referred to as transsexual (in medical community; transgender people do NOT call themselves transsexual/do not use that term) --- ****this definition is different from the book!!!****; no ambiguity about sex, just ambiguity about female!! (usually try to change physical characteristics to match gender); not the same as transvestite either!; sometimes undergo surgery, sometimes not o Opposite of cisgendered (those whose gender and biological sex match at birth) o E.g., Janet Mock, trans activist  Definitely a culture-specific problem!!!; other societies have a range of numbers other than two for gender  Androgyne/androgynous or genderqueer = a person who does not fit cleanly into the typical gender roles of their society; may identify as beyond gender, between genders, moving across genders, entirely genderless, or any or all of these, exhibiting a variety of
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