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ANTH 2170 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Sex Verification In Sports, Virilization, Socalled


Department
Anthropology
Course Code
ANTH 2170
Professor
Arne Steinforth
Study Guide
Midterm

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Lec 2: Sex and gender:
mythology – male vs. female around the world.
binary vs. ternary oppositions (not just A and B but A, B, and C.) generalized given,
gender roles: binary creates spheres about male and female. Though they are communities that accept other
genders.
Human “nature”:
Evolutionism and social evolutionism:
Evolutionary psychology: Considering difference between sexes where men hunted and women gathered, in which
families were formed in certain ways thus, genetics play a role in cast.
Naturalization of difference: differences between groups of people including sex and gender often explained by
natural reasons. So no ‘natural sex-specific division of labor. “Man the hunter”.
Nature vs. nature debate: Leading us to generalizations of gender roles or how men or women are supposed to act
in accordance to human nature. The reduction of complex social actions narrowed down to the most basic “man the
hunter”, “women the gather”. Does not take complexities into consideration.
Critiquing sex as female vs. male: non-ambiguous binary, biological determinism, behavioral prescriptiveness etc.
Look at how thing is not working out because many people fall outside these binaries, as well as looking at how sex
defines socially (roles).
Genetics basis of: male identity, pedophilia etc. How does society play a role in constructing specially male or
female identities and roles as well as biological/genetic factor.
Evolution of Gender and difference: Analysis of gender assumptions & why they are problematic, theories contain
assumptions about gender or lack of evidence.
Lec 3: The Biomedical body
The body: the body is a reference point about the discourse about sex and gender. The body can be defined outside
strictly biological, and related to all kinds of meanings that are symbolic in nature – culturally related. (Symbolic
meanings as another entity or technical function recognized by science which separates the body into parts, body
machine, genetics, body and cell)
Social constructionism:
Constructing sex and gender: If gender (feminine/masculine) is a social category and sex (male and female) is a
biological category, but Biology is a social construction then Sex = social category = gender. The construct called
sex is as culturally construed as gender, there is no distinction between sex and gender.
The Biomedical body: Even in biology of the body in science we see constructions of gender. Female = egg:
passive, weak, helpless, and powerless. Male = sperm: Active, strong, aggressive, and powerful.
The Egg and the sperm: science presents the egg and the sperm as presenting themselves as purely biological yet
stuff about them is gain with specific definable social contexts.
The Egg and the Sperm: exposes gender stereotypes that tend to hide in scientific language of biology, making the
female passive and weak, and men a aggressive and strong reinforcing gender roles.
Lec 4: The Reproductive body:
Reproduction: Not just looked at as a medical process. A lot of cultural and social transitions. Different ideas
surrounding birth in different ways or countries makes a birth culture. Can be argued it is not a medical but when it
is, it can be seen as reinforcing gender roles for females as weak etc. Looking at natural birth as a critique. (Social
transition, birth cultures, medicalization of birth, gender roles in obstetrics, infertility, ‘natural birth’, politics of
reproduction, technologies)
Gendered Spheres: Having the power of these spheres, power over one’s own body & reproduction, TBA’s, taboo
& menstruation, abortion and personhood: based on social categories that allocate a degree of personhood (sex, age,
race)
Gender Expectations: Argues that natural birth are a culture that come with gender expectations about women’s
bodies as being naturally knowing.
Lec 5: Embodiment and Disciplined Bodies. What do to or not to do with your body
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