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Chapter 7

Anthropology Chapter 7 Notes.docx

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ANTH 1150
Victor Gulewitsch

Anthropology Chapter 7 NotesMargret mead 1935 and Bronislaw Malinowski 1929 were two of the earliest anthropologists to study humans as sexual beingsLittle anthropological attention has been paid to human sexualityThere was no anthropology of sexuality before the late 70sIt was a taboo subject One of the problems was the degree of privacy people had about their sex lifeMost people are uncomfortable talking about their sex livesEspecially if their sexual practices falls outside the norms of societyAlso because of gender barriersSexual studies have been more common since the 1980sThere is a great deal of variation in how sexuality is viewed practiced and controlledJeffery weeks says that diversification of sexual practices subcultures and identities is characteristic of our historyIt is a cultural constructHuman sexual relations are dealt with in all cultures just in different ways Homosexuality defined as the desire to have sexual relations with someone of the same sex Sexual orientation the biological and psychological makeup of an individual Sexual identity the identity a person takes based on his or her sexual preferenceIt has been considered to be a sinful behaviourA perversity and abnormalIt was also considered to be a diseaseThe free love movement in the 60s and gay and lesbian social movement have made sexuality more politicizedThese movements resulted in further changes in attitudes regarding homosexuality and sexual identityIn ancient Greek and Roman societies homosexual behaviour was looked upon as natural and expectedSome cultures in new guinea consider homosexual activity as a normal part of ritual practicesAnd male female sexual relations is only for reproduction Semen was believed to have power to gives boys strength and warrior prowess and help them become more masculineThats why it is used in sex rituals by some tribesThe same sex behaviour usually only lasts until the man was married to a woman and produced childrenTwo spirit people have a dream or vision that legitimizes their choice to become another genderThey are represented a third and fourth genderThey form emotional and sexual relationships with those of their own sexPossess important social religious and economic rolesHave a special status in their communityThere are chinese sisterhood movementsThey vow to never marry menTheir lesbian nature was never focused on much during research Control of sexual relationsHumans engage in sexual relations when it suits them and when it is deemed appropriate by their cultural moresMany of the controls or restrictions are on adolescentsMales and females are biologically able to participate in sexual activity by their early teensBut each culture has its own rules as to when sex is permittedIn some cases sexual experimentation is acceptedSome cultures are very strict on sexual behaviourEspecially with femalesVirginity is usually highly prizedA lot of cultures view male homosexuality to be more acceptedMore people are entering into sexual relationships before marriageWomen are gaining greater control over their sexual lives Rules of sexual access Marriage a relationship between one or more men male or female and one or more women male or female recognized by society as having a continuing claim to the right of sexual access to one anotherPeople develop rules regarding acceptable sexual behaviourIt serves to control sexual relations to some extentThere is an expectation of marriage to create a basis for economic religious social activities and to produce and raise childrenOnly about 5 of societies prohibit all sexual involvement outside of wedlockGender does not automatically follow from biological sex Its culturally defined Affinal kin relatives by marriage Conjugal bond the bond between a man and a woman who are married Consanguinal bond relatives by birth Blood relatives Incest taboo the prohibition of sexual relations between specified individuals usually parent child and sibling relations at a minimum
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