ANT100Y1 Chapter Notes -Gender Role, Child Care, Clitoridectomy

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19 Apr 2012
Chapter 9: Gender
Sexual dimorphism: marked differences in male & female biology/phenotype
Sex biological differences
Gender cultural constructions of sex differences
Gender roles vary with environment, economy, adaptive strategy, type of political system
Gender role task and activities a culture assigns to the sexes
Gender stratification unequal distribution of rewards, power, prestige, resources, human
rights/freedom b/t men and women
Child care women have primary authority for children in 2/3 of societies
o Public/private spheres are least separated
o Hierarchy least marked
o Aggression/competition discouraged
o Men and women can do same roles/tasks/jobs
o Little gender stratification
o Ex. Ju/hoansi San men and women both hunted/gathered, spent same amount of time
working, doing each others jobs, sharing ethos
o Gender roles vary
o Women are main producers, 50% of societies women are cultivators
o Women do more cultivating in matrilineal societies
o Matrilocality & Matrilineal descent: females tend to be high in status; little pressure on
resources, low population densities
o Patrilocality/Patrilineal descent keep male relatives together, advantage for warfare men
of same family stick together, intensified production
o Patrilineal-patrilocal complex common in Papua New Guinea
Matriarchy: a political system in which women play a much more prominent role than men do in social
and political organization
o Minangkabau women of West Sumatra Indonesia
o have their own matriarchy, community views men and women as cooperative partners for
the common good
o Men are more cultivators
o Only 15% of societies had female main workers
o Females role more in the home, more nuclear families arise
o Betsileo women from Madagascar contribute 1/3 hours in rice production
Patriarchy: political system ruled by men in which women have inferior social and political status,
including fewer basic human rights
o India and Pakistan
o Female infanticide, clitoridectomy, dowry murders
1900’s – U.S. “a women’s place is the home”
increased female employment since WWII
rise in feminine-headed single mother households… they are more economically unstable
sexual orientation a person’s habitual sexual attraction to another human
culture plays some role in shaping an individuals sexual urges
The Etoro in Papua New Guinea have ritualized homosexuality
Flexibility in sexual expression seems to be an aspect of our primate heritage
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