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Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9
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Gender And Sexbiological And Cultural Foundations Of Kinship 1215838664150017 9

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  • 1. Gender and Sex The Biological and Cultural Foundations of Kinship
  • 2. Gender and Sex <ul><li>Sex: Refers to all the physical attributes separating women and men </li></ul><ul><li>Gender: Refers to the cultural attributes derived from sex differences. </li></ul><ul><li>This section will </li></ul><ul><li>Elaborate on these differences </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss restrictions on sexual activity, especially the incest tabu </li></ul><ul><li>Describe gender roles </li></ul><ul><li>Look at gender status </li></ul>
  • 3. Where It All Begins: Sex Characteristics <ul><li>Sex: physical characteristics of sexes </li></ul><ul><li>Primary sex characteristics: reproductive organs </li></ul><ul><li>Secondary sex characteristics: the body attributes of each sex </li></ul>
  • 4. A Refresher on Male Sex Characteristics <ul><li>Males of our and all species have: </li></ul><ul><li>Testicles that produce sperm </li></ul><ul><li>Sperm that fertilizes the ovum </li></ul><ul><li>And contributes half the genes </li></ul><ul><li>Penis transmits sperm to the vagina when reproducing </li></ul>
  • 5. A Refresher on Female Sex Characteristics <ul><li>Females of our and all species have </li></ul><ul><li>Ovaries that produce ova (sing. ovum, egg) </li></ul><ul><li>Oviducts or Fallopian tubes that convey the egg to the </li></ul><ul><li>Vagina, the “reception area” of the sperm </li></ul><ul><li>The Uterus, where the egg is fertilized and then implanted </li></ul><ul><li>And where the embryo/fetus develops the next 9 months </li></ul>
  • 6. Secondary Sex Characteristics: Mammals <ul><li>Sexual Dimorphism: Differences in secondary characteristics </li></ul><ul><li>Gibbons: Females and males are indistinguishable (top) </li></ul><ul><li>Peacocks: Males have showy feathers </li></ul><ul><li>Females are neutrally colored </li></ul><ul><li>Here, a peacock woos a peahen (bottom) </li></ul>
  • 7. Secondary Sex Characteristics: Human <ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Censored </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Human sexual dimorphism falls somewhere in between gibbons and peacocks </li></ul><ul><li>Women: </li></ul><ul><li>Pendulous breasts for lactation </li></ul><ul><li>Wide pelvis for childbirth </li></ul><ul><li>Men: </li></ul><ul><li>Facial hair </li></ul><ul><li>Greater grip strength </li></ul><ul><li>Larger hearts and lungs </li></ul><ul><li>Narrow pelvis </li></ul><ul><li>(Censorship courtesy of Ethnocentrity, Inc. ) </li></ul>
  • 8. Gender characteristics <ul><li>Gender: the cultural attributes arising from sex differences </li></ul><ul><li>Haviland: “Cultural elaboration and meanings assigned to the biological differentiation between the sexes” </li></ul><ul><li>Examples </li></ul><ul><li>Gender roles: bread winning, child rearing </li></ul><ul><li>Behavior: emotional expression, assertiveness </li></ul><ul><li>Clothing; ornamentation; make-up (50s North America, Moroccan caftans, veil) </li></ul>
  • 9. Rules Governing Sexual Behavior <ul><li>All societies restrict sexual behavior in some way </li></ul><ul><li>Only 5% confine sexual behavior to marriage (including us) </li></ul><ul><li>Severity of punishment is one case of control (honor homicides) </li></ul><ul><li>Clitoridectomy removes source of sexual pleasure </li></ul><ul><li>Incest tabus are de facto restrictions, such as village-level tabus </li></ul>
  • 10. Enforcing Sexual Prohibitions: Honor Homicides <ul><li>Honor homicides occur across the Middle East </li></ul><ul><li>Offense: adultery, even in rape cases </li></ul><ul><li>Upper left: Scene from threat to stone Mary Magdalen for adultery </li></ul><ul><li>Both men and women could be stoned to death, as in Afghanistan (lower left) </li></ul><ul><li>A question of ethical relativism </li></ul>
  • 11. Clitoricectomy and Circumcision <ul><li>Africa, Middle East: Clitoridectomy removes sexual pleasure in women </li></ul><ul><li>Above: Kipsigis girls preparing for clitoridectomy </li></ul><ul><li>Often, parts of vulva are sewn afterward to ensure virginity </li></ul><ul><li>Circumcision is questionable as well </li></ul><ul><li>As suggested in this political cartoon from Australia </li></ul>
  • 12. Incest Tabu <ul><li>Definition: A rule that forbids copulation between two persons of defined relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Incest is often confused with marriage </li></ul><ul><li>Exogamy: a rule that forbid marriage between persons of defined relationships </li></ul>
  • 13. The Emotional Power of the Incest Tabu: Lot’s Daughters <ul><li>Story of Lot’s departure from Sodom/Gomorrah </li></ul><ul><li>Wife looks back and turns into pillar of salt </li></ul><ul><li>Believing they are the only humans alive, </li></ul><ul><li>Lot’s daughters induce him (with wine) to impregnate them </li></ul><ul><li>Older daughter founds Moab </li></ul><ul><li>Younger daughter founds the Ammonites </li></ul><ul><li>Incest is one justification for Israelites to exterminate both peoples </li></ul><ul><li>Could this be a patriarchal interpretation? Perhaps </li></ul>
  • 14. Incest Tabu: Primary Kin <ul><li>Primary kin: parent-child, siblings </li></ul><ul><li>Father-daughter </li></ul><ul><li>Mother-son </li></ul><ul><li>Brother sister </li></ul><ul><li>Exceptions: Egyptian, Inca, Hawaiian </li></ul><ul><li>Allowed only in royal line: “purity” </li></ul>
  • 15. Incest Tabu: Secondary Kin <ul><li>Definition: All kin other than immediate family </li></ul><ul><li>Tabu varies by culture </li></ul><ul><li>Anglo-Americans: first cousins </li></ul><ul><li>Scene from Ararat: Step-siblings (upper right) are in gray area </li></ul><ul><li>Navajo: all people of the same clan </li></ul><ul><li>Yanomamo: one’s own lineage </li></ul><ul><li>However, cross-cousin marriage is prescribed (lower right) </li></ul>
  • 16. Incest Tabu and Exogamy: Differences <ul><li>Incest tabu: prohibits sexual relations between persons of defined relations </li></ul><ul><li>Exogamy: prohibits marriage between persons of defined relations </li></ul><ul><li>Arunta of Australia: </li></ul><ul><li>Marriage to mother mother’s brother’s daughter’s daughter </li></ul><ul><li>Marriage exogamous: involved 2 patrilineages </li></ul><ul><li>Sexuality: allowed outside primary kin </li></ul>
  • 17. Incest Tabu and Exogamy: Significance <ul><li>Reasons for incest tabu tend to be biological or psychological </li></ul><ul><li>Inbreeding theory </li></ul><ul><li>Lack-of-interest/revulsion theory </li></ul><ul><li>Sexual competition theory </li></ul><ul><li>Reasons for exogamy: sociological/political </li></ul><ul><li>Marriage creates alliances </li></ul><ul><li>Marriage cements intergroup ties </li></ul>
  • 18. Why Incest Tabus? <ul><li>Short answer: </li></ul><ul><li>No one really knows </li></ul><ul><li>All explanations have some defect </li></ul><ul><li>Other animals species also avoid inbreeding those that are large, slow to mature, long-lived, and intelligent </li></ul><ul><li>Counterexamples: brother-sister marriage in Roman Egypt </li></ul>
  • 19. Biological (Genetic) Explanations: Background <ul><li>Background to explanation </li></ul><ul><li>Mating: each parent contribute half of genes </li></ul><ul><li>Variation of a gene: alleles. </li></ul><ul><li>Alleles are dominant or recessive </li></ul>
  • 20. Biological (Genetic) Explanations <ul><li>Dominant gene appears in phenotype </li></ul><ul><li>Deleterious alleles </li></ul><ul><li>Definition: those alleles that are harmful, even fatal </li></ul><ul><li>When 2 recessive deleterious genes come together </li></ul><ul><li>The deleterious allele appears in lifeform </li></ul>
  • 21. Biological (Genetic) Explanation <ul><li>Fears of inbreeding deters incest </li></ul><ul><li>Birth defects: Mental and physical disabilities (Charles II of Spain) </li></ul><ul><li>Lower intelligence (e.g. Down syndrome) </li></ul><ul><li>Anomalous characteristics (Mohammed Kalid, Lebanese) </li></ul><ul><li>Parallel Cousin Marriage common in Middle East </li></ul><ul><li>Assumptions: </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals have facts of life straight </li></ul><ul><li>Defect attributed to inbreeding </li></ul><ul><li>No close marriages </li></ul>
  • 22. Biological (Genetic): Shortcomings <ul><li>Connection between copulation and childbirth often not made </li></ul><ul><li>Rapan (Easter) Islanders: woman is fertile during menstruation </li></ul><ul><li>Other explanation may explain childbirth (witchcraft, evil spirit in womb) </li></ul><ul><li>Tarahumara women avoided this man, a shaman thought to prevent births </li></ul><ul><li>Defect may not show up for generations </li></ul><ul><li>Widespread cross-cousin marriage also entail inbreeding: evidence is mixed </li></ul>
  • 23. Lack-of-Interest Explanation <ul><li>Close kin do not mate for lack of interest or revulsion against idea </li></ul><ul><li>Familiarity breeds contempt--or boredom </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Israeli kibbutz (collective farm) </li></ul><ul><li>Spiro: observed marriage rarely occurs in kibbutz </li></ul><ul><li>Attribution: lack of interest in long-familiar cohorts (e.g. these children in 1936) </li></ul>
  • 24. Lack of Interest Explanation: Shortcomings <ul><li>Counterexample: Israeli kibbutz </li></ul><ul><li>Most late teenagers leave kibbutz to join army--both males and females are drafted (left) </li></ul><ul><li>Marriage occurs when they have left kibbutz </li></ul><ul><li>Exceptions need explanation: brother-sister marriage in Roman Egypt </li></ul><ul><li>Logic: Why a tabu for something that no one would engage in anyway? </li></ul>
  • 25. Sexual Competition Explanations <ul><li>Sexual jealousy disrupts family relations </li></ul><ul><li>Freud: Oedipus/Electra complex </li></ul><ul><li>Rivalry between child and same-sex parent </li></ul><ul><li>Can assume jealousy without Freudian baggage </li></ul><ul><li>Shortcomings </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple marriage: polygyny (upper left) and polyandry </li></ul><ul><li>Fraternal polyandry (lower left) and sororal polygyny mitigate tension </li></ul>
  • 26. Sexuality: Some Conclusions <ul><li>Kinship Starts with the facts of life themselves </li></ul><ul><li>Sexual behavior has limitations everywhere </li></ul><ul><li>Examples of sanctions: honor homicide, clitoridectomy </li></ul><ul><li>Incest tabus and their explanations </li></ul>
  • 27. Gender Division of Labor: Definitions <ul><li>Definition: An arrangement whereby men perform some tasks and women others. </li></ul><ul><li>Three basic questions </li></ul><ul><li>Does every society have different work for males and females? Yes. </li></ul><ul><li>Do they divide work in similar ways? Depends </li></ul><ul><li>What explains these differences? </li></ul>
  • 28. Gender Division of Labor: Gender-Exclusive Tasks <ul><li>Men generally </li></ul><ul><li>Handle heavier tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Handle dangerous tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Engage in warfare </li></ul><ul><li>Exercise political leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Women generally </li></ul><ul><li>Handle domestic duties </li></ul><ul><li>Rear children </li></ul><ul><li>Fetch water </li></ul>
  • 29. Gender Division of Labor: Shared Tasks <ul><li>Either or both genders </li></ul><ul><li>Perform handicrafts: weaving, leatherworks, pottery, basketry </li></ul><ul><li>Milk Plant, tend, and harvest crops </li></ul><ul><li>animals </li></ul><ul><li>Preserve meat or fish </li></ul>
  • 30. Gender Division of Labor: Explanations <ul><li>Main explanations </li></ul><ul><li>Strength Explanations </li></ul><ul><li>Compatibility-with-Child-Care Explanations </li></ul><ul><li>Male Expendability Explanations </li></ul><ul><li>All do not apply to all places </li></ul>
  • 31. Strength Explanations <ul><li>Ability to mobilize strength in quick bursts of energy </li></ul><ul><li>Matches most task done by males (slash and burn) </li></ul><ul><li>However, women handle tasks involving heavy labor (!Kung) </li></ul><ul><li>Fishing (Yahgan) </li></ul><ul><li>Herd large animals (Maasai) </li></ul><ul><li>Clear land </li></ul><ul><li>Carry heavy loads while cultivating (Nepal) </li></ul>
  • 32. Compatibility-with-Child Care Explanations <ul><li>Women handle tasks compatible with child care (especially at breast-feeding) </li></ul><ul><li>Tasks are interruptible to tend to child </li></ul><ul><li>Tasks do not take them away for long </li></ul><ul><li>Tasks do not place children in danger </li></ul><ul><li>However, main marketers are women, who spend long time away from home (below) </li></ul><ul><li>Child care is often exchanged with others </li></ul>
  • 33. Male Expenditure Explanations <ul><li>Men usually engage in dangerous work (or warfare) </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of men less disadvantageous to society’s survival </li></ul><ul><li>Than loss of women, who have reproductive power </li></ul><ul><li>Shortcomings: Women also take on dangerous tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Atga (Philippines): Women hunt (lower left) </li></ul><ul><li>Yahgan: fish in rough seas </li></ul>
  • 34. Status of Women <ul><li>Warfare tends to maximize male dominance </li></ul><ul><li>Maasai: warlike until British invasion; residence patrilocal </li></ul><ul><li>Where women own property, tend to dominate, though indirectly </li></ul><ul><li>Iroquois were cultivators, owned property, had much influence in tribal affairs </li></ul><ul><li>Foraging: !Kung women contribute most of food, have greater say in band . </li></ul>
  • 35. Conclusion <ul><li>Sex is the first organizer of human society </li></ul><ul><li>This is filtered culturally through gender </li></ul><ul><li>Gender labor and status depends on cultural factors </li></ul><ul><li>Explanations for these differences continue to be advanced </li></ul>

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