Summary and Reaction

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Gunnar Lentz
SOC 3160_1002
Dr. Gary Oates
January 13, 2013

Differential Issues Summary & Reaction

In “Race and Sex as Biological Categories,” Ruth Hubbard discusses how biological differences shape our society’s views of women and minority groups. Hubbard first talks about the exploitation of minority groups in order to fuel the industrialization of Europe and North America, saying that “it became imperative to draw distinctions between that small number of men who were created equal and everyone else.” Hubbard says that the “Noble Savage” has become inferior to Caucasians in every way. There also had to be distinction between men and women since the Declaration of Independence declares that “all men are created equal.” Hubbard then decides to break down the discussion and look at it in pieces in order to help the audience better understand it. She discusses that economists have explained that Africans were enslaved for economic purposes rather than racial purposes, and how physicians tried to reinforce this by establishing criteria. These criteria included skull volume and brain size, and were conducted under a racist intent to prove that Africans are inferior to Caucasians. Some experiments were even tampered with in order to guarantee this result. Based on the biological evidence, Hubbard sees no signs of biological difference between races. Hubbard’s other point is that we must determine what we mean by race. Does one person’s lack of certain origins make them any less of a certain race, and does it give them increased health risk? Again, Hubbard says that the answer is no. Instead, it is influenced by how minorities have been placed in lower social classes. Racial oppression left minorities poor, so they were indicators of increased health risk. Hubbard then focuses on sex differences between men and women. First, she discusses Darwin’s theory of sexual selection and states that since competition is more among the men than the women, “the men...
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