Gender refers to the significance a society attaches to the biological categories of female and male. Typically they are differentiated into feminine and masculine traits. Biologically, males and females reveal limited differences. GENDER IN GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE
The Israeli Kibbutzim The significance played by culture in the development of gender is illustrated by various types of research, including studies that focus on egalitarian gender role patterns in the Israeli kibbutzim. Margaret Mead's Research Other cross-cultural evidence, for example the research by anthropologist Margaret Mead, uncovers the variety of ways in which masculine and feminine traits are defined and experienced by males and females. She studied three primitive societies in New Guinea--the Arapesh, the Mundugumor, and the Tchambuli. In each society very different gender-role patterns were found to have existed. George Murdock's Research Cross-cultural research by George Murdock in over 200 preindustrialized societies shows some consistencies in the distribution of certain tasks between females and males. However, within these general patterns, significant variation was found. In Sum: Gender and Culture Global comparisons indicate that, generally speaking, societies do not consistently define most tasks as either feminine or masculine. The cultural variability of gender also means that gender roles change over time. Patriarchy and Sexism While conceptions of gender vary cross-culturally and historically, there is an apparent universal pattern of patriarchy, a form of social organization in which males dominate females. Matriarchy, defined as a form of social organization in which females dominate males, is not known to have ever existed. Patriarchy is based on sexism, or the belief that one sex is innately superior to the other. Some researchers argue that sexism is very similar in form to racism. Institutionalized sexism is also common. The Costs of Sexism The costs of sexism are...
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