Sex, Gender and Culture - Essay

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Chapter 8

Sex, Gender and Culture

Gender Concepts
Many societies around the world share the male/female dichotomy when it comes to gender concepts. But a strict dichotomy is far from universal. Ex. Native Americans of the Great Plains, recognize male, female and a third referred as “two-spirits”. “Two-spirit” persons were usually young males, dressed in a woman's dress and would take on many activities of women.

Physique and Physiology
Humans are sexually dimorphic- females and males of our species are generally different in size and appearance.

Gender Roles
Productive and Domestic Activities
Gender Roles- Roles that are culturally assigned to genders.

4 Theories
Strength theory- An explanation for the gender division of labor suggesting that men's work typically involves tasks (like hunting, and lumbering) requiring greater strength and greater aerobic work capacity. Compatibility-with-child-care theory- An explanation for the gender division of labor that suggests that women's work will typically involve tasks that do not take women far from home for long periods, do not place children in potential danger if they are taken along, and can be stopped and resumed if infant needs care. This theory has some problems, it may seem the other way around. For example women who spend a good deal of time in agriculture work outside of home often ask others to watch and feed their infants while they are unavailable. Economy-of-effort theory- An explanation for the gender division of labor that suggests that it may be advantageous for a gender to do tasks that follow in a production sequence (Ex. Those who cut lumber make wooden objects; Those to quarry stone make stone objects). It may also be advantageous for one gender to perform tasks that are located near each other (Ex. Child care and other chores at home). Expendability Theory- An explanation for the gender division of labor that suggests that men, rather than women, will tend to do the dangerous...
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