The Cultural Construction of Gender and Sexuality

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 541
  • Published : December 3, 2009
Open Document
Text Preview
 Chapter. 12 Outline "The Cultural Construction Of Gender and Sexuality"

"Differentiating Sexuality And Gender"

The biological term, Gender refers to the fact that humans are overwhelmingly either male or female. The Organization of cultural activity by gender is pervasive. Every subject that we touch on in cultural anthropology shows the workings of the cultural construction of gender. Sexuality and Gender are the two main parts of the biocultural model The primate species of mammal to which modern humans belong known as Homo Sapien reproduce through sexual intercourse between male and female. Sex has been deemed less appropriate for scholarship than kinship or ritual is. Ironically in sex the pleasure and procreation is important.

"How Many Genders? How Many Sexualities? The puzzle of homosexuality" Anthropology Contributes to the homosexuality debate in two ways: first by examining the cultural assumptions of the western model of gender and sexuality and by exploring the ideas of othercultures. Gilbert Herdt stated that Western thinkers, including anthropologist,have been prisoners of "Sexual dimorphism". Sexual dimorphism empasizes two genders,male,and female, whose purpose is reproduction. Sexual dimorphism relegates other culturally constructed genders, as well as nonreproductive sexuality to marginal or deviant status at best. As long as the dimorphism model was used, There was little inclination to credit the possibility of a third or fourth gender in other cultures. Among North American Indian tribes, there have been many variations on gender behavior that go far beyond a simple male-female dichotomy. Term "Berdache" has often been used for individuals (usually males) who took on female roles. Concerned Native Americans said "Berdache" which was originally a derogatory word from Arabic, is Inappropriate. In Native American culture males did female task,females were active in "warfare, hunting, leadership,and their special supernatural powers. A new term, Two-Spirit, has been Proposed in 1994.

In Northern Athapascans, of northern Canada, do not have variations that had been labeled "Berdache". They believe in reincarnation. Serena Nanda Wrote on The term "Hijras of India". The term Hijras of India are a religious community of ascribed intersexuals who worship Bahuchara Mata, the Mother Goddess, and share the experienced gender identity of women. Culturally defined as neither men nor women, the role of the hijras is based on sexual impotence and functions as a third gender. Men become Hijra by having an operation that removes their Maleness-their Genitals. They have Two main social roles simultaneously and (Apparently) In contradiction: As Sacred ritual Specialists and as prostitutes for men. Extra culturally genders consist of : mahu in Tahiti, Hawaii,and elsewhere in polynesia(Besnier,1994):A Pattern of " Becoming"Men in the balkans, which may or may not Represent a real third gender(Gremaux,1994) The Sambia believe that girls are born in complete and have only to grow up to be able to have children. Boys on the other hand, are born without semen. Before males can procreate,all boys, at ten years of age, are removed to a special male village. They also ingest semen daily, performing fellatio on a few young men whose duty it is to service them. After several years of practice during there teen years the boys are discharged fom the male village, are married to young women, and from that moment lead exclusively, heterosexual lives. "The Role Of Gender In Society"

The Biological Differences Between Me and Women Shape vast behavoral differences. Gender Differences have been found-for both Humans and rats, in cravings: males Desire Protein and fat rich meat,and females desire chocolate. "The Impact of the Feminist Perspective"

Margaret Mead discussed in her book three...
tracking img