Cultural Anthropology

Topics: Gender, Sex, Gender role Pages: 2 (844 words) Published: March 26, 2013
1. Sex is the biological aspect of being female, male, or other. Usually sex is assigned at birth based on external genitalia. For example, when a baby is born as a male, then it is a male. Gender is the sociocultural construct of masculine and feminine roles and the qualities assigned to these roles. For example, gender role is the tasks and behaviors assigned by a culture to each sex. 2. Sexual dimorphism refers to the biological differences between males and females. Some examples of this include difference in morphology, size, and behavior. 3. Sexual attractiveness varies across cultures. Kissing for example, it is a behavior popular in the Western societies, where televisions and media show that it is ideal for erotic sex play. However, in other societies, kissing is considered to be disgusting. Another example is genital stimulation is widespread among groups. Oral stimulations by men and women occur in a number of cultures but not so much in others. 4. For many societies, there are no prohibitions on sexual practices, expect that in most groups’ sex is supposed to take place in private. Variations are found in attitude about allowances and prohibitions. If the culture views sex positively, then it is enjoyed frequently and with fewer prohibitions. If the culture views sex negatively, then it is enjoyed less frequently and with more prohibitions. For example, extramarital sex is fairly common across cultures, and it is ignored by many as long as affairs are carried out with discretion. 5. One example of factors that affect gender roles across culture is kinship. Kinship rules of descent and their associated residence patterns affect gender as it is perceived and constructed by a society. For instance, in a Chinese society, males enjoy higher status than females, who only serve to produce sons. When a Chinese girl marries, she leaves her parents’ household and she become strong only in relationship to how many sons she bears. Another example of...
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