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Class Notes Nov. 2

Class Notes Nov. 2 - Nov 2 Darwin on Gender Descent volume...

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Nov. 2 Darwin on Gender - Descent , volume I, Darwin notes “Man differs from woman in size, bodily strength, hairiness, as well as in mind, in the same manner as do the two sexes of many mammals” (ch.1, p. 8) - Descent , volume II, he argues men the superior product of natural selection because they were more competitive and more active - Equated women with the ‘lower’ races Darwinian theory - sexual reproduction critical for mechanism of natural selection - separation of male and female role in sexual reproduction therefore vital - gender specialization follows (that is, natural selection increases sexual differentiation) Late 18 th and early 19 th gender and sex roles began to change. Important changes in male and females in society. Particularly around the growth of industrialization and growth of cities, affected how men and women led their lives. Standard work day was 15-16 hours. Sexual division of labor separate spheres, idea that men and women occupy different spheres, and women’s role is being at home and doing housework while men’s sphere is in the public world. What Did Women Think of Darwin’s Work? - Women active in the women’s movement (Harriet Martineau, George Eliot, Charlotte Perkins Gilman) mostly applauded Origin when it appeared - Over time they were forced to rethink their relationship to Darwinism - Feminism in the 19 th century, however, mostly stressed the natural differences between men and
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