Lecture+14-3 - Lecture 14: Gender Most Ann Arborites assume...

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Lecture 14: Gender Most Ann Arborites assume that sex and gender are the same thing. A “man” is basically a person of male sex. A “woman” is a person of female sex. But anthropologists discovered long ago that ways of being a man or woman differed radically in time and space, whereas the physical characteristics that defined a person as male or female were always present. Clearly, gender and sex are not the same thing. Ann Arborites (and most people around the world) determine the sex of a child by scrutinizing its genitalia. A baby boy has a penis. A girl has a clitoris and vagina. How this boy and girl learn to express their masculinity and femininity, however, will vary across and within cultures. Gender is a set of roles, assumptions, practices, and stereotypes we use to give shape to male and female characteristics, both social and biological. Gender is like a costume we all must wear, and the importance of gender differences is apparent in the consistency with which men and women dress and adorn themselves differently. Humans often produce social worlds in which there are two (or more) genders, even when there are members of only one sex in these social worlds. Examples: marriages between senior and junior “warriors” among the Azande; genderized marriages and couplings among prisoners, soldiers, etc. in “total institutions” populated with members of the same sex] Also, people can wear gender wardrobes that run counter to their anatomical sex. [Examples: the berdaches of North America, the hijras in India, transvestite sex symbols
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This note was uploaded on 02/17/2011 for the course ANTHRCUL 101 taught by Professor Kirsch during the Fall '08 term at University of Michigan.

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Lecture+14-3 - Lecture 14: Gender Most Ann Arborites assume...

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