Guest Lecture Language & Gender

Guest Lecture Language & Gender - A common riddle A...

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Unformatted text preview: A common riddle A father and his son are involved in a car accident, as a result of which the son is rushed to hospital for emergency surgery. The surgeon looks at him and says "I can't operate on him. He's my son. Explain. Wesley Y. Leonard, SDSU Anthropology wleonard@mail.sdsu.edu True or False? There are biological differences that predict, on average, that men will speak at a lower pitch than women (or that women will speak at a higher pitch than men). True True or False? In the United States, the average 8- year old girl speaks at a higher pitch than the average 8-year old boy. True Language and Gender Possible Subtitles: Men and Women speak differently Sex determines how we talk Men are from Mars | Women are from Venus Essentialism Alert! Studies show gender to be socially meaningful for communicative norms & interpretations Condry and Condry 1976 adults watching film of crying infant more likely to think baby is angry if they believe baby was male Bellinger and Gleason 1982 more direct prohibitives (e.g., Stop doing that!) used by parents talking to boys than to girls Maccoby 2002 children have a clear knowledge of their gender by age 3 Most linguistic phenemena that well be looking at are part of gender , not biological sex On the most obvious level, sex refers to a biological categorization based primarily on genetic makeup or reproductive potential, and gender is the social elaboration of and/or identity that builds on biological sex. How the categories (anatomical, chromosomal, etc.) delineate biological sex is also socially determined. The distinction is unclear and the categorization is complicated (and why categorize anyway?) from Anne Fausto-Sterling* labeling someone a man or a woman is a social decision. We may use scientic knowledge to help us make the decision, but only our beliefs about gender not science can dene our sex. Furthermore, our beliefs about gender affect what kinds of knowledge scientists produce about sex in the rst place. How does the eld of language and gender t in with those who are intersex (w/ sexual or reproductive anatomy that doesnt t prototypical male/female patterns)?...
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Guest Lecture Language & Gender - A common riddle A...

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