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20. Gender. Anthropology: The Exploration of Human Diversity 11 th Edition Conrad Phillip Kottak. Gender. Sex and Gender Recurrent Gender Patterns Gender Among Foragers Gender Among Horticulturalists Gender Among Agriculturalists Patriarchy and Violence Gender and Industrialism.

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Anthropology:The Exploration of Human Diversity

11th Edition

Conrad Phillip Kottak



  • Sex and Gender

  • Recurrent Gender Patterns

  • Gender Among Foragers

  • Gender Among Horticulturalists

  • Gender Among Agriculturalists

  • Patriarchy and Violence

  • Gender and Industrialism

Sex and gender

Sex and Gender

  • Gender refers to cultural construction of male and female characteristics

  • Sexual dimorphism refers to marked differences in male and female biology besides the primary and secondary sexual features

  • Sex refers to biological differences

Sex and gender1

Sex and Gender

  • Gender stereotypes—oversimplified but strongly held ideas of characteristics of men and women

  • Gender roles—tasks and activities that a culture assigns to the sexes

Sex and gender2

Sex and Gender

  • Gender stratification—unequal distribution of rewards (socially valued resources, power, prestige, and personal freedom) between men and women, reflecting their different positions in social hierarchy

Recurrent gender patterns

Recurrent Gender Patterns

  • In domestic activities, female labor dominates

  • In extradomestic activities, male labor dominates

  • Subsistence contributions of men and women are roughly equal cross-culturally

Women are primary caregivers, but men often play a role

Recurrent gender patterns1

Recurrent Gender Patterns

  • Men mate, within and outside marriage, more than women do

  • Double standards that restrict women more than men illustrate gender stratification

  • Differences exist in male and female reproductive strategies

Gender stratification lower when domestic and public spheres not clearly distinguished

Gender among foragers

Gender Among Foragers

  • Strong differentiation between the home and the outside world is called the domestic-public dichotomy, or the private-public contrast

  • The activities of the domestic sphere tend to be performed by women

  • The activities of the public sphere tend to be restricted to men

  • The Public-Domestic Dichotomy

Gender among foragers1

Gender Among Foragers

  • Public activities tend to have greater prestige than domestic ones, which promotes gender stratification

Gender among foragers2

Gender Among Foragers

  • Sex-Linked Activities

    • All cultures have a division of labor based on gender, but the particular tasks assigned to men and women vary from culture to culture.

Almost universally, the greater size, strength, and mobility of men have led to their exclusive service in the roles of hunters and warriors.

Gender among foragers3

Gender Among Foragers

  • However, these distinctions are very general, and there is always overlap

    • Kung San

  • Lactation and pregnancy also tend to preclude the possibility of women being the primary hunters in foraging societies

Gender among horticulturalists

Gender among Horticulturalists

  • Reduced Gender Stratification—Matrifocal Societies

    • Survey of matrifocal (mother-centered, often with no resident husband-father) societies indicates that male travel combined with a prominent female economic role reduced gender stratification

The example of the Igbo (Nigeria) demonstrated that gender roles might be filled by members of either sex

Gender among horticulturalists1

Gender among Horticulturalists

  • The spread of patrilineal-patrilocal societies has been associated with pressure on resources and increased local warfare

  • As resources become scarcer, warfare often increases

  • The patrilineal-patrilocal complex concentrates related males in villages, which solidifies their alliances for warfare

  • Increased Gender Stratification-Patrilineal-Patrilocal Societies

Gender among horticulturalists2

Gender Among Horticulturalists

  • Women do most of the cultivation, cooking, and raising children, but are isolated from the public domain

  • Males dominate the public domain (politics, feasts, warfare)

  • This combination tends to enhance male prestige opportunities and result in relatively high gender stratification (e.g., highland Papua-New Guinea)

Gender among horticulturalists3

Gender Among Horticulturalists

  • Women dominated horticulture in 64% of the matrilineal societies and in 50% of the patrilineal societies

  • Women found to be main producers in horticultural societies

Gender among agriculturalists

Gender among Agriculturalists

  • Women were main workers in 50% of horticultural societies but in only 15% of agricultural societies

  • When economy based on agriculture, women typically lose role as primary cultivators

Gender stratification associated with plow agriculture rather than with intensive cultivation

Patriarchy and violence

Patriarchy and Violence

  • Patriarchy—political system ruled by men in which women have inferior social and political status

  • Patriarchy—political system ruled by men in which women have inferior social and political status

Societies that feature a full-fledged patriarchy, replete with warfare and intervillage raiding, adopt such practices as dowry murders, female infanticide, and clitoridectomy

Patriarchy and violence1

Patriarchy and Violence

  • With spread of women’s rights movement and human rights movement, attention to domestic violence and abuse of women increased

  • Patriarchal institutions persist in what should be a more enlightened world

  • Family violence and domestic abuse of women worldwide problems

Gender and industrialism

Gender and Industrialism

  • “Traditional” idea that “a woman’s place is in the home” developed among middle- and upper-class Americans as industrialism spread after 1900

    • Attitudes about gendered work varied with class and region

    • Woman’s role in the home stressed during periods of high unemployment

  • Gender roles changing rapidly in North America

Gender and industrialism1

Gender and Industrialism

  • Gender roles changing rapidly in North America

Now cash employment of American married men falling while that of American married women rising

Gender and industrialism2

Gender and Industrialism

  • Cash Employment of American Mothers, Wives, and Husbands

    • Insert Table 20.9

Gender and industrialism3

Gender and Industrialism

  • Earnings in the United States by Gender and Job Type for Year-Round Full-Time

    • Insert Table 20.10

Gender and industrialism4

Gender and Industrialism

  • Median Annual Income of U.S. Households by Household Type, 2001

    • Insert Table 20.11

Gender and industrialism5

Gender and Industrialism

  • Both men and women constrained by their cultural training, stereotypes, and expectations

Gender and industrialism6

Gender and Industrialism

  • Increasing representation of women and their children among America’s poorest people

    • Consequences in regard to living standards and health are widespread even among wage earners

    • Married couples more secure economically than single mothers are

    • Percentage of female-headed households increasing worldwide

  • The Feminization of Poverty

Gender and industrialism7

Gender and Industrialism

  • The Feminization of Poverty

    • Male migration, civil strife, divorce, abandonment, widowhood, and unwed adolescent parenthood contribute to problem

Widely believed that one way to improve situation of poor women is encourage them to organize

Sexual orientation

Sexual Orientation

  • Persons of the opposite sex, heterosexuality

  • Persons of the same sex, homosexuality

  • Both sexes, bisexuality

  • Person’s habitual sexual attraction to, and sexual activities with

Sexual orientation1

Sexual Orientation

  • Recently in U.S., tendency has been to see sexual orientation as fixed and biologically based

Culture always plays a role in molding individual sexual urges to a collective norm

Sexual orientation2

Sexual Orientation

  • Sex acts involving people of the same sex were absent, rare, or secret in only 37% of 76 societies studied by Ford and Beach (1051)

Sexual orientation3

Sexual Orientation

  • Sudanese Azande males had no difficulty shifting from sex with older men (as male brides), to sex with younger men (as warriors), to sex with women (as husbands)

  • Etoro in Papua New Guinea believed men had limited lifetime supply of semen, and that boys had to acquire semen orally from older men

  • Various forms of same-sex sexual activity considered normal and acceptable

Sexual orientation4

Sexual Orientation

  • Flexibility in sexual expression seems to be an aspect of our primitive heritage

Sexual orientation5

Sexual Orientation

  • The Location of the Etoro, Kaluli and Sambia in Papua New Guinea

    • Insert Figure 20.4

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