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Margaret Mead

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  1. Margaret Mead cultural differences/sex and gender

  2. Margaret Mead’s study of three primitive societies in New Guinea (1935) • Mead noticed huge differences in the roles, behaviours and expectations of males and females

  3. The Arapesh tribe • Males and females showed similar behaviours • Men and women were gentle and affectionate • Child rearing was shared equally

  4. The Mundugomor tribe • Males and females showed similar behaviours • Men and women were aggressive and competitive • Children and child rearing were disliked

  5. The Tchambuli tribe • Distinctive gender roles • Males were dependent, and spent lots of time grooming and making crafts • Women supported and managed the family and were more dominant.

  6. Mead concluded that sex differences were cultural, not biological. However, critics say Mead exaggerated, even made up, the differences between the tribes. She later argued against some of her own ideas.

  7. What problems are there with this research?