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Gender & Marriage.

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Presentation on theme: "Gender & Marriage."— Presentation transcript:

1 Gender & Marriage

2 Gender Gender Roles Sexual Stratification Culture and Personality

3 Gender Learned aspects of sexuality.
Sex roles which are dictated by culture. Persons gender identity-self-id as male or female, does not necessarily coincide with his or her anatomy. In some societies there is a third gender-some Native American Plains groups had Berdache, men who dressed as women and served in womens roles. Socially accepted, not like in American culture where cross dressing is a fringe-i.e. talk shows.

4 Zuni Berdache In some Native American cultures, male children who display feminine characteristics at an early age are valued by the tribe as a sacred trust. It is believed that the Great Spirit has sent this child to them as a go-between for males and females, a bridge between the sexes who understands both sides of the human condition. Such a child is apprenticed to a shaman, or holy man of the tribe. In his training, he learns the traditional work of both sexes, dresses as a woman, and usually performs the functions of healer and arbiter for his people. Native Americans find the term offensive as it comes ultimately from the Arabic where it means roughly, 'male prostitute'. For more information on berdache, go to We'wha ( ), a Zuni berdache, lived in New Mexico. He is shown holding a ritual vessel, dressed in women's clothing.

5 Tribal Terms for Two-Spirit Roles

6 Sex Biological category into which a person is born.
Dictated by chromosomal and anatomical characteristics, and is usually permanent. Sexual Dimorphism-manifestation of obvious sexual differences such as size, coloring, body hair. Humans, also other animals such as dogs, birds, etc.

7 Gender Roles Most societies classify infants as male/female at birth.
Enculturation begins immediately, gender roles are assigned. *i.e. Instances as in Father's referring to boys as "tiger" and "tough guy". Imitation most important process of learning sex role. Girls imitate mothers and domestic activities, boys imitate fathers and other males. Rewarded for this imitation, but often not acceptable to imitate others. Boys don't play with dolls.

8 Sex roles-Biology or Culture?
Biology and culture interact in a complex manner to produce differences in male and female behavior. girls seem to have greater verbal ability. boys have greater spatial ability. What roles do culture play? small boys allowed to roam farther from home than small girls in most societies. Because more spatial? study of girls and boys in E. Africa, girls allowed to roam just as much as boys-matched spatial ability.

9 Sexual Stratification: The status of women varies from one society to another, but the status of men and women is stratified. Status of women Need to look at roles played by women and the value the society places on those roles. Women in certain West African societies work in the marketplace so have economic power. This status is not static Roles of men and women change through time. Varies with politics, age.

10 Differences in Sexual Stratification
Example 1: Mbuti pygmies of Africa are very egalitarian with gender, but women have the power to have children-which gives them a higher status. Example 2: In some societies, the "western" concept of men as aggressive and women as passive does not hold true for all societies. The analysis of some New Guinea tribes shows the differences- the Arapesh, the Mundugumor, and the Tchambuli. The Arapesh both men and women have mild, sympathetic natures. The Mundugumor men and women are equally fierce and aggressive. The Tchambuli men are mild and sensitive, while the women are fierce and aggressive.

11 Gender Ideology A system of thoughts and values that legitimize sex roles, statuses, and behavior. This is part of the universal male dominance-gender asymmetry. Food production-foods procured by men (such as meat) are higher status than those by women, even though women provide most food in hunting and gathering societies. even in America, women didn't have the right to vote until 70 years ago. But-as humans become aware of the capacities of all people these unequal tendencies diminish.

12 Marriage A socially approved sexual relationship.
Refers to the customs, rules, and obligations that establish a special relationship between a sexually cohabitating adult male and female, and any children they produce, and between the kin groups of husband and wife.

13 Function of Marriage Marriage serves to:
Reduce sexual competition Marriage legitimizes sexual activity which reduces rivalry for spouses and reduces chances for conflict. Regulates and Balances the Sexual Division of Labor Brings together people who different tasks, so male married to a female is complimentary Creates Set of Family Relationships Provides situation for the healthy development of children

14 Marriage Rules Every society has rules about marriage & mating
Incest taboos Prohibitions on mating between relatives or persons classified as relatives. Incest taboos about mating between immediate family are universal. Exception: royal families - sometimes in the past royal families have had marriages between brothers and sisters to keep blood lines pure. Explanations for Incest Taboos Inbreeding Theory - negative genetic consequences Social Alliances Theory - marrying outside family creates network of family alliances

15 Whom can you Marry? Exogamy - an individual must marry outside the group incest taboo type of exogamy marry outside immediate family (clan, lineage, village) Arapesh - Mtns of New Guinea – What, you would like to marry your sister? What is the matter with you? Don't you want a brother-in-law? Don't you realize that if you marry another man's sister and another man marries your sister, you will have at least two brother-in-laws, while if you marry your own sister you will have none? with whom will you hunt? Endogamy - must marry within a certain group village, caste, social/economic group, religion

16 Number of Spouses - How many mates?
Monogamy - marriage of one man to one woman Our society with high rates of divorce=Serial Monogamy Polygyny - marriage of a man to two or more women In most societies, it is preferred form of marriage But hard to have multiple spouses: need soclal and economic power Advantages of Polygyny mark of prestige and high status generally only royalty/aristocrats womens status with multiple wives can be economic assets many women to help with work Polyandry - woman married to two or more men, uncommon Most notable in India, Tibet, Nepal explained by shortage of land (i.e. don't divide property).

17 When Brothers Share a Wife.
Tibetan culture with fraternal polyandry. Treatment of offspring? Dorje (oldest brother) reasons for sharing wife? Why not each take a wife and manage land jointly? Problems? Access of younger brothers to wife. 31% females unmarried. Benefits? More secure and higher standard of living. Less work pressure for men.

18 Mormon and Polygyny Not accepted by mainstream church.
Usually marry one woman, then divorce her to marry another or just take a “wife” in a religious ceremony, but not recognized legally.

19 Residence patterns - Where do Wives and Husbands Live?
Patrilocal Residence - most common A married couple lives with the relatives of the husband. Matrilocal Residence A married couple lives w/ or near the relatives of the wife. Neolocal U.S., generally Married couple forms independent places of residence away from relatives of either spouse.

20 Same Sex Partnerships For the most part, serve same roles as traditional marriages. Not civilly sanctioned (with some exceptions). More and more recognized as “domestic partners”. Still discriminated in terms of benefits, adoption, etc. Legal in Vermont In a groundbreaking decision on Monday, December 20, 2000 the Vermont Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples must be granted the full rights and privileges of marriage, equal to those granted heterosexual unions under Vermont law. While the final implementation will be left up to the Vermont legislature, the justices declared that "Whatever system is chosen must conform with the constitutional imperative to afford all Vermonters the common benefit, protection, and security of the law."

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