The Effects of Biological Differences and Culture on Male and Female Characteristics
The nature versus raising phenomena remains a outstanding issue within anthropology. Research has been undertaken in this country to find which human traits and behaviors are influenced by nature or biological science, and which are influenced by raising or socialization into a specific civilization. The constructs of sex and gender are impacted by this argument as they are based on the biological differences of work forces and adult females, and divergences in cultural definitions severally. This essay aims to find which male and female features are influence by their biological differences or sex and which are to a great extent reliant on their civilizations definition of gender and gender. This will be achieved by analyzing work forces and women’s functions within a community along with gender stratification and gender stereotypes.
First, it will research the biological differences of work forces and adult females. To outdo describe these differences we must specify sex. Doyle ( 1985, p. 7 ) defines sex as the “observable physical features that distinguish two sorts of worlds, females and males, needed for biological reproduction.” Worlds have two types of sexual physical features, primary, their genitalias, and secondary, such as countries of hair growing and sum of chest tissue. Assorted anthropologists have besides proposed the construct of sexual dimorphism to explicate differences such as tallness, weight and strength which are beyond primary and secondary sexual features ( Kottak, 2013, p. 209 ) . These physical features are influenced by the degrees of three endocrines, testosterone, oestrogen and progestogen ( Doyle, 1985, p. 8 ) . Males have higher degrees of testosterone, which effects an individual’s tallness and strength ( Doyle, 1985, p. 8 ) . In many societies work forces are responsible for undertakings such as hunting, edifice boats and contending in conflicts ( Kottak, 2013, p. 213 ) . Kottak ( 2013, p. 213 ) suggests work forces are more physically suited to execute these functions because they are larger and stronger than the mean adult females. Similarly, adult females have higher degrees of oestrogen and progestogen, which allows their organic structures to accommodate to care for their kids, for illustration breastfeeding. This is reflected in Whyte’s ( as cited in Kottak, 2013, p. 212 ) survey which found adult females in 66 % of societies were responsible for kid attention. Therefore, biological differences caused by different degrees of endocrines enable each sex to be more capable of finishing specific functions.
An individual’s biological sex besides impacts their societal interactions. Levi-Strauss ( as cited in Cranny-Francis, 2003, p. 6 ) believed that for an person to hold position as a human they must belong to a affinity group, whether they are a parent, kid or sibling. The function they play within this group and accordingly, their cultural position is determined by their biological sex ( Cranny-Francis, 2003, p. 3 ) . Western society reinforces this ideal that humans must belong to one of these two sexes through mundane undertakings such as make fulling out paperwork or utilizing the populace public toilets ( Cranny-Francis, 2003, p. 3 ) . Gayle Rubin ( 1974, p. 158 ) considers all societies to keep a sex and gender system based on biological sex. Whilst harmonizing to other theoreticians an individual’s sex convergences with their perceived gender because our apprehension of biological sex stems from our civilizations perceptual experiences of gender ( Cranny-Francis, 2003, p. 4 ) . Therefore, an individual’s sex influences non merely their societal position but is reinforced by many societies and is the footing for the construct of gender.
Although gender is influenced by a culture’s definition of sex, an individual’s gender remains independent from it ( Doyle, 1985, p. 9 ) . Gender can be defined as the cultural concept of beliefs about males and females and which behaviors are considered to be appropriate for them ( Kottak, 2013, p. 209 ) . Rhonda Unger ( 1979, p. 1085 ) further defines gender as the societal and cultural facets of an person. These definitions support a gender continuum with the feature of maleness at one terminal and feature of muliebrity at the other with specific behaviors and functions ranked by rightness between them ( Doyle, 1985, p. 9 ) . As a consequence, specific gender functions change based on these features and are created by each civilization. Domestic responsibilities are seen as feminine because working outside the place to supply for the household is deemed more masculine ( Bradley, 1994, p. 151 ) . In a study of 92 indiscriminately selected societies, 51 % of males completed no domestic responsibilities and 49 % of males completed some but the bulk was still completed by females ( Kottak, 2013, p. 212 ) . This is reflected in western society as typically working adult females are required to happen occupations which fit in with their domestic responsibilities or arrange for them to be completed by person else ( Bradley, 1994, p. 151 ) . There is divergency within western civilization as some work forces, either individual parents or stay-at place pas, are responsible for family occupations and kid attention while the adult females work ( Bradley, 1994, p. 151 ) ; these work forces are accepted within western civilization because of their fortunes. Therefore, each gender has specific functions within their societies based on which features are deemed as masculine or feminine by their civilization.
Gender stratification occurs when one gender is benefited by more societal resources so the other ( Kottack, 203, p. 209 ) . This may be due to the features of one gender lending more to society than the features of the other gender. It is believed by some that gender operates as a set of hierarchies which arrange functions in society to favor maleness over muliebrity ( Moore, 1994, p. 14 ) . This is taken farther by claims that the secondary position of adult females in society is one of the true universals. In many of the societies studied, males dominated and controlled the females ( Moore, 1994, p. 15 ) . However the females have considerable power socially although authorization is given to males ( Cranny-Francis, 2003, p. 6 ) .A cross-cultural survey by Sandy ( cited in Kottak, 2013, p. 213 ) contradicts this as it found that gender stratification was highest when the parts to subsistence made by adult females were more or less than that made by work forces. In societies where work forces and adult females made equal parts gender stratification was decreased. Therefore, adult females in the societies antecedently studied were lending excessively small to society. In comparing, civilizations like the Arapesh people of Papua New Guinea see work forces and adult females as peers, they portion and collaborate on all functions from harvest production to raising kids ( Mead, 1963, p. 4 ) . Similarly, the Mundugumor folk of Papua New Guinea, discourages gender differences as the adult females of the folk abandon their kids once they leave babyhood go forthing them to fend for themselves ( Mead, 1963, p. 7 ) . This allows the adult females of the folk to lend the same sum to the folk as the work forces. Contrastingly, there are besides societies which place favor in feminine features over masculine features. An illustration of this is the Tchambuli people. The gender functions within this folk are reversed with adult females moving as the authorization figures who control the earning of money, farming, fishing and fabrication. Whilst the work forces are seen as the weaker gender who were obsessed with personal adornment ( Mead, 1963, p. 10 ) . The value placed on specific features, either male or female, act upon the manner that gender is treated within their society.
Gender is socially constructed therefore, some societies may recognize the being of more than two genders ( Kottak, 2013, p. 220 ) . American societies recognise a 3rd gender, because persons within these societies identify themselves as ‘transgender’ ( Kottak, 2013, p. 220 ) . Brazil besides has a ‘third gender’ which consists of cross-dressers, work forces who dress as adult females ( Kottak, 2013, p. 222 ) . These ‘women’ are socially accepted by society even though their physical features differ from adult females ( Kottak, 2013, p.222 ) . The credence of transgender persons within society challenges gender categorization based on an individual’s biological sex. This is due to the gender individuality of a transgender single beliing their biological sex ( Cranny-Francis, 2003, p.7 ) . As a consequence, work forces enact some behaviors which are seen as purely feminine such as being emotional and inactive alternatively of emotionally reserved and aggressive ( Mac an Ghaill and Haywood, 2007, p.123 ) . While, adult females may ordain behavior which is socially perceived as masculine ( Mac an Ghaill and Haywood, 2007, p.124 ) . These behaviors may besides include an individual’s sexual penchant as a societies definition of gender is intertwined with their construct of gender. Sexuality is defined as ‘a set of societal procedures which produce and organise the construction and look of desire’ . Cranny-Francis ( 2003, p.125 ) describe a man’s gender as of course aggressive, sadistic and active. Whilst, a women’s gender is of course masochist, egotistic and inactive ( Cranny-Francis, 2003, p.128 ) . These looks of desire possibly be demonstrated heterosexually, by a male and a female or homosexually, by two work forces or two adult females. Homosexuality is an issue which has yet to be accepted in many societies ( Mac an Ghaill and Haywood, 2007, p.129 ) . The societal footing for gender allows for societies to accept three genders, males, females and transexuals, based on gender individuality alternatively of biological grounds.
In decision, the features of males and females are influenced by both biological science and civilization. However, civilization significantly impacts these features, whilst biological differences merely assign an single their sex and proposes biological grounds to back up their ability to finish specific occupations. Cultures influence on gender effects male and female features through gender functions, gender stratification and gender individuality through the gender continuum. Gender functions are assigned to each sex harmonizing to their culture’s definition of what undertakings are masculine or feminine. Gender stratification influences males and females because the value their society topographic points in specific features causes one gender to be at an advantage. This can merely be rectified by society puting equal value in gender specific features. Finally, society’s credence of a 3rd gender, caused by gender individuality differences, impacts the categorization of male and female features. This is a consequence of the 3rd sex incorporating features which contradict their biological sex. Overall, culture’s function in determining male and female features far outweigh the impacts of biological differences.
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