- Quinn reviews the fact that Quinn asserts that perhaps aggressiveness, rather than physical strength may be a key development in anthropological theory. She states that the difference extends to both physical and verbal aggression, which begins at ages 2 and holds cross-culturally. Physiologically, levels of aggression have been convincingly tied to levels of male hormones in both humans and subhuman primates and both males and androgenised females. Boys are trained in achievement and self-reliance. By contrast, girls are trained in nurturance, responsibility, and obedience, traits which suit them for their economic role in childcare and domestic routines. Like male physical advantage, male aggressiveness has often been used to explain the universal dominance of men over women (Quinn 1977).
- Only women can bear children and see them through infancy. If women were t go to war, many would die, and less reproduction would occur. Men fighting avoids extinction.
- Public versus private realms? Rosaldo discussed the idea of the public versus the private (domestic) realm. Women fall into the private realm because much of their work consists of "domestic" duties. This includes childbearing, this biological factor automatically puts women in the private sector. Rosaldo attempts to explain the universal fact of female subordination in terms of a division between the public and domestic spheres of life present to some degree in all societies, and she ends by proposing that men must be brought into the domestic sphere.
- Complex of men's envy, threat and ambivalence to the uncontrollable reproductive powers of women, leading women to being marginalised because of danger of polluting and witchcraft and leading to rites of male mutilation.
Why, for so many years was there little or no collection of anthropological data on sex and gender?
Margaret Mead (1949); author of "Male and Female" - Stated that men envy women because they can give birth, and sustain birth (through breastfeeding).
David Gilmore (1990); author of "Manhood in the making: cultural concepts of masculinity" - Gilmore describes masculinity as "the approved way of being an adult male in a given society". He identifies three masculine features:
- Man the impregnator
- Man the provider
- Man the protector
Impregnation - In the Truk islands of the South Pacific, men are encouraged to have many sexual partners AND to bring them to orgasm.
The Mehinaku Indians in Central Brazil also must bring women to orgasm.
Provision - In Greek peasant villages, men are expected to provide large dowries to their daughters.
In Sambia, New Guinea, manhood is measured by the ability to hunt.
Protection - In Andalucia, Spain, "Hombria" is concerned with physical and moral courage.
In the Samburu tribe, East Africa, "Moranhood" means that men have to demonstrate their bravery. It starts at the age of 14/15 and lasts for about 12 years. One of the situations they have to go through is circumcision without anaesthetic. If the boy shows signs of pain, he is not considered to be a man.
- Explain and evaluate Gilmore's argument that the characteristics of masculinity in these societies may result from the material circumstances in which these societies exist.
- In Sambia, they have ample food supply but still need to hunt to re-ensure their masculinity, whereas with the Semai, it is the opposite.
Things to consider:
- Does the general statement "Virtually always maleness is more highly valued than femaleness" apply to all three ethnographies? If it does, why so? Is it because as the cultural-materialists say, the sex that controls the production and distribution of a society"s material goods will dominate? - Friedl
- Is it because societies associate certain jobs only with males and women are generally allotted jobs that are consistent with looking after young children (domestic realm) - Frayser and White.
- Feminist anthropologist Ernestine Friedl notes that when women make a major contribution to the food supply and personally take part in its distribution outside the household, their status tends to be higher than those who don't. Compare the relative status of females in the 3 ethnographies.
- How do men feel about the women in the ethnographies? Is there any evidence of feelings of envy, being threatened and worried about the "uncontrollable powers of polluting and witchcraft"? (this fits in with religion).