• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Cross Cultural Sex Roles.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Lauren Wright Professor Tynes Sociology of Sex Roles 26 February 2002 Cross Cultural Sex Roles It has been proven that the roles that men and women play in society are based upon many different social factors. A mere look at other cultures proves that sexual identity cannot solely be determined through a person's biological genes. If this were true, the characteristics defining men and women would be uniform, however a glance at the Sambia and Arapesh tribes of New Guinea reveal that the roles of men and women in separate cultures can be strikingly different. The roles that the men and women in these two tribes play are engrained in them at an early age. Whether it is the raising of children or the status of women in the tribe, these two cultures contrast each other and prove that much of the attributes associated with a particular gender are based on the traditions of the people. The tribe of Sambia numbers roughly 2300 in population and is located near the Papuan border of New Guinea. They are simple people who live through gardening, done by women, and hunting, executed by men. Their structure is very patriarchal and "descent is ideally organized on the basis of patriliny" (Herdt 54). The division of labor and duties is very clearly defined and "ritual taboos forbids men and women from doing each other's tasks in hunting and gathering" (55). The reason the division of jobs is so important to the people probably pertains to the inferior status they place women in. ...read more.

Middle

It is not until the man impregnates his wife that he must end his endeavors with younger boys. This system seems unfair to actual homosexuals who may not want to be married to a woman and begin engaging in heterosexual affairs. However, he must because all marriages are determined by the parents of the bride and groom. This leaves no room for sexual preference and must leave some men sexually unsatisfied. The United States is far superior to the Sambians in their definitions of gender roles. The Sambians view women as inferior and suppress them, while the United States is making a conscious effort to promote gender equality. Laws are set up to protect women and prohibit discrimination based on one's sexuality. The United States is also superior in their raising of boys. Though boys in the United States are raised with the mentality that emotions are feminine and should be suppressed, this is not to the extent of the Sambians. At least here boys are not stripped from all feminine influence and beaten until they have achieved masculinity. Though masculinity is an achieved status in both cultures, it is at a much higher cost in New Guinea. One thing that both societies fail to do is protect the sexual choice of everyone. Sambian men are required to stop homosexual activity once they have impregnated their wives that they are forced to marry. This is unfair to those Sambians who prefer to be with other men. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another way that women are treated as inferior is in the way they are raised to be wives. A young girl is betrothed to a slightly older boy and leaves to live with his family. The future husband and his father and brothers combine to feed and take care of her. In this way, an "Arapesh boy grows his wife" (80). Because he has grown her he now is able to control her and possess her. Though there are some characteristics that are inferior to the United States (the ritual of the tamberan), the United States could learn a lot from this primitive tribe. Fathers should be more involved in the raising of their children, and peacefulness should be instilled in children, not competitiveness. Excessive masculinity should not be a desired trait; boys should not wish to suppress their emotions. In the Arapesh tribe they are also successful in nurturing both children, and not only the females. This tribe has much strength in child rearing, as well as equal working for all the adults. From studying these two tribes it is clear that different cultures have totally different ideas about raising children and the gender roles these children should play. While one encourages aggressive men, the other promotes passiveness. This is a strong indication of the power that society has to influence people. The roles of men and women are clearly shaped by the traditions and customs of society, as well as the biological attributes that come with men and women. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Changes in Family Roles

    They are now both on equal grounds. According to Young and Willmott's research, the partners now are both involved in any decision making and they both work together to keep the family stable. Young and Willmott have also come to a conclusion as to why the family has turned symmetrical.

  2. Theories of Sex and Gender

    concluded that children pay more attention to a role model who is the same gender and is behaving in a gender appropriate way and that this influences behaviour.

  1. Discuss the change from the "one sex" model to the "two sex" model and ...

    first it wondered at itself and sought apologies for its own existence. How could a discourse based on reason speak like that?" 13 But they spoke with increasing intensity and authority, bringing into society and science a multitude of distinctive sexual species.

  2. Consider how the portrayal of the female characters in "Hobson's Choice" relates to the ...

    She is in complete control of it herself. She also has a great many people dependant on her, and she rarely lets them down. This shows that she is generous and trustworthy too. Generosity, kindness, and selflessness are shown by the fact that she gives up a lot of time

  1. Unraveling of cultural meaning and sociological dimensions of Sex and the City by means ...

    of feminist narrative, taking the postmodern voyeur into new, but also familiar ideological regions. The struggle in determining the ideological position of Sex and the City does not end here. Feminist author, Camille Paglia, argued that the series was a victory for the "huge wing of us pro-sex feminists" over

  2. To try and find out why girls are outperforming boys in GCSEexaminations?

    Participant observations Advantages: * Allows the observer to study a group in their natural surroundings * Can see things from the groups point of view * Obtain a deeper understanding of the groups behaviour & activities. Disadvantages: * Researcher may get to involved with the group.

  1. Charles Wright Mills

    For Mills two or three friends was the most he had ever had in his life and that was what clearly stopped him from abandoning his life at such a young age. Mill's experience at the University of Texas at Austin is where he achieved versatility.

  2. Analysis of Paul Cobb's 'Where is the mind?'

    external and social before it was internal" (Vygotsky cited by Cobb, Chapter 9, Reader 2) into the development of much mathematical thought, or indeed to explain how Ramanujan could develop advanced theories of numbers whilst in his Indian village without contact with any other mathematical thinkers.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work