Kailey Shields ANTH 1020 Signature Assignment Critical Assessment of The Five Sexes and Climate-Related Morphological Variation and Physical Adaptations G. D James (2010) presents the idea that Homo sapiens adapted and evolved due to the climate that they migrated to or lived in. James (2010) also speculates that certain climates produce different physically and behaviorally adaptations and changes in his article ClimateRelated Morphological Variation and Physiological Adaptions in Homo sapien (James, 2010). A. Fausto-Sterling (1993) introduces more than just two sexes, in the article The Five Sexes FaustoSterling (1993) breaks up the world’s view of two genders into five different categories and explores each gender or sex and what categorizes them under that label the world has given them (Fausto-Sterling, 1993). Each of these author’s gives a perspective on biological perspective of human variation. There is a contrast between biological and cultural perspective of human variation and how it is viewed in our world today. According to G.D James (2010) “Homo Sapiens evolved, populations have dispersed across the planet, inhabiting niches of available habitats” (James, 2010, pg. 153). In order for these Homo Sapiens to survive in the extreme environments they lived in they had to develop adaptations that contributed to certain phenotypes and genotypes found in modern humans today (James, 2010, pg. 153). The idea of that variation could be related to a specimen’s climate was not discovered by anthropologists through the twentieth century, this could have been partly because cultural perspectives pushed researchers to focus on racial types (James, 2010, pg. 153). These researchers were influenced by the idea of race and basing information and research on that idea, like Fausto-Sterling (1993) suggests that hermaphrodites do not fall naturally into a binary classification (Fausto-Sterling, 1993, pg. 71). Humans want to be able to group things into categories and organize them, so as an intelligent population they classify things into groups by using race or gender. Using race and gender is an example of using cultural perspective of variation in humans. While using biological variation is based on evidence of studying specimen like G.D James (2010) does in Climate-Related Morphological Variation and Physiological Adaptations in Homo Sapiens (James, 2010). Fausto-Sterling (1993) states “there are many gradations running from female to male; and depending on how one calls the shots, one can argue that along that spectrum lie at least five sexes-and perhaps even more” (Fausto-Sterling, 1993, pg. 68). This statement made can be related to the idea of race and how people are categorized by their skin color and classified into a so called race. G.D James (2010) addresses the idea of skin color variation by stating “Adaptations to ultraviolet radiation is focused on the effect of UVR on skin color” (James, 2010, pg. 160). Humans have correlated race to the color of skin an individual has and put them into specific race categories, this is a very cultural aspect and leaves no room for the different variations of skin color. The aspect of biological variation is very different it shows that skin color was effected by where the specimen was located in correlation to the equator (James, 2010, pg. 161). Once again this shows that biological and cultural variation are different in the way that they are viewed today. “Society mandates the control of intersexual bodies because they blur and bridge the great divide” (Fausto-Sterling, 1993, pg. 72). Fausto-Sterling (1993) makes an excellent point with the quote above traditional cultural variation beliefs do not support the idea of more than two traditional sexes that are promoted. However, biologically there is a great variation of sexes because of the research complied by many doctors and specialists. According to Fausto-Sterling (1993) there are at least five sexes on the spectrum, with three major subgroups the term intersex is used to define these groups (Fausto-Sterling, 1993, pg. 69). Biologically each of these subgroups as been studied for their physical appearance and abilities of their reproductive organs and processes, and they have been distinguished from the umbrella term hermaphrodite. “The word hermaphrodite comes from the Greek names Hermes, variously known as the controller of dreams or the protector of livestock, and Aphrodite the goddess of sexual love and beauty” (Fausto-Sterling, 1993, pg. 69). This couple had a child who was named Hermaphroditus who was both male and female (Fausto-Sterling, 1993, pg. 69). Thus the name hermaphrodite emerged as a cultural aspect of variation, wherein reality had more than just one biological variation in the individuals who are considered intersexual. In conclusion there is a big difference between biological and cultural perspectives of how human variation is viewed in today’s world. The world of biological human variation is based on climate-based evidence like adaptations in populations according to the climate they lived in (James, 2010, pg. 153). The cultural aspect of human variation relies on the implied cultural aspect humans have created around them such as group one another into races based on color or genders based on solely two binary groups male and female (Fausto-Sterling, 2010, pg. 71). The differences between cultural and biological views on human variation are very black and white each fall into different parts of the human experience and the need for answers of human variation. References Cited: Fausto-Sterling, A. (1993). The Five Sexes. In The Sciences (2nd ed., Vol. 33, pp. 20-24). James, G. (2010). Climate-Related Morphological Variation and Physiological Adaptations. In C. Larson (Ed.), A Companion to Biological Anthropology (Vol. 20, pp. 153166). New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.