Hua of Papua New Guinea

advertisement
Chapter 11
Gender in Comparative Perspective




Cultural Construction of Gender
Gender Crossing and Multiple Gender
Identities
The Sexual Division of Labor
Gender Stratification
Cultural Construction of Gender




Sex is biologically determined.
Gender is culturally determined.
Different cultures have distinctive ideas about
males and females.
These ideas define manhood/masculinity and
womanhood/femininity.
Hua of Papua New Guinea



Patrilineal, horticultural people who live in
villages of 100 to 300 people.
Gender is constructed based on female-male
differences that are not recognized by people
outside of Papua, New Guinea.
The Hua believe that later in life each gender
can become like the other in certain respects.
Hua of Papua New Guinea



Bodies contain a life-giving substance, nu.
Females have an excess of nu - grow faster,
age more slowly and are unattractively moist.
Men contain a smaller amount of nu - have
difficulty with growth and maintenance of
vitality later in life, but are attractively dry.
Hua of Papua New Guinea
During intercourse:
 A woman transfers nu to her husband which
pollutes and debilitates him.
 The man contributes his nu to a woman so she
gains strength and vitality at his expense.
 The greater difference in nu between them, the
more dangerous a woman is to a man.
Nu Gender Classifications
In addition to male and female:
 Figapa - Their bodies contain substances
symbolically considered feminine.
 Kakora - Eligible to live in the men's houses
and to obtain the secret "male" knowledge
gained during initiation ceremonies.
Figapa




Children of both sexes - been in recent intimate
contact with their mother.
Women in their child-bearing years.
Post menopausal women who have not had at
least 3 children.
Elderly men -female nu has been transferred to
them throughout their life.
Kakora


Males in their early teens through the prime
years who have been imitated.
Postmenopausal women with more than two
children.
Multiple Gender Identities



Many societies have more than two gender
identities.
A third or fourth gender of "man-woman" or
'woman-man" or "not woman - not man“.
Well documented among Native American
peoples.
Native Americans and Multiple
Gender Identities



More than 150 Native American cultures had
multiple gender identities for males, females, or
both sexes.
Males adopted dress, tasks, family roles and
other aspects of womanhood.
Females took on activities associated with
manhood.
Characteristics of Third- and
Fourth- Gender Identities


A preference for the work of the opposite sex
and/or work set aside for the third- or fourthgender identity.
Cross dressing, or dressing in a combination of
male and female garments.
Characteristics of Third- and
Fourth- Gender Identities


Associations with spiritual power or a spiritual
sanction.
Formation of sexual and emotional bonds with
members of the same sex, were not not menwomen or women-men.
The Sexual Division of Labor


The patterned ways in which tasks are
allocated to men and women.
Division of labor on the basis of sex is found in
all cultures, although the specific tasks
performed vary.
Factors in Sexual Division of Labor



Physical strength - Work tasks requiring
greater strength are performed by males.
Fertility maintenance - Prolonged physical
exercise can depress female fertility, so most
strenuous tasks are done by males.
Child care -Women tend to perform tasks that
can be combined efficiently with child care.
Components
of Gender Stratification



The social roles men and women perform.
The cultural value attached to women's and
men's contributions to their families and other
groups.
Access to positions of power and influence.
Components
of Gender Stratification



Control over personal decision making.
Female deference to males.
General beliefs and ideas about the sexes.
Influences on
Gender Stratification



The greater the contributions women make to
the welfare of a group, the higher their status.
Ownership of resources and the control women
have over the distribution of products of labor
influences their status.
Women have higher status in matrilineal and/or
matrilocal societies.
Download