Gender Biologically Determined

2151 Words Mar 5th, 2013 9 Pages
“Is Gender Biologically Determined?”- Drawing upon ethnographic examples from 2-3 societies.
Gender being ‘biologically determined’ means that whether gender is inherited or passed down by genetics. If a person is a man or woman, (which is usually called ‘The Sex’), that is biologically determined because they inherit the chromosomes to be born a man, or to be born as a woman. In the early 1970’s sex was described by “biology as: anatomy, hormones, and physiology” (West and Zimmerman 1987). Apart from gender being a biological factor, there are other things which are not biologically determined; “Gender was an achieved status, which was constructed through psychological, cultural and social means” (West and Zimmerman1987). Hence the
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The law stated that the ‘family farm’ should be passed on from father to son, since women were considered weak and have no access and knowledge of property and agriculture. Women only came into this, only by marriage. Hence, the male leads the family into it, he allocates what job has to be done, and he participates in forums decisions, and doing so he becomes publically recognised. Since women are adaptable and flexible, their tasks are confined to household chores, and these tasks are unpaid and not recognised as productive output from them. On the other hand, men’s identities were tied to their ownership of the farms, their occupation and the productive outcome which give them status and economic income. “Real work was equated with physical tasks and women’s self image is based on the absence of such qualities” (Brandth 2002). In recent days, with the improvement of farming technologies, the female work, such as milking cows, and so on are now being done by these improvised machines, making women less efficient and thus making farming a whole masculine activity (Brandth 2002). Hence with this example it is clearly pointed out that the social construct differentiates and distinguishes men and women.

Apart from gender being differentiated by a social construct, there are
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