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Registration for the Fall 2019 semester begins June 25.  Watch your email for more details.

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The Anthropology of Gender And Sexuality

Course Code: ANTH 2240
Faculty: Humanities & Social Sciences
Department: Anthropology
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

Human sexual expression may begin in biology, but like all things human, culture heavily influences human sexuality. Cultural influence on sexual expression occurs in relation to behaviour, desire and meaning. It is manifest in gender and gender norms. For humans, sexuality ties together body/mind/society. This course is a cross-cultural survey of the forms of human sexual expression, their relation to culture, and their expression in gender.

Course Content

The Anthropological Perspective and Theoretical Orientation

  • Theories of gender and sexuality in the social sciences

Biology vs. Culture

Biological Orientations

  • The biological basis for sexuality and gender
  • Primate studies

Cultural Orientations

  • Culture and personality
  • Love
  • Marriage
  • Incest Taboo

The Impact of Material Conditions on the Expression of Sexuality and Gender

  • Foragers: sexual and gender equality?
  • Horticulturalists and pastoralists: the origins of sexual inequality?
  • Agriculturalists and Industrialists: ideologies of sexual inequality

Ideological Constraints on the Expression of Gender and Sexuality

  • Birth and social difference
  • Religion
  • Language and its influence

Methods of Instruction

The course will employ a variety of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives, including some of the following:  lectures, seminar presentations, audio-visual materials including video and research papers.

Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy.  The instructor will provide a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the semester.

An example of one possible evaluation scheme would be:

Mid-term exam  25%
Final exam  30%
Research Paper             30%
Participation    5%
Presentation  10%
Total 100%

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be able to:
1. Describe and discuss the biological and social bases for sexuality, including problems of methodology 
and meaning.
2. Articulate the relation of the presentation of the self in relations to sex roles and social roles.
3. Explain the relation of incest taboos to the social boundaries of sexuality, in relation to classical theory 
and ‘pop’ anthropology.
4. Describe the basic forms of human sexuality and the cross-cultural attitudes toward them.
5. Discuss the process of sexual development according to sex research.
6. Discuss and explain the politics of sexuality in various cultures.
7. Articulate the relation of sexuality to spirituality and describe the religious uses of sexual expression.
8. Explain the relationship between sexual expression and social control.
9. Discuss rites of passage and human sexuality in selected cultural contexts.
10. Describe and discuss the relationship between sex, gender and mass media.
11. Articulate the relationship of sexuality to disease and illness.
12. Explain how human beings use their sexual expression to create personal meaning and shared 
collective meaning in their lives.

At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be able to:

  1. Describe and discuss the biological and social bases for sexuality, including problems of methodology and meaning.
  2. Articulate the relation of the presentation of the self in relations to sex roles and social roles.
  3. Explain the relation of incest taboos to the social boundaries of sexuality, in relation to classical theory and ‘pop’ anthropology.
  4. Describe the basic forms of human sexuality and the cross-cultural attitudes toward them.
  5. Discuss the process of sexual development according to sex research.
  6. Discuss and explain the politics of sexuality in various cultures.
  7. Articulate the relation of sexuality to spirituality and describe the religious uses of sexual expression.
  8. Explain the relationship between sexual expression and social control.
  9. Discuss rites of passage and human sexuality in selected cultural contexts.
  10. Describe and discuss the relationship between sex, gender and mass media.
  11. Articulate the relationship of sexuality to disease and illness.
  12. Explain how human beings use their sexual expression to create personal meaning and shared collective meaning in their lives.

course prerequisites

ANTH 1100 or SOCI 1125

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.

assessments

If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.