Faculty of Arts


Human Sex, Gender and Sexuality


Gender as a cultural construction has been a dynamic field of anthropological inquiry for almost half a century, during which ethnographic and theoretical approaches have continued to develop.

The course considers issues such as how different peoples exhibit and conceptualise gender differences, the ways in which gender is simultaneously a social and cultural product and a force in shaping social and cultural phenomena, how anthropologists have studied them and contemporary issues in human gender relations at global, national and local scales.

This course covers some of the many anthropological questions about gender in human societies through cross-cultural and -temporal perspectives. It takes a culturally relativist position and you are expected to do likewise. The focus is on anthropological understanding of embodied, social, cultural and political phenomenon and on engaging our assumptions about things we take for granted, wherever we find ourselves on the gender (or gender politics) spectrum.

By the end of the course, you should:

  • Understand sex, sexuality and gender as social and cultural phenomena
  • Recognise the embeddedness of gender in wider community, national and global structures and relationships
  • Understand the topics covered in cross-cultural and historical perspective
  • Be able to think reflexively about your own gender position, identity and situation
  • Understand a range of anthropological perspectives on gender


Coursework only

Availability 2020

Not offered in 2020; planned for 2021






ANTHRO 211: 15.0 points


ANTHRO 100 or 30 points in Anthropology, Gender Studies, History or Sociology


ANTHRO 215 and ANTHRO 342

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