Influence of culture on gender roles

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    • Contribution to nature-nurture debate
      • If gender-role behaviour appears to be consistent across different cultures, it represents an innate, biological difference between males & females
        • If gender roles found as culturally specific, we might assume that the influence of shared norms and socialisation is decisive
    • Cultural differences
      • MARGARET MEAD (1935) Tribal groups in New Guinea
        • ARAPESH: Gentle and responsive
        • MUNDUGUMOR: Aggressive and hostile
        • TCHAMBULI; Women were dominant and organised village life; men were passive and considered to be 'decorative'
        • In her later work, she concluded that she underestimated the universal nature of many gender-typical behaviours.
          • However, she argued that the extent to which innate behaviours are expressed is largely the result of cultural norms
      • Suggests that there may not be a direct biological relationship between sex and gender, and that gender roles may be culturally determined
    • Cultural similarities
      • David Buss (1995) found consistent patterns in mate preference in 37 countries across all continents
        • Women sought men who could offer wealth and resources, whilst men looked for youth and physical attractiveness in a potential partner


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