Gender Identities

Lab 7

Introduction to Archaeology

Gender is not another term for biological differences between male and female. Gender roles refer to what behaviors are assigned to various groups within a society. While a society may use male or female biological traits to divide those tasks., i.e. they are "assigned" either to males or females, the tasks vary from society to society and therefore the tasks (or roles) are not biological. People in a society have to be taught their roles. Material Culture plays a big role in that education. Although childhood represents a particularly powerful time to teach "appropriate" gender roles, such roles are constantly being taught and reinforced.

In this lab each group will receive a packet of toy ads, a sample of which are to be found below. Note the toys pictured (a larger selection will be distributed in class). These are actual ads. Are there messages about gender roles hidden in these toy ads? What are they?

A packet of pictures of objects will be distributed to each group. I will ask that you discuss the object and decide whether the OBJECT has a gender and if so is it male or female. So note the following objects. Are these objects male or female or nothing? Why do you come to this conclusion?



cross-stitched sampler

stone tool

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