Here is an earlier post I made about physiological differences and their meaning in a society. I think it conveys the point better - physiological differences can only have meaning in an environment and cannot be spoken about as if they are abstract concepts. Talk about being off topic.
I'm not sure if the link is still working. My internet connection is acting up again.
Social constructionism doesn’t reject physiological differences between males and females. Rather it maintains that the manner in which those physiological differences manifest themselves in reality heavily depends on environmental and social factors. The easiest way of illustrating this is to use examples of hunting and gathering societies. Whether or not hunting is predominantly a male activity not only depends upon how you conceptualize ‘hunting’, but also the methods used and whether or not they are gender neutral. Some Aboriginal communities used a hunting method called the ‘pound’ through which they herded game into a natural trap where they could easily be speared or shot (in other cases, they forced game off of cliffs). Women participated in this method of hunting and others insofar as they provided the necessary materials, logistics and in some cases, the actual act of killing. On the other hand, if you narrowly conceptualize hunting and the method of hunting in terms of brute strength, yes, you are obviously going to find a gendered division of labour for physiological reasons. The point, however, is that the manner in which physiological differences manifest themselves depends upon environmental and social factors. Read the following study for more details. |