Cultural Construction of Gender

The culturally constructed categories of female and male are quite distinct and clearly marked socially. Traditionally, both sexes went nearly naked but wore gender-associated ornamentation. Until approximately the 1950s, Abelam women were scarified at puberty. Gender is strongly marked linguistically; it is virtually impossible to address a person without using gender identifiers (e.g., you [female] = nyene; you [male] = mene). There were no other socially recognized gender categories apart from male and female. Division of labor by sex is very pronounced (see below), with many tasks considered appropriate only for men or women. Work and ritual activities frequently result in sex-segregated groups.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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