Because we are not meeting Nov. 1, we are losing 2.5 class periods. To make up for some of that loss, this page contains a lecture, videos and questions to review on your own in preparation for questions on the quiz, scheduled for Nov. 3.

Watch Homosexuality, Morality, and Nature, What Anthropology Can Contribute to the Discussion on Homosexuality, and Is Anatomy Destiny? You are welcome to watch some of the other videos as well. Also review the article The Berdache Tradition in AEA and read the lecture.

As you read the lecture and watch the videos keep in mind the following questions.

In this exercise you need to step away from your own learned ideologies for the time being. You are not expressing 'right' and 'wrong' here, but rather examining how culture influences our description of biology.
1. Why do so many Westerners find it so essential to determine whether or not homosexuality is biological or learned? This answer should not come from the 'top of your head'. Take something from each of the videos and readings to help you put your answer together. (For example, according to the article The Berdache Tradition, why is the Western debate about homosexuality less applicable to more traditional Native American philosophy and cosmology? How are more traditional Native American understandings about spirituality and nature different from many Western traditions and how do philosophies about human relationships with spirituality and nature influence interpretations of sexuality?) This may not seem obvious to you at first and may take some re-reading and re-watching to answer.]

2. How does expansion of scientific knowledge inform human 'moral' (in a relativistic sense) expectations about sexuality and sexual orientation? How do human groups work to re-explain, defend, or re-define their moral positions in response to scientific findings? (The videos mini lecture on homosexuality and is anatomy destiny? are important in this discussion.)

3. What can we learn about ourselves by comparing cross-cultural expectations associated with sexuality? What are some of the comparisons in the article The Berdache Tradition and in your text book 'Humanity'? What questions might we ask as a result?


Link to Dr. Chapman's Diverse Sexualities web site here at SPSCC

Video Homosexuality, Morality, and Nature

What Can Anthropology Contribute to the Discussion on Homosexuality?

This is an old video, about 1960 or so. Much has changed since then in different parts of the world, especially as 'other' peoples are exposed to Western values or pressured to adopt Western or changing political, religious and economic ideologies. (See video near the bottom of the page for one example.) While Harris said that homosexuality was accepted in 70 percent of cultures, that doesn't mean that the status of homosexuality was necessarily prestigious or comfortable in some of those societies.

Is Anatomy Destiny? (This may take a few viewings to fully understand.)

Why would someone be killed for the way they walk?
American post-structuralist philosopher Judith Butler

National Geographic explains the biology of homosexuality

Why are there gay people? Cartoon

Just for fun video - to be able to laugh at ourselves.

Part of a 1950s educational film that demonstrates some of the ways people were enculturated to think about homosexuality. Those people who were shown this film as part of their high school education are now in their 50s and 60s. This approach is part of their iconic memories.

Missionaries of Hate documentary concerning Uganda

Religious tolerance