A recent Campus Reform report chronicled a University of Arizona anthropology class offered this semester. ANTH 1501C: Humanity: a How-To Guide, is apparently taught by Dr. Ruth Burgett Jolie, an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the school. CR, which obtained copies of the course syllabus, the assigned reading, and an essay question, notes that Jolie’s research involves "how material culture is used by individuals to create and reinforce gender roles."
The assigned reading included such gems as an article titled “The Gender of Brazilian Transgendered Prostitutes.” The article was part of a class topic called “Sexual Identities.” Its very first line boldly states, “Males who enjoy being anally penetrated by other males are, in many places in the world, an object of special cultural elaboration.” Say what? “Special cultural elaboration?” What does that even mean? Could Dr. Jolie elaborate on that? The article goes on to assert that sex between Latin American males does not necessarily correlate to both parties being perceived as homosexual. In fact, it states that, in this part of the world, “A male who anally penetrates another male is generally not considered to be homosexual,” but simply a “man.” Huh? Moreover, according to the class reading, some communities even consider it to be a demonstration of one’s masculinity to engage in gay sex.
Campus Reform acquired a PDF copy of instructions for a required response paper Dr. Jolie's students were to write on a topic (of their choice) relating to gender as a social construct. The instructions read: “For this 300-400-word response paper, you will reflect on the social construction of gender in the United States today by bringing in your own experiences.” The instructions continue: "Bodies are born, but culture makes us women, men, or other genders."
“Bodies” are born? Without any helpful hint as to their sex/gender? Are you effing kidding me? If so, it is a very sick joke. Then why are ultrasounds performed? I guess there is no need for gender-reveal parties until each “body” is, say, 12 to 15-years-old. “Congratulations, it’s a…we can’t tell…and don’t want to project our own preconceived notions of gender onto our precious little body. So, yes, it’s a body! Yay!”
What is it with “Dr. Ruths?” and sex/gender?
Anthropology: the study of human biological and physiological characteristics and their evolution
Physiology: relating to the branch of biology that deals with the normal functions of living organisms and their parts.
If biology and physiology have no set, objective meaning or definition, then it is settled: “science” has none, either.
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