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Roughgarden Reading Notes

Apocalipsis's picture

Just in case, I figured I'd post my reading notes on Roughgarden if any of us should need them.

Joan Roughgarden. Introduction and Part One: "Animal Rainbows." Evolution's Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004. 1-181

Introduction

Page

Comment

1

View of different mixtures of gendered symbols at parade

2-3

Book is a memoir/ trade book that travels through academic spaces of ecology and evolution, anthropology, sociology, theology and molecular biology

3

CONCLUSION: Each academic space discriminates against diversity and needs to take refresher courses to relearn primary data

3

Darwinistic theory of sexual selection is inaccurate

4

Rainbow is a metaphor of diversity (racial, cultural and gay liberation)

6

Joan suggests new theory “social selection” (reminds me of nature vs. nurture theory)

 Chapter 1: Sex & Diversity

Page

Comment

16-17

Asexual animals (reproduce alone) but most are sexual

18

Sex = winner in survival of the fittest as asexual=diversity repressed

20

Diversity repressing theory for asexual animals= family lineage dies off faster due to mutation accumulations and recombining

 Chapter 2: Sex vs. Gender

Page

Comment

23

ARGUMENT: Social categories rest w/ society not biological categories

23

Biologist definition of male/ female has to do w/ gametes male=small (sperm) / female=large (eggs) HOWEVER in some species gamete size is the same or varies opposite (social category difference= man and woman)

27

Gender= expression of sexual identity BUT Joan suggests gender=appearance, behavior, and life history of a sexed body

29

ARGUMENT: “We don’t have to deny the universality of the biological male/ female distinction in order to challenge whether the gender of whole organisms also sorts into a male/ female binary. In humans specifically this distinction is not clear cut regardless of gamete size.”

 Chapter 3: Sex within Bodies

Page

Comment

30

Common occurrence of hermaphrodism

36

According to mammals the definition of hermaphrodite is misleading as mammals can be intersexed with a combination of male/ female plumbing parts

 Chapter 4: Sex Roles

Page

Comment

43-44

Body size reversed when it comes to anglerfish (big women, dwarf males)

45-48

Example of pipefish and seahorses but there’s no definite answer for “is one specie sex role reversed?”

 Chapter 5: Two-Gender Families

Page

Comment

49

2-gender family roles seen as “normal” = nuclear family but there are debates here

56

Funny writing @ why female birds are monogamous “female birds can check out prospective husbands by flying to party from party…. With so much choice around her, a female bird can demand a husband who is faithful and helps with the dishes, while a female mammal can’t.”

65

Reproductive skew= the distribution of reproductive activity

71-74

Reproductive inequity is related to distributional inequity combined with genetic relationships

  Chapter 6: Multiple-Gender Families

Page

Comment

75-76

Language: using terms like normal and alternative = prejudice

93

Feminine males- the deceit myth: universal male/ female template= false

100

Language: discriminating vocabulary (ex: silent bullfrogs= sexual parasite)

 Chapter 7: Female Choice

Page

Comment

110

I’m not comfortable to her comparison of people to animals. Ex “newspapers are filled with advertisements for new toys and chemicals to help people have sex more often. Well, how often is enough? Birds illustrate…” I understand this section is called animal rainbows, and the next is human, but don’t use the transition above if referring to animals.

 Chapter 8: Same-Sex Sexuality

Page

Comment

127

Darwin says same sex relations are impossible b/c of the need to transfer sperm in order to procreate

132

Same sex courtships are covered up in science as it challenges evolutionary biology so it’s hard to come by this sort of information

141

Example of dolphins and male pairings

149-150

Purpose for sex w/in primates

 Chapter 9: The Theory of Evolution

Page

Comment

159

Although we shouldn’t lose sight of Darwin’s contribution to evolution, his theory of sexual stratif. is very wrong and also contributes to social injustice

169-171

1.   Bodies don’t conform to binaries. 2. Genders don’t conform to binaries.

3. Sex roles are reversible. 4. Sperm aren’t cheap.

5. Females don’t choose “great genes.” 6. Family size is negotiated. 

7. Social deceit isn’t demonstrated. 8. Same-sex sexuality is common.

9. Mating isn’t primarily for sperm transfer.

10. Secondary sex characteristics aren’t just for heterosexual mating.


 

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