glbtq: an encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender & queer culture
social sciences
special features
about glbtq

   member name
   Forgot Your Password?  
Not a Member Yet?  

  glbtq Books
  Advertising Opportunities

  Press Kit

  Permissions & Licensing

  Terms of Service

  Privacy Policy




Special Features Index  

Spotlight Anthropology
  Anthropology, the first of the social science disciplines to take sexuality--and particularly homosexuality--seriously as a field of intellectual inquiry in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, has achieved a new impetus in the post-Stonewall era.  
  With reports from hundreds of Sub-Saharan African locales of male-male sexual relations and from about fifty of female-female sexual relations, it is clear that same-sex sexual relations existed in traditional African societies, though varying in forms and in the degree of public acceptance.  
  Ruth Benedict Ruth Benedict (1887-1948) rose to the top of her profession, though she was among the first American women to study anthropology.  
  Dance to the Berdache Both male and female Berdaches (or two-spirit persons), common among Native American tribal cultures, were characterized by gender variation sanctioned by supernatural dreams and visions.  
  Richard F. Burton Although he pursued his investigations before the emergence of anthropology as an academic discipline, Victorian writer Sir Richard F. Burton (1821-1890) anticipated the discipline's interest in the study of indigenous cultures and sexuality.  
  A growing body of scholarly and other work on Cultural Identities challenges the "naturalness," and even the political necessity, of a unitary gay and lesbian identity.  
  Ethnographic Literature Ethnographic Literature, the description of indigenous non-European peoples by Euro-Americans, has been a safe way for writers to discuss homosexuality as a normal, non-pathological behavior.  
  Professional Ethnographers began conducting research on glbtq issues beginning in the 1960s. Most are spurred by the premise that studies of diverse sexualities are crucial in understanding human behavior and culture.  
  Hijras The Hijras--men who dress and act like women--have been a presence in India for generations, maintaining a third-gender role that has become institutionalized through tradition.  
  Laud Humphreys (1930-1988), a sociologist and gay activist, used ethnographic methods, the traditional tools of anthropology, in his controversial study, Tearoom Trade (1970).  
  "Indigenous Culture" is a term that has been important in the history of anthropology's analysis of same-sex relations, though anthropologists now reject the concept.  
  The Indonesian Archipelago is home to a great range of non-normative sexualities and genders, but "gay" and "lesbi" are Western terms that have been transformed by Indonesians.  
  Margaret Mead Margaret Mead (1901-1978) was one of the most prominent and widely admired American anthropologists of her generation. Though she was bisexual, she chose to keep her sexuality a secret.  
  Mediterranean Homosexuality has been oversimplified by literary and historical explorations undertaken primarily by northern Europeans.  
  Franz Nopcsa Transylvanian paleontologist Baron Franz Nopcsa (1877-1933) made significant contributions to the fields of paleontology, geology, ethnology, and evolutionary biology, and aspired to become King of Albania.  
  Santeria, Voudou, and Related Beliefs Santería, Vodou, and Related Belief Systems comprise a complex of religious ideas, practices, and imagery whose origins can be traced to West African traditions.  
  Shamanism Shamanism describes various people in indigenous ("tribal") communities who might also be termed "medicine men," "witch doctors," "healers," and "sorcerers": people who engage with spirits for certain socially sanctioned tasks.  
  Edward Westermarck Edward Westermarck (1862-1939), a Finnish sociologist, anthropologist, and moral philosopher, wrote a number of classic books on sexuality and sexual mores.  


Sign up for glbtq's free newsletter to receive a spotlight on GLBT culture every month.

e-mail address

privacy policy
 unsubscribe is produced by glbtq, Inc.,
1130 West Adams Street, Chicago, IL   60607 glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2007, glbtq, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.
Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.