ERIC Number: ED137169
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1976-Nov
Exploring Sex Roles in African Studies.
Lee, David R.
A method for incorporating an examination of sex roles and position of women into an undergraduate course on geography of Africa is discussed. It is a regional geography course with a cultural emphasis. Five percent of the total instruction is devoted to the examination of women. This is justified because geographical concepts such as spatial interaction, environmental perception, and static distributions involve women's issues. Moreover, the role of women differs from one society to another, and the origins and distributions of role concepts are geographical. A brief section explains how house types and settlement morphology reveal cultural aspects about the position of women. The majority of the document compares status and roles of women in African, Arab, and American societies. Preschool sex roles of the three groups are similar, but learning of roles becomes more formalized when schooling begins. By puberty, great contrasts are found. Americans hold the sexual double standard; Arabs enforce female seclusion in order to prevent premarital sex and thereby ensure receipt of a woman's "bride price;" African tribes are less anxious about human sexuality and only few insist on virginity of unmarried women. Marriage patterns of polygyny or monogamy and effects of nuclear or extended families are also discussed. A short bibliography contains 17 references on women in Africa and the Arab world. (AV)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the National Council for Geographic Education (San Francisco, California, November 24-27, 1976)