Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies

Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies

Book - 2001 | 1st Perennial ed
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First published in 1935, Sex & Temperament is a fascinating and brilliant anthropological study of the intimate lives of three New Guinea tribes from infancy to adulthood. Focusing on the gentle, mountain-dwelling Arapesh, the fierce, cannibalistic Mundugumor, and the graceful headhunters of Tchambuli -- Mead advances the theory that many so-called masculine and feminine characteristics are not based on fundamental sex differences but reflect the cultural conditioning of different societies. This edition, prepared for the centennial of Mead's birth, features introductions by Helen Fisher and Mead's daughter, Mary Catherine Bateson.

A precursor to Mead's illuminating Male & Female, Sex & Temperament lays the groundwork for her lifelong study of gender differences.

Book News
Three New Guinea social groups (the Arapesh, the Mundugumor, and the Tchambuli) are the focus of this influential 1935 work by anthropologist Mead. It was in this work that Mead first advanced the argument that gender differences in males and females has much more to do with the cultural conditioning of different societies than with any fundamental biological differences. She looked at the sex roles of the people in the three different groups and also explored the behavior of those people who are considered deviants by the societies to which they belong concluding that human behavior is "infinitely malleable." Cited in Books for College Libraries, 3d ed. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins Publishers, 2001
Edition: 1st Perennial ed
Branch Call Number: 572.995 MEA
DU740 .M39 2001
Characteristics: xl, 311 p. ; 21 cm


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