Cultural Anthropology
Third Exam
Sample Test Questions






1.       From an anthropological perspective, the lower social status of women relative to men among the Inuit, the Yanomamo and the Plains Indians compared to the Pygmies and Ju/'hoansi is based on

1.     the greater physical strength of men.
2.     the fear of women regarding male violence
3.     the greater role that men play in the production and distribution of resources critical to these groups' survival.
4.     the greater intelligence of men.


2.      Which of the following is a correct association of Third Gender categories with the region in which they occur?

1.     Guevedoche --Dominican Republic
2.     Berdache -- Plains Indians
3.     Albanian Sworn Virgins -- northern Albania
4.     Fa'afafines -- Samoa
5.     all of the above


3.      The relatively high status of Ju/'hoansi women (compared, for example, to that of the Yanomamo or the Inuit) is based on the fact that

1.     they regularly distribute the food they gather throughout the band.
2.     they monopolize the collection and distribution of mongongo nuts.
3.     they provide nearly 70% of the bands food resources
4.     all of the above.


4.       Which of the following statements is LEAST correct?


1.      The high level of violence in gay and lesbian partnerships suggests that gender is not a very useful concept for explaining domestic violence.

2.     The high level of violence in gay and lesbian partnerships suggests that a more useful approach to the study of domestic violence than focusing on gender would be to focus on the nature of power relations within domestic partnerships.

3.     One advantage of concentrating on power rather than gender as an underlying cause of domestic violence is that it would place the explanation of domestic violence within a broader theoretical perspective. The study of domestic violence could potentially be understood as but one example of how differences in power result in the use and acceptance of violence in specific social situations.

4.     Occam's Razor would suggest that using gender rather than power as the basis for explaining domestic violence would lead to a scientifically preferable explanation of domestic violence.


5.     Which of the following is NOT a basic rule of anthropological research?


1.         non-interference with the customs of the people being studie4.

2.         preserving the anonymity of the informants.

3.         protecting the confidentiality of the information collecte4.

4.         providing whatever support the people might request.



6.     Which of the following statements is correct?


1.      Sex and gender are synonymous terms and may be used interchangeably.

2.      Sex refers to the biological male/female, while gender refers to the social male/female.

3.      Sex refers to the social male/female, while gender refers to the biological male/female

4.      Sex defines an individual when they are young,. while gender defines an individual when they are adults.


7.      Which of the following research techniques most clearly distinguishes anthropological research from research in the other social sciences?


1.         questionnaires

2.         surveys

3.         using cameras to record information

4.         participant observation



8.      You give someone a $30 present for his/her birthday in the hopes that when your birthday comes around he/she will get you that $100 Sony Discman you want.  From an anthropological perspective, you are practicing


1.         balanced reciprocity

2.         negative reciprocity

3.         generalized reciprocity

4.         Yuppie sentimentality



9.       Anthropological research has demonstrated that women are genetically inclined to be less aggressive and more nurturing than men.


1.       true

2.       false



10.     Many feminists see the practice of female circumcision in Africa and elsewhere as part of the subjugation of females in a "patriarchal" world. The problem with this explanation is that


1.    It does not explain the fact that male circumcision is practiced in more societies than female circumcision.

2.    It does not explain the fact that most female circumcisions in Africa are performed by women, or that women are among the strongest defenders of the practice.

3.    It does not explain the practice of subincision among Australian aborigines or the castrati in Europe.

4.    It cannot account for the Hijras, where males become emasculated in order to live as “neither men nor women”.

5.    all of the above.


11.     According to the following definition of Patriarchal Society presented by Radcliffe-Brown, the United States would be defined as a patriarchal society.

“A society may be called patriarchal when descent is patrilineal, marriage is patrilocal, inheritance of property and succession to rank are in the male line, and authority over members of the family are in the hands of the father and his relatives.”

1.      true
2.      false







12.     Which of the following statements is NOT illustrated by the map above?

1.       Male circumcision is more widely practiced in Africa than female circumcision.

2.       Female circumcision is not practiced among the matrilineal societies of Africa.

3.       Female circumcision is not practiced where male circumcision is also not practiced.

4.       Male circumcision is not practiced among any of the matrilineal societies.

5.       Male circumcision is practiced throughout the majority of the African continent, whereas female circumcision is not.

13.     In which of the following types of hunting societies, according to Friedl ("Society and Sex Roles"), is male dominance over females the greatest?
1.      Those in which men and women collect their own plant foods, and men supply the meat.
2.      Those in which men and women work together in communal hunts and as teams in gathering edible plants.
3.      Those in which men provide all of the food by hunting large game.
4.      Those in which males hunt and women gather.


14.    In the film “Fight to Be Male”, both Mrs. Wentz’ and Mr. Blackwell’s psychosexual identity confirmed the thesis that male and female brains are different.

1.      true

2.      false


15.     Which of the following statements is true AND raises questions about the credibility of conclusions drawn from “gender difference” research?


1.      Gender difference research is mostly based on American subjects. 

2.      80% of the articles published in social psychology journals (which includes gender difference research) are based on research conducted on students in Introduction to Psychology classes.

3.      Concepts such as "verbal ability", 'math ability" and "spatial visualization" that are commonly used in gender difference research are treated as if they are unitary concepts when, similar to "intelligence", they include a variety of specific characteristics and skills that may or may not vary together. 

4.      There is a selective bias towards the publication and subsequent referencing of research purporting to show a positive sex difference to the near exclusion of research showing either very little difference or no difference at all.

5.     all of the above.



16.    Which of the following statements supports the notion that gender-related social behavior is learned and varies according to local material conditions?


1.       Israeli females score higher on standardized aggression tests than do American males.

2.       While rape is virtually unknown among the Pygmies of the Ituri Forest and the Ashante of West Africa, it is quite common among the Gusii of Kenya and in the United States.

3.       Maccoby and Jaklin found no consistent pattern of gender differences in emotional and intellectual characteristics as a result of their exhaustive review of studies of gender differences.

4.       The occurrence of the berdache among various Plains Indian societies.

5.       all of the above.



17.     Which of the following statements regarding hunter-gatherers is the most correct?


1.     In general, the percentage of meat in the diet increases as latitude north of the equator increases.

2.     in general, the percentage of meat in the diet decreases as latitude north of the equator increases.

3.     Most hunter-gatherers subsist primarily upon meat.

4.     Most hunter-gatherers subsist primarily upon vegetable matter.

5.     1 and 4.


18.     Which of the following statements is most correct? So far, this course has


1.       emphasized the importance of explaining the social behavior of different peoples in terms of distinct local values and belief systems.

2.       stressed the importance of the concept of culture in explaining human social behavior.

3.       focused on the consequences that a specific population's adaptation to its available resources has for determining that population's social behavior and organization.

4.       stressed the importance of an empirically based scientific approach to the study of human social behavior.

5.       3 and 4.


19.     Given the following data, which of the statements below is least correct?


GROUP                                                     F/M SEX RATIO

Netsilik  (Balikci)                                          48/100

Netsilik  (Rasmussen)                                55/100  (girls / boys)

                                                                         92/100  (women / men)

Barren Ground Region                              46/100  (under 19)

Baffin Island                                                  89/100  (under 19)

                                                                       127/100  (over 19)


1.       Female infanticide is much more common than male infanticide among the Inuit.

2.       Having daughters likely poses a greater economic threat among the Inuit of Baffin Island than among the Netsilik.

3.       More females than males are killed at birth by the Inuit, but as a result of the greater difficulty and danger associated with male occupations, females, on average, live longer than males.

4.       Female infanticide is greater among the Netsilik than on Baffin Island.



20.      Which of the statements below is most correct, given the following table?


1.      Females experience greater health problems as a result of circumcision in Sierra Leone than do males.

2.      The majority of females who undergo circumcision in Sierra Leone experience symptoms defined as “emergencies”.

3.      The majority of girls who undergo circumcision experience normal physiological responses.

4.      The majority of girls who undergo circumcision in Sierra Leone have to be hospitalized as a result of the procedure.

5.      all of the above.




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Cultural Syllabus






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