Alternative Sexualities in Native Americans Book Review by write123

Alternative Sexualities in Native Americans
A discussion on how reading Hugh Dempsey's chapter " They Acted Like Women" from "The Vengeful Wife and Other Blackfoot Stories" changes our understanding of alternative sexualities in Native Americans.
# 106040 | 2,225 words | 5 sources | APA | 2008 | US
Published on Jul 23, 2008 in Native-American Studies (General) , Gender and Sexuality (General)

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The paper examines Chapter 5 of Hugh Dempsey's work "The Vengeful Wife and Other Blackfoot Stories" and how changes our perception of homosexuality in Native American tribes. The paper relates that this chapter, entitled "They Acted Like Women", dispels many myths and stereotypes and gives the reader a better understanding of the underlying causes of the various gender roles in Native American society. The paper concludes that Dempsey makes the Westernized reader step out of their world and out of their own biases. He allows the reader to explore gender differences from a much different perspective than other western authors

Gender and Gender Roles
Towards an Egalitarian Society
Biology or Sociology?

From the Paper:

"Native American culture is much more flexible in its interpretation of lifestyle variations. The focus of Native American society was on the roles that a person played within he tribe and daily activities, than on sexual behavior. Dempsey explores some of the various roles and examples of men and women that deviated from the norm. Native American society allowed for a definition of gender that was neither male nor female, yet encompassed the roles of both at the same time.
"Dempsey examines the variations of gender roles that existed within Native American society. His exploration makes us realize that there are many more ways to define gender roles than our limited Western vocabulary allows. "Berdache" is the word used to describe individuals of a definitive physiological sex who take on the status and role of the opposite sex (Dempsey, 2003). There are a number of sexual preferences out of the norm that fall into this category. This category encompasses homosexuals, transvestites, or simply one who shows strong characteristics of the opposite sex."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Dempsey H. A (2003).The vengeful wife and other Blackfoot storie/. Chapter 5: They acted like women, 48-62
  • Lang, S (1999) Lesbian, Men-Women and Two-Spirits: Homosexuality and Gender in Native American Cultures. Female Desires: Same Sex Relations and Transgender Practices across Cultures. Ed. Evelyn Blackwood and Saskia E. Wieringa. New York: Columbia UP, 20.
  • Roscoe, W.(1991). The Zuni man-woman. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.
  • Rowe, S. (2005). The Last of the Dodo's:Voice of the Two Spirit. USA: Lulu Publishing.
  • Williams, W. (1996). The Spirit and the flesh: Sexual diversity in American Indian culture. Boston: Beacon Press.

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

Alternative Sexualities in Native Americans (2008, July 23) Retrieved December 08, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Alternative Sexualities in Native Americans" 23 July 2008. Web. 08 December. 2023. <>