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Humans, Volume 3, Issue 2 (June 2023) – 6 articles

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5 pages, 523 KiB  
Opinion
An Evolutionary Advantage of the Human Glans Penis
by Stephen Leach
Humans 2023, 3(2), 137-141; https://doi.org/10.3390/humans3020012 - 6 Jun 2023
Viewed by 16688
Abstract
To account for the bell- or acorn-shaped glans penis, in 1995 Baker and Bellis put forward their ‘semen-displacement hypothesis’. They argued that the existence of the glans penis is indicative of a promiscuous phase in our evolutionary past, in which females would commonly [...] Read more.
To account for the bell- or acorn-shaped glans penis, in 1995 Baker and Bellis put forward their ‘semen-displacement hypothesis’. They argued that the existence of the glans penis is indicative of a promiscuous phase in our evolutionary past, in which females would commonly mate with several males in rapid succession. They argued that within this promiscuous scenario the distinctive shape of the glans penis evolved so as to enable the displacement of rival males’ semen. The idea that there was an influential promiscuous phase in our evolutionary past has faced several powerful criticisms that are here briefly reviewed. However, the critics of the semen-displacement hypothesis have not put forward an alternative evolutionary explanation of the glans penis. I try to redress that here, albeit speculatively. I suggest an alternative hypothesis that may more convincingly account for the shape and texture of the human glans penis. Full article
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11 pages, 274 KiB  
Essay
Vulnerabilities for Marginalized Groups in the United States Forensic Anthropology Education System: Paths to Engagement and Belonging
by Jesse R. Goliath, Erin B. Waxenbaum and Taylor S. Borgelt
Humans 2023, 3(2), 126-136; https://doi.org/10.3390/humans3020011 - 2 Jun 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2373
Abstract
Implicit and explicit barriers to building a culture of belonging persist in U.S. forensic anthropology. These barriers create and exacerbate vulnerabilities, especially among marginalized groups, that need to be addressed. The lack of diversity in U.S. forensic anthropology is well documented. At the [...] Read more.
Implicit and explicit barriers to building a culture of belonging persist in U.S. forensic anthropology. These barriers create and exacerbate vulnerabilities, especially among marginalized groups, that need to be addressed. The lack of diversity in U.S. forensic anthropology is well documented. At the same time, there has been a significant upswing in academic programs focusing on forensic anthropology at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. However, to be successful and promote retention, these programs must address the pervasive structural barriers that continue to impede diversity. Major impediments include the hierarchical structure, illusion of objectivity, racial and cis-gender-biased methodologies, and belonging uncertainty. At all levels, peer engagement and active, constructive mentorship may both semantically and structurally allow for a bridge between the past and the future. Pedagogy and professional practices in forensic anthropology must be modernized and restructured to promote learning environments that foster belonging and engagement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Concerns and Considerations in Forensic Anthropology)
20 pages, 330 KiB  
Review
Necropolitics and Trans Identities: Language Use as Structural Violence
by Kinsey B. Stewart and Thomas A. Delgado
Humans 2023, 3(2), 106-125; https://doi.org/10.3390/humans3020010 - 24 May 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2910
Abstract
Despite the increasing visibility of transgender and gender diverse (TGD) people in U.S. society, current linguistic practices within forensic anthropology and death investigation in general are not TGD-inclusive. This lack of consideration for TGD decedents can cause unnecessary delays in the identification and [...] Read more.
Despite the increasing visibility of transgender and gender diverse (TGD) people in U.S. society, current linguistic practices within forensic anthropology and death investigation in general are not TGD-inclusive. This lack of consideration for TGD decedents can cause unnecessary delays in the identification and disposition of their remains; moreover, failing to recognize their true identities is a form of forced post-mortem detransition. Using De León’s concept of necroviolence as a framework, we argue that language can also harm the dead and that the (mis)use of language within medicolegal death investigation reflects and reinforces structural violence against TGD people. Examples drawn from a qualitative review of public details for 87 cases are used to demonstrate how language and language-enforced bureaucratic structures can harm TGD decedents, their loved ones, the broader TGD community, and the process of medicolegal death resolution itself. We then suggest steps that anthropologists, death investigators, and their affiliated partners can take to reduce the systemic necropolitical violence faced by the TGD community. While TGD-inclusive methods will take time to implement at the institutional level, individual practitioners can enact significant change within the system by upholding core standards that recognize and respect the personhood and lived experiences of TGD decedents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Concerns and Considerations in Forensic Anthropology)
24 pages, 402 KiB  
Review
Publicly Underrepresented Genocides of the 20th and 21st Century: A Review
by Larra M. Diboyan and Jesse R. Goliath
Humans 2023, 3(2), 82-105; https://doi.org/10.3390/humans3020009 - 16 May 2023
Viewed by 4519
Abstract
Forensic anthropologists have been involved in investigating genocide and crimes against humanity for many decades. Raphael Lempkin first coined the term “genocide” in 1944, and in 1946, the United Nations General Assembly codified it as an independent crime. However, there has not been [...] Read more.
Forensic anthropologists have been involved in investigating genocide and crimes against humanity for many decades. Raphael Lempkin first coined the term “genocide” in 1944, and in 1946, the United Nations General Assembly codified it as an independent crime. However, there has not been a systematic review available to better understand the history of many of these atrocities. Moreover, many of these events have not been discussed outside the cultures and individuals affected. This targeted literature review will discuss work on historic, lesser-known, modern genocides, and finally, the humanitarian forensic work being conducted in the field and digitally. Such events discussed include Herero and Namaqua, Sayfo, Armenian, Holodomor, Nanking (Nanjing), Romani, Palestinian, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Sikh, and Rohingya genocides. Work being done in this important sector of research is a critical development for not only recognizing these crimes but also for documenting and protecting the evidence of these human rights violations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Concerns and Considerations in Forensic Anthropology)
18 pages, 310 KiB  
Essay
Behind the Velvet Rope: Exclusivity and Accessibility in Biological Anthropology
by Rylan Tegtmeyer Hawke and Cortney N. Hulse
Humans 2023, 3(2), 64-81; https://doi.org/10.3390/humans3020008 - 6 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2769
Abstract
Despite a growing focus on diversity initiatives in the field of anthropology, accessibility to advancement is growing further out of reach for many students and early career professionals. There has been a noticeable uptick in the cost of organization membership fees, the culmination [...] Read more.
Despite a growing focus on diversity initiatives in the field of anthropology, accessibility to advancement is growing further out of reach for many students and early career professionals. There has been a noticeable uptick in the cost of organization membership fees, the culmination of conference costs, and the cost of certifications. This stands in contrast to an increase in the number of lower-paid adjunct positions taking the place of associate and assistant professorships and the lack of permanent applied positions. For graduating and early career anthropologists, the prospect of thriving in a field that is becoming increasingly costly seems daunting. This paper will examine growing economic exclusivity within biological anthropology and suggest possible solutions to make the field more widely accessible. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Concerns and Considerations in Forensic Anthropology)
4 pages, 183 KiB  
Editorial
Recent Reflections on the Sociology of Archaeology: Introduction
by Cheryl Claassen
Humans 2023, 3(2), 60-63; https://doi.org/10.3390/humans3020007 - 24 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1174
Abstract
Nothing in the past 60 years has nullified the impact of the social positioning of archaeologists and the discipline in the creation of archaeological knowledge [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Reflections on the Sociology of Archaeology)
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