Famous GLBT & GLBTI People

Ruth Benedict (1887-1948)

Ruth Benedict, a world renown American anthropologist, was an early supporter of the theory of cultural relativism. Cultural relativism states that no single culture can be viewed as being any better than any other culture. Each culture is distinct and different in its own right and each attempts to solve the problems of its people the best way it knows how. However, when World War II broke out, Benedict was forced to reconsider this stance as she could not bring herself to believe that the Nazi culture was just as valid and adaptive as any other. This internal conflict led Benedict to her concept of synergy which states that "any society that is compatible with human advancements is a good one, but a society that works against basic human goals is antihuman and evil, and can be judged as such."

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