1. The Functionalist Perspective
a. Functionalists frequently examine employment opportunities and the wage
gap between men and women.
b. According to Talcott Parsons, gender inequality is inevitable because of
the biological division of labor.
i. Men are generally physically stronger than women.
ii. Men find themselves more suited to instrumental tasks
iii. Women find themselves more suited to expressive tasks.
2. Conflict and Feminist Perspectives
a. Theorists note that not all men are equally privileged.
i. Men in upper classes have greater economic power.
b. Those using a Marxist approach believe that gender inequality results
primarily from capitalism and private ownership of the means of
i. Social feminists state that under capitalism, men gain control over
property and over women.
ii. According to this perspective, capitalists benefit from the gendered
division of labor in the workplace.
1. This is because they can pay women lower wages and
derive high profits.
2. At the same time, individual men benefit from the unpaid