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Gender Inequalities Readings.docx

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Social Inequalities Lecture 3 – Gender Relations Date: September 27, 2011 - Social construction makes sex differences seem important or unimportant, small or large - Before 1900, gender roles were assumed (women did specific things – take care of kids, men did spthific things – hunt) - Only until the late 19 century were women allowed into universities  Now-a-days even though there are many women in schools, there is still segregation - Early feminist movement was mainly concerned with women’s suffrage - The reason sexual inequality wasn’t studied many years ago was because the most powerful and ‘important’ concepts were looked at, and women didn’t have power back then. Once powerful, they needed to draw attention to topics that concerned them directly (things that male scholars overlooked) Battle Over Gender Today - Michael Gurian (neurobiologist) claims that men’s brains work differently than women’s brain in the way that too much verbal processing can overwhelm men’s brains. This results in them zoning out, this is not to reject their spouses but more of a neural need. Ex: Men’s brains tend to not see how much laundry or dust is around them like a women’s brain does - Men often socialize children differently than women as well, and that if women accept these differences that men in relationships would respond positively - It also is important that there is more communication and acceptance in the way males and females do things differently, and this will result in people being able to learn, work and love better - Schools also may maintain gender ideologies between girls and boys - Boys that go to all boys school (likewise girls), they grow up thinking and fantasizing as to how the opposite sex is, because they don‟t spend as much time together compared to those who go to mixed-sex schools - Schools also channel boys/girls in different courses (girls to nursing, guys to engineering) Defining Gender and Sexism Inequality - Sexism – Discrimination and derogatory attitudes that promote stereotyping of people because of their gender. Both males and females can be affected, but it is mostly seen to affect women - Gender Inequality – Differential success of men and women in gaining access to valued rewards (can be seen through structural arrangements, cultural beliefs) - Max Weber makes the point that if we want to understand long-term relationships, we have to understand that they are not controlled by threat of immediate bottley harm. - Legitimacy  In long term relationships, people that conform grant to the person in power conformity (that they will obey them) - Weber wanted to know WHY? Why do women allow men to do stuff so unfair to them - There are three reasons for this: Tradition  Men have acted like this for a long time, why would they change now, women have obeyed, why would they change now? Charisma  The people that conform believe that the person in charge has some kind of persuasive power that they know what they‟re doing - Rational Legal Authority Sex and Gender - Sex – Differentiates men and women; the differences between them that are anatomic, genetic, hormonal (biological characteristics) - Although men and women are physically different, there is no scientific proof that they are born with psychological differences (maternal instinct, paternal instinct) - Gender – Social division as to how men and women are categorized. It encompasses as to how men and women should act and look. It is a label that determines an assortment of traits, beliefs, values, mannerisms and determines how we should practice social interactions (masculinity and femininity) Masculinity/Femininity - Gender Roles – Patterns of behavior society expects of men and women - Masculinity – Package of qualities a man should have - Femininity – Qualities people expect women to have - Gender Socialization – Process in which people learn their gender based behavior. The socialization process links gender to personal in the form of gender identity and to distinctive activities in the form of gender roles. - Men are stereotyped as well as being ‘protectors of frail femininity’ and this makes men scared to show their emotional, creative sides. (Can affect mental health as well) - Men are also more likely to commit and be victimized in violent crimes, work in dangerous working conditions - Women tend to develop more cases of depression and anxiety, while men develop drug abuse, alcoholism and social withdrawal Factors that Reinforce Gender Inequality - Biggest difference: Woman can and do bear children, men cant and don’t - Nancy Chodorow stated that: If women and men shared equality in parenting, gender inequality would diminish. Today, gender inequality still exists, as does motherhood. - In most societies, women carry the main burden of child care and housekeeping, until a recent past, this burden hindered women from education, work income, and legal rights - Parents tend to treat their kids like boys or girls from the second they are born - It tends to be that women are treated more masculine than boys treated feminine to try to help them when they grow up (so they aren‟t too girly- girly)  At Home - Child bearing is still mainly associated with women - Patriarchy means male domination of any kind “Head of Household” refers to principal earner in the household - However, thanks to birth control and other forms of protection, men and women can lead more similar lives than ever before - In today’s world, women have more time for education and work because they don’t just need to bear kids - Still, however, the household remains a workplace for women more than men - However, couples that get married in their 20s tend to have more equal division of work at home, as well as people in their second marriages - In 1974, Ann Oakley published The Sociology of Housework  First to consider housework as real, unpaid work - She interviewed working and middle class homemakers  She found that almost all the women hated it, however, they felt it was part of their identity to do it, if they didn‟t do it, they would have no identity  The arrival of children - When mothers work, families need someone to look after their kids (nannies, day care etc…) almost all of these are women - Catch 22 – Wishing to have a child increases happiness, but achieving the wish decreases happiness - The quality of marriage decreases when a child arrives (less alone time, more sleepless nights, etc…) - Marital satisfaction is at its lowest when the child is a teenager because the parents domestic work load increases and conflict arises - Once the child leaves home, many marriages tend to get better because the parents are now, in a way, ‘free’ (known as the ‘empty nest’) Work - One feature why companies wanted to hire women is that they could do the same work as men, and be paid less - Women had jobs in schools, as nurses and retail salespersons, however, because of WWII, many women found their ways into factories to replace the men going off to war - Although feminine discrimination is illegal in today’s world, we still see more men having higher pa
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