Sociology, Chapter 10Gender Stratification • Laura Le Van and Kirsten Cuddy
Defining Gender • What gender is not: • Sex - the biological differences between men and women • Sex Role - behaviors, attitudes and motivations a culture considers appropriate for men and women • Sexual Orientation - attraction to members of the opposite, same or both sexes
Defining Gender • What gender is: • Genderis a set of social and cultural practices that both reflect and reinforce assumptions about differences between men and women
Defining Gender • Major sociological emphasis - 3 Points • Gender is a social institution. Like family and religion it affects the roles men and women play in society • Gender influences differences in “Power” • “Power to” (get jobs, earn, get education) • “Power over” (assert will against others) • Gender is a cultural construct, expectations for men and women vary widely
How Different are the Sexes • What are traditional Western sex role expectations for men and women? • How is success measured in today’s society for males and females?
Sex Role Expectations • Men • Independent • Aggressive • Sex Initiators • Career Focus • Suppress Emotions • Success = Achievements
Sex Role Expectations • Women • Nurturing/Friendly • Self-Conscious about Appearance • Social Poise • Passive • Submissive • Focus on Marriage and Children • Success = Relationships
What does the data say? • Athletic ability: • Men have greater upper body strength but, athletic ability, strength and endurance are largely of function of physical activity, training, genes and hormones • Intelligence: • Recent studies contradict stereotypes. Differences in math, verbal and mechanical test scores are very small • Many studies show greater variation within sexes than between
Why is stereotyping so prevalent? • Studies tend to emphasize the differences rather than the similarities • When differences are found, people tend to assume that all men or women are superior in a given category • Cultures reinforce stereotyping
Cultural Influences • All pre-industrial societies divide labor based on sex • What individual culture considers male or female work varies widely • Regardless of roles, virtually all cultures place a higher value on men’s roles
Cultural Influences • Western societies tend to see women as weak and delicate • Other cultures do not (sub-Saharan Africa) • Generally, the more economic power women have the more egalitarian the society
Gender Socialization • Begins soon after birth • Reinforced by parents • Reinforced by school • Reinforced by peers
The Mismeasure of Women • We tend to fall into the trap of using men as the “standard” • Politically • Economically • Education • Medicine
Women: the 52% MinorityInequality at Work • Unequal pay • In 1995, women earned an average of 71 cents for every dollar men earned • Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (equal pay for equal work) • Women, on average earn less than men with the same levels of education and years of experience
Inequality at Work • Gender Segregation • In the last 20 years, women have been making strides in traditionally all-male occupations • “men’s work” vs “women’s work” • comparable worth - the effort to correct gender bias in wages
Inequality at Work • Job Mobility • Women must typically choose career or motherhood (“mommy track”) • Business schedules are not flexible • Glass Ceiling - subtle barriers that keep women from advancing in corporate America.
Inequality at Work • Sticky Floor - most women never get to experience a glass ceiling, instead they experience a “sticky floor” • Men are promoted faster and further
Inequality:Work, Family , and Sex • Women are overlooked for employment and promotion because they might become pregnant • Sexual harassment - a form of discrimination in which sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or demeaning sexual references are a condition for employment or promotion and/or create a work environment that is hostile, intimidating, or offensive.
Inequality:Work, Family, and Sex • The division of labor and balance of power in the family has changed, but not by much • Institutionalized Sexism - Established social patterns that have the unintended consequence of limiting women’s opportunities
Equality for Women:A Century of Struggle • The Women’s Movement • Feminism - the belief that women are equal to men and should have equal rights and opportunities • Overall Pattern: • started more than 100 years ago • peaked around the turn of the century with voting rights then faded • renewed emphasis in the 1960’s
The Modern Women’s Movement • History - pages 386-87 • “The Past 100 Years” • Factors contributing to modern women’s movement:1960’s • Climate of social change • Collective injustice • Organization • Structural change (# children in family)
2 Types of Feminists • Liberal - believe change is possible in our society • used legal efforts such as boycotts and demonstrations • Radical - believe true equality not possible in a patriarchal society. Fundamental social change required • started women’s clinics, day care centers, shelters for victims, feminist bookstores
Victories, Setbacks and Institutionalization • Early 1970’s • Victory in female educational and career opportunities and in abortion rights • 1980’s - setback • The New Right - accused the women’s movement of being “anti-family” • Feminists accused of wanting to undermine traditional religious and family values
Regrouping - 1990’s • 1992 - The Year of the Woman • 6 new women elected to U.S. Senate and 19 to the House. • For the first time, a woman becomes the attorney general (Janet Reno) • 1994 - Congress passes the Violence Against Women Act. • 1998 - Madeline Albright becomes the first Secretary of State.
Men and Masculinity • The Hazards of Being Male • White, middle-class - are the privileged class and normative gender • Double edged sword - close exam shows dark side • health • suicide • life span • emotional stress • victims of homicide
The Good Provider • A man is judged by his ability to provide for his family. • Concept dates back to Industrial Revolution • Economics in the 1970’s made this difficult/impossible. • Recession of mid-1980’s and early 1990’s further eroded the role of good provider
“The New Father” • As women’s movement gathered momentum, new image of the good father began to take shape. • Present at childbirth, involved/participates in day to day work with children as infants and older whether male or female • Reality of “new father” is lag between ideals and reality creates marital conflict and guilt. • Single parent males best fit the ideal of this model.
Redefining Masculinity • Old definitions - • real men don’t cry, sing, pray, admit their feelings to others, or form close friendships • New definitions - • Men are breaking out of old career molds, paying more attention to their physical and emotional health - but they still suffer from stress-related diseases and early death
Jim • Intelligent • Graduate of UCLA, doctor • Upper-middle socioeconomic status • Married to junior high teacher • Great sense of humor • Kind, caring, loyal • House mate
Sexual Orientation • U.S. assumption is “normal” or “natural” sexual orientation is between adults of opposite sex. • Social Identity of homosexuality greatly shapes the way others view a person or interact with them. • Attitudes about homosexual behavior varies in time and place. (Greeks approved)
Sexual Orientation • Judeo-Christian in general condemn all sex not connected to procreation. Homosexuality viewed as immoral and sinful. Considered to be a weakness, not a sickness. • Pathological view of homosexual behavior dates to late 19th century and followers of Freud saw homosexual as maladjustment or mental illness. This lead to “homophobia” first part of 20th century
Sexual Orientation • Homophobia - prejudice and discrimination against gays and lesbians • Homosexuals were subject to systematic persecution • In Nazi Germany, they were sent to death camps • In U.S. they were treated as criminals • Result - homosexual activities were hidden
Sexual OrientationModern Observations • Kinsey found homosexual activities to be more common than anyone suspected • every socioeconomic level • not an either-or “condition” • eliminated as mental disorder in 1973
Gay Rights Movement • 1969 - first public protest against homosexual harassment at Stonewall Riot in NY • Homosexuals began to “come out of the closet” and protest discrimination • AIDS epidemic led to sympathy by some and condemnation by others • 1990’s - Gay community divided • Mainstream vs radical
Gay Rights • Discrimination and violence continues. There is still no federal law protecting homosexuals against discrimination. • Homosexuals remain a minority group: they do not enjoy equal rights.