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Sex and Gender . Chapter 8. Gender Stratification- unequal access to power, prestige and property based on gender differences Sex is biological (male/female) Gender – behavior, attitudes proper for males and females Inherit sex, learn gender Gender is social

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sex vs gender
Gender Stratification-unequal access to power, prestige and property based on gender differences

Sex is biological (male/female)

Gender – behavior, attitudes proper for males and females

Inherit sex, learn gender

Gender is social

Gender is a master status

Gender is a device by which society controls its members

Sex vs. Gender
dominant position in sociology
Social factors not biology reasons we behave the way we do

Difference in gender behavior is due to social factors

Type of work men and women do is determined by social arrangement

Nature vs. Nurture- nature provides biological predispositions overlaid with culture (Medical accidents, Vietnam veterans study)

Dominant Position in Sociology
inequality in a global perspective
Inequality in a Global Perspective
  • Hunter- gatherer societies men and women social equals- changed over time
  • Females as a minority group
  • Gender primary division
  • Women- dominant in number- are discriminated against on the basis of physical characteristics
  • Society sets up barriers to ensure unequal access on the basis of sex
  • Patriarchy was a social consequence of reproduction, women did not receive as much prestige for their work
origins of patriarchy
Patriarchal (male dominated society) theories point to social consequences of human reproduction

Women stayed at home to raise children, men went out into the world, took dominant position in society.

Males dominated society men dominate political behavior, are wiling to sacrifice to attain dominance

Women- second class citizens

Men viewed as superior

Origins of Patriarchy
  • Certain activities appropriate for men and not women
  • Sex Typing-activities associated with one sex or another (male and female jobs)
  • George Murdock study 1937 found different cultures assign different work to men or women (exception metalworking/ male)
  • Conclusion- biology does not require men or women to be assigned different work
gender and prestige of work
Gender and Prestige of Work
  • Universally greater prestige is given to male activities- regardless of what they are
areas of global discrimination
Areas of Global Discrimination
  • Education- women lower rates of literacy
  • Politics- lack equal access to national decision making
  • Gap in Pay- average less pay than men
  • Politics- No national legislature has more women than men in office
  • Violence against Women- foot binding, witch burning, suttee, female circumcision, domestic violence
  • Institutions in society work together to maintain inequality. Customs justify and maintain arrangements
rise of feminism
100 years ago in U.S. women second class (voting, property, could not make legal contracts

Feminism- men and women should be politically, economically and socially equal

Rise of Feminism
women s movement
Three waves

First- early 1900’s, reform society, give women the right to vote

Second- 1960’s, women began to take careers, compare working conditions to men

Third- focus on problems of Least Industrialized Nations, values in the workplace

Women’s Movement
gender inequality in education
Gender Inequality in Education
  • 56% of undergraduates are women
  • Gender tracking- degrees follow gender, reinforces male-female distinctions
  • Graduate school- women less likely to complete doctorate
gender inequality in everyday life
Gender Inequality in Everyday Life
  • Devaluation of things feminine
  • Higher value placed on things masculine
  • Femininity represents weakness, lack of accomplishment
  • Conversation- women often interrupted, employer- employee relationship in conversation
  • Men use insults that feminize other men
inequality in the workplace
Inequality in the Workplace
  • Gap in pay between men and women
  • Gap in pay exists at all levels of education
  • Nation’s top 500 corporations, only 5 headed by women
gender inequality in the workplace
Gender Inequality in the Workplace
  • Men enter higher paying fields
  • Women placed in supporting roles at many jobs (human resources, public relations)
  • Child Penalty- women missing out on work experience raising children
gender inequality in the workplace1
Glass Ceiling- keeps women from advancing to top level positions in upper management

If they play by “men’s rules”, they advance quicker

Glass Escalator-men working in female occupations (librarian, social worker, elementary school teacher)

pushes men into higher levels, more desirable work and pay

Mommy Track- emphasizes career and family, encourages women to take lower job, pay

Confirms cultural assumption that child rearing is “women’s work

Conflict Theory- capitalists exploit gender division

Gender Inequality in the Workplace
sexual harassment
Unwelcome sexual attention at work or school that affects job performance

Not seen as a problem until 1970’s

Symbolic Interactionists- term allows us to perceive action in different light

Sexual Harassment
gender and violence
Gender and Violence
  • Forms of Violence against Women (usually by males)
  • Forcible Rape- underreported
  • Date Rape most go unreported
  • Murder
  • Violence in the Home
  • Sociologists agree that solution to problems of violence is to break connection between masculinity and violence
women in the criminal justice system
Women in the Criminal Justice System
  • Judges more lenient towards women
  • Recently violence crimes committed by women is rising, demonstrates aggression can be related to social factors
women in politics
Women underrepresented in politics

Law and business not feminine fields, where politicians start

Men reluctant to give up power, incorporate women into decision making

Some women see politics as incompatible with role expectation of motherhood

Women in Politics
future for equality
Barriers coming down

Stereotypes changing

New consciousness about ability and relationships

Future for Equality ?