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Gender Inequality Essay

637 words - 3 pages

Gender refers to socially learned traits, behavior, and attitudes associated with expected of, men and woman (Farley 189). These so called learned traits are more often known as gender roles, which can be defined as roles that society expects people tp play, according to their sex ( Farley 189). Each gender has a particular and specific role that they are expected to play and can take a variety of different forms. For example gender roles are found in the workplace, at school, and at the home. Men and woman are expected to fulfill certain job occupations and act a certain way. The men are expected to have a position of superiority over woman, such as being managers and doctors. A man who wanted to be a nurse or a secretary would be considered out of the norm. Once men and women are polarized, they are then ranked. Gender stratification refers to the ranking of the sexes in such a way ...view middle of the document...

Although gender roles are not universal, they still exist and a large part of the gender roles are unequal in society, where male dominance is the rule. Gender inequality, the norms and expectations that support that inequality is called sexism (Farley 190).In many societies, women are stepping up and entering the work force, something that was not "expected" of them. They were expected to stay at home, cook clean, and provide for her husband (Lecture 10). However, they took on specific jobs, usually in lower positions and paid much less than men. Although they have improved some, the average American woman still receives about three-fourths the wages of a man ( Lecture 10). This inequality is mainly due to the different jobs of women, their lesser opportunity to be promoted into jobs with managerial authority or any type of authority at all (Farley 194).To explain gender inequality, many sociologists turn to surrounding systems that affect all human behavior. Most theories highlight the institutional structure that assign woman and men different positions, roles, and consequently, different behaviors.The gender role approach focuses on learning behaviors that are defined as masculine or feminine. The gender role approach emphasizes characteristics that individuals acquire during the course of socialization, such as during home, school, media, and peers (Farley 194). Strength and independency is often stressed for boys, while girls are taught to look and behave nicely and appropriately. Clothes, games, other children, parents, and even teachers all can give off these messages. But through the process of the looking-glass self, children are basically taught different self-images, because their self-image is a product of the messages they receive from others and the ways they understand and interpret those messages (Farley 197-8). They come to believe that their skills are expected of them and according to Farley, by later on in life, they become a self-fulfilling prophesy (198).

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