Gender inequality

Essay by comolaflor February 2004

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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 that women are unequal in power, resources, prestige, or presumed worth.

At the same time, both women and men are denied the full range of human and social possibilities. The social inequalities created by gender differentiation have far-reaching consequences for society at large. Gender roles have changed over time, but has always existed in the United States (Farley 192). Although they have always existed and have been relatively constant, gender roles are not universal (Lecture 10). In some societies, the gender traits are reversed by sex where men show feminine traits, woman show masculine traits, both men and woman show feminine traits, or both show masculine traits (Lecture 10). 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...