Gender Differences focusing on Psychology

Essay by emmajaneHigh School, 12th grade November 2004

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Although men and women lead primarily the same lives today, there are concealed gender roles in place from years past. In the past, males and females have not been given the same rights and responsibilities and it is not due to only one factor. Men and women differ due to the evolution of gender differences, genetic, and social differences.

Primitive humans initially assigned roles to men and women due to their physical and psychological capabilities, gender stereotypes today descended from these primitive people.

"All the universal characteristics of men's and women's roles derive from this (women caring for children and men hunting) primitive division of labor. The social structure which evolved from this division of labor then socialized men and women so that their personalities and inclinations fit consistently with the structure." (Clark, 1980, ch17)

The initial roles were defined by the capabilities of the genders. Women cared for the children because they had the nurturing capabilities and men governed the communities and provided the food.

Once the responsibilities of the males and females were acknowledged, they were passed on. "Distinct social roles ... were passed on to following generations by social processes of conditioning until the roles seemed natural, and even supernaturally preordained." (Clark, 1980, ch17) The responsibility of women to care for the children did not change over the years. Until recently, women have been the parent who stays at home and the male has been the one who makes a living to support the family. Now men and women both work and usually neither are purely accountable for caring for the children. Men today are in more leadership positions than women. Although the division of genders started in prehistoric times, the same divisions are essentially still in place.

Males and females differ genetically in their emotional and...