Chapter 10 Inequalities of Gender and Age

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Chapter 10 Inequalities of Gender and Age Powered By Docstoc
					   A young man was in a serious accident
    and taken to the hospital for an
    emergency brain operation. The brain
    surgeon looked at the boy and said, “I
    can’t operate on him. He is my son.”
    But the surgeon was not the boy’s father.

   Explain how this could be
   The idea that women can see the top
    jobs but can never get over the invisible
    barrier to get those jobs.

   Have you heard of this? Known anyone
    who has experienced it? Do you think
    you will experience it in your future
 Sex
 Biological Determinism
 Gender Identity
   You Inherit your sex but you learn your
   Sex – classification of people as male or
    female based on biological

   Assumptions:
    › Males- naturally more aggressive, protective
      and built for providing.
    › Females – naturally passive and in greater
      need of protection
   Biological Determinism – principle that
    behavioral differences are the result of
    inherited physical characteristics.

   This theory lacks scientific proof and men and
    women have not been casually linked to
    biological characteristics.

   Society navigates how boys and girls act and
    are viewed. You typically do not hear how
    baby girls have broad shoulders and muscled
    legs or that baby boys have long, curling
   Girls and boys tend to behave how their
    parent’s expect and their parent’s expect
    behavior including modes of dress, ways of
    walking, manner of talking, play activities,
    and life aspirations based on what society
    tells them is appropriate for their sons and

   Gender Identity – a sense of being male or
    female based on learned cultural values.
 Sex – biological identity of the person
  and is meant to signify either male or
 Gender – socially learned behaviors and
  expectations that are associated with
  the 2 sexes
 “maleness” and “femaleness” –
  biological facts
 Becoming a woman or man – a cultural
 Break into groups of 2:
 Determine whether the questions are
  True or False
    › Women talk more than men
    › Women are more likely than men to touch
      other people
    › Women use less personal space than men
› Research indicates that in spite of what most
  people believe, just the opposite is true. In
  one study, men talked on the average of 10
  minutes more than women about engraving.
  Students might point out that the study might
  yield different results depending upon what
  topic is brought up for discussion.
› Research has determined that women are
  no more likely than men to touch other
› Research does bear this finding out. Men
  tend to take up more space than women
   Biological differences in men and women – muscle-
    to-bone distinction, how fat is stored, who can
    impregnate, and who can physically carry a baby.

   Brains of women and men are slightly different – men
    show slightly more activity in the area of the brain
    that has more adaptive evolutionary responses such
    as fighting. Women show more activity in the area
    of the brain related to emotional expression.
   Women tend to use both sides of their brain when
    performing a task and use both ears when listening,
    whereas men tend to use the left side when
    performing a task and the right ear to listen.
   In their future partners:
    › Men tend to value physical appearance
      more than women
    › Women tend to place more power in social
      class and income
    › Men prefer slightly younger mates, whereas
      women prefer older ones.
 In the US women tend to have a life
  expectancy of 5 years longer than men.
 Men tend to more aggressive, therefore
  have higher rates of suicide, accidents, and
 Men are taught to be more competitive
  and more secretive with their inner feelings.
 Men are more encouraged to engage in
  activities detrimental to their health such as
  excessive drinking and smoking
   Study by Sociologist Margaret Mead about 3
    tribes in New Guinea
    › She found that both males and females were
      conditioned to be cooperative, unaggressive and
      empathetic (Arapesh Tribe). Peoples in this tribe
      tended to follow what is traditionally the female role
    › In Mundugumor, she found both men and women to
      be aggressive, ruthless, and unresponsive to the needs
      of others – typically more men type roles.
    › The Tchambuli tribe were completely different than the
      Western world because women were the dominant,
      impersonal, and aggressive persons and men were
      dependent on them.
   There are no studies to prove that
    behaviors are a biological factor.

   While biological characteristics exists,
    they can be modified through social
    influences. Men and women can both
    LEARN to be anything and do anything.

   Human behavior is a result of multiple
   What would you say if you saw a couple
    with a newborn baby and asked them
    what it was a boy or a girl and they said
    they didn’t know?

   Read pages 342-343

   Write a response to the story
   Key Terms
    › Gender Socialization
 The division of responsibilities between
  males and females survived because it
  benefited human living. In earlier times
  people believed this division based on sex
  made living efficient (because of size and
  strength – men hunted and protected and
  women did more domestic tasks)
 Today’s functionalism supporters feel as if
  this division has created more dysfunction
  for modern society.
 A conflict theorist believes it is to the men’s
  advantage to prevent women from
  gaining access to political, economic and
  social resources.
 If men can prevent women from reaching
  their potential they will remain the
  dominant group.
 A conflict theorist sees gender roles as
  outdated and sees how women having
  careers and trying to be successful causes
  this tension between the genders.
 Because women are working outside of the
  home, marrying later in life, having fewer
  children, are remaining single, are younger
  when their last child leaves home, and
  choosing to be single mothers in some
  cases – conflict theorist see this as a good
 A conflict theorist also think that women
  who go into jobs that are reserved more for
  men have a right to make that choice even
  if it is not “functional” for society.
 A symbolic interactionist looks at the
  ways girls and boys learn how they are
  “supposed to act” – this process is called
  gender socialization – the social process
  of learning how to act like a boy or girl.
 Parents play a crucial role in gender
  socialization because they are the first to
  socialize their children until the age of
  about 2.
 The expectations of parents dictate how
  a child will act – whatever their parents
  deem “appropriate behavior” will be
  how a child will strive to be.
 Family chores also dictate gender roles –
  parents will expect their daughters to
  cook and clean the house, whereas they
  will expect their sons to mow the yard
  and take out the trash.
   Schools also reinforce gender role
    expectations through the behavior they
    (teachers and other students) deem
    appropriate for male and female students.
    This is a crucial socialization point in the lives
    of children and what is taught at this stage of
    their life is very influential.
› Boys were 8 times more likely to call out answers in class,
  whereas girls would sit patiently with their hands raised.
› Teachers were more likely to accept answers called out by
  boys, whereas girls who did this were told it is more polite to
  raise your hand when answering.
› The message this is sending to students is – boys should be
  assertive and call out answers where as girls should act like
  ladies and sit quietly.
› This study concluded that early on in the educational
  process girls outperformed boys academically, but the way
  we treat girls in schools are doing them a disservice
  because as they reach high school age they become a lot
  more passive in the classroom and dislike subject such as
  math and science because of how they have been
  stereotyped in their early school experience.
 Peers (later in life – school age children) –
  have a great affect on socialization of
 Teenagers feel pressure to conform and
  fit the gender role as masculine or
  feminine deem appropriate by their
  peers. Teens just want to fit in and the
  best way to do this is to go with the status
  quo – right?
   Functionalism – gender-based division of
    labor – women are expected to perform
    household tasks for the benefit of society

   Conflict Theory – patriarchy (male
    domination) – Women are denied high
    status occupations for the benefit of men

   Symbolic Interactionism – favoring males
    over females in the classroom – few females
    believe they can become scientists, etc.
 Think about the differences between a
  psychologist’s and sociologists’ view on gender
 Write a few paragraphs on this topic and think of
  some topics that would reflect this difference.
 Example – on the topic of education, a
  sociologist might look at whether all-girl schools
  show a signficantly higher percentage of
  graduates who enter into male dominated field
  such as engineering. A psychologist might look
  at why a teacher responds in a particular way to
  a female student.
   Look at the chart on page 318 and
    answer the questions that go along with
   Key Terms:
    › Sexism
    › Occupational Segregation
   The areas in which women have made
    the most gains are in education, health
    care, and human service jobs.

   Why do you think the pursuit of gender
    equality has been more successful in
    these areas and why do you think
    women have not been as successful in
    achieving job equality in the areas of
    economics, law, and politics?
   Sexism – a set of beliefs, attitudes, norms,
    and values used to justify sexual
    inequality. (This is comparable to the
    effects racism has to ethnic minorities)

   Sexist ideology – the idea that men are
    naturally superior to women is used to
    justify this type of attitude, but this
    attitude has no scientific or statistical
   Yes and no – women are making huge
    strides in the workforce (which has given
    them more respect from many of the
    male gender), but the glass ceiling still
    exists so that women are in a sense still
    “put in their place”
   The most important labor development over the
    years has been the dramatic increase of women in
    the workforce and the promotions they are being

   In 2004, 59% of women worked outside the home
    compared to 73% of men. Women represented 46%
    of the labor force in the US.

   The biggest change came from married women
    under the age of 6 went from 19% in 1960 to 37% in
    1975 and 59.3% in2004.

   Look at page 323 – the charts at the top of the page
   Although women are working the in labor force
    at greater numbers, many of them are stuck in
    low-status occupations – occupational sex
    segregation – the concentration of women in
    lower-status positions.

   Only 12% of civil engineers are women
   29% of attorney’s are women

   Women occupy nearly all “pink-collar” jobs –
    secretaries, clerks, etc.
   In a study done in 2004 – women who worked full-
    time jobs only earned 80 cents to the dollar to men
    who work full-time jobs

   Basically women who work 7 days a week earn as
    much as men who work 5 days a week.

   This number is getting closer however, in 1980
    women earned 64 cents to the dollar to men.

   This is true for all jobs also – even female-dominated
    jobs – men make more on average than women –
    look at the chart on page 325
   White women make 82% of what men make

   African American women make 71% of what
    men make

   Asian American women make 86% of what
    men make

   Latino women make 59% of what men make

   -Why do you think this is?
   What is your response to this statement:

    › Well it’s no wonder that women don’t earn
      as much money. How could they when they
      are continually taking time off to have
   Women who fight for rights have argued
    against the US Supreme Court decision that
    refused to grant women health insurance
    benefits for pregnancy-related medical costs,
    but men were granted medical coverage for
    conditions unique to men (such as

   Some states have refused to allow women to
    keep their surnames after marriage

   Some states have (in the past)only allowed
    women to work so many hours
   The passage of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of
    1964 abolished many of these laws

   Family and Medical Leave Act (1993) requires
    workplaces to given women 12 weeks without
    pay for childbirth, adoption, personal illness,
    etc. – this negatively affects women’s chances
    of getting jobs over men because employers
    do not want to deal with these absences and
    women are more likely to take time off for
    childbirth, etc.

   Crime are sometimes gender sensitive as well –
    laws against prostitution are typically enforced
    against women, but their men customers are
    usually let go
   Women have made huge strides politically in the past years
    in the local, state, and national level

   In 1984, Geraldine Ferraro became the 1st Vice-Presidential
    candidate and Sarah Palin became the second in 2008

   Madeleine Albright was the 1st female Secretary of State in
    1996, Condoleezza Rice in 2005 and Hilary Clinton is
    currently the Secretary of State

   Elizabeth Dole campaigned for her party’s nomination for
    President in 2000 and Hilary Clinton did the same in 2008

   Recently Nancy Pelosi - minority leader of the House of
   Over half of the population in the US are
    women and a relatively small amount are
    involved in the political system though –
    page 327 – chart

   The number of women holding public office
    in the US is among the lowest in the Western

   Women –
    › 15.4% of the House of Representatives
    › 14% of the Senate
    › 14 women hold leadership positions in the House
      of Senate
   Get into groups of 2 and discuss and write
    answers to the following….

    › Although women are showing up more
      frequently in the power elite, many women in
      these “exalted” positions are very hesitant to
      speak out. One reporter described the
      problems she had interviewing women for an
      article about women and the Fortune 500. While
      they were very candid off the record, very few
      were willing to be identified.

    › Why do you think women who are talented
      enough to reach the highest executive positions
      should be reluctant to speak out.
   Key Terms:
    › Age Stratification
    › Ageism
   Imagine your lives if you have been
    crumpled up, dropped, stepped on, and
    rubbed into the ground. Although you
    have not lost your inherent worth of
    value, society seems to have declared
    that you are not worth the same as they
    were when you were younger. This is
    how American society devalues the
   Age Stratification – the unequal
    distribution of scarce resources (power,
    wealth, and prestige) based on age.

   The rationale for age-base inequality
    comes from the form of ageism – a set of
    beliefs, attitudes, norms and values used
    to justify age-based prejudice and
   Functionalists see elderly people are treated in
    a society according to the role the aged play
    in that society

   In many societies the elderly are treated with
    respect and great honor – playing such roles as
    elder or priest

   In colonial America – this idea of respect for
    the elderly was given , however as we have
    shifted to a work centered society – the elderly
    have been greatly devalued because of the
    inability to work and in turn “contribute to
    society” in an important way
   In America –aging tends to lead to lower status

   Because our society is rapidly changing,
    younger workers are more likely to possess
    current skills needed for jobs

   This loss of status with older age could help to
    explain the increase in suicide rate for men
    beginning at retirement age (men tend to feel
    valued by their jobs and when that is over –
    they feel less valued by society)
   Competition for scarce resources is the
    main component of ageism in the conflict

   In the conflict theory prejudice and
    discrimination are used by the majority to
    control the minority and if older people are
    stereotyped as intellectually dull,
    unproductive, inflexible, or closed-minded
    then younger people can take over.
   Ageism (like racism and sexism) involve
    negative stereotypes against the elderly.

   Children at a young age start to learn negative
    stereotypes of the elderly and this continues
    throughout generations so the elderly are
    extremely discriminated against.

   Stereotypes of the elderly – they are senile or

   Most people are able to learn new things and
    adapt to change – although most people think
   Why are social attitudes about the
    elderly so negative?

   Create some positive ways that
    American society could make greater
    use of the elderly.
   Key Terms:
    › Interest group
   Most research on the elderly are done in
    institutions and studies focus on people
    with diminished mental and physical
    capabilities so this adds to the negative
    stereotypes of the elderly

   Since the elderly are discriminated
    against just like ethnic groups and
    women they are now being considered
    as a minority group in our society.
   Although this situation has improved since the 60’s, the
    elderly in America are far away from being well off

   The way poverty in America among the elderly distorts the
    real image.

   Despite the fact that the elderly (by proportion) spend more
    on health care and housing than younger people, the
    government does not feel that they need the same money
    to live. If the elderly were held to the same standard as
    young people, the percent of the elderly in poverty would
    be 15% not 9.8% These numbers do not include the “hidden
    poor” (people living with relatives) or near poor people

   The fact that some elderly people are worth a lot based on
    money and wealth, most of the elderly live on Social
    Security alone, therefore the mean is not representative of
    the whole
   Older people of minority groups are generally in worse
    condition than older white people.

   Older African Americans are 3 times more likely to live in
    poverty than older white people and older Latinos are more
    than 2.5 times more likely to live in poverty than older
    whites. This discrimination of ethnic groups tend to increase
    with old age.

   Elderly women tend to constitute one of the poorest groups
    in American society. Women over 65 are 2 times as likely to
    live in poverty as men. These women tend to be divorced,
    widowed or never married and because during their time
    they were discouraged to enter the workforce, their poverty
    is work related as well and they are unable to support
    themselves in their later lives.
   Because of the limited economic resources
    of older people, their power is gained
    through the political process – by voting
    and political interest groups.

   Since the 80’s the elderly have had the
    highest percentage of voting population in
    the US. In 2004, 71% of the elderly voted in
    the Presidential election compared to
    under 47% of 18-24 year olds and under 60%
    of 25-44 year olds
   Unlike other minority groups, the elderly do not
    tend to vote as one and this seems to be
    because they also span different ethnic, racial
    and gender groups. They do not tend to vote
    the same – even on questions that deal with
    them directly. This lack of being unified, tends
    to weaken their political power to the

   Interest groups – a group organized to
    influence political decision making – these
    groups have been effective in protecting
    programs that benefit the elderly such as:
    Medicare and Social Security.
   Think about why voter turnout increases
    with age. Write down some reasons you
    can come up with.
   Whatever problems racial and ethnic
    minorities face because of discrimination
    become magnified in old age.

   Write a few paragraphs to support this
    statement. List reasons why this is true.

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