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Gender inequality refers to the obvious or hidden disparity between gender. Gender is constructed both socially through social interactions as well as biologically through chromosomes, brain structure, and hormonal differences.[1] Gender systems are often dichotomous and hierarchical; binary gender systems may reflect onto the inequalities that manifest in numerous dimensions of daily life. Gender inequality stems from distinctions, whether empirically grounded or socially constructed.

Contents

In the workplace

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Income disparities linked to job stratification

Wage discrimination is the discrepancy of wages between two groups due to a bias towards or against a specific trait with all other characteristics of both groups being equivalent. In the case of gender inequality, wage discrimination exists between the male and female gender. Historically, gender inequality has favored men relative to similarly qualified women. [2]

Income disparity between genders stems from processes that determine the quality of jobs and earnings associated with jobs. Earnings associated with jobs will cause income inequality to take form in the placement of individuals into particular jobs through individual qualifications or stereotypical norms. Placement of men or women into particular job categories can be supported through the human capital theories of qualifications of individuals or abilities associated with biological differences in men and women. Conversely, the placement of men or women into separate job categories is argued to be caused by social status groups who desire to keep their position through the placement of those in lower statuses to lower paying positions.[3]

Human capital theories refer to the education, knowledge, training, experience, or skill of a person which makes them potentially valuable to an employer. This has historically been understood as a cause of the gendered wage gap but is no longer a predominant cause as women and men in certain occupations tend to have similar education levels or other credentials. Even when such characteristics of jobs and workers are controlled for, the presence of women within a certain occupation leads to lower wages. This earnings discrimination is considered to be a part of pollution theory. This theory suggests that jobs which are predominated by women offer lower wages than do jobs simply because of the presence of women within the occupation. As women enter an occupation, this reduces the amount of prestige associated with the job and men subsequently leave these occupations. The entering of women into specific occupations suggests that less competent workers have begun to be hired or that the occupation is becoming deskilled. Men are reluctant to enter female-dominated occupations because of this and similarly resist the entrance of women into male-dominated occupations.[4]

The gendered income disparity can also be attributed in part to occupational segregation, where groups of people are distributed across occupations according to ascribed characteristics; in this case, gender. Occupational sex segregation can be understood to contain two components or dimensions; horizontal segregation and vertical segregation. With horizontal segregation, occupational sex segregation occurs as men and women are thought to possess different physical, emotional, and mental capabilities. These different capabilities make the genders vary in the types of jobs they are suited for. This can be specifically viewed with the gendered division between manual and non-manual labor. With vertical segregation, occupational sex segregation occurs as occupations are stratified according to the power, authority, income, and prestige associated with the occupation and women are excluded from holding such jobs.[4]

As women entered the workforce in larger numbers since the 1960s, occupations have become segregated based on the amount femininity or masculinity presupposed to be associated with each occupation. Census data suggests that while some occupations have become more gender integrated (mail carriers, bartenders, bus drivers, and real estate agents), occupations including teachers, nurses, secretaries, and librarians have become female-dominated while occupations including architects, electrical engineers, and airplane pilots remain predominately male in composition.[5] Based on the census data, women occupy the service sector jobs at higher rates then men. Women’s overrepresentation in service sector jobs as opposed to jobs that require managerial work acts as a reinforcement of women and men into traditional gender roles that causes gender inequality.[6]

Once factors such as experience, education, occupation, and other job-relevant characteristics have been taken into account, 41% of the male-female wage gap remains unexplained. As such, considerations of occupational segregation and human capital theories are together not enough to understand the continued existence of a gendered income disparity.[4]

The glass ceiling effect is also considered a possible contributor to the gender wage gap or income disparity. This effect suggests that gender provides significant disadvantages towards the top of job hierarchies which become worse as a person’s career goes on. The term glass ceiling implies that invisible or artificial barriers exist which prevent women from advancing within their jobs or receiving promotions. These barriers exist in spite of the achievements or qualifications of the women and still exist when other characteristics that are job-relevant such as experience, education, and abilities are controlled for. The inequality effects of the glass ceiling are more prevalent within higher-powered or higher income occupations, with fewer women holding these types of occupations. The glass ceiling effect also indicates the limited chances of women for income raises and promotion or advancement to more prestigious positions or jobs. As women are prevented by these artificial barriers from receiving job promotions or income raises, the effects of the inequality of the glass ceiling increase over the course of a woman’s career. [7]

Statistical discrimination is also cited as a cause for income disparities and gendered inequality in the workplace. Statistical discrimination indicates the likelihood of employers to deny women access to certain occupational tracks because women are more likely than men to leave their job or the labor force when they become married or pregnant. Women are instead given positions that dead-end or jobs that have very little mobility.[2]

In Third World countries such as the Dominican Republic, female entrepreneurs are statistically more prone to failure in business. In the event of a business failure women often return to their domestic lifestyle despite the absence of income. On the other hand, men tend to search for other employment as the household is not a priority. [8]

The gender earnings ratio suggests that there has been an increase in women’s earnings comparative to men. Men’s plateau in earnings began after the 1970s, allowing for the increase in women’s wages to close the ratio between incomes. Despite the smaller ratio between men and women’s wages, disparity still exists. Census data suggests that women’s earnings are 71 percent of men’s earnings in 1999.[5]

The gendered wage gap varies in its width among different races. Whites comparatively have the greatest wage gap between the genders. With whites, women earn 78% of the wages that white men do. With African Americans, women earn 90% of the wages that African American men do. With people of Hispanic origin, women earn 88% of the wages that men of Hispanic origin do.

There are some exceptions where women earn more than men: According to a survey on gender pay inequality by the International Trade Union Confederation, female workers in the Gulf state of Bahrain earn 40 per cent more than male workers.[9]

Professional education and careers

The gender gap also appeared to narrow considerably beginning in the mid-1960s. Where some 5% of first-year students in professional programs were female in 1965, by 1985 this number had jumped to 40% in law and medicine, and over 30% in dentistry and business school[10]. Before the highly effective birth control pill was available, women planning professional careers, which required a long-term, expensive commitment, had to "pay the penalty of abstinence or cope with considerable uncertainty regarding pregnancy." [11] This control over their reprodutive decisions allowed women to more easily make long-term decisions about their education and professional opportunities.

Additionally, with reliable birth control, young men and women had more reason to delay marriage. This meant that the marriage market available to any one women who "delay[ed] marriage to pursue a career...would not be as depleted. Thus the Pill could have influenced women's careers, college majors, professional degrees, and the age at marriage." [12]

Customer preference studies

A 2009 study conducted by David R. Hekman and colleagues found that customers who viewed videos featuring a black male, a white female, or a white male actor playing the role of an employee helping a customer were 19 percent more satisfied with the white male employee's performance, suggesting customer bias as a reason why white men continue to earn 25 percent more than equally-well performing women and minorities.[13] Forty five percent of the customers were women and 41 percent were non-white, indicating to the researchers that even women and minority customers prefer white men. In a second study, they found that white male doctors were rated as more approachable and competent than equally-well performing women or minority doctors. They interpret their findings to suggest that employers are willing to pay more for white male employees because employers are customer driven and customers are happier with white male employees. They also suggest that what is required to solve the problem of wage inequality is to change customer biases, not necessarily to pay women more.[14][15][16][17]

In the home

Gender roles in parenting and marriage

Gender roles develop through internalization and identification during childhood. Sigmund Freud suggested that biology (based around the penis) determines gender identity through identification with either the mother or father. While some people agree with Freud, others argue that the development of the gendered self is not completely determined by biology based around one's relationship to the penis, but rather the interactions that one has with the primary caregiver(s). From birth, parents interact differently with children depending on their sex, and through this interaction parents can instill different values or traits in their children on the basis of what is normative for their sex. This internalization of gender norms can be seen through the example of which types of toys children are typically given (“feminine” toys often reinforce interaction, nurturing, and closeness, “masculine” toys often reinforce independence and competitiveness) that parents give to their children.[1] Education also plays an integral role in the creation of gender norms.[18]

Gender roles that are created in childhood permeate throughout life and help to structure parenting and marriage, especially in relation to work in and outside the home. Despite the increase in women in the labor force since the mid-1900s, women are still responsible for the majority of the domestic chores and childcare. While women are splitting their time between work and care of the home, men are pressured into being the primary economic supporter of the home.[19] Despite the fact that different households may divide chores more evenly, there is evidence that supports that women have retained the primary caregiver role within familial life despite contributions economically. This evidence suggest that women who work outside the home often put an extra 18 hours a week doing household or childcare related chores as opposed to men who average 12 minutes a day in childcare activities.[20] In addition to a lack of interest in the home on the part of some men, some women may bar men from equal participation in the home which may contribute to this disparity.[21]

However, men are assuming the role of "care giver" more and more in today's society. Education plays a major factor in this. The more education a male or female receives, the less likely they are to hold roles within the house distinctly based on one's sex.[citation needed] Males are doing more cooking, cleaning, and house-hold "chores" than they were in the 1950s.[citation needed]

Explanations for gender inequality

Structural Marginalization

Gender inequalities often stem from social structures that have institutionalized conceptions of gender differences.

Cultural stereotypes

Cultural stereotypes are engrained in both men and women and these stereotypes are a possible explanation for gender inequality and the resulting gendered wage disparity. Women have traditionally been viewed as being caring and nurturing and are designated to occupations which require such skills. While these skills are culturally valued, they were typically associated with domesticity, so occupations requiring these same skills are not economically valued. Men have traditionally been viewed as the breadwinner or the worker, so jobs held by men have been historically economically valued and occupations predominated by men continue to be economically valued and pay higher wages.[4]

Sexism and discrimination

Gender inequality can further be understood through the mechanisms of sexism. Discrimination takes place in this manner as men and women are subject to prejudicial treatment on the basis of gender alone. Sexism occurs when men and women are framed within two dimensions of social cognition.

Benevolent sexism takes place when women are viewed as possessing low degrees of competency and high degrees of warmth. Although this is the result of a more positive stereotype of women, this still contributes to gender inequality as this stereotype is only applied to women who conform to the caring or nurturing stereotypes, with the remaining women still being discriminated against as they are not viewed in this positive light. Also, this form of sexism has negative effects as well, as these notions of women include the idea that women are weak and in need of the protection of men.[citation needed]

Hostile sexism takes place when women are viewed as having high levels of competency but low degrees of warmth. This form of sexism is framed as an antagonistic attitude toward women, and occurs as women are perceived to be attempting to control men, either through sexual seduction or feminist ideology.[citation needed]

Discrimination also plays out with networking and in preferential treatment within the economic market. Men typically occupy positions of power within the job economy. Due to taste or preference for other men because they share similar characteristics, men in these positions of power are more likely to hire or promote other men, thus discriminating against women.[4]

Discrimination against men in the workplace is more rare but does occur, particularly in health care professions. Only an estimated 0.4% of midwives in the UK are male.

Gendered media

Media helps create and reinforce a gender duality based on traditional views of men and women. Often, females and males are portrayed differently in television and film according to stereotypes. Boys and/or men are often portrayed as active, aggressive and sexually aggressive persons while women are portrayed as quaint, passive, pretty and incompetent beings. One way of portraying the man is in this 'macho-man' image. The macho-man image relies on a man disrespecting a female in order to show and prove his manliness. It is also rare to see men doing any type of housework or caring for children in the media. The portrayal of women also has an assumptive aspect that says that whiteness is ideal and standard. Even when black women are shown, they conform to white definitions of beauty which includes straight hair and light skin. Latina and Asian women are shown in a sexual manner which is derogatory to their races. The portrayal of women varies from women sitting around watching men do things to women being dominated by men in music videos. Women are shown as being helpless and wanting guidance. Magazines cater to what they decide or believe women want. They give advice on how to please men, how to cook for them, how to look attractive by lose of weight and care for families.[22]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Wood, Julia. Gendered Lives. 6th. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, 2005.
  2. ^ a b Burstein, Paul. “Equal Employment Opportunity: Labor Market Discrimination and Public Policy.” Edison, NJ: Aldine Transaction, 1994.
  3. ^ Jacobs, Jerry. Gender Inequality at Work. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 1995.
  4. ^ a b c d e Massey, Douglas. “Categorically Unequal: The American Stratification System.” NY: Russell Sage Foundation, 2007.
  5. ^ a b Cotter, David, Joan Hermsen, and Reeve Vanneman. The American People Census 2000: Gender Inequality at Work. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2000.
  6. ^ Hurst, Charles, E. Social Inequality. 6th. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc., 2007.
  7. ^ Cotter, David, Joan Hermsen, Seth Ovadia and Reeve Vanneman. “Social Forces: The Glass Ceiling Effect.” Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2001.
  8. ^ Sherri Grasmuck and Rosario Espinal. "Market Success or Female Autonomy?" Sage Publications, Inc, 2000.
  9. ^ Women 'earn less than men across the globe', Vedior, 4 March 2008
  10. ^ Goldin, Claudia, and Lawrence F. Katz. "On The Pill: Changing the course of women's education." The Milken Institute Review, Second Quarter 2001: p3.
  11. ^ Goldin, Claudia and Lawrence F. Katz. "The Power Of The Pill: Contraceptives And Women's Career And Marriage Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, 2002, v110 (4,Aug),p731.
  12. ^ Goldin, Claudia. "The Quiet Revolution That Transformed Women's Employment, Education, And Family," American Economic Review, 2006, v96(2,May), p13.
  13. ^ Hekman, David R.; Aquino, Karl; Owens, Brad P.; Mitchell, Terence R.; Schilpzand, Pauline; Leavitt, Keith. (2009) An Examination of Whether and How Racial and Gender Biases Influence Customer Satisfaction. Academy of Management Journal. http://journals.aomonline.org/inpress/main.asp?action=preview&art_id=610&p_id=1&p_short=AMJ
  14. ^ Bakalar, Nicholas (2009) “A Customer Bias in Favor of White Men.” New York Times. June 23, 2009, page D6. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/23/health/research/23perc.html?ref=science
  15. ^ Vedantam, Shankar (2009) “Caveat for Employers.” Washington Post, June 1, 2009, page A8 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/31/AR2009053102081.html
  16. ^ Jackson, Derrick (2009) “Subtle, and stubborn, race bias.” Boston Globe, July 6, 2009, page A10 http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/editorials/articles/2009/07/06/subtle_and_stubborn_race_bias/
  17. ^ National Public Radio, Lake Effect, http://www.wuwm.com/programs/lake_effect/view_le.php?articleid=754
  18. ^ Vianello, Mino, and Renata Siemienska. Gender Inequality: A Comparative Study of Discrimination and Participation. Newbury Park, California: SAGE Publications Ltd., 1990.
  19. ^ Jacobs, Jerry, and Kathleen Gerson. The Time Divide: Work, Family, and Gender Inequality. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2004.
  20. ^ Friedman, Ellen, and Jennifer Marshall. Issues of Gender. New York: Pearson Education, Inc. , 2004.
  21. ^ The mama lion at the gate - Salon.com
  22. ^ Wood, Julia. Gendered Lives. 7th. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, 2008.

Gender inequality refers to the obvious or hidden disparity between individuals due to gender. Gender is constructed both socially through social interactions as well as biologically through chromosomes, brain structure, and hormonal differences.[1] Gender systems are often dichotomous and hierarchical; binary gender systems may reflect onto the inequalities that manifest in numerous dimensions of daily life. Gender inequality stems from distinctions, whether empirically grounded or socially constructed.

Contents

In the workplace

Income disparities linked to job stratification

Wage discrimination is the discrepancy of wages between two groups due to a bias towards or against a specific trait with all other characteristics of both groups being equivalent. In the case of gender inequality, wage discrimination exists between the male and female gender. Historically, gender inequality has favored men relative to similarly qualified women. [2]

Income disparity between genders stems from processes that determine the quality of jobs and earnings associated with jobs. Earnings associated with jobs will cause income inequality to take form in the placement of individuals into particular jobs through individual qualifications or stereotypical norms. Placement of men or women into particular job categories can be supported through the human capital theories of qualifications of individuals or abilities associated with biological differences in men and women. Conversely, the placement of men or women into separate job categories is argued to be caused by social status groups who desire to keep their position through the placement of those in lower statuses to lower paying positions.[3]

Human capital theories refer to the education, knowledge, training, experience, or skill of a person which makes them potentially valuable to an employer. This has historically been understood as a cause of the gendered wage gap but is no longer a predominant cause as women and men in certain occupations tend to have similar education levels or other credentials. Even when such characteristics of jobs and workers are controlled for, the presence of women within a certain occupation leads to lower wages. This earnings discrimination is considered to be a part of pollution theory. This theory suggests that jobs which are predominated by women offer lower wages than do jobs simply because of the presence of women within the occupation. As women enter an occupation, this reduces the amount of prestige associated with the job and men subsequently leave these occupations. The entering of women into specific occupations suggests that less competent workers have begun to be hired or that the occupation is becoming deskilled. Men are reluctant to enter female-dominated occupations because of this and similarly resist the entrance of women into male-dominated occupations.[4]

The gendered income disparity can also be attributed in part to occupational segregation, where groups of people are distributed across occupations according to ascribed characteristics; in this case, gender. Occupational sex segregation can be understood to contain two components or dimensions; horizontal segregation and vertical segregation. With horizontal segregation, occupational sex segregation occurs as men and women are thought to possess different physical, emotional, and mental capabilities. These different capabilities make the genders vary in the types of jobs they are suited for. This can be specifically viewed with the gendered division between manual and non-manual labor. With vertical segregation, occupational sex segregation occurs as occupations are stratified according to the power, authority, income, and prestige associated with the occupation and women are excluded from holding such jobs.[4]

As women entered the workforce in larger numbers since the 1960s, occupations have become segregated based on the amount femininity or masculinity presupposed to be associated with each occupation. Census data suggests that while some occupations have become more gender integrated (mail carriers, bartenders, bus drivers, and real estate agents), occupations including teachers, nurses, secretaries, and librarians have become female-dominated while occupations including architects, electrical engineers, and airplane pilots remain predominately male in composition.[5] Based on the census data, women occupy the service sector jobs at higher rates then men. Women’s overrepresentation in service sector jobs as opposed to jobs that require managerial work acts as a reinforcement of women and men into traditional gender roles that causes gender inequality.[6]

Once factors such as experience, education, occupation, and other job-relevant characteristics have been taken into account, 41% of the male-female wage gap remains unexplained. As such, considerations of occupational segregation and human capital theories are together not enough to understand the continued existence of a gendered income disparity.[4]

The glass ceiling effect is also considered a possible contributor to the gender wage gap or income disparity. This effect suggests that gender provides significant disadvantages towards the top of job hierarchies which become worse as a person’s career goes on. The term glass ceiling implies that invisible or artificial barriers exist which prevent women from advancing within their jobs or receiving promotions. These barriers exist in spite of the achievements or qualifications of the women and still exist when other characteristics that are job-relevant such as experience, education, and abilities are controlled for. The inequality effects of the glass ceiling are more prevalent within higher-powered or higher income occupations, with fewer women holding these types of occupations. The glass ceiling effect also indicates the limited chances of women for income raises and promotion or advancement to more prestigious positions or jobs. As women are prevented by these artificial barriers from receiving job promotions or income raises, the effects of the inequality of the glass ceiling increase over the course of a woman’s career. [7]

Statistical discrimination is also cited as a cause for income disparities and gendered inequality in the workplace. Statistical discrimination indicates the likelihood of employers to deny women access to certain occupational tracks because women are more likely than men to leave their job or the labor force when they become married or pregnant. Women are instead given positions that dead-end or jobs that have very little mobility.[2]

In Third World countries such as the Dominican Republic, female entrepreneurs are statistically more prone to failure in business. In the event of a business failure women often return to their domestic lifestyle despite the absence of income. On the other hand, men tend to search for other employment as the household is not a priority. [8]

The gender earnings ratio suggests that there has been an increase in women’s earnings comparative to men. Men’s plateau in earnings began after the 1970s, allowing for the increase in women’s wages to close the ratio between incomes. Despite the smaller ratio between men and women’s wages, disparity still exists. Census data suggests that women’s earnings are 71 percent of men’s earnings in 1999.[5]

The gendered wage gap varies in its width among different races. Whites comparatively have the greatest wage gap between the genders. With whites, women earn 78% of the wages that white men do. With African Americans, women earn 90% of the wages that African American men do. With people of Hispanic origin, women earn 88% of the wages that men of Hispanic origin do.

There are some exceptions where women earn more than men: According to a survey on gender pay inequality by the International Trade Union Confederation, female workers in the Gulf state of Bahrain earn 40 per cent more than male workers.[9]

Professional education and careers

The gender gap also appeared to narrow considerably beginning in the mid-1960s. Where some 5% of first-year students in professional programs were female in 1965, by 1985 this number had jumped to 40% in law and medicine, and over 30% in dentistry and business school[10]. Before the highly effective birth control pill was available, women planning professional careers, which required a long-term, expensive commitment, had to "pay the penalty of abstinence or cope with considerable uncertainty regarding pregnancy." [11] This control over their reproductive decisions allowed women to more easily make long-term decisions about their education and professional opportunities.

Additionally, with reliable birth control, young men and women had more reason to delay marriage. This meant that the marriage market available to any one women who "delay[ed] marriage to pursue a career...would not be as depleted. Thus the Pill could have influenced women's careers, college majors, professional degrees, and the age at marriage." [12]

Customer preference studies

A 2009 study conducted by David R. Hekman and colleagues found that customers who viewed videos featuring a black male, a white female, or a white male actor playing the role of an employee helping a customer were 19 percent more satisfied with the white male employee's performance, suggesting customer bias as a reason why white men continue to earn 25 percent more than equally-well performing women and minorities.[13] Forty five percent of the customers were women and 41 percent were non-white, indicating to the researchers that even women and minority customers prefer white men. In a second study, they found that white male doctors were rated as more approachable and competent than equally-well performing women or minority doctors. They interpret their findings to suggest that employers are willing to pay more for white male employees because employers are customer driven and customers are happier with white male employees. They also suggest that what is required to solve the problem of wage inequality is to change customer biases, not necessarily to pay women more.[14][15][16][17]

At home

Gender roles in parenting and marriage

Gender roles develop through internalization and identification during childhood. Sigmund Freud suggested that biology (based around the penis) determines gender identity through identification with either the mother or father. While some people agree with Freud, others argue that the development of the gendered self is not completely determined by biology based around one's relationship to the penis, but rather the interactions that one has with the primary caregiver(s). From birth, parents interact differently with children depending on their sex, and through this interaction parents can instill different values or traits in their children on the basis of what is normative for their sex. This internalization of gender norms can be seen through the example of which types of toys children are typically given (“feminine” toys often reinforce interaction, nurturing, and closeness, “masculine” toys often reinforce independence and competitiveness) that parents give to their children.[1] Education also plays an integral role in the creation of gender norms.[18]

Gender roles that are created in childhood permeate throughout life and help to structure parenting and marriage, especially in relation to work in and outside the home. Despite the increase in women in the labor force since the mid-1900s, women are still responsible for the majority of the domestic chores and childcare. While women are splitting their time between work and care of the home, men are pressured into being the primary economic supporter of the home.[19] Despite the fact that different households may divide chores more evenly, there is evidence that supports that women have retained the primary caregiver role within familial life despite contributions economically. This evidence suggest that women who work outside the home often put an extra 18 hours a week doing household or childcare related chores as opposed to men who average 12 minutes a day in childcare activities.[20] In addition to a lack of interest in the home on the part of some men, some women may bar men from equal participation in the home which may contribute to this disparity.[21]

However, men are assuming the role of "care giver" more and more in today's society. Education plays a major factor in this. The more education a male or female receives, the less likely they are to hold roles within the house distinctly based on one's sex.[citation needed] Males are doing more cooking, cleaning, and house-hold "chores" than they were in the 1950s.[citation needed]

Explanations for gender inequality

Structural Marginalization

Gender inequalities often stem from social structures that have institutionalized conceptions of gender differences.

Cultural stereotypes

Cultural stereotypes are engrained in both men and women and these stereotypes are a possible explanation for gender inequality and the resulting gendered wage disparity. Women have traditionally been viewed as being caring and nurturing and are designated to occupations which require such skills. While these skills are culturally valued, they were typically associated with domesticity, so occupations requiring these same skills are not economically valued. Men have traditionally been viewed as the breadwinner or the worker, so jobs held by men have been historically economically valued and occupations predominated by men continue to be economically valued and pay higher wages.[4]

Sexism and discrimination

Gender inequality can further be understood through the mechanisms of sexism. Discrimination takes place in this manner as men and women are subject to prejudicial treatment on the basis of gender alone. Sexism occurs when men and women are framed within two dimensions of social cognition.

Benevolent sexism takes place when women are viewed as possessing low degrees of competency and high degrees of warmth.[neutrality is disputed] Although this is the result of a more positive stereotype of women, this still contributes to gender inequality as this stereotype is only applied to women who conform to the caring or nurturing stereotypes, with the remaining women still being discriminated against as they are not viewed in this positive light. Also, this form of sexism has negative effects as well, as these notions of women include the idea that women are weak and in need of the protection of men.[citation needed]

Hostile sexism takes place when women are viewed as having high levels of competency but low degrees of warmth. This form of sexism is framed as an antagonistic attitude toward women, and occurs as women are perceived to be attempting to control men, either through sexual seduction or feminist ideology.[citation needed]

Discrimination also plays out with networking and in preferential treatment within the economic market. Men typically occupy positions of power within the job economy. Due to taste or preference for other men because they share similar characteristics, men in these positions of power are more likely to hire or promote other men, thus discriminating against women.[4]

Discrimination against men in the workplace is more rare but does occur, particularly in health care professions. Only an estimated 0.4% of midwives in the UK are male.

Gendered media

Media helps create and reinforce a gender duality based on traditional views of men and women. Often, females and males are portrayed differently in television and film according to stereotypes. Boys and/or men are often portrayed as active, aggressive and sexually aggressive persons while women are portrayed as quaint, passive, pretty and incompetent beings. One way of portraying the man is in this 'macho-man' image. The macho-man image relies on a man disrespecting a female in order to show and prove his manliness. It is also rare to see men doing any type of housework or caring for children in the media. The portrayal of women also has an assumptive aspect that says that whiteness is ideal and standard. Even when black women are shown, they conform to white definitions of beauty which includes straight hair and light skin. Latina and Asian women are shown in a sexual manner which is derogatory to their races. The portrayal of women varies from women sitting around watching men do things to women being dominated by men in music videos. Women are shown as being helpless and wanting guidance. Magazines cater to what they decide or believe women want. They give advice on how to please men, how to cook for them, how to look attractive by lose of weight and care for families.[22]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Wood, Julia. Gendered Lives. 6th. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, 2005.
  2. ^ a b Burstein, Paul. “Equal Employment Opportunity: Labor Market Discrimination and Public Policy.” Edison, NJ: Aldine Transaction, 1994.
  3. ^ Jacobs, Jerry. Gender Inequality at Work. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 1995.
  4. ^ a b c d e Massey, Douglas. “Categorically Unequal: The American Stratification System.” NY: Russell Sage Foundation, 2007.
  5. ^ a b Cotter, David, Joan Hermsen, and Reeve Vanneman. The American People Census 2000: Gender Inequality at Work. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2000.
  6. ^ Hurst, Charles, E. Social Inequality. 6th. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc., 2007.
  7. ^ Cotter, David, Joan Hermsen, Seth Ovadia and Reeve Vanneman. “Social Forces: The Glass Ceiling Effect.” Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2001.
  8. ^ Sherri Grasmuck and Rosario Espinal. "Market Success or Female Autonomy?" Sage Publications, Inc, 2000.
  9. ^ Women 'earn less than men across the globe', Vedior, 4 March 2008
  10. ^ Goldin, Claudia, and Lawrence F. Katz. "On The Pill: Changing the course of women's education." The Milken Institute Review, Second Quarter 2001: p3.
  11. ^ Goldin, Claudia and Lawrence F. Katz. "The Power Of The Pill: Contraceptives And Women's Career And Marriage Decisions," Journal of Political Economy, 2002, v110 (4,Aug),p731.
  12. ^ Goldin, Claudia. "The Quiet Revolution That Transformed Women's Employment, Education, And Family," American Economic Review, 2006, v96(2,May), p13.
  13. ^ Hekman, David R.; Aquino, Karl; Owens, Brad P.; Mitchell, Terence R.; Schilpzand, Pauline; Leavitt, Keith. (2009) An Examination of Whether and How Racial and Gender Biases Influence Customer Satisfaction. Academy of Management Journal. http://journals.aomonline.org/inpress/main.asp?action=preview&art_id=610&p_id=1&p_short=AMJ
  14. ^ Bakalar, Nicholas (2009) “A Customer Bias in Favor of White Men.” New York Times. June 23, 2009, page D6. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/23/health/research/23perc.html?ref=science
  15. ^ Vedantam, Shankar (2009) “Caveat for Employers.” Washington Post, June 1, 2009, page A8 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/31/AR2009053102081.html
  16. ^ Jackson, Derrick (2009) “Subtle, and stubborn, race bias.” Boston Globe, July 6, 2009, page A10 http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/editorials/articles/2009/07/06/subtle_and_stubborn_race_bias/
  17. ^ National Public Radio, Lake Effect, http://www.wuwm.com/programs/lake_effect/view_le.php?articleid=754
  18. ^ Vianello, Mino, and Renata Siemienska. Gender Inequality: A Comparative Study of Discrimination and Participation. Newbury Park, California: SAGE Publications Ltd., 1990.
  19. ^ Jacobs, Jerry, and Kathleen Gerson. The Time Divide: Work, Family, and Gender Inequality. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2004.
  20. ^ Friedman, Ellen, and Jennifer Marshall. Issues of Gender. New York: Pearson Education, Inc. , 2004.
  21. ^ The mama lion at the gate - Salon.com
  22. ^ Wood, Julia. Gendered Lives. 7th. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, 2008.

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