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Marriages and Families: Changes, Choices, and Constraints Seventh Edition


Marriages and Families: Changes, Choices, and Constraints Seventh Edition Nijole V. Benokraitis Chapter Five Socialization and Gender Roles Gender in the Workplace In ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Marriages and Families: Changes, Choices, and Constraints Seventh Edition

  • Marriages and FamiliesChanges, Choices, and
    ConstraintsSeventh Edition
  • Nijole V. Benokraitis
  • Chapter Five
  • Socialization and Gender Roles

Gender Myths
  • We tend to associate stereotypically female
    characteristics with weakness and typically male
    characteristics with strength.
  • Hes firm, but shes stubborn.
  • Hes careful about details, but shes picky.
  • Hes honest, but shes opinionated.
  • Hes raising good points, but shes bitchy.

Why Do We Do This?
  • We tend to see men as strong, not emotional and
    women as emotional and not strong, although we
    have seen those stereotypes change through the
    years and we are seeing them change even more.

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Is There a Difference Between Sex and Gender?
  • Many people use these terms interchangeably, but
    they have distinct meanings.

Is There a Difference Between Sex and Gender?
Sex refers to biological characteristics with
which we are born. Such characteristics
determine if we have male or female genitalia,
among other things. We refer to primary sex
characteristics as those physical characteristics
at birth such as testicles for boys or ovaries
for girls. Secondary sex characteristics are
those that develop during puberty.
Is There a Difference Between Sex and Gender?
  • Gender is more fluidit represents learned
    attitudes and behaviors that characterize people
    as men or women.
  • Children develop gender identity as a perception
    of themselves as masculine or feminine.
  • Regardless of sex, gender, and gender identity,
    both sexes experience emotions like anger or
    sadnessit is our gender identity that allows us
    to express that in a certain way.

Gender Roles
  • Gender roles are the characteristics, attitudes,
    feelings, and behaviors that society expects of
    males and females. The first place we learn
    about our gender roles is in our family. One of
    the very basic functions of the family is
    teaching us gender.

Gender Roles
  • Because gender roles are learned and not innate,
    they can be changed.
  • However, we still live in a culture with
    widespread gender stereotypes about how men and
    women are supposed to behave.

The Nature-Nurture Debate
  • Those who argue that nature is most important
    point to three overall reasons
  • Health DifferencesThere are several diseases
    that affect women and men differently and are
    more severe depending on whether you are male or

The Nature-Nurture Debate
The Effects of Sex HormonesAll males and females
share three sex hormones. They are estrogen
(dominant in females), progesterone (present in
high levels during pregnancy in women), and
testosterone (dominate in males). After puberty,
varying levels of these hormones in males and
females produce different physiological changes.
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The Nature-Nurture Debate
  • Unsuccessful Sex ReassignmentIn the famous case
    of the John and Joan twins, the famous
    psychologist John Money believed that one twin
    (who suffered accidental penis removal at a day
    old) could be raised as female and that she would
    never know that she had been born male.
  • Money went on to publish numerous data about
    the case saying how wonderfully it was going,
    when in actuality the young woman (who was born
    male) was very troubled and eventually had sex
    reassignment back to male.

How Important Is Nurture?
  • Most social scientists maintain that culture, not
    nature, makes us who we are.
  • There are varying examples across different
    cultures that would seem to make this argument.
    What is considered masculine in one culture may
    be considered feminine in another culture. If all
    human features were inborn, there wouldnt be
    this discrimination.

Male Aggression and Violence
  • If being male meant being aggressive and violent
    (as we sometimes think it does), then male
    violence should be basically the same
    cross-culturally. This is not the case. In
    countries that still tend to be very patriarchal,
    male violence towards women is very high (as much
    as 80 in Vietnam), whereas in cultures where
    women are more respected, male violence is less
    (only 13 in Japan).

What Does the Nature-Nurture Debate Ultimately
Tell Us?
  • 1. Women and men exhibit some sex-related
    genetic differences.
  • 2. Cross-cultural research shows much variation
    in characteristics that are deemed male or
  • 3. Nature and nurture interact to determine our

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Why Do Gender Roles Differ?
  • There are many theories to explain for the
    differences in gender roles from culture to
  • 1. Sociobiologyargues that evolution and
    genetic factors can explain why men are generally
    more aggressive than women. To propagate their
    genes, they must defeat their competition.
  • 2. Social learning theorysays that people learn
    attitudes, beliefs and behaviors through social
    interactions. The learning is a result of

Why Do Gender Roles Differ?
  • 3. Cognitive development theoryArgues that
    children acquire female or male values on their
    own by thinking, reasoning, and interpreting
    information in their environment.
  • 4. Symbolic interaction theorysays that gender
    roles are socially constructed categories that
    emerge in social situations.
  • 5. Feminist theoristssay that gender is a
    socially constructed role that is taught
    carefully and repeatedlymuch like social
    learning theory.

How Do We Learn Gender Roles?
  • Parents are usually the first and by far the most
    influential socialization agents.
  • Parents teach gender roles through
  • Talkingparents often communicate differently
    with boys and girls.
  • Setting expectationseven at times unknowingly,
    parents set different expectations for girls and
    for boys in things like sports, school, and
    household chores.

How Do We Learn Gender Roles?
  • Providing opportunitiesParents provide cultural
    opportunities based on what is accepted for boys
    and girls.
  • Play and peer groupscan encourage
    gender-stereotypic behavior.

Teachers and Schools
  • Teachers and schools send a number of
    gender-related messages that follow boys and
    girls from grade school through college.
  • Teachers in elementary, middle, and high schools
    have a huge influence on our children and some
    have very sex-stereotyped expectations.

  • Women earn about 58 of bachelors degrees and
    60 of masters degrees. Still, women focus more
    on traditional female kinds of roles like
    teaching, social work, and nursing.
  • Some say women choose these fields because they
    like them, while others say they are not given
    the same early chances in math and science that
    boys are given, so they dont choose those fields.

Popular Culture and the Media
  • Media myths that every women should look like a
    supermodel assault our senses every day.
  • Advertising is one important way that women are
    taught to look a certain way. It is not overt,
    but tends to be very covert.

The Publishing Media
  • Newspapers especially tend to be very
    male-dominated. A survey of 104 national
    magazines and local newspapers found that in
    3,500 frontpage stories, male sources outnumbered
    female sources almost three to one!
  • For the most part, men still dominate written and
    television media.

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Instrumentaland Expressive Roles
  • Instrumental roles tend to be occupied by men in
    our society. They must be the provider and
    protector of the family.
  • Expressive roles in our society tend to be played
    by womenthey provide emotional support to the
    family, nurturing, etc.

What Are the Costs and Benefits?
  • Traditional roles have both benefits and
    costssee table 5.5 following.

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Why Do Traditional Roles Continue?
  • For many families, traditional roles are
    beneficial for several reasons, especially when
    one partner can be the sole breadwinner and one
    partner can be the caregiver when it comes to the

Gender Stratification
  • Gender stratification refers to peoples unequal
    access to wealth, power, status, prestige,
    opportunity, and other valued resources because
    of their gender.

The Second Shift
  • In many cases, one of the major sources of
    tension between couples is that there is an
    unequal split of the second shiftthat time after
    work when housework, dinner, and child care takes

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Gender in the Workplace
  • In the U.S. (as is true in most of the world),
    occupations are gendered. While we say that
    anyone can do any job, there still tend to be
    jobs that are womens jobs and jobs that are
    mens jobs. There is certainly greater
    equality in the U.S., but we still have a long
    way to go.

Gender and Politics
  • Again, as with workplace discrimination,
    discrimination in politics has come a long way.
  • We still dont have a female president, but with
    Hillary Clinton being appointed as the Secretary
    of State, and some female governors now, we are
    starting to make progress.

Gender and Politics
Worldwide, the U.S. far lags behind many other
nations in the world. Women in the U.S. are less
likely to receive encouragement to run for public
office. There is still a lingering sexism among
some men and women that men are better leaders.
Gender and Education
  • Our educational system seems to be gendered to
    some regard. When children enter kindergarten
    they score the same on similar tests, but by
    third grade the boys are scoring better on math
    and science. Is it because we expect them to do
    better in those areas so we push them?
  • In higher education women earn the higher
    percentage of post-graduate degrees, but in
    typically male fields like engineering, a woman
    is much less likely than a man to be hired in
    higher education as an instructor in that course.

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Gender and Religion
  • Religion shapes gender and family roles in many
    ways. Religion also shapes the division of labor
    in the home.
  • At religious colleges and universities, some
    female faculty members believe that their
    expected gender roles are constraining. Often
    there are few female full-time faculty at such

Gender and Interaction
  • Women and men are more similar than different in
    their interactions.
  • Research shows that womens interactions focus
    around relationship and relationship building,
    while mens communication tends to be more
    focused on conversational dominance, such as
    speaking more frequently and for longer periods
    of time.

The GlobalGender Gap Index
  • The GGGI tries to measure the well- being of
    women on a global scale. It gauges the relative
    equility between men and women on an indicator.

Calculating the GDI involves three steps. Step 1
Unit-free indices between 0 and 1 are calculated
for females and males in each of the following
areas expectancy, (the adult
literacy rate and the combined primary to
tertiary gross enrollment ratio), 3.estimated
earned income (at purchasing power parity
US). Female Life Expectancy Index Male Life
Expectancy Index Female Male Education
Indices Female Male Income Indices Step
2 For each area, the pair of gender indices, are
combined into an Equally Distributed Index that
rewards gender equality and penalizes inequality.
It is calculated as the harmonic mean of the two
indices. Equally Distributed index Step 3
The GDI is the unweighted average of the three
Equally Distributed Indices Equally distributed
life expectancy index, Equally distributed
education index, Equally distributed income index
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Showing latest available data. Rank Countries
Amount 1 Norway 0.956 2
Sweden 0.943 3 Denmark 0.941 4
Finland 0.94 5 Netherlands 0.938 6
Canada 0.937 7 Germany 0.933 7
New Zealand 0.933 9 Australia 0.932
10 United States 0.927 11 Austria
0.926 12 Switzerland 0.925 13
Belgium 0.923 14 United Kingdom 0.921
15 Ireland 0.92 16 Italy 0.917
17 Japan 0.915 Weighted average 0.9

  • The past 25 years have seen the beginning of
    dramatic changes in some aspects of gender roles.
    More people say they believe in gender equality.
  • Significant change in gender roles elicits
    constraints for both sexes at every level
    personal, group, and institutional.
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