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A Look At Why People Choose The Sex Roles They Choose In Life. Specifically Females.

891 words - 4 pages

David HopperENGL-1102Research Paper11 September 03Why Do People Take on The Roles They Do?There is a significant correlation between the types of behavior displayed by females/males in literature and the real world. The attitudes and behaviors adopted by characters in written works are often very similar to the attitudes and behaviors seen in many work settings. This is in part because of preconceived notions of behavior patterns that people believe "respectable" citizens of society should conform to. These patterns of behavior differ greatly from culture to culture but this paper will try to focus on the behavior patterns found in American society. In addition to this, if we examine some of the psychological aspects of human behavior we will find that there are many similarities between the behavior of both fictional and non-fictional characters.One of the more common ideas, particularly in certain literary works, is that women are inept at handling money or financial matters in general. A prime example of this would be the main characters in Henrik Ibsen's "A Doll's House". In this short story Torvald Helmner treats his wife, Nora, as if she was a child and had no common sense at all. Ibsen also makes it clear in the story that women are not allowed to handle financial matters on their own; they are not even allowed to take out a loan without the co-signature of a male (Ibsen 682). During the time period that the story was written practices that denied women the right to exercise financial freedom, or even own property, were common. In today's world these practices and biases have long since been abolished, at least through legal means. However these biases may not have been totally without merit. There has been research conducted that provides evidence of male superiority on tests measuring quantitative ability. The most notable example of this type of test is the mathematics portion of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). The results consistently showed that males outperformed females by a factor of "2:1 at scores of 500 and above, 5:1 at scores of 600 and above, and 17:1 at the highest scores, 700 and above" (#5, 70). This is not to say that females are inept at mathematics, but it does offer one explanation as to why females are not as prevalent in fields that require extensive use of higher mathematics. There was also evidence that may offer explanations as to why certain roles are thought of as being a "woman's" and why often it is women who often occupy these roles.When I think of a secretary, a day-care worker, or an airline attendant I almost always picture a...

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