Gender Inequality And Family Structure Essay

863 words - 4 pages

Gender Inequality and Family Structure
Gender is the oldest form of categorization among society. The problem is not that gender is a differentiating category, but that the female gender is exploited through both benevolent and hostile sexism that creates unequal conditions. Given the biology of males and females, physically and neurologically, it is not farfetched to assume that it is natural for men and women to have tendencies associated with different social roles. Attitudes and behaviors shape how people define parental roles and family structure. Family structure is strongly correlated to class and gender inequality (Murray 171). Providing affordable educational opportunities and ...view middle of the document...

This view may be interpreted as counterintuitive to supporters of gender equality as it downplays femininity as a possible factor in equality, yet he makes a valid point on the trends of gender equality as it relates to biology.
Looking back, we can see that attitudes change over time based on events and movements. The 1920s saw the peak of the Women's Suffrage movement. Gender equality has made strides in progress over the last century, but the feminist movement has played out very differently for the diverging classes of America (Massey 237). The problem of gender inequality is perpetuated by the unfair distribution of parenting responsibilities within a significant portion of the population. Attitudes shape everyday decisions and are embedded in policy decisions. Take for example, the former exclusion of married women from the definition of rape. According to this exemption, consent to marry was consent to all future sexual acts with her husband. Today, conformity with such a belief or law is absolutely horrific to conceive. Douglas S. Massey discusses stereotypes of housewives are perceived as warm, or likable, but not competent. On the other hand, career women are perceived as competent, but not likable (216). These attitudes influence women's career decisions based on the need for greater flexibility for the sake of having the greater responsibility of family management and childcare, whether this need is by choice or circumstances beyond ones control. Competent women who break through glass ceilings are often stigmatized for their perceived negligence of the role as caregiver. The fact that a glass ceiling still exists contradicts the fact that slightly more women are receiving college degrees than men....

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