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Gender Discrimination Essay Conclusion Structure

"Gender imbalance" redirects here. For demographics, see Sex-selective abortion.

Gender inequality is the idea and situation that women and men are not equal. Gender inequality refers to unequal treatment or perceptions of individuals wholly or partly due to their gender. It arises from differences in gender roles.[1]Gender systems are often dichotomous and hierarchical. Gender inequality stems from distinctions, whether empirically grounded or socially constructed. Women lag behind men in many domains, including education, labor market opportunities and political representation.

Natural gender differences[edit]

Main article: Gender differences in humans

Natural differences exist between the sexes base on biological and anatomic factors, most notably differing reproductive roles. Biological differences include chromosomes and hormonal differences.[1] There is a natural difference also in the relative physical strengths (on average) of the sexes, both in the lower body and more pronouncedly in the upper-body, though this does not mean that any given man is stronger than any given woman.[2][3] Men, on average, are taller, which provides both advantages and disadvantages.[4] Women live significantly longer than men,[5] though it is not clear to what extent this is a biological difference - see Life expectancy. Men have larger lung volumes and more circulating blood cells and clotting factors, while women have more circulating white blood cells and produce antibodies faster.[6] Differences such as these are hypothesized to be an adaption allowing for sexual specialization.[7]


Prenatal hormone exposure influences to what extent one exhibits traditional masculine or feminine behavior.[8][9] No differences between males and females exist in general intelligence.[10] Men are significantly more likely to take risks than women.[11] Men are also more likely to be aggressive, a trait influenced by prenatal and possibly current androgen exposure.[12][13] It has been theorized that these differences combined with physical differences are an adaption representing sexual division of labor.[7] A second theory proposes sex differences in intergroup aggression represent adaptions in male aggression to allow for territory, resource and mate acquisition.[6] Females are more empathetic than males.[14] Men and women have better visuospatial and verbal memory, respectively. These changes are influenced by the male sex hormone testosterone, which increases visuospatial memory in both genders when administered.[15]

From birth males and females are raised differently and experience different environments throughout their lives. In the eyes of society, gender has a huge role to play in many major milestones or characteristics in life; like personality.[16] Males and females are lead on different paths before they are able to choose their own. The colour blue is most commonly associated with boys and they get toys like monster trucks or more sport related things to play with from the time that they are babies. Girls are more commonly introduced to the colour pink, dolls, dresses, and playing house where they are taking care of the dolls as if they were children. The norm of blue is for boys and pink is for girls is cultural and has not always historically been around. These paths set by parents or other adult figures in the child's life set them on certain paths.[17] This leads to a difference in personality, career paths, or relationships. Throughout life males and females are seen as two very different species who have very different personalities and should stay on separate paths.[18]

In the workplace[edit]


93% of workplace deaths (fatal occupational injuries) in the US between 1980 and 1997 were men (97,053 deaths). The male fatality rate (8.6 per 100,000 workers) was 11 times greater than the female death rate of the 1980-97 time range (0.8). This accounts for the other 7% of work place deaths (6,886 deaths).[19]

Income disparities linked to job stratification[edit]

Main article: Gender pay gap

The gender pay gap is the average difference between men's and women's aggregate wages or salaries. The gap is due to a variety of factors, including differences in education choices, differences in preferred job and industry, differences in the types of positions held by men and women, differences in the type of jobs men typically go into as opposed to women (especially highly paid high risk jobs), differences in amount of work experiences, difference in length of the work week, and breaks in employment. These factors resolve 60% to 75% of the pay gap, depending on the source. Various explanations for the remaining 25% to 40% have been suggested, including women's lower willingness and ability to negotiate salaries and sexual discrimination.[20][21][22] According to the European Commission direct discrimination only explains a small part of gender wage differences.[23][24]

In the United States, the average female's unadjusted annual salary has been cited as 78% of that of the average male.[25] However, multiple studies from OECD, AAUW, and the US Department of Labor have found that pay rates between males and females varied by 5–6.6% or, females earning 94 cents to every dollar earned by their male counterparts, when wages were adjusted to different individual choices made by male and female workers in college major, occupation, working hours, and maternal/paternal leave.[26] The remaining 6% of the gap has been speculated to originate from deficiency in salary negotiating skills and sexual discrimination.[26][27][28][29] In Montana, women age 16 and older earn 73 percent of what men earn. Indeed, every state in the nation has an earnings gap, but Montana ranks near the bottom at 46th in the nation.[30]

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.[31][page needed]

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.[citation needed]Occupational gender segregation can be understood[who?] 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.[citation needed] 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.[31]

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.[citation needed] 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.[32] Based on the census data, women occupy the service sector jobs at higher rates than 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.[33]

“The gender wage gap is an indicator of women’s earnings compared with men’s. It is figured by dividing the average annual earnings for women by the average annual earnings for men.” (Higgins et al., 2014) Scholars disagree about how much of the male-female wage gap depends on factors such as experience, education, occupation, and other job-relevant characteristics. Sociologist Douglas Massey found that 41% remains unexplained,[31] while CONSAD analysts found that these factors explain between 65.1 and 76.4 percent of the raw wage gap.[35] CONSAD also noted that other factors such as benefits and overtime explain "additional portions of the raw gender wage gap".

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 either receiving job promotions or income raises, the effects of the inequality of the glass ceiling increase over the course of a woman’s career.[36]

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.[37]

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.[38]

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[39] data suggests that women’s earnings are 71 percent of men's earnings in 1999.[32]

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.

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 percent more than male workers.[40]

In 2014, a report by the International Labor Organization (ILO) reveals the wage gap between Cambodian women factory workers and other male counterparts. There was a $25 USD monthly pay difference conveying that women have a much lower power and being devalued not only at home but also in the workplace.[41]

Professional education and careers[edit]

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.[42] 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."[43] This control over their reproductive decisions allowed women to more easily make long-term decisions about their education and professional opportunities. Women are highly underrepresented on boards of directors and in senior positions in the private sector.[44]

Additionally, with reliable birth control, young men and women had more reason to delay marriage. This meant that the marriage market available to any 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."[45]

Studies on sexism in science and technology fields have produced conflicting results. Corinne et al. found that science faculty of both sexes rated a male applicant as significantly more competent and hireable than an identical female applicant. These participants also selected a higher starting salary and offered more career mentoring to the male applicant.[46] Williams and Ceci, however, found that science and technology faculty of both sexes "preferred female applicants 2:1 over identically qualified males with matching lifestyles" for tenure-track positions.[47] Studies show parents are more likely to expect their sons, rather than their daughters, to work in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics field – even when their 15-year-old boys and girls perform at the same level in mathematics.[48]

A survey by the U.K. Office for National Statistics in 2016 showed that in the health sector 56% of roles are held by women, while in teaching it is 68%.[49] However equality is less evident in other area; only 30% of M.P.'s are women and only 32% of finance and investment analysts. In the natural and social sciences 43% of employees are women, and in the environmental sector 42%.[50]

Customer preference studies[edit]

A 2010 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.[51][52][53][54][55]

This discrepancy with race can be found as early as 1947, when Kenneth Clark conducted a study in which black children were asked to choose between white and black dolls. White male dolls were the ones children preferred to play with.[56][57]

Gender pay differences in the medical field[edit]

Although the disparities between men and women are decreasing in the medical field,[58] gender inequalities still exist as social problems.[59] From 1999 to 2008, recently qualified female doctors in the US made almost $170,000,000 less than their male counterparts. The pay discrepancy could not be explained by specialty choice, practice setting, work hours, or other characteristics.[60] A case study carried out on Swedish medical doctors showed that the gender wage gap among physicians was greater in 2007 than in 1975.[61]

At home[edit]

Gender roles in parenting and marriage[edit]

Gender roles are heavily influenced by biology, with male-female play styles correlating with sex hormones,[62] sexual orientation, aggressive traits,[63] and pain.[64] Furthermore, females with congenital adrenal hyperplasia demonstrate increased masculinity[65] and it has been shown that rhesus macaque children exhibit preferences for stereotypically male and female toys.[66]

Gender inequality in relationships[edit]

Gender equality in relationships has been growing over the years but for the majority of relationships, the power lies with the male.[67] Even now men and women present themselves as divided along gender lines. A study done by Szymanowicz and Furnham, looked at the cultural stereotypes of intelligence in men and women, showing the gender inequality in self-presentation.[68] This study showed that females thought if they revealed their intelligence to a potential partner, then it would diminish their chance with him. Men however would much more readily discuss their own intelligence with a potential partner. Also, women are aware of people’s negative reactions to IQ, so they limit its disclosure to only trusted friends. Females would disclose IQ more often than men with the expectation that a real true friend would respond in a positive way. Intelligence continues to be viewed as a more masculine trait, than feminine trait. The article suggested that men might think women with a high IQ would lack traits that were desirable in a mate such as warmth, nurturance, sensitivity, or kindness. Another discovery was that females thought that friends should be told about one’s IQ more so than males. However, males expressed doubts about the test’s reliability and the importance of IQ in real life more so than women. The inequality is highlighted when a couple starts to decide who is in charge of family issues and who is primarily responsible for earning income. For example, in Londa Schiebinger’s book, "Has Feminism Changed Science?", she claims that "Married men with families on average earn more money, live longer and happier, and progress faster in their careers," while "for a working woman, a family is a liability, extra baggage threatening to drag down her career."[69] Furthermore, statistics had shown that "only 17 percent of the women who are full professors of engineering have children, while 82 percent of the men do."[70]

Attempts in equalizing household work[edit]

Despite the increase in women in the labour force since the mid-1900s, traditional gender roles are still prevalent in American society. Women may be expected to put their educational and career goals on hold in order to raise children, while their husbands work. However, women who choose to work as well as fulfill a perceived gender role of cleaning the house and taking care of the children. 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.[71] One study by van Hooff showed that modern couples, do not necessarily purposefully divide things like household chores along gender lines, but instead may rationalize it and make excuses.[67] One excuse used is that women are more competent at household chores and have more motivation to do them. Another is that some say the demands of the males’ jobs is higher.

There was a study conducted at an "urban comprehensive school". They were asked questions regarding their views in sexual inequality. Many parents were for the equal pay for men and women. They also were in favor for men to help with the housework. In this study, the majority of the people who were interviewed wanted gender equality and more people wants a change in gender roles. Where men stay home, cleans, and cooks while the women can work and help support the family.[citation needed]

Gender roles have changed drastically over the past few decades. In the article, it says that in 1920-1966, there was data recorded that women spent the most time care-tending with the home and family. There was a study made with the gender roles with the males and females, The results showed that as women spend less time in the house, men have taken over the role as the mother. The article also said that women who work spend less time within the house and with their children if they have any. Furthermore, men are taking the roles of women in the homes and its changing as time goes on. Robin A. Douthitt, the author of the article, "The Division of Labor Within the Home: Have Gender Roles Changed?" concluded by saying, "(1) men do not spend significnatly more time with chil- dren when their wives are employed and (2) employed women spend signifi- cantly less time in child care than their full-time homemaker counterparts, over a 10-year period both mothers and fathers are spending more total time with children." (703).[full citation needed]

Gender inequalities in relation to technology[edit]

One survey showed that men rate their technological skills in activities such as basic computer functions and online participatory communication higher than women. However, it should be noted that this study was a self-reporting study, where men evaluate themselves on their own perceived capabilities. It thus is not data based on actual ability, but merely perceived ability, as participants' ability was not assessed. Additionally, this study is inevitably subject to the significant bias associated with self-reported data.[72]

In contrary to such findings, a carefully controlled study that analyzed data sets from 25 developing countries led to the consistent finding that the reason why fewer women access and use digital technology is a direct result of their unfavorable conditions and ongoing discrimination with respect to employment, education and income.[73] When controlling for these variables, women turn out to be more active users of digital tools than men. This turns the alleged digital gender divide into an opportunity: given women's affinity for ICT, and given that digital technologies are tools that can improve living conditions, ICT represents a concrete and tangible opportunity to tackle longstanding challenges of gender inequalities in developing countries, including access to employment, income, education and health services.

Property Inheritance[edit]

Many countries have laws that give less inheritance of ancestral property for women compared to men.[74][75]

Structural marginalization[edit]

Gender inequalities often stem from social structures that have institutionalized conceptions of gender differences.[citation needed]

Marginalization occurs on an individual level when someone feels as if they are on the fringes or margins of their respective society. This is a social process and displays how current policies in place can affect people. For example, media advertisements display young girls with easy bake ovens (promoting being a housewife) as well as with dolls that they can feed and change the diaper of (promoting being a mother).

Gender stereotypes[edit]

Main article: Gender stereotypes

See also: Category:Feminism and the arts

Cultural stereotypes, which can dictate specific roles, 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.[clarification needed][citation needed] While these skills are culturally valued,[clarification needed] they were typically associated with domesticity, so occupations requiring these same skills are not economically valued.[citation needed] Men have traditionally been viewed as the main worker in the home, so jobs held by men have been historically economically valued and occupations predominated by men continue to be economically valued and earn higher wages.[31][page needed

Median weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers, by sex, race, and ethnicity, U.S., 2009.[34]

Gender Inequality: Sex Discrimination in Employment Essay

1617 Words7 Pages

Gender equality is about equal opportunity for men and women to identify their individual potential. One must be able to benefit from their participation in society and contribute to the economic and social development of their country (Australian Government. 2009). Through multiple reviewed literature on gender inequality, the overall concept within many sociological readings was the way gender inequality socially relates to employment and careers. There are three separate themes that intersect within the written literature that will be discussed. First, gender differences in historical social roles have created stereotypes on the contemporary outlooks of the social attitude. Secondly, through beliefs and values, career pathways…show more content…

“Children are able to identify feminine and masculine categories, similar to the perception of adults, from socialization through family, school and media” (Gadassi and Gati, 2009). Some of the prominent social roles of males and females in historical years are contributing to the contemporary roles that are acceptable in society. Women have continued to have hours of unpaid work while taking care of their children and domestic work, while males are still considered as the providers for their family and solely contributing to their household. In a study done in 2005, statistical analysis revealed that 90% of women do 4.3 hours, on average, of unpaid work a day and 69% of men do 2.5 hours, on average, of unpaid work a day (Dr. Fetner, 2010). “Traditional gender roles, have set out desirable qualities and behaviours for men and women” and as research has shown, “social roles determine the accepted behavioral norms for genders and encourage gender differences in interests and activities” (Gadassi and Gati, 2009). The male and female socioeconomic ideologies of masculinity and femininity influence our perceptions of social roles. “The link between internalization of gender roles and how one fits into the social structure are forces that contribute to change and stability in social roles” (Ridgeway, 2009). Picking aspects of ones social goals should also affect self selection into these roles (Ridgeway, 2009).
Values and

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