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Research Paper on Gender Inequality

Gender Inequality

The question on how gender inequality shapes peoples' life chances is one that has been echoing widely through minds of modern society in the recent decades. Historically sociologists have suggested, amongst various other reasons, that biological differences between men and women constitute as one of the main reasons for males having better job opportunities. Thus males were always branded the breadwinners of the family whilst a female's place was at home (Joanne Naiman 1997: 250-51). However, during the latter half of the 20th century these views began to slowly change but still stained with the ideologies from the past they still exist at the brink of the 21st century. Nevertheless, this is in a more subtle form and it is culturally reasoned to be normal and acceptable. This paper will discuss from a sociologists point of view how gender has come to determine ones future due to ideas instilled into society some time ago intervened with that of the present.

Examining this from the root one can see that historically males have shaped the society in which we live. The policy-makers have almost always been male and therefore it is not surprising that our society mirrors those ideas, which exist as a result of this male-domination. For example in Joanne Naiman's book, there is an excerpt from Gustave Le Bonne, a Parisian in 1879, in which he openly compared most of the female brains with that of gorillas and stated " the inferiority (of women) is so obvious that no one can contest it for the moment; only its degree is worth discussing." (quoted in Joanne Naiman 1997: 250)

Another instance closer to recent times is from Carol Travis' book titled "The Mismeasurement Of Woman". She states that in the beginning the left hemisphere of the brain was considered to deal with intellect and reason, while the right side dealt with passion, sex, irrationality and similar concepts -- thus males were considered to have a superior left brain. However in the 1960's and 70's scientists found that right brain was intellectually superior and was the source of genius, inspiration, creativity, imagination, mysticism and mathematical brilliance hence conveniently males now had a more developed right brain (Carol Tavris 1992:48).

Both these citations clearly show historically how society regarded for the females as a species and how they were not considered smart enough to do jobs that entailed thinking or decision making....

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Category:   Discrimination

Length:   6 pages (1,265 words)

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