Gender, Family, and Marriage - Wood

What are some characteristics of men and women?
What is the first thing parents do when they find out
the gender of the baby?
What are the biological differences between men
and women?
From birth how are the genders treated differently?
Sexism: The idea that one sex is superior to the other.
Institutional discrimination: the denial of opportunities and equal rights to
individuals and groups that results from the normal operations of a society.
Sexual Harassment: occurs when work benefits are made contingent on
sexual favors or when touching, lewd comments, or the exhibition of
pornographic material creates a hostile environment in the workplace.
Glass ceiling: (Applies to all forms of discrimination) an invisible barrier that
blocks the promotion of a qualified individual’s gender, race, or ethnicity.
Glass Escalator: refers to the fact that men in female fields are often
encouraged to move up in rank, such as male nurses, teachers, or librarians
are encouraged to become administrators.
Wife Textbook
 Please react to the is excerpt. Write
down how you feel after reading it.
Biological determinism: principle that
behavioral differences are the result of
inherited physical characteristics.
 Gender Identity: a sense of being male
or female based on learned cultural
Up until the 1950’s many including doctors
believed women’s brains were smaller and
therefore they were incapable of handling
difficult ideas and were more fragile.
 New research now indicates that the
female and male brain is only slightly
different in structure.
› Men show more activity in region of brain
thought to be linked to adaptive evolutionary
responses “fighting”.
› Women’s are more linked to emotional
› Male brain is more specialized.
› Females tend to used more of their brain, use
both sides simultaneously.
Most sociologists will argue that
environment plays a larger role in gender
roles than biology or it is not the primary
 In other groups around the world gender
roles are the complete opposite of what
we know or do not exist.
Have our gender roles changed since
the 1950’s? Why or why not? Explain.
› 1848: The Start of the Women’s Movement with the Women’s Convention
in Seneca Falls
› 1920: Women Finally Get the right to vote. Suffragists.
› 1950’s: We Regress to perfect housewife.
› 1960’s: Rebellion Begins: Betty Friedan
› 1970’s: Burning Bras: Gloria Steinem
Who do you agree with? Explain with
evidence from family debate.
 Boys or Girls?
› Functionalists:
 As always functionalist believe that gender
differentiation have contributed to overall social
 Talcott Parsons said that to function most effectively
the family requires adults who specialize in particular
roles. Viewed traditional gender roles as arising out of
the need to establish a decision of labor between
marital partners.
 Women take the expressive emotionally supportive role and
men the instrumental and practical role and the two
compliment one another.
 Instrumentality: emphasis on tasks, a focus on more distant goals
and a concern for the external relationships between ones
family and other social institutions.
 Expressiveness: denotes concern for the maintenance of
harmony and the internal emotional affairs of the family.
 Explained why gender roles are important for stability.
› Interactionists:
 Men interrupt women in conversations up to 96
% of all interruptions in cross-sex conversations.
 Men are more likely to change the topic of
conversation, to ignore topics chosen by
women and to validate their own
 Even with women of a high or powerful stature
they are more likely to be interrupted than
their counterparts.
 Day to day conversations are more of
battlegrounds in a power struggle as women
try to get a word in edge wise in the midst of
male domination.
› Conflict Perspective:
 See gender roles as a reflection of the
subjugation of one group over the other.
 Males are the bourgeoisie they control society’s
wealth, prestige, and power.
 Females are the proletariat or workers. They receive
resources only through their masters.
 Men’s work in highly valued. Women’s work not
› Women around the world: grow half the world’s food but rarely
own land.
› Constitute 1/3 of the worlds paid workforce but are found at the
lowest paying jobs.
› 2004- 59% of adult women in the US held jobs outside the home.
 1960- 38%
› 2005- 56% return to the labor force within a year of giving birth.
 1975- 31 % went back to work.
› All factors are the same. Sam and Pam are both heart surgeons.
Sam makes 140,000 while Pam makes 88,000.
 Housekeepers: Sam= 19,000 Pam= 15,000.
 There were two fields where these numbers were off out of the 821.
Hazardous materials recovery, and Telecommunications line installation.
"Men have always been afraid that women could get
along without them."--Margaret Mead
What do you think of when you think of a family?
Family: group of people related by
marriage, blood, or adoption
Marriage: a legal union based on
mutual rights and obligations.
Nuclear family: smallest groups of
individuals that can be called a
Extended family: consists of two or
most adult generations of the same
family whose members share the
same resources and live in the
same household.
Egalitarian family: An authority
pattern in which spouses are
regarded as equals.
› Example: Some would say the
Patriarchy: A society in which
men dominate in family
decision making.
› Iran: Men are in total control.
Matriarchy: A society in which
women dominate in family
decision making.
› Some Native American tribes.
› Describes a form of marriage
in which one woman and
one man are married only to
each other.
› Form of marriage that in
which an individual had
several husbands or wives
› Anthropologist George
Murdock in 1957 sampled 565
societies: over 80% polygamy
was the preferred form.
› Polyandry: woman has more
than one husband at the
same time.
› Polygyny: man has more than
one wife at the same time.
 Polygyny is more popular than
› Kinship: state of being related to others.
 Culturally learned not biological ties.
› Endogamy: specifies the
groups within which a spouse
must be found, and prohibits
marriage with others.
 In the US as diverse as we are
most are expected to marry
within a certain group.
› Exogamy: requires mate
selection outside certain
 You want to marry outside
your family!
 Marriage between African
Americans and Whites has
increased greatly.
 51,000 in 1960 to 413,000 in 2004.
 12 % of Asian Men and 25 % of
Asian women married someone
who is not Asian.
 27% of Hispanics have a nonHispanic spouse.
 Besides
reproduction purposes do
you feel that family is necessary or
important? Explain why or why
 Where
do you see yourself in ten
years? Will you be married? Have
a family? Explain.
William F. Ogburn listed the 6 paramount
functions of family:
1. Reproduction
2. Protection
3. Socialization
4. Restrictions of Sexual Behavior
5. Affection and companionship
6. Provision of Social Status
› Religious training, education, and recreational
outlets were once on the list and have since
been removed.
Family is not a contributor to social
stability but a reflection of the inequality
in wealth and power that is found within
the larger society.
› Family has traditionally legitimized male
› View the family as an economic unit that
contributes to societal injustice.
Interested in how individuals interact with one
another, whether they are cohabiting partners
or longtime married couples.
Study of Black and White 2-parent households.
› Found when fathers are more involved with children
the children have fewer behavior problems, get
along better with others, and are more responsible.
Also studied role of stepparents.
› Found that stepmothers are more likely than
stepfathers to accept the blame for bad relations
with their stepchildren.
› Stepfathers may simply be unaccustomed to
interacting directly with children when the mother
isn’t there.
“Women’s work” has traditionally
focused on family life therefore this social
institution is of great importance to
feminist sociologists.
 Look closely at how women’s work
outside the home impacts their child
care and housework duties
› Arlie Hoschschild labeled this the Second
Shift: unpaid work at the end of the regular
paid work day.
63 % of all divorcees end up remarrying.
 Divorce is not scaring us away from
 Women are less likely than men to
 Divorce rates peaked in 1980 and have
been steadily decreasing since then.
More Socially accepted.
› More liberal divorce laws.
› Less kids= less problems.
› More couples can afford divorce.
› Greater opportunities for women.
Out of the families that we discussed
today which one best describes your
family. Is one better than the other. How
great is the affect that family has on the
United States?