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Examine the role played by stereotyping in the social control of women

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Introduction

Sean Hughes Examine the role played by stereotyping in the social control of women It can be argued that women can be controlled in many aspects of society by stereotyping them and opinions based upon that have been instilled for centuries amongst society. There are many areas of society that this is apparent. Women have a variety of roles within the super structure of society and can often be seen to be "inferior" to men in many different aspects of life. It has been a value that has been instilled and embedded within society throughout life that men are seen as superior to women. Men have always been the ones seen to be the "bread winner" and the provider for the family. It is a value that has been enforced throughout history and has seen men dominate all aspects of work, the criminal system and positions of status in society. Up until at recent as the 1920's women couldn't even vote in countries like America. This is a clear indication of male superiority in society. Women had previously no input into the political element of society and liberal rights to vote. This clearly shows that the opinions towards women having an influence on how society was shaped and organised was extremely poor. Attitudes to women have always been for them to provide a family and also for them to deal with domestic issues such as cooking, washing and ironing for her husband whilst he would work. ...read more.

Middle

Recent surveys broadcasted in Britain show that 37% of males in Britain see rape as the fault of a woman who brings it on herself. Crimes are seen more acceptable to be committed by a man than by a woman. This is clear in some cases that have been committed by both men and women were woman receive a stronger penalty. For example Myra Hindley received a harsher penalty than Ian Brady for their joint involvement in the Moores murders. This is an example how because of the stereotypical view held by society that committing crime is masculine, people in positions of power, who are generally men punish women heavier. This shows again men can manipulate, and control women. In education there is the view that even before a child starts school, conditioning and sex stereotyping have already begun. This is mainly from the types of play that boys and girls engage in. This creates different aptitudes and attitudes towards girls. Girls can have their educational aspirations affected through playing with dolls and other types of toys which reinforce the stereotype of women as 'carers'. Boys are encouraged to be more active than girls and this can be reflected in their attitudes in classrooms. Boys are more likely to play with mechanical toys which helps develop scientific and mechanical skills. A consequence which can be as a result of early gender stereotyping is that girls may come to attach less value towards education. ...read more.

Conclusion

In conclusion to the debate that stereotyping does play a role in the social control of women, it is clear that it has a large impact on both cultural and material aspects of women's lives. In studying the stereotypical views of women in society it is apparent that society portrays them strongly in certain roles. Roles that are exclusive to women and social positions that have been embedded in social thinking for many years. It is also clear that there is strong domination by males in all areas of society, and that male ideology is therefore enforced throughout society, creating values and images of women to be domesticated and carers. This is evident in education, industry, and the justice system. This bias and 'superiority' of men has created a situation where it has become difficult for a woman to gain a position of power and high status in society. Although all recent surveys show that women have outperformed males in education and Britain's longest serving Prime Minister was in fact female attitudes towards women are reluctant to change from what society sees as there role. However in a modern day society and with the emergence of more 'metrosexual' males, attitudes towards men's roles in society are beginning to shift. And it is becoming more socially acceptable for a man to do housework and be the 'carer' for a child. This could be an indication of progression towards equality for men and women and an end to old fashioned out-dated attitudes towards the role of women in society. (words 1928) ...read more.

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