• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Gender Inequality.

Extracts from this document...


Gender Inequality In exploring the essay title, it would seem wise to explain the terms "Gender" and "Inequality". Within this essay, "gender" refers to the socially defined differences between men and women. As the word suggests, "inequality" means unequal rewards/opportunities for different individuals within a group or groups within a society. Primarily, during this essay, I intend to exam the causes of gender inequality through biological and socially constructed gender theorists, such as Tiger and Fox and Ann Oakley. Secondly, Young and Wilmott and again Ann Oakley's definitions of the family today, will outline the consequences (Effects) that these causes have had upon the family today. There are numerous Sociological debates about the relationship between the biological and socially constructed views on the causes of gender inequality. To explain gender inequality in Britain today, one might be encouraged to briefly look upon the historical explanations of gender inequality, in order to understand its origin. Engels, the nineteenth- century philosopher, socialist and co-founder of Marxism, attempted to explain the basis of gender inequality in his works "The origin of the Family, Private property and the State" (1884). In his work he attempted to explain the history of women's subordination, "materialistically" in terms of the spheres of private property and monogamy. ...read more.


Lastly, Liberal Feminists campaign for the equal rights and opportunities for women by removing economic, political and legal obstacles and replacing them with the freedom of choice. At first glance, women's position to men has changed for the better in the year 2001. Legal reforms have been set in place and it would appear that a certain level of equality is practised in Britain. Whilst aware of the gender inequality within the structures of Education, Work and Class, my intention is to focus upon the Family, in an attempt to explain the consequences of gender inequality in Britain today. In Britain today, the consequences of the biological differences between men and women, are visible within the type of roles men and women play in the family. In regards to Parson's theory of women's 'expressive' role - one which is caring and nurturing, Marsden and Duncombes (1993) analysis of the roles within the family, clearly shows that the 'biggest part of the emotional work in families is done, unpaid by women'. As well as women's emotional participation to the family, Marsden and Duncombe describe women as performing a 'triple shift', having completed their paid employment, they return home to do most of the housework as well as most of the emotional work as well. ...read more.


In her article, Wolf acknowledges that feminists of late could only dream of freeing themselves from their reproductive chains. For Fertility specialist have discovered a method for women to have babies without the involvement of men. These radical advancements involve tricking an egg into conceiving, brought about by a concoction of chemicals, as well as creating the first artificial womb lining. Naomi Wolf asks the question of whether this movement creates more freedom for women. In her view it "puts women at a turning point at which they could lose something precious, motherhood". Wolf comes from the stance of equality between the sexes and encourages men and women to acknowledge their biological roles and work in harmony with each other. To conclude, it would seem that the causes of gender inequality in Britain today, would always offer debates between the biological and socially constructed theorists. However the consequences of gender inequality, as outlined above, seems to be more susceptible to change. Changes within legal, social and economic reforms have created a degree of equality, but do men and women want to be equal? The answer to this, probably not. However to end the conflict of inequality between the sexes perhaps men and women need to recognise their differences, in an un-objective manner, and embrace the person they are regardless of their sex or gender. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Sociology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Sociology essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Are the differences between radical and liberal feminism greater than what unites them?

    5 star(s)

    Taking these very clear differences into account, one must nevertheless realise that conflict is always going to arise within an ideology that will inevitably adapt because of progression of time alone. Until the 1960's it is questionable whether feminism can even be regarded as an ideology in its own right;

  2. Is George Murdock's 'Nuclear Family' still, the norm in British society?

    4. "As society changes so does the family" 5. "Divorce increased markedly from the 1970's but became relatively stable in the 1990's" The General Household survey 1989 proposes, 1. "By 1989 cohabiting couples and their children formed 26% households" 2. "Single person households increased from 17% from 1971 to 25% in 1989" 3.

  1. Rationale - I have decided to study the gender-oriented issue of conjugal roles in ...

    This compares to the study of " Back to the future" by Madeline Leonard. She found that housework by large remains women's work, and this more than any other factor accounts for women's continued exploitation in the home. In her study she found that women are responsible for cooking, cleaning,

  2. Sociology - Womens and housework

    work is done by women and man * Questions 2, 4, 5, and 6 are linked to my second aim, how housework is divided between the households. * Question 7, 8, 9 and 10 are linked to my third and final aim, how woman feel about their domestic work.

  1. The purpose of this essay is to describe four studies relating to gender each ...

    For example, if the family has a newborn child, the ' late night feeds' would typically be the mothers responsibility, as involvement in this task could effect the fathers performance at work. For functionalists, the family serves the needs of society and as a result of the male playing a

  2. Gender Capital ? - Bourdieu and Gender Inequality

    Marx himself made little reference to the subordination of women, leaving further analysis to his accomplice Engels, noting that; 'The bourgeois sees in his wife a mere instrument of production. He hears that the instruments of production are to be exploited [and] can come to no other conclusion that the

  1. Briefly outline one major inequality which exists in the UK today. Analyse and discuss ...

    This division of labour, between men and women, enables society to function efficiently and without discord. Therefore' "...stratification and inequality are a permanent, necessary and inevitable feature of society" (Bilton et al 1987:48). Whilst these gender roles to some extend are taught within the family, once past the age of

  2. Why is there unequal division of household labour in most of the society?

    The following three approaches can provide a more in depth explanation to account for such persistent pattern of unequal household division pattern between men and women. "The emergence of capitalism with the related rise of mercantilism, industrialization, and a cash-based economy, eroded the position of women by shifting the centre of production form the domestic until to the public workplace.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work