Gender Inequality and Family Structure

784 Words2 Pages

Gender Inequality and Family Structure
Gender is the oldest form of categorization among society. The problem is not that gender is a differentiating category, but that the female gender is exploited through both benevolent and hostile sexism that creates unequal conditions. Given the biology of males and females, physically and neurologically, it is not farfetched to assume that it is natural for men and women to have tendencies associated with different social roles. Attitudes and behaviors shape how people define parental roles and family structure. Family structure is strongly correlated to class and gender inequality (Murray 171). Providing affordable educational opportunities and counseling and welfare programs which hold parents, especially fathers, to a higher accountability to their families will help to improve opportunities for impoverished families to escape the cycle of poverty and achieve upward mobility through increased social capital.
Nature's tools assign females as the caregivers and nurturers of the world. Males are assigned the role of provider, some would argue, if at least only to provide the sperm. Obviously, there is much more involved in the role of a father than just sperm donation, however nature only defines our roles and behaviors to a certain degree. The rest of the definition of our respective parenting roles is dependent on attitudes and norms that prevail in our spheres of influence. In the article, "The Biological Limits of Gender Construction", J. Richard Udry argues that childhood gender socialization is limited by biological processes that produce behavioral predispositions. For example, females fetuses, in the second trimester, exposed to higher levels of testosterone from the mother were ...

... middle of paper ... burden for single mothers. The problem is exacerbated by concentrated levels of single-parent households in low-income areas, less parental involvement in education, and low levels of social capital. Many poor families rely on welfare for subsistence, which in some ways, enable males to shirk responsibilities while undermining the provider role. Policies that will help a large number of families to escape poverty will focus on providing education and training to parents as well as programs that promote egalitarian gender and parenting roles. The root of gender inequality can be seen at the family level through each structural level of society. Our goal as a society should be to create equality of opportunity to pursue a happy, fulfilling life. True equality exists in the fail and equal distribution of responsibilities to families at the most basic parental level

More about Gender Inequality and Family Structure

Open Document