23 November 2009
Gender and Inequality
In a dyadic relationship men and women will keep track of how each is benefiting the other and try to find ways to maximize their gains with the least amount of effort. One person in the relationship usually has more power than the other, and both are seeking the most power. This power is largely influenced by the societies sex ratio. In a society with more males than females, women are able to choose between several men in order to find the relationship that is the most beneficial to them. On the other hand, when males are in short supply, they will be able to pick between females. The member of the relationship that is the gender in excess will usually become the dependent member in the relationship and have less power. The dependent members in a relationship will often seek more power in other ways, such as poetry or serenading. Traditional sex roles are created as an attempt by men to achieve more power above the dyadic level. (Stark 2007)
Which sex has power is determined by the the sex ratio. It is believed by some that gender roles would be reversed if women outnumber men in the future. As the number of women increases, society is less strict as to what women are allowed to do. This example is demonstrated in ancient Sparta where women outnumbered men due to infanticide and war. Women were given many rights, such as the ability to own property, and the fining of a husband if he was at fault when she decided to divorce him. Spartan women wore revealing clothing, whereas in ancient Athens, a city in which men greatly outnumbered women, women wore very modest clothing. (Stark 2007)
Gender differences are a product of both nature and nurture. Gender differences are displayed at very young ages, although children are very aware of early gender stereotypes. One specific gender difference that is due to nature is that newborn girls are more sensitive to touch and sound than...