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There are times when a man looks at a woman and thinks of her as “not good enough” because she is a woman. He may think that all women should stay at home and raise the children, and might even get a bit tense if he discovers that her aspirations and goals have been met before his own. There are also times when a woman looks at a man and thinks of him as “not good enough.” She may see him as the weaker person because he is a man, because women go through childbirth and men do not. She may think of him as immature and undistinguished. The term sexism means to give one gender the benefit over another. While sexism still exists today, many people would tell you to consider what you say before you let it come out of your mouth. Truth is, men and women are equal, and it will likely stay that way. While many view men and women as equal, however, many sociologists take a handful of other components into consideration.
Men and women are equal when it comes to their rights. When it comes to their growth and development, they are unequal.
ADULT MALE DEVELOPMENT
When males enters early adulthood, they are thrown into something called “the novice phase.” This starts at eighteen, when a male child becomes an adult. Entering the adult world for men means focusing on maintaining a life structure. Education, work, leisure, politics, and personal relationships are most important to men at this stage. The phase ends at the age of thirty, when men start to contemplate their life choices and move into the settling-down period. From age thirty to forty, men begin longing for a wife and family rather than making immature choices (drinking, partying, etc.,). While some men turn thirty and still want to be rock stars, it is most likely the aspiration will conclude before age thirty-three, when they become mentors to their children and break out of the “apprentice adult” stage.
Next comes the midlife transition during which adult males turn forty and may suffer a mid-life crisis. At this point, many males have a family yet begin to feel old as they watch their children grow up and their hair turn grey. It is during this life phase that most men want to ride a motorcycle rather than drive a sedan.
Daniel Levinson, the man behind this theory, thought the developmental stages were only slightly different for females.
Ester Sales had a different view.
ADULT FEMALE DEVELOPMENT
According to Sales, adult female development is completely different from that of males, starting with the fact that the transition is shorter, yet more complicated. To begin with, most young women aged eighteen-to-twenty long to have a family of their own as soon as possible. Leaving their parents’ nest in order to to explore the world’s opportunities is their mindset. In fact, a woman will most likely become a mother in her twenties. Unfortunately for women, this usually means leaving the work force in order to tend to their offspring. Some women choose to work and raise children simultaneously, creating an added strain.
Women often re-enter the work force when their children begin school, so they can resume advancing their careers as they re-enter the adult world. While it seems as if women have an easier transition to adulthood, there is one thing that society fails to recognize about women: the combination of marriage and motherhood is scientifically proven to be the basis of their lives. These life events are so significant that many women cannot handle them, thus leading to mental conditions such as depression.
MAJOR SOCIOLOGICAL THEORIES OF GENDER
Functionalist theorists insist that men fill instrumental roles in the world, while women only fill expressive roles. Symbolic interactionists tend to look for signs in gender stratification, and find that men are more likely to interrupt a woman and that their workspaces generally reflect higher power. Conflict theorists view women as disadvantaged due to power inequalities between men and women. Feminist theorists long to make women look superior to men and study the position of women in society in order to improve their image.
Learning the positions of men and women in society can seem overwhelming. However, if you attempt to comprehend this information, whether it be after reading this piece once or twice, you will find the following: the argument of who the superior gender is will never end. The reason behind this can vary from religion, ethnicity, upbringing, and culture.
My suggestion is that, whether you are male or female, it doesn’t really matter. Our goals and aspirations do. Whether you are a male who wants to be a ballerina or a woman who hopes to become a race-car driver, we are all free.
And that is what makes us great.
Elizabeth Chancellor writes about issues from a sociological perspective for Painted Brain News