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Causes and impacts of changing gender structures

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Presentation on theme: "Causes and impacts of changing gender structures"— Presentation transcript:

1 Causes and impacts of changing gender structures

2 LEDCs – female infanticide
The phenomenon of female infanticide is as old as many cultures. It remains a critical concern in a number of "Third World" countries today, notably the two most populous countries on earth, China and India. Female infanticide reflects the low status accorded to women in most parts of the world; It is closely linked to the phenomena of sex-selective abortion, which targets female fetuses almost exclusively, and neglect of girl children.


4 India The bias against females in India is related to the fact that "Sons are called upon to provide the income; they are the ones who do most of the work in the fields. In this way sons are looked to as a type of insurance. With this perspective, it becomes clearer that the high value given to males decreases the value given to females.” The problem is also intimately tied to the institution of dowry, in which the family of a prospective bride must pay enormous sums of money to the family in which the woman will live after marriage. "The combination of dowry and wedding expenses usually add up to more than a million rupees ([US] $35,000). In India the average civil servant earns about 100,000 rupees ($3,500) a year. Given these figures combined with the low status of women, it seems not so illogical that the poorer Indian families would want only male children.” Murders of women whose families are deemed to have paid insufficient dowry have become increasingly common, and receive separate case-study treatment on this site.India is also the heartland of sex-selective abortion.

5 China Created by the preference for a male child, this promises some serious social problems. For example, due to the increasing shortage of women of marrying age, bride bartering or kidnapping has already become commonplace in rural areas. Prostitution and the trade in sex slaves are now rife in cities. The growing population of unattached ‘little emperors’, particularly in the cities, could easily spark social instability and a rise in crime. Another possible solution might be to encourage the immigration of women from other countries.

6 Why are boys preferred? Boys traditionally more valued than girls
Boys can do more manual labour Boys can carry on family name Boys support family into old age Girls seen as a burden as they leave to join start new family when they reach 18. Must pay for girls’ weddings Sons seen as status symbol

7 War/conflict Following WW1 and WW2 loss of male population e.g. Europe after WW1. The “lost generation” Thousands killed in Belgium and France

8 Mass migration/immigration
Movement of large groups of male population to work abroad e.g. Qatar/Saudi who cannot take families with them.

9 MEDCs IVF treatment/designer babies
In vitrofertilisation (IVF) is a technique in which egg cells are fertilised by sperm outside the woman's womb, in vitro. The fertilised egg (zygote) is then transferred to the patient's uterus with the intent to establish a successful pregnancy. People can choose the sex of their babies to balance families or to eliminate change of contracting hereditary disease in one sex e.g. Muscular dystrophy in male children.

10 Female emancipation in MEDCs
Liberation from religious, legal, economic, and sexual oppression, their access to higher education, and their escape from narrow gender roles is not easily achieved. The struggle for sexual equality has a long history and is likely to continue for some time. Even if it should soon be won in the industrial nations, it may well rage on in many "underdeveloped" countries. As women become empowered to make decisions and take control of their lives they move to cities/urban areas to take on jobs swaying the gender structure of that area. Popular areas (e.g. cities) will experience a notable shift in gender balance.

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