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 Lesson 14: Gender and Sexism Social Problems Robert Wonser 1.

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Presentation on theme: " Lesson 14: Gender and Sexism Social Problems Robert Wonser 1."— Presentation transcript:

1  Lesson 14: Gender and Sexism Social Problems Robert Wonser 1

2 Gender ≠ Sex  Although the terms “sex” and “gender” are often used interchangeably, sociologists differentiate between the two.  Sex refers to an individual’s membership in one of two biologically distinct categories— male or female.  Gender refers to the physical, behavioral, and personality traits that a group considers normal for its male and female members. 2

3 Doing Gender 3 Doing Gender is the idea that rather than being an innate quality of individuals, is a psychologically ingrained social construct that actively surfaces in everyday human interaction.

4 Social Construction of Reality  Thomas theorem: “If men [and women] believe things to be real, they are real in their consequences.” (Thomas 1928, 571- 72).  If we believe men and women are different then we build institutions around this idea.  As socially competent members of our society, we see bodies through the cultural lenses of sex and gender, and we shape actual bodies to our expectations.

5 Inequality  Gender is one of many variables by which we stratify members of society into and divvy up scarce resources according to. 5

6 Women CEOs in the Fortune 500 The 2012 ranking of the 500 largest corporations in the United States includes a record 18 firms helmed by female CEOs, up from 12 companies in 2011. Fortune 500 in 2009: 15 firms run by female executives. Fortune 500 female CEOs in 2002 and 2003: 7.

7 2012: Despite Recent Gains, Women Make Up Just 17 Percent Of Congress 7

8 Witnesses before the House 8

9 The Wage Gap 9

10 Male and Female Median Earnings, 1959–2008 10

11 The Economy 11

12  The pay gap has barely budged in a decade.  In 2013, among full-time, year-round workers, women were paid 78 percent of what men were paid.  Women in every state experience the pay gap, but some states are worse than others.  The best place in the United States for pay equity is Washington, D.C., where women were paid 91 percent of what men were paid in 2013. At the other end of the spectrum is Louisiana, the worst state in the country for pay equity, where women were paid just 66 percent of what men were paid. 12

13  The pay gap is worse for women of color.  The gender pay gap affects all women, but for women of color the pay shortfall is worse.  Asian American women’s salaries show the smallest gender pay gap, at 90 percent of white men’s earnings.  Hispanic women’s salaries show the largest gap, at 54 percent of white men’s earnings.  White men are used as a benchmark because they make up the largest demographic group in the labor force.  Women face a pay gap in nearly every occupation.  From elementary and middle school teachers to computer programmers, women are paid less than men in female-dominated, gender-balanced, and male- dominated occupations. 13

14  The pay gap grows with age.  Women typically earn about 90 percent of what men are paid until they hit 35.  After that median earnings for women are typically 75–80 percent of what men are paid. 14

15  While more education is an effective tool for increasing earnings, it is not an effective tool against the gender pay gap.  At every level of academic achievement, women’s median earnings are less than men’s earnings, and in some cases, the gender pay gap is larger at higher levels of education. While education helps everyone, black and Hispanic women earn less than their white and Asian peers do, even when they have the same educational credentials.  The pay gap also exists among women without children.  AAUW’s Graduating to a Pay Gap found that among full- time workers one year after college graduation — nearly all of whom were childless — women were paid just 82 percent of what their male counterparts were paid. 15

16  Women earn less when they get the same education.  The first year out of college is the prime time for women and men to make comparable earnings: they are young, childless, and have just as much inexperience as their male counterparts.  But women make less than men in their first year after graduating, even when factors such as schools, grades, majors, and others are taken into account.  That educational gap will follow them no matter how much more higher learning they invest in: at any educational level, a man with the same degree earns more, on average. 16

17 Discrimination is a Major Contributor to the Gender Pay Gap  Women earn less thanks to discrimination.  It’s fair to say that not all of the gap is due to discrimination.  Certainly women are clustered in low-wage work — they are about two-thirds of the country’s minimum wage workers — and often have to interrupt their careers to care for family members, all of which impacts their earnings.  But even when various factors like these are taken into account, the entire gap doesn’t disappear. 17

18  When the Government Accountability Office last looked at the gap, it couldn’t explain 20 percent of the disparity in pay between men and women, something that could be at least in part caused by discrimination.  A more recent study by economists Francine Blau and Lawrence Kahn found that while experience, occupation, and industry explain much of the gap, there is still more than 40 percent of it that remains unexplained, the part that could be chalked up to discrimination. 18

19 Gender Expectations in the Economy 19 Women are about twice as likely as men to say they had been discriminate d against at work because of their gender (18% vs. 10%)

20 The Motherhood Penalty  Generally, motherhood has a negative effect on women’s wages  Two recent studies find that employed mothers in the United States suffer a per- child wage penalty of approximately 5%, on average after controlling for the usual human capital and occupational factors that affect wages (Budig and England 2001; Anderson, Binder, and Krause 2003) 20

21  According to Correll et. al, mothers are penalized on:  perceived competence  recommended starting salary.  Men were not penalized for, and sometimes benefited from, being a parent.  The study showed that actual employers discriminate against mothers, but not against fathers. 21

22 The Result? 22

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