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Shelley Quema

Professor Prior

Sociology 1

8 June 2017

On Gender: Witt Ch. 12

1. What is meant by the social construction of gender? Provide a thorough response,

using sociological terms and situations.

- Social construction if gender is a term sociologists use to distinguish sex and gender that

helps show the differences between cultural and biological identities. Sex is the

differences in males and females that is characterized by cellular, hormonal, and

anatomical levels. Sex is the biological nature of an individual. Gender is the social and

cultural difference that we attach to the characteristics of sex. Sociologists say that our

perceptions of gender and sex is created through socialization. Men are expected to be

masculine; they must keep the image of being tough and have leadership. Women on the

other hand are seen as feminine; they are sensitive and submissive. Although their

perceptions are attached to males and females, gender isnt fixed, meaning that women

can show masculinity and men can show femininity. Men can work as nurses and be

caring while women can work in the army.

2. What is feminism? Discuss the first wave, second wave and third wave of feminism. How

do feminists address sexism, institutional discrimination and the glass ceiling?

- Feminism is the belief that women are entitled to the same economic, social, and political

power men have. The first wave took place in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848. The very
first womens rights convention took place. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott

held a conference that was about the struggles womens rights. They faced a lot of scorn

as they fought for political and legal equality. The second wave emerged in the 1960s.

Betty Friedans book The Feminine Mystique was crucial for the womens right

movement in the 1970s as well as other books. Women did not have many public

representation like men so they did not have any political, social, or economic resources.

They had to fight their titles of being a mother or wife. Women fought to pursue college

educations, pursuing careers based on ability, getting married or staying single, and/

having or not having children.. The third wave took place in the 1980s. This wave was a

fight for cultural, social, economic, and political power to an expression of feminism. It

stemmed from the two previous waves. Women wanted people to know what feminism

is. The women addressed sexism and discrimination in the work place by emphasizing

the restrictions placed on their availability of jobs. Women worked in sex type jobs, jobs

that women were supposed to do. The glass ceiling is an invisible barrier placed on

women and prevents their chance of promotion within a work environment because of

gender, race, or ethnicity.

3. What occupations are men likely to perform? What occupations are women likely to

perform? (See pages 303-306). Compare their (men & women) earnings. Who is likely to

earn more? What accounts for wage gaps between men and women? Can such gaps be


- Men are more likely to have jobs that are higher paying like CEOs and executives.

Women held less prestige jobs that did not pay as much. Though equal pay is supposed to

be present, men are likely to get paid more. The median income for men was $47,715,
while the median for women was $36,931 in 2012. For every 77 cents women earned,

men earned a dollar. Age and degree of formal education, marital status, and the presence

of children at home, specialization within the occupation (for example, family practice

versus surgical practice), years of work experience, and hours worked per year are taken

into account for these wage gaps.

4. What is the second shift? Explain. Culturally, is it possible to equalize the second

shift? If so, how? For more insight into women in the workplace, check out this video

about women in the workplace.

- The second shift is the burden that many women face. They care for their children, do

housework, and work outside of their home. It is possible to equalize the second shift.

Men and women can take turns and split the work equally.