Gender inequality refers to unequal treatment or perceptions of individuals based on their gender. It arises from differences in socially constructed gender roles as well as biologically through chromosomes, brain structure, and hormonal differences. Gender systems are often dichotomous and hierarchical; gender binary systems may reflect the inequalities that manifest in numerous dimensions of daily life. Gender inequality stems from distinctions, whether empirically grounded or socially constructed. (On differences between the sexes, see Sex and psychology.)
Wage discrimination exists when workers are equally qualified and perform the same work but one group of workers is paid more than another. Historically, wage discrimination has favored men over similarly qualified women.
Income disparity between genders stems from processes that determine the quality of jobs and earnings associated with jobs.[clarification needed] Earnings associated with jobs will cause income inequality to take form in the placement of individuals into particular jobs through individual qualifications or stereotypical norms. Placement of men or women into particular job categories can be supported through the human capital theories of qualifications of individuals or abilities associated with biological differences in men and women. Conversely, the placement of men or women into separate job categories is argued to be caused by social status groups who desire to keep their position through the placement of those in lower statuses to lower paying positions.
Human capital theories refer to the education, knowledge, training, experience, or skill of a person which makes them potentially valuable to an employer. This has historically been understood as a cause of the gendered wage gap but is no longer a predominant cause as women and men in certain occupations tend to have similar education levels or other credentials. Even when such...
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