Gender Difference Essay

Topics: Gender, Gender role, Woman Pages: 6 (1917 words) Published: April 30, 2013

Gender is a social concept that identifies culturally prearranged responsibilities and roles that both sexes are expected to follow. Men assumed superiority over women and preserved it through domination across the centuries. Consequently, women have perpetually maintained a lower status to men in the United States. But the degree of disparity between the sexes has changed across time and currently women are closer than ever to being somewhat equal to men. However, there are still detrimental theories and ideals in society that preserve the unequal treatment of women. There is no doubt that men and women are physically different. The distinction between the secondary sex traits can be easily seen and measured. Unfortunately, a number of other differences between men and women are distorted through a stereotypical lens.

Women have traditionally been viewed as possessing nurturing and caring characteristics. Therefore, their main focus in life ought to be watching over the home and children. This designated occupation is associated with domesticity and as a result their work is economically undervalued. Men on the other hand hold the role as the breadwinner and are thus more valued. This domestic view along with the Hunter-Gatherer model and women’s physical and psychological differences are among the least convincing theories and ideas that attempt to explain women’s lower status.

Man the Hunter Woman the Gatherer theory is based on the evolutionary perspective that men acquired nutritious meat for their group. Also, they learned the importance of cooperativeness while hunting which is tremendously important in modern day society. Women, on the other hand, took care of the children and because of that obligation they gathered vegetation. The theory suggests that women did not bring home more nutritious food then the men. Therefore, gathering came second to hunting and women came second to men. According to the model, “all advances in human physical and cultural development were led by men” and without their contributions the group would not survive.

A number of findings suggest that this theory is very inaccurate and is easily disproved. Contrary to the Hunter-Gatherer model, women played a very important key role in the development of human behavior. Studies found that there were no divisions of labor in the early times because there were little to no easily recognizable physical differences between males and females. In addition, researchers weren’t even sure meat was apart of the early human diet. They suggested that their meal mainly consisted of vegetation foods and the little meat that was eaten in the earliest stages was not even hunted it was scavenged. As a result, the vegetation the women gathered played a tremendous part in the early human diet and hunting wasn’t an important factor in survival like the theory said it was. Women had more of an impact in prehistory than the Hunter-Gatherer theory described.

Due to women’s inferior physical capabilities they are not allowed in certain positions in the military that require an immense physical ability and are frowned upon for even wanting to fight for their country. There are no doubts that on average men are physically stronger, taller, and heavier than women. “Military studies document that men have advantages in upper body and leg strength, cardiovascular capacity, and lean muscle, which make men more fit for physically intense combat”. Nonetheless, some women are capable of meeting the same standards created for men. In addition, a number of women surpass men in strength. The Military uses the protection myth to support the physical strength argument by depicting women as being the “weaker sex” who needs to be protected from the “risk of being raped and physically violated at war”. Unfortunately, women don’t need to go off to war to be treated in this illegal manner and men are just as likely to be treated in this despicable fashion....
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