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Which of the theories of gender division of labor do you most agree with?   The four...

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lcowan6 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted March 17, 2013 at 8:02 PM via web

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Which of the theories of gender division of labor do you most agree with?   The four theories are strength, compatibility with childcare, economy of effort, and expendability.

 

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 17, 2013 at 8:17 PM (Answer #1)

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This depends on whether we are talking about modern societies or ones in the past.  In the past, I would argue that the most compelling of these was the strength theory.  Today, none of these theories makes sense.

In the past, the strength theory made the most sense.  I say this because women were typically assigned to stereotypical “women’s work” regardless of whether they had children.  Women who no longer had children were not suddenly assigned to jobs that took them farther from home.  Women of all sorts were typically assigned to the jobs that would not take as much physical strength.

Today, none of these theories make much sense.  Instead, today’s division of labor seems to be based more on prestige and economic return than on any of the factors mentioned in these theories.  Women are no longer asked to work near home.  Neither are they likely to work only in areas which are compatible with child care.  Most jobs, even those done by men, do not really take that much physical strength.  Therefore, I do not believe that any of these theories hold true today.

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