What are the consequences of gender stratification?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The term “gender stratification” is generally used to refer to the situation in which men are seen as more important than women.  In this situation, men have greater access to prestige, wealth, and power in a society.  Different societies tend to have different levels of gender stratification.  In the United...

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

The term “gender stratification” is generally used to refer to the situation in which men are seen as more important than women.  In this situation, men have greater access to prestige, wealth, and power in a society.  Different societies tend to have different levels of gender stratification.  In the United States, the main consequence of gender stratification is economic and social inequality between men and women.

Men and women in the United States are still not equal in economic terms.  Men still typically make more money than women who have similar levels of education.  This is due largely to gender stratification.  For example, it is in part because of gender stratification that women are often steered into careers (like teaching elementary school) that are less well-paid and less prestigious than “male careers.” 

Men and women in the US are also still not equal in social terms.  This can help to exacerbate and create the economic inequality.  For example, women are still expected to bear more of the burden of child care and housework even when both spouses work.  This helps create a situation in which women are not free to spend the kind of time at work that is needed to truly get ahead in the most competitive situations.

Thus, gender stratification leads to more inequality, both economic and social, between men and women.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Gender stratification refers to women's and men's unequal access to privilege, power, and money based only on their sex. The consequences of gender stratification are that women often earn less money than men for comparable jobs; they often enter the workforce at jobs that pay less and that are lower on the managerial ladder; and they are often denied access to jobs with supervisory, decision-making, and other power. As a result, women still find themselves faced with a "glass ceiling," meaning that they cannot advance in their careers or in management, even though they may have the same or better experience and educational level as men who advance. Part of the result of gender stratification is that men develop their own professional networks through which they can advance, while women are often denied access to these opportunities. On a personal level, gender stratification can result in women's feeling depressed, anxious, or bored because they are denied opportunities that are commensurate with their educational background and intellectual capabilities. 

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on