What are the consequences of gender stratification?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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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.

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