Sociology Index

Gender and Women

Glass Ceiling Hypothesis, Books on Gender and Women, How do we “gender” heterosexuality?, Gender inequality

Women have always had lower status than men, but the extent of the gap between the sexes varies across cultures and time and it is inversely related to social evolution.

Paula England has argued that the “gender gap” in pay is really an expression of the generally devalued social status of women. - England, Paula (1992), Comparable Worth: Theories and Evidence, New York: Aldine de Gruyter.

Sex is a biological concept, social construction of gender specifies the socially and culturally prescribed roles that men and women are to follow in a society that is dominated by men.

The United Nations has summed up the burden of this inequality of condition: Women comprise half the world's population, do two thirds of the world's work, earn one tenth of the world's income and own one hundredth of the world's property. This inequality can be found even in religious literature. In Leviticus, God told Moses that a man is worth 50 sheikels and a woman worth 30.

Gender is the "costume, a mask, a straitjacket in which men and women dance their unequal dance"  - Gerda Lerner  in The Creation of Patriarchy

"of all the ways that one group has systematically mistreated another, none is more deeply rooted than the way men have subordinated women. All other discriminations pale by contrast." - Alan Wolfe in "The Gender Question"

I do not wish women to have power over men; but over themselves. - Mary Wollstonecraft

I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is; I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat - Rebecca West

World Bank seeks to reduce gender disparities and enhance women's participation in economic development through its programs and projects. World Bank summarizes knowledge and experience, provides gender statistics, and facilitates discussion on gender and development

CGS is Advanced Research Program in Comparative Gender Studies, inaugurated at Stockholm University, in 1995 It was among the first of eight research programs to be funded by the Riksbankens Kulturvetenskapliga Forsknings Programmet. Within the general rubric Comparative Gender Studies: Transformations in Gender, Citizenship, and �Welfare States, the CGS has supported five book projects and nine dissertations.

Women Working Worldwide. UK organization supports the rights of women workers in the global economy. -

Journal of International Women's Studies -

Research at Surrey. Older women's working lives. The research aims, first, to understand the factors influencing the labour force participation and hours of work of mid-life women.

Women and the Law - Home. -

Women's prisons places of contradiction, Canadians expect too much from their prisons for women, says Kelly Hannah-Moffat, a sociology professor at U of T at Mississauga who studies womens imprisonment and the countrys criminal justice system.

Study of women incarcerated at the Eddie Warrior Correctional Facility, from 1991 through 1995. By Prof. Phillip D. Holley and Dennis Brewster, Department of Sociology, Southwestern Oklahoma State Univ. -

Feminist Activist Resources on the Net - This guide is particularly oriented toward connecting Feminists who are Activists to resources on the Internet which could be of use. Sarah Stapleton-Gray tries to connect people to other indexes about a particular topic of feminism, rather than to the resources themselves.

How do we “gender” heterosexuality?

"Heterosexuality is a category divided by gender" So we need to understand what Weitzer (2000) refers to as the “gender disparity” in heterosexual deviance, that is, that male sexual behavior “is less subject to social strictures” than female sexual activity.

A sexually active teenage girl, for example, is condemned more strongly than a teenage boy. Hence, the very foundation of deviance, that is, the stigma or condemnation is dependent on who is being stigmatized or condemned which, in turn, is based on the sex or gender of the enactor.

The problem of teenage sex, pregnancy, and subsequent out-of-wedlock births is widely regarded as a problem almost exclusively of the behavior of girls

The vast majority of  “sex work” jobs are enacted by women for men. “Female sex workers are quintessential deviant women, whereas their customers are seen as essentially normal men"

Sexual behavior generally and sexual deviance more specifically are expressions or manifestations of the gender Roles of men and women. It is naive to assume that a given sexual encounter between a man and a woman means the same thing to the two participants, has the same consequences, or is interpreted by members of the society in the same fashion.


Canberra Bulletin of Public Administration. 1994. The glass ceiling: Illusory or real? Canberra, Australia:

Catalyst. 1990. Women in corporate management: Results of a Catalyst survey. New York: Catalyst.

Fierman, Jaclyn. 1990. Why women still don’t hit the top. Fortune 122 (3): 40.

Garland, Susan. 1991. Throwing stones at the glass ceiling. Business Week, 19 August, 29.

Gradolph, Rebecca, Michael Hout, Janeen Baxter, and Erik Olin Wright. 1994. The gender gap inworkplace authority: USA and Soviet Russia compared. Paper presented at RC28 Social Stratification and Mobility Conference.

Hultin, Mia. 1996. Gender differences in authority attainment: The Swedish case. Paper presented at RC28 Social Stratification Conference.

Ishida, Hiroshi. 1995. Gender inequality in authority and autonomy in the workplace in Japan, Britain and the United States. International Journal of Japanese Sociology 4:75-98.

Jacobs, 1992.Women’s entry into management: Trends in earnings, authority and values among salaried managers. Administrative Science Quarterly 37:282-301.

Jaffee, David. 1989. Gender inequality in workplace autonomy and authority. Social Science Quarterly 70 (2): 375-90.

Morrison, Ann M., R. P. White, E. Van Velsor, and the Center for Creative Leadership. 1987. Breaking the glass ceiling. New York: Addison-Wesley.

Reskin, Barbara, and Irene Padavic. 1994.Women and men at work. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge.

Reskin, Barbara, and Roos. 1992. Jobs, authority and earnings among managers: The continuing significance of sex. Work and Occupations 19 (4): 342-65.

Rosenfeld, Rachel A., Mark E. Van Buren, and Arne L. Kalleberg. 1998. Gender differences in authority: Variation among advanced industrialized democracies. Social Science Research 27:23-49.

Scandura, Terri. 1992. Breaking the glass ceiling in the 1990s. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau.

State of Wisconsin. Task Force on the Glass Ceiling Initiative. 1993. Report of the governor’s task force on the glass ceiling initiative. Madison: State of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Women’s Council.

Tomaskovic-Devey, Donald. 1993. Gender and race inequality at work: The sources and consequences of job segregation. Ithaca NY: ILR Press.

U.S. Department of Labor. 1991. A report on the glass ceiling initiative.Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.

Wright, Erik Olin. 1989. The comparative project on class structure and class consciousness: An overview. Acta Sociologica Spring 32 (1): 3-22.

Wright, Erik Olin, and Janeen Baxter with Gunn Bikelund. 1995. The gender gap in workplace authority: A cross-national study. American Sociological Review 60 (3): 407-35.

Yamagata, Hisashi,Kuang S.Yeh, Shelby Stewman, and Hiroko Dodge. 1997. Sex segregation and glass ceilings: A comparative static model of women’s career opportunities in the federal government over a quarter century. American Journal of Sociology 103 (3): 566-632.

Janeen Baxter is a senior lecturer in sociology at the University of Tasmania, Australia. Her research interests are gender inequality in paid and unpaid work, families, households, and the life course. She is coeditor of Class Analysis and Contemporary Australia (1991) and author of Work at Home: The Domestic Division of Labour (1993) as well as numerous research articles.

Erik Olin Wright is the Vilas Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His work has mainly concerned the development of the Marxist tradition in sociology, with particular focus on the analysis of class. His most recent book, Class
Counts (1997), contains extensive analyses of the interactions of class and gender.