How have gender relations changed since the 1960s?

In what way have gender relations changed since the 1960s and what have been the implications for in/equality between men and women.

Defining Gender Inequality

Gender - is the social division between men and women for example through identity, personality and gender stereotypes.

Gender Inequality - the differences in opportunities between men and women.


1. Gender Pay Gap - this is the difference in average hourly pay rate of men and women. The full time pay gap is 10.2. Women are more likely to earn less.

2. Gender Segregation in labour market - some jobs are traditionally carried out by men or women. for example women - childcare, household work. Men - maintenance, physically demanding work. 

3. Promotion & Advancement to positions of authority - men more likely than women to receive promotions and to occupy top positions within the work force.

4. Domestic & Sexualised Violence - Men are traditionally the perpetrators, whilst women and children are the victims. Focus is on women protecting themselves rather than preventing men from perpetrating, is this right?

5. Responsibility for childcare and unpaid care of sick and elderly - women more likely to take up unpaid care of yound, sick and elderly. Women are also more likely to need care in old age. 

6. Division of labour in the household - men are earners, women look after the house. Although this is not always the case, this is the structure of the majority of households. 

1 of 6

Explaining gender inequalities

1. Gender and biology - some sociobiologists argue that differences between men and women are the result of biological differences for example with chromosomes, hormones and sexual organs.These date back to Hunter gatherer societies where men hunted and women stayed at home. They argue that gender is written in the bodies of men and women, who then take up their roles.

2. Gender and socialisation - genders are socially constructed. This concept suggests there are biological differences between men and women however these only foirm through socialisation, for example, boys are encouraged to play football, and girls to play with dolls.

3. Cognitive theory - this suggests gender differences occur when men and women place themselves ina situation.

4. Fraud - Fraud suggests that gender differences happen due to emotional struggles between them and their carers

2 of 6

Evidence of change in gender inequality

At Work

1.The equality of human rights now have the ability to monitor human rights and to protect, enoforce and promote equality across age, gender, disability, race, religiion, sexual orientation and gender reassignment.

2.There are now equal numbers of men and women in employment, this however does not mean equality at work.

3.There is still gender and ethnic segregation in the labour market where some sectors are dominated by a particular group.

4.There has been a decrease in the full time gender gap from 29.4% in 1975 to 15.5% in 2010.

5.Women are more likely to undertake part-time work which in general pays less.

3 of 6

Evidence of change in gender inequality cont.

At Home

1.The percentage of married women has dropped, couples now cohabit instead

2.Division of household labour is still unequal


With Violence

1.There is now an improved understanding of violence against women

2.90% of reported **** victims are women, this could howere be inaccurate as often victims do not report **** due to embarrassment or fear of reprocussions.

4 of 6

Evidence of change in gender inequality cont 2.

In Politics

1.In 1975 only 4% of MPs were women, now it is nearly 25%

2.There was a rise from 13-17 openly gay MPs between 2009 and 2010

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transexual

1.Lesbians and gays are now alllowed to fight in the armed forces

2.Same sex couples may now adopt children

5 of 6

Conclusion: Have we seen an improvement in gender

Evidence of improvements in gender inequality in the sphere of work, family, violence protection and reduction, politics and rights for lesbians and gays. 

However, there are still areas within each which are yet to be resolved, for example, equal division of house labour, will there be a time where there is a 50/50 split between men and women running the house?

Improvement in gender equality within the work force with women able to persue a career should they choose. However child birth still relies of the role of women often resulting in women being unable to maintain a highly demanding job once they begin family life. 

6 of 6


No comments have yet been made

Similar Science resources:

See all Science resources »