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Questions-Answers: Gender

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In which ways descent systems impact on gender relations and which factors influence these impacts?

A descent system is a system that acknowledges the social parentage of an individual. Descent systems vary from society to society. Descent systems allow an individual to claim kinship relations or ties with others. Kinship ties are placed with limitations. The limitations are based on the proof of a common ancestry. This system prevents people from being kins with each other (Brettell & Sargent, 2012).

Gender is culturally constructed. It means that a child is to be taught about his or her role in the society. Kinship affects the way an individual social life is constructed in terms of the patterns of social relationships (Brettell & Sargent, 2012). It also means that kinship also plays a significant role when it comes to the gender role of every individual.

Children, who are brought up by their kins, tend to be more optimistic and confident. They are also comfortable in their gender roles as children and adults. It is owed to the fact that children brought up by their kin are raised with maximum affection and minimal cases of rejection.

The descent system allows children or their family members to be of greater naturance to other gender members. It is because when they are children, they are allowed to play with children of both genders. Individuals who grew outside their kinship care are most likely to be aggressive and competitive because when growing up they interacted only with children of the same gender (Brettell & Sargent, 2012).

What is the role of economic factors in shaping gender systems with special attention to the division of labor, rights in property, and wealth?

Division of labor is a feature that is present in each and every human society in the world. The difference comes to the roles each gender has to play when it comes to the labor division (Brettell & Sargent, 2012). Gender roles act as the basis of division of labor in many societies when it comes to the actual task carried out by the gender members. The disparities and variations are significant.

What economic factors have significant impact on the gender roles?

In economic production, the individuals that are responsible for production of most products on demand are the highest when it comes to gender valuation. The individuals who are dependent on the labor production of others for their livelihood are of a lesser value (Brettell & Sargent, 2012).

Another economic factor, rights to property, also has a role in shaping of gender systems. The right to property and property ownership are different in every society despite its playing a major role in gender systems. Other societies give the right to property and ownership according to the different gender roles of their members (Brettell & Sargent, 2012). Sometimes it leads to unfair distribution by gender.

Wealth and wealth distribution is very significant when it comes to shaping the gender system in a society. The distribution of wealth can be used to measure gender equality or inequalities. The gender roles can also shape the manner a member of any gender can acquire wealth or how it is distributed (Brettell & Sargent, 2012).

How does the authority structure impact on gender and differing strategies employed by women under differing structures?

The question of power and authority tends to pop up when discussing issues of gender. The definition of power or authority can be simplified as the ability to sway or control people in a manner consistent with one’s own terms.

Another characteristic of authority and power is its legitimacy or illegitimacy (Brettell & Sargent, 2012). Legitimate power is approved and recognized by society. On the other hand, illegitimate power is not recognized and its deemed inappropriate by society. In a lot of societies, although not all, the authority of a woman is termed as an illegitimate power.

In a society with complementary a gender system the allocation of power and authority to both genders is based on equality. It means that the women of a society have equal access to the power. It also means that the exercise of power by the women is done in different fields and in different manners (Brettell & Sargent, 2012).

In other societies, like tribal societies, the authority of women is limited. Women exercise other platforms to assert their authority. Wives can withhold any kind of support from their husband to assert authority. They can also form groups to voice their issues. Other societies contain bodies that are known as the Women’s Courts. These courts are used to solve disputes among women and men involved in disputes (Brettell & Sargent, 2012). Formal women societies and civil organizations also provide women with a platform to exercise authority. The membership of such organization is exclusive for women only.

What is the role of socialization in shaping gender roles and gender differences?

Socialization or enculturation is the process of instilling social norms, ethics, and behavior in people. The gender role of an individual is shaping from childhood throughout his or her growth. Child-rearing clearly has significant impact on the child’s development and his or her personal traits (Brettell & Sargent, 2012). Both boys and girls are raised differently in different societies in the world. It is owed to the fact that gender roles of men and women are on the opposite ends. Broad social patterns exert a profound patten of behavior and personality among the individuals that grow in that society.

The differential treatment of both mother and father in a society also has an impact on the children. In many traditional societies the father is considered wealthy due to the number of male children and the mother gains more respect compared to those with many females (Brettell & Sargent, 2012). This kind of differential treatment continues throughout the child’s life. Boys are encouraged to play more masculine games and the girls are discouraged from some sports or any activities at all.

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