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Adult Gender Socialization

Gender socialization continues as women and men complete their training or education and join the work force. Men and women   re taught the “appropriate”  type of conduct for persons of their sex in a particular  job or occupation-both by their employers and by co-workers. However, men’s socialization usually docs   not include a measure of whether their work can be  successfully   combined with having a family; it is often  assumed that men can and will do both. Even today.  however. the reason given for   omen not entering  some careers and professions is that this kind of work

is not suitable for women because of their assumed child-care responsibilities. Different gender socialization may occur as people  reach their forties and enter “middle age:’ As discussed in Chapter 12 (“Aging And Inequality Based on Age”),  a double standard of   ging exists that affects women  more than men. Often, men are considered to be at the height of their success as their hair turns   ray and  their face gains a few wrinkles. By contrast. not only  do other people in society make middle-aged women feel as if they   re “over the hill,” but mult million dollar advertising campaigns continually call attention  to women’s every weakness. every   pound gained, and  every bit of flabby flesh, wrinkle, or gray hair.

A knowledge of how we develop a gender-related self-concept and learn to feel. think. and act in feminine or masculine ways is   important for an understanding of ourselves. Examining gender socialization  makes us aware of the impact of our parents,   siblings, teachers. friends, and the media on our perspectives  about gender. However. the gender socialization  perspective has   been criticized on several accounts. Childhood gender-role socialization may not affect  people as much as some analysts have   suggested. For example, the types of jobs that people take as adults  may have less to do with how they were socialized  in childhood   than it does with how they are treated in the workplace. From this perspective, women and  men will act in ways that bring the rewards and   he most rewards  and produce the fewest punishments (Reskin  and Padavic, 2002). Also, gender socialization theories can be   used to blame women for their own subordination.  For example, if we assume that women’s problems can all be blamed on women   themselves.  existing social structures that perpetuate gender inequality will be overlooked. We will now examine a  few of those   structural forces

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