Study Questions

  • Define and explain the difference between sex and gender. What does it mean to say that gender is a “social construction”?

  • How do changes in subsistence technology affect gender relations? At what level of development are gender relations most unequal? Why?

  • Define and explain androgyny. What advantages does androgyny bring in modern western urban-industrial society? Would these same advantages apply to non-western societies or societies at lower levels of development? Why or why not?

  • What movements for gender equality have been active over the past several centuries? What were the goals of these movements? What are the three waves of feminism? Did each succeed? How?

  • Summarize and explain each of the three recent gender trends and issues cited in this chapter. What public policies might be developed to better address these issues?

  • With regard to gender relations today, is the glass half empty or half full? What evidence is presented in this chapter of persistent gender inequality? How serious are these problems? What are some useful approaches to addressing this problems?