Gender Inequality

Find 2 print ads on the Internet that illustrate gender inequality.  One ad should illustrate gender inequality of females and the other should illustrate gender inequality of males.  Carefully study the obvious and not so obvious inequalities being presented in the ads. Pay careful attention to all aspects of the ad, including setting, background, product being advertised, and the people featured.  Look at how the people are posed, their facial expressions, clothing, etc…  Ask yourself what type of message is being sent in each ad, if the person is being objectified, and if the ad is sending harmful messages to society.

Based on the video you watched and what you have learned in this chapter and course, write an analysis of each of the ads. You must reference material from your text as in your analysis. Using outside research is encouraged, but be mindful to properly cite the work. 

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Your paper MUST INCLUDE THE ADS, failure to include the ads will result in a 15 point deduction. DO NOT provide links to the ads you chose, you must include the ads in your paper.

Your response must be a minimum of 200 words per advertisement, and as always, you may write more than the minimum.


The dangerous ways ads see women | Jean Kilbourne | TEDxLafayetteCollege  search YouTube for video an article provided by professor

How does the social constructionist approach examine gender inequality?
The social constructionist approach to studying gender emphasizes how we “do gender” in ways that create and reinforce gender inequality. By paying attention to how gender is socially constructed and varies over time and place, we can see how our ideas about gender are fluid rather than static. The social constructionist approach examines how gender organizes daily life and social systems in ways that create and maintain gender inequality. This approach also shows how the social construction of gender relates to harmful social outcomes for boys and men.

What are the underlying roots of contemporary gender inequality?
In many societies across the world, men hold more status, power, and resources. The status “woman” is usually held in lower regard than the status “man.” Sociologists call this form of organization, in which men have higher status than women, patriarchal culture, and it serves as the foundation from which societies create and maintain gender inequality. The three primary features of patriarchal culture are male domination, male-centeredness, and male identification. Male domination means men hold almost all positions of power within social institutions. Male-centeredness means a culture prioritizes and emphasizes the activities of males. Male identification means that the core cultural ideas about what is good, desirable, and valuable are associated with men and masculinity, while cultural ideas about women and femininity are devalued. Patriarchy is a complex system that is larger than any one of us as individuals, yet we all participate in it to some extent. It is the foundation of gender inequality.

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What are some forms of gender inequality in the workplace?
Gender inequality in the workplace remains a significant form of gender inequality. Despite women’s advancements in education, and the fact that women now compose almost half of all U.S. workers, research consistently shows that women simply do not receive the same return on their investments in education as their male counterparts. There remains a gender wage gap, which operates at the individual, interactional, and institutional levels. Sociologists explain the gender wage gap by pointing to several institutional processes, including occupational segregation, gender discrimination, and the glass ceiling. Gender socialization also contributes to the wage gap by steering boys and girls and women and men to different careers. Our ideas about what is appropriate behavior based on gender often mean that women in the workplace are branded things like “bossy” and “bitchy,” while men who behave similarly are deemed “strong leaders” and “confident.” Efforts to address workplace inequality focus on policy and institutional change.

How does violence against women relate to patriarchal societies?
A major form of gender inequality is men’s violence against women, which takes a variety of forms, including intimate partner violence, rape and sexual assault, street harassment, and digital abuse. Efforts to end violence against women address cultural norms around gender, power, and violence.

How does gender inequality impact boys and men?
The social construction of masculinity and pressures for boys and men to “man up” have been linked to different negative outcomes, ranging from the personal to the institutional. Men are much more likely to die in job-related incidents than are women and to work in more dangerous, physically demanding jobs. In addition, men are more likely than women to die by suicide, and in terms of overall health outcomes, men suffer more chronic health conditions, have higher death rates, and have lower life expectancy than women. When boys and men suffer from depression and other mental health conditions or sexual abuse, they are less likely than women to seek help. Last, many men struggle to balance changing and conflicting gender norms associated with work and expectations to be both a breadwinner and an engaged and nurturing father. Men and boys, as well as our families and institutions, also have a lot to gain from gender egalitarianism.

What are some current social problems that have gendered features?
Mass shootings are a gendered social problem because almost all mass shootings are committed by men, despite the fact that women also experience mental health challenges and have access to firearms. Other social problems that have gendered dimensions include the sexual objectification of women, the pornification of culture, and the policing of women’s and girls’ bodies in public spaces, all of which reflect how women’s bodies remain the subject of public spectacle, critique, and control.

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What are some current efforts to address gender inequality?
In addition to the broader women’s movement, there are hundreds of social movement organizations and initiatives all over the country engaged in social problems work. These organizations work to address gender discrimination in society through policy initiatives, research, education and awareness, and/or advocacy and service provision. Over the years, there have been many critical laws and policies that address gender discrimination in different areas of life, including the Equal Pay Act, Title IX, and the Violence Against Women Act. Contemporary gender-based activism takes on many different forms, from street art that challenges street harassment to public displays of breastfeeding to social media campaigns. For more information on Gender Inequality check out :

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