The Changing Roles of Women in American Society Term Paper by Mootsie

The Changing Roles of Women in American Society
A look at the changing status of women throughout history.
# 1200 | 2,090 words | 5 sources | 2000 | US
Published on Feb 17, 2003 in Women Studies (General) , Women Studies (Women and Society)

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An overview of the status of women, starting from antiquity (including their status in the Far East), and ending in the present day, emphasizing American women, and their prospects for education and economic advancement.

From the Paper:

"There are and always have been very distinct divisions in the roles of men and women. These divisions are deep-rooted in economic, social and religious beliefs throughout history. Women have played many roles in societies throughout history. Through the centuries, almost every society has developed very distinct ideas of what activities are proper for women. In some societies, there is no greater honor than to be a woman and in turn a mother. Yet, as in some Asian cultures, the lives of women are of such less value than those of men that the practice of female infanticide has become a widely used device for population control. Over time, many reasons have been given for the gender inequality that exists in society. Women are supposed to be weaker, less aggressive and more caring and nurturing than men. However, the most applied barrier of equality, especially in the workplace, has been woman's ability to bear children (Hanmer 19). Because only women have the ability to bear children, it has often been viewed that it is thus a woman's ultimate obligation to do so. There has been no scientific evidence though that women have what is called maternal instinct, that is, a natural desire to bear and care for children (Hanmer 115). From the earliest of times, motherhood has helped to divide men and women since women primarily stay at home while pregnant and nursing. Likewise, men have traditionally taken jobs away from the home. In primitive times, this practice may not have suggested inequality between the sexes. Yet, in our modern times the tradition of women staying at home rearing children while men work outside the home has left many women economically dependent on a man to provide the material necessities of life. "

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