Sexual Apartheid - Significance - in Economies

In Economies

Physical sex separation is not popular in many institutions on a tertiary level (between types of institutions), while fields of study or majors are highly gendered, such as later life decisions such as work/care work conflicts. Men tend to occupy engineering, manufacturing, science, and construction fields while women dominate education, humanities and arts, social sciences, business, law, and health and welfare fields. However, important life decisions as occupations can yield other instances of sex segregation by impacting occupational sex imbalances and further male and female socialization. Even at psychological levels, socialized preferences for or against sex segregation can also have significant effects. In one study, women in male-dominated work settings were the most satisfied psychologically with their jobs while women in occupational settings with only 15-30% men were less satisfied due to favored treatment of the male minority in such a segregated atmosphere. Stark segregation by occupation can lead to a sexual division of labor, influencing the access and control men and women have over inputs and outputs required for labor. Additionally, occupational sex segregation has certain health and safety hazards for each sex, since employment conditions, type of work, and contract and domestic responsibilities vary for types of employment. In many areas of work, women tend to dominate the production line jobs while men occupy managerial and technical jobs. These types of workplace factors and interactions between work and family have been cited by social stratification research as key causes for social inequality. Family roles are especially influential for predicting significant differences in earnings between married couples. Men benefit financially from family roles such as a husband and a father, while women’s incomes are lowered when becoming a wife and mother.

Other gender disparities via sex segregation between men and women include differential asset ownership, house and care work responsibilities, and agency in public and private spheres for each sex. These segregations have persisted because of governmental policy, blocked access for a sex, and/or the existence of sex-based societal gender roles and norms. Perpetuation of gender segregation, especially in economic spheres, creates market and institutional failures. For example, women often occupy jobs with flexible working environments in order to take on care work as well as job responsibilities, but since part-time, flexible hourly jobs pay less and have lower levels of benefits, large amounts of women in these lower income jobs lowers incentives to participate in the same market work as their male counterparts, perpetuating occupational gender lines in societies and within households. Additionally, economic development in countries is positively correlated with female workers in wage employment occupations and negatively correlated with female workers in unpaid or part-time work, self-employment, or entrepreneurship, job sectors often seen occupied by women in developing countries. Many critics of sex segregation see globalization processes as having the potential to promote systemic equality among the sexes.

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