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This essay aims to focus on three everyday experiences of gender or sexuality and evaluate the examples through theoretical perceptions. In sociology, "gender" is determined by what individuals do or feel. The sociology of gender or sexuality is used to examine the way society and our surroundings understand or interpret the difference between femininity (what society deems behavior for a woman) and masculinity (behavior of a man). In society, "gender" refers to the power, privileges, and possibilities some individuals have and do not have. Therefore, it affects the progress of the right to equality and rights of freedom. An essential purpose of this essay is to shed light on three everyday experiences on gender or sexuality. One of the most common experiences related to the shocking site of gender is the gender pay gap in the UK (in April 2022, the gender pay gap rate in the UK was almost 8.9 percent, which was 7.8 percent in 2021). Another essential and prominent experience is gender-based violence in the UK; as per the estimation, in the country, one out of four women experience domestic violence. Every year, almost 400,000 women are assaulted sexually and 80,000 women are raped. A previous experience that has to be discussed in this essay is the existence of gender inequality in the British education system.
The main aim of this essay is to critically assess and evaluate the three everyday experiences related to sexualism or gender on the verge of theoretical perceptions. This essay will focus on a critical discussion of feminism, Marxism, and other theories of gender and sexualism.
What: three everyday experiences of gender and sexuality:
According to Jonsson (2014), in sociology, people used to make a distinction between gender and sex. Gender is defined as the biological traits used to demarcate people in the male or female category. On the other hand, gender is more fluid. According to Jonsson (2014), in sociology, gender may or may not depend on biological traits. Stewart (2014) has argued that gender can be defined by the concept of how societies determine and manage sexual categories.
In contrast, Archer and Prange, (2019) argue that gender refers to the culture that is attached to the roles played by the male and female population and how individuals understand their identities in societies. The identities include being a man or a woman, intersex or transgender, genderqueer, and other forms of gender positions. Currently, there is a debate between gender and sexuality, similar to the current position and status of the female population in society. Feminism in the UK needs substantial social, political, and economic equality for women. At present, many sociologists believe that with the change of time, society is also changing, and now, the women population is getting equal opportunities and equal rights in both personal and professional livelihoods like the male population in the UK. Though, there is a debate- "is changing or women are getting equal rights at every stage of regular livelihoods like a man, in reality?" the best evidence of this fact is the growing gender pay gap in the UK workplace setup, increasing rate of domestic violence on women and still the existence of gender inequality in British education.
1. The gender pay gap in the UK:
According to the Guardian, in the UK, women used to get paid 90p for £1 earned by men. According to this newspaper article, the construction industry in the country is such a working site where the prevalence rate of the gender pay gap is at its highest level. In this sector, female employees used to get paid just 75 p for every £1 earned by a man. More specifically, women in the UK are the regular victims of inequality when it comes to getting paid wages. As per the report, Easyjet Airline Company is one of the high-profile companies in the country, where the women's median wage rate is just 36p for every 1 euro of the annual earnings of the male population. In the financial and insurance sector, the median gap for women accounts for 88p in comparison to the male counterpart, while women associated with the IT and communication industry receive 83p for every pound of the man. However, there is no difference in workload or wages being played by a man and a woman in the same industry and at the same organization (Abdul, 2022).
2. Gender-based violence in the UK:
Gender-based violence can also be called domestic violence or physical assault and mental exploitation. In the UK, one in every four women and one in every six men are facing domestic abuse in their lifetime. In 2022, the exciting yet shocking news was published in Evening Standard that due to the World Cup, the domestic abuse rate has increased by almost 40 percent in England on the loss of the country. According to the Centre for Economic Performance study, the abuse rate was at its peak about 10 hours after the game, with the violence being fuelled by the perpetrators who drank alcohol during the game (Wisniewska, 2022).
3. Existence of Gender inequality in British education:
According to an article published in GenderTrust.org.uk, gender inequality in the British education system is prevalent. The data suggest that the boys are struggling to keep up with the girls to meet the milestones in education. For example, as per a 2016 test score, 83 percent of the girls in the country had achieved a high score, whereas the percentage for the boys is only 77 percent. Similarly, in the UK, the amount of female school leavers are 35 percent more likely to apply for higher education than the male population (Archer and Prange, 2019).
Some other examples that suggest the opinion for the existence of gender inequality in British education are women who come from underprivileged backdrop are 59 percent more likely to apply for university than males from the same background. In education, the female population is far more advanced than the male population. On the other hand, a report in the Guardian shows that, during the lockdown period, the economy's decline and joblessness have increased the surge in calls from women to domestic abuse charities and services. Moreover, a report in the Financial Times shows how women are short-changed in the UK. It suggests that more than 3 out of 4 UK companies paid more to their male staff more than female workers (Wisniewska, 2022).
So as a whole, it can be summarised that gender inequality or discrimination based on sexuality is prevalent in the UK and worldwide. The female population is being judged by their sexual orientation more than the male.
Marxism and, Feminism theories can be used to interpret and evaluate the everyday experiences discussed in paragraph 1.
Philosophically, Feminism refers to the movement to end women's oppression. According to this theory, gender is considered the factor which helps humans to be represented in reality. According to Chandan et al., (2020), men and women construct different types of structures about the self, and therefore, their thought processes can diverge in the form of content. Trendl et al., (2021) have stated that this division depends on the self-concept, which is, in turn, essential for regulating thoughts, feelings, and actions. The radical feminism theory stresses the radical protest for racial equality, which in turn can support the growth rate of the gender pay gap in the UK. Liberal feminism can also stress the maintaining and practicing gender quality through amendment of law and regulation in society. To decline the rate of domestic abuse and the gender pay gap in the UK and England, per the liberal feminism theory, there is a need to strengthen and amend UK laws and policies.
Marxism theory can be used to define the existence of gender inequality in British Education. The traditional Marxism theory refers to the education system as the working interest of ruling the class entities. The Marxist perspective on education refers to the fact that education reproduces class inequality and can legitimate class inequality, and education works in the interest of capitalist employers.
Example: Considering the liberal feminism theory, to suppress the gender pay gap or ensure that both the men and women population are paid based on their wage rate or performance efficacy, there is a need to amend the Gender Equality Act of the UK. Similarly, as per the radical Feminism theory, there is a need to set up a voice for the female population against sexual abuse and domestic violence (Bhopal and Henderson, 2021). The Marxism theory states that education can create gender inequality-considering. In the example mentioned in paragraph 1, inequality can be evident between the educational efficacy among the women and the male population in England and the UK by measuring the test score.
To summarise the entire paragraph, it can be stated that, considering the concepts of Feminism theory and Marxism theory, it can be stated that women are exploited through capitalism and individual ownership. According to the concepts related to these two theories, women's liberation from gender inequality or domestic violence can only be possible or achieved by disassembling the capitalist structure, in which they state that a large portion of women's labor is gone unpaid.
To understand the issues related to the three everyday experiences related to gender and sexuality. In this paragraph, the focus will be given to constructing or contending the opinion being proposed in paragraphs 1 and 2 by using theories.
Considering the core concept of liberal and radical feminism theories, equality is necessary, can be established by law and regulation, and can ensure female superiority. Though, according to Bann et al., (2021), feminism works towards equality, not female superiority. Sharma (2019) argues that Feminist theories respect individuals and their informed choices. According to Dunphy (2022), feminism and Marxism theories disempower women. Women used to act based on caring, and Feminism theory does not support gender-free morality. However, Bohrer (2019) argues that the traditional feminism theory, as well as Marxism theory, still believes that women are inferior to men and goodness of females is involved in obedience and service.
Considering the Feminist ethics published in social science, strongly agree that fact that, this theory, in the end, de-empowers women. While non-females can behave based on utility, rights, or other fundamental principles and avoid dealing with women because they do not share their ethic of rights and obligations and do not need to be accorded such, women can act based on compassion. However, the motive in society is to establish equality and female superiority by maintaining equal pay, freedom of speech, and equal positions for both males and females in education (Mojab and Carpenter, 2019). Another important argument against the opinion subject in paragraph 2 is a person cannot care for someone if the person or she is socially, economically, and psychologically coerced to do so. The argument against the Marxism theory suggests that society needs to dissolve the capitalist structure, where ethics of caring will be based on feeling and exercised to a considerable extent.
To summarise the paragraph, it can be stated that feminism and Marxism theories can establish the superiority of the female population along with equality. However, to a broader extent, it demoralized the female population. According to the functionalism theory in social science, society, institutions, and norms serve a purpose, and everyone is indispensable for long-term survival in society (Armstrong, 2020).
Gender equality is fundamental to properly maintaining a social and biological variable in the existing society. It is necessary to learn widely about gender equality to establish gender identity in society. Gender and sexuality are two fundamental forces shaping every aspect of common people's lives. It helps in understanding the philosophy behind mind and body as a society. The legal definition of minds and selves is essential to analyze. A person should know their gender identity to present themselves as a part of society. It also clears the social expectations of the world of men and women and how they are similar or different from each other (Shanno et al., 2019).
The medical concept and knowledge of gender become clear once gender identity is clearly defined. On the other hand, gender and sexuality analysis helps people gather knowledge of human rights, medical, legal, and educational systems, and the political factors associated with a particular gender (Shanno et al., 2019). In modern films, gender roles are often reversed, and a modern approach to understanding sexual orientation is provided. In books and online media, transgender people are given equal rights and societal roles. This signifies the progressive nature of modern society, where every gender is equally respected and treated (Ross and Padovani, 2016).
Gender roles in society provide a specification for roles and responsibilities. Every man and woman has a different share in society. There are movements regarding gender equality that must be taken seriously to focus on the betterment of society. As gender plays a very important role in framing a society, it is essential to know how a person of a particular gender should talk, speak, dress, groom, and conduct other activities. The typical presentation in society is expected to be different for every gender. The by-birth gender may not be a person's sexual orientation. So, transgender people have equal rights in society and should be considered as the third gender (Gupta et al., 2019).
Societal norms are also made based on gender. So, having explicit knowledge of sexuality is very important for handling gender traits and stereotypes in society. Every gender should be considered, and equal rights should be given to every person in society, no matter what their sexual orientation is (Ross and Padovani, 2016).
To conclude this report, it can be stated that gender and sexuality are both used intertangle in modern society. This report aimed to highlight everyday experiences based on gender and sexuality and evaluate the experiences of feminism and Marxism theory. According to these two theories, women should have equal rights and opportunities in every facet of life. In this report, the three experiences that have been discussed are the gender pay gap, gender-based violence in the UK, and gender inequality in British education. In three cases, it has been shown that females are considered more vulnerable than the male population- be it getting paid less than the male population to be victims of domestic violence.
On the other hand, in British education, a different picture can be seen, where women are far more forward than the male population. Feminism and Marxism theories stated that by destroying the capitalist structure of society, female equality and superiority could be established. However, there are a few arguments that these two theories can only stress equality, not the establishment of female superiority.
Abdul, G. (2022) UK cost of living crisis putting strain on domestic abuse refuges, says charity, The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2022/jul/01/uk-cost-of-living-crisis-putting-strain-on-domestic-abuse-refuges-says-charity (Accessed: December 14, 2022).
Archer, A. and Prange, M., (2019). ‘Equal pay, equal pay’: moral grounds for equal pay in football. Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, 46(3), pp.416-436.
Bann, D., Villadsen, A., Maddock, J., Hughes, A., Ploubidis, G.B., Silverwood, R. and Patalay, P., (2021). Changes in the behavioral determinants of health during the COVID-19 pandemic: gender, socioeconomic and ethnic inequalities in five British cohort studies. J Epidemiol Community Health, 75(12), pp.1136-1142.
Bhopal, K. and Henderson, H., (2021). Competing inequalities: gender versus race in higher education institutions in the UK. Educational Review, 73(2), pp.153-169.
Chandan, J.S., Taylor, J., Bradbury-Jones, C., Nirantharakumar, K., Kane, E. and Bandyopadhyay, S., (2020). COVID-19: a public health approach to manage domestic violence is needed. The Lancet Public Health, 5(6), p.e309.
Dunphy, R., (2022). Sexual politics. In Sexual Politics. Edinburgh University Press.
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Jonsson, T., (2014). White Feminist Stories: Locating race in representations of feminism in The Guardian. Feminist media studies, 14(6), pp.1012-1027.
Ross, K. and Padovani, C., (2016). Gender equality and the media. Routledge.
Shannon, G., Jansen, M., Williams, K., Cáceres, C., Motta, A., Odhiambo, A., Eleveld, A. and Mannell, J., (2019). Gender equality in science, medicine, and global health: where are we at and why does it matter? The Lancet, 393(10171), pp.560-569.
Sharma, M., (2019). Applying feminist theory to medical education. The Lancet, 393(10171), pp.570-578.
Stewart, M.B., (2014). Why is the gender pay gap higher in the private sector? Warwick: University of Warwick.
Trends, A., Stewart, N. and Mullett, T.L., (2021). The role of alcohol in the link between national football (soccer) tournaments and domestic abuse from England. Social science & medicine, 268, p.113457.
Wisniewska, A. (2022) Be a global citizen., Subscribe to read | Financial Times. Financial Times. Available at: https://ig.ft.com/gender-pay-gap-UK/ (Accessed: December 14, 2022).
Bohrer, A.J., (2019). Marxism and intersectionality: Race, gender, class, and sexuality under contemporary capitalism. transcript Verlag.
Mojab, S. and Carpenter, S., (2019). Marxism, feminism, and “intersectionality”. Journal of Labor and Society, 22(2), pp.275-282.
Armstrong, E., (2020). Marxist and Socialist Feminisms. Companion to Feminist Studies, pp.35-52.
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