2016 Student Research Conference:
29th Annual Student Research Conference

Effect of Task Compatibility for Explaining Patterns in the Sexual Division of Labor
Ronnia Estes
Dr. Amber Johnson, Faculty Mentor

The sexual division of labor raises interesting questions for anthropologists. Judith Brown (1970) argued against common ideas in anthropological literature that physiological and/or psychological differences between men and women determine the division of labor between sexes. Responsibility for childcare places limitations on female participation in the activities of society. Brown hypothesized that women are responsible for activities that are compatible with childcare and identified four main criteria to evaluate compatibility. This study tests Brown?s hypothesis by coding six activities for thirty societies for Brown?s criteria and existing data on gender bias in these activities to determine whether activities women are responsible for are more compatible with childcare. This study builds on work documenting sexual division of labor for specific activities (Murdock and Provost 1973). Results show that there is a strong and significant relationship between the activities women are responsible for and a measure of their compatibility with childcare.

Keywords: Brown's (1970) Theory , Sexual Division of Labor, Childcare Compatibility , Cross-Cultural


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: -2
Location: MG 1096
Time: 9:45

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