16, alligator, tuesday, october 4, 1977
point out shift
in sex roles
By ELLYN FERGUSON
Until recently women's work was defined as anything
connected with household duties and child care Now%.
because of changing attitudes toward sex roles, some social
scientists say "women's work" may become an archaic
At least that's the way Jacqueline Boles. a Georgia State
University sociology professor. sees the future.
Boles conducted a study and found men doing a larger
share of housework and more women entering the labor
force She is convinced that in the future there will be a
joining of the male and female sex roles.
SEVERAL UF sociolog, and anthropology Iacults
members agree with Boles that there have been changes. but
find her conclusions too limited and too optimistic.
Dr. Hernan Vera, a sociology) professor who has taught
classes in human sexualih. said society\ still does not view
women as persons.
"If you look at Playboy, Hustler and TV. vou can see that
women are seen as objects to be used for the pleasure of men.
Those things sell and people watch those shows." he said.
REAL CHANGE, Vera said. is measured not b. who does
the dishes but b\ who controls the political power The
country may be on the serge of such a change. Vera added.
"The key to all of this is the emergence of a consciousness
In a consciousness we not onl\ knov, there is oppression, %we
decide on a course of action We are at the threshold of
consciousness, but judging from the past the struggle tould
continue for decades or centuries." Vera said.
Dr. Mamne Margolis disagrees with Boles' joining of the
sex roles theory. There can only be a blurring of the roles,
LIKE IT or not, there is a thing called sexual labor
division. While it's based on gender, it's not all uniform. For
example, in some cultures only women do the weaving while
in others only men do the wead ing Margolis said.
Margolis. a cultural anthropologist who just finished a
research paper on women from the time ol the Ameritan
DR. ANITA SPRING
...'jobs that men do tend
to be highly valued'
Hevolution through World War II. said she finds any
assumption that the husbands of working wives are doing
more household chores an overly optimistic one
"Studies show evidence that women w.ho are working
have two jobs, outside and at home." she said. Working
women do spend less time doing housework. Not because
they're getting help, they're just spending less time at it."
AND ALTHOUGH women are 39 percent ul the work
force. Margolis said. "There have been tremendous changes
in the number of women in the economic system but their
slice of the economic pie has not increased. 'Women have not
made a great change in breaking out of the female job
ghettos like sales, secretarial pools and nursing."
She laults Boles for not fully explaining the reason so man\
women are working.
"Women are entering the job area because of inflation. To
maintain a middle class status, two paychecks are now
required." explained Margolis "Since World War II there
has been an increase in the demand for women in jobs men
hae traditional\ held "
ANGELA M. O'RAND. a sociologist who had studied
occupational patterns puts it more bluntly. saving. "Women
are not out on the job for leisure or because of boredom with
housework Women are out there so their families can
A noticeable change in male-female roles has occurred in
American society, said Dr. Anita Spring. a cultural an-
thropologist who has taught classes in sex roles. But the
change has come to a limited segment of the population
"Change is not even throughout society Young people are
more open and more willing to explore androgyny But
changes are starting to filter down to persons in the street."
Androg nN is a blending of sex roles until there is only a
But for the present. Spring said, "The jobs that men do,
tend to be highly valued. And vou see w6,men moving into
them. The traditional roles and jobs women do are noIt
highly valued and men are not moving into them "