Complicating gender: Gender inequality in education and employment


Davidson, Skylar (2018). Complicating gender: Gender inequality in education and employment.


Sociologists have always acknowledged the complexity of gender, but despite acknowledging this complexity, much sociological research does not put this knowledge into practice; indeed, a great deal of research focuses on distinctions between men and women with regard to some other variable, reinforcing a narrow and binary understanding of gender. This tendency has two limitations: (1) it does not recognize the variability in men's and women's expression of masculinity and femininity; and (2) it does not recognize gender identities other than those of cisgender man and cisgender woman (i.e., transgender people). This study mitigates this limitation through telling a story in three sections about gender in educational settings and the workplace. I begin the process of disrupting binary social science through evaluating how understanding men's and women's asculinity and femininity can help us understand gender differences in choice of college major. In other words, I use additional ways of measuring gender in addition to the gender identities of men and women. I continue disrupting binary thinking through broadening measurement of gender identity to include transgender people (transgender men, transgender women, and nonbinary transgender people, who are those who identify as a gender other than man or woman). The second section evaluates how harassment and discrimination in educational settings, both K-12 and postsecondary, influence the educational attainment of transgender people. Finally, in the third section, I evaluate transgender people's experiences with discrimination at work.


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Book Title



Davidson, Skylar

Series Author(s)

Budig, Michelle

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University of Massachusetts - Amherst

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