Western cultures are an androcentric based society. It is more beneficial to be males then females in this culture. Both genders are stereotype which can lead to misrepresentation of genders, this can affect many aspects of people lives. For example, if a couple is fighting each other for custody of their children, one gender may be have better chance of getting custody. A marriage in the United States of America has a 50% chance of ending in a divorce. The couple will end up in court to see who will get custody of children. Then it’s up to the judge to decide with whom the child will be living with.
There are laws that help he judge decide but these laws may be bias towards one parent, the mother. Mothers will most likely get awarded custody of the children. According to Blau in 2004, 58% of children under the age of 18 were living with their married biological parents, another 3% were living with their cohabiting parents and 8 % of the children were living with one biological parent and over 80% of these cases the biological parent was the mothers. According to Wade” gender is a logic that we are talented at manipulating, but is manipulating us, too”.
Wade states that “gender refers to the social and cultural patterns ttached to women and men, or the symbolism of masculinity and femininity we connect to being male or female bodied”. The number one rule of gender is to do gender. Which is to act how you are supposed to act according to the society you live in. Gender is socially constructed which means it changes across time and culture. We live in an androcentric society. An androcentric society is one in which more value is placed on males then females.
Females are thought to be subordinate to males. Women are put into positions that are lower status then men. For example, a woman will be assistance to a ceo, or a urse to a doctor. This is a form of stereotype, which is an inaccurate generalization about an entire category of people that does not acknowledge individual variations. For example, cult of domesticity which is the idea that women should love house work, but some women may not want to be house wife’s. There are several types of custody which are biased towards one gender, females.
One type is sole custody which means one parent has the authority to make decisions for the child on many aspect of the child lives, and the child lives with that one parent. For example, what school he or she goes to. If that child attended a church. What type of medical treatment that child gets. The parent who the child does not live with has the right for visitation but this may be limited. This is was the most common type of custody awarded. Split custody is another type, where the child is divide between the parents. This is a very rare type of arrangement.
Joint custody is one of the modern types of custody. Joint legal custody is when both parents have the right to say what is going to happen in the child’s live but the child lives with only one parent who is usually the mother. Joint hysical custody is when both parents have the right to say what is going to happen in a child live and the child lives with both parents but spends most of the time with one parent. Joint physical custody is now the most common custody agreement. How is custody awarded? The court uses a a universal rule what will be best for the child.
In some cases, this is skewed because of certain ideologies that society believes in. An ideology is a set of ideas shared by society that guides identities and institutions. For example, gender plays a huge role on whether you are seen as the better parent. There is a gender binary in which there are only two types of gender, first is a female bodied who is feminine and second a male bodied who is masculine. According to Merriam Webster the word feminine is defined as having qualities or appearance traditionally associated with women, especially delicacy and prettiness.
Synonyms of feminine are tender, soft, motherly. The word masculine is defined as having qualities or appearance traditionally associated with men especially strength and aggressiveness. Synonyms of masculine are two-fisted, jock and brave. Looking at these definitions one ender tends to be gentler and the other is more aggressive. Are the fathers the more aggressive gender or are they just doing gender. Doing gender is the ways in which people actively obey and break gender rules. Genders rules are directions on how to act as a man or a woman and if you break these rules other people will police you on them.
For example, if a father is a stay at home father and the wife is the bread winner he may be made fun of by others father because he subordinate to a woman. Typically, a woman is the one who is supposed to be subordinate to a man, she is the one who has to be dependent n a man for shelter and money. This may be why society sees more stay at home mothers than fathers. Males are taught from an early age to avoid femininity, because what is feminine is only good for females. Some fathers may want to be stay at home fathers but may be worried about the repercussion of this.
These fathers would be breaking a gender rule. Which is men are supposed to be the bread winners. There are many types of criteria that the court uses to decide which parent has the best interest of the child. First criteria is who is the primary caretaker. This entails which parent cares for the child in daily ctivities. This criteria may be biased towards the mothers because it is mothers who typically stay with the child. In the past years stay at home mothers had been declining due to many reasons. One reason may be that family wage is not seen anymore. A family wage is a wage that the whole family can live on.
It is typically earned by one parent the father. In the 1950 family wages did existed and this may be why society saw a lot more of stay at mothers. Now stay at home mother are back on the rise. In 2012 the United Stated of America saw a 6% increase in stay at home mothers. Mother who are stay at home tend to e younger in age 42% of the stay at home mothers were under the age of 35. These mothers also tend to have a lower level of education. Only about 7% of fathers in the USA are stay at home fathers compared to the 29% of mothers who stay at home mothers who to care for children.
This percentage only shows sole earner families. Some families are dual earners which means both parents work. After the parents finish their paying jobs they come home to the second shift. Which is a non-paid job, it is the work that is done in the house. The buying of groceries, feeding the kids, cleaning the house, showering the ids, the helping with the homework, taking the kids to after school program. The next criteria is who will the child be safe with, this is also bias because males are seen as the more aggressive gender.
It has been shown that when males became father their hormones change. This is called the hormonal feedback loop, man will have make more estrogen when they became fathers. Estrogen is seen as a female hormone. Female make estrogen in their ovaries and males made it in much smaller amounts in their testes. In females, it helps guide development in the body. Males who have too little of estrogen ill suffer from low muscle mass, fatigue, and erectile dysfunction. The next criteria is who the child is bonded too. This means who the child is attached to more.
Many studies have shown how a mother and child bond but there are much less studies done on how fathers bond with her child. The mother infant attachment is a widely-studied topic. It has been shown that if a child had a stable relationship with their mother from a young age, the child will have a higher self-esteem, the ability to handle stress and the ability to form close relationships. There has not been a study done on what a strong ather child bond does to a child. Health is another item that the court looks at. The court looks at whether the parents smoke, drink and have drug habits.
This is also bias because globally 40% of men smoke compared to the 9% of women who smoke. It has also been shown that males drink more often and heavier than females. The child is also asked who they want to live with. This may be the only criteria in which there is no bias towards one gender. The parent financial situation is also looked at. It has been shown that if a mother becomes a single mother she is more likely to live in poverty. This is called the eminization of poverty. It is a trend in which single females mothers are increasing becoming poor.
A single mother is twice as likely to live in poverty then a single father. Children are often the one who suffer the most from a divorce. It has been shown that if a father gets into another relationship and he has other children. He is less likely to see his child from the divorced marriage. There are “key predictors of the negative effects divorce may have on a child’s future well-being: conflict between parents, parental psychological maladjustment, loss of contact with a parent, deficits in parenting behaviors, economic isadvantage, and stress.
Some divorces get ugly and parents act horrible to get each other and this may cause the parent to hold grudge on one another for years to come after the divorce. This may affect “the willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the other parent and the child. ” The child may not adjust well to the new situation, he or she was put in. The criteria that judges uses to decide which parent gets to guides with child throughout his or her life with is biased towards one parent and this is not the judges fault.
It is the society we live in. There are certain ideologies that are instilled on people from a very age and these ideologies are very hard to break away from. For example that a mother will always be better at raising a child only because she is the mother, sometimes the mother is not the best parent for the child to go with. According to wade gendered ideas structure our lives and create difference and inequality, which is clearly not always good for women, but it is not always good for men either. ” How a judge decides what parent the child will go is in fact biased towards the mother.