August 5, 2005

For Young South Africans, Community Opportunities May Have Unexpected Links to Sexual Behavior

The article, “For Young South Africans, Community Opportunities May Have Unexpected Links to Sexual Behavior,” by the International Family Planning Perspectives was a very interesting article and it has what you would not have expected to actually be related. In this article, this program did a survey from 2,992 respondents that are living in 109 communities. In the survey these respondents were asked about their sexual behaviors, their education and work experience. From these respondents, fifty-six percent were blacks living in urban areas while there were 24 percent from rural areas, 14 percent were Indians and 6 percent were whites and from all of these people, and about half of them were female. From these surveys, the researchers analyzed that South African adolescents sexual behavior were associated with the availability of educational, employment and recreational opportunities, although not exactly the same way with males and females. They discovered that for the African women adolescent, the higher the average wages of adolescents in the schooling or sports, the less likely they were to have had sex in the past year. Also, the adolescent women’s likelihood of condom use with during their last sex was positively associated with average wages in the community. Men is not the same way with this and instead, actually, the more adolescent men who participate in the community levels of participation in schooling, work or sports, the lower the use odds of use of condoms. From the article, the odds of recent sex were higher for urban- and rural dwelling blacks than whites, for men who were working than for those who were not and for men who participated in sports than for those who were not. Overall, with condom use among adolescent men, it is negatively associated with the proportion of adolescents in a community who were in school or had a secondary education, were working or were participating in sports.
What the researchers found out about how young South Africans community opportunities may link to sexual behavior makes sense to me. I have actually answered some of my own questions about why and how sexual behaviors or use of condoms can be positively or negativity associated with community opportunities for these adolescents. First for the South African adolescent women, a few reasons why I think adolescent women would be less likely to engage in sexual act if they receive a higher wage or their level of participation in schooling or sports is might be because from getting a role in one of these activities, they might get too busy doing other things in their life that they did not have the time for sex or to even think about it. A reason why higher wage would lead for these women to engage less in sex and to be more likely to use condoms is that they might be more aware of the sex issues than the others. Why I say this is because in Africa, there are that many jobs and if you do get a job, they probably would not pay you that much unless you have proven yourself worthy to them, like being a hard worker and a good worker so if they are a good worker, it is more likely that they might have been aware about having sex. Like for example, they might be have re thought having it already like, “I might get pregnant and disgrace my parents,” or “I don’t want to catch any diseases so I will try to reduce the amount of sex as much as possible.”
For the adolescent men, I get the idea that the reason why condom use among adolescent men is negatively associated with the proportion of adolescents in a community that are in school or had a secondary education, were working or were participating in sports is because of these reasons. These adolescent men might use fewer condoms while in school because they might think that they are already educated enough and know all the things there is to know about sex so they can handle it without condoms and it will be all right. As for the working and participating in sports part, maybe working and participating in sports have worn them out and they could have been more aggressive and do not want to use condoms with the women, just for their own pleasure. I would also say that the reason why the odds of recent sex is more likely to occur for blacks in both urban and rural areas than whites is because like the article had already mentioned, the survey consisted of 80 percent blacks from both rural and urban areas while there was only 6 percent whites who did the survey, which is very low when compared to the percent of blacks. Obviously we can see that since there was more black people to start off with than the whiles, it would make perfect sense why the performance of recent sex act was more in percentage for the blacks than the whites. Although the percentage of blacks were more than whites to start off with in the surveys, I think that even though if the amount was the same at first, the African adolescent men would still have a higher or slightly higher percentage of recent sex than the whites. Why I say this is because it is more likely that the blacks and white would be racially segregated by housing like in that movie we saw earlier in class, “Excerpt from Race: The Power of an Illusion (PBS, 2003),” so if this were the case instead, then more of the blacks would live in the poorer housing or area and the whites would live in the richer or nicer area. This would make the blacks more prone to violence due the poor living conditions they are in so they would more likely engage in sexual activity than the whites. These are just my guesses and how I understand them so I may be way off so if anybody has anything to say, feel free to reply to my blog. I would appreciate any comments from you.
I agree with the what the researchers were saying on page 41 that the prospects for education and employment, “ shape young people’s future plans and expectations (International Family Planning Perspectives, 2005).” Like what the researchers were saying, I think that this article is important and that it is a good research is because this could potentially lead the researchers to create something that might be able to promote safer sex for all the adolescents, since this research on young South Africans may be link to their sexual behavior. Also, if these researchers are able to promote safer sex among these adolescents by using what they found out, this could prevent the increase population of AIDS.

Reference
International Family Planning Perspectives. 2005. “ For Young South Africans, Community Opportunities May Have Unexpected Links to Sexual Behavior.” Vol. 31 Issue 2, p41.

Here is the link for the file if anyone wants to read it, it has more details and statistics that you just might find useful!

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Posted by leex1663 at 1:04 AM

August 3, 2005

She Makes More Than He Does

In “She Makes More Than He Does,” by Gay Jervey, 2005, this article talks about a gender role problem between a married couple. In this article, the wife, Sue is a doctor and gets paid more than her husband, Tim, who works as a nurse. Before their marriage, he was always reluctant about the idea that Sue was a doctor and earned more than him when he had learned growing up that man was suppose to be the breadwinner but then later, he slowly accepted the idea that Sue earned more than him. At first, during their marriage, their relationship was okay for a while and Tim’s income was only slightly lower than Sue but then the problems arise between them when they adopted a little girl named Sean. Suddenly, Tim has to stay at home more, do more domestic work and take care of Sean when at first, it was just his wife earning more than him, now he has to take care of the house and his daughter since his wife earns more than him. His wife was also making more than him now, she was making above $300,000 a year while he was only making $60,000 a year and so he did not like the idea that it seemed like they were switching the traditional gender role. He was becoming more of a mother; a housewife while she was the financial provider or the breadwinner and he did not want to live the rest of his life like that and was became more and more frustrated at this. Due to this issue of the wife earning more than the husband, they started to fight so much that Sue sometimes did not want to come home. Soon, they both thought that they had to make some changes so at first, they found a part-time babysitter so Tim could get back to work but then he could not take jobs overnight so his job options were limited. So they moved to a new place, by a vacation house where there, Sue got paid 25% lower than what she have been making but Tim could not find a professional job so he was miserable but he still did not want to just be a mother to Sean and nothing else. So since moving did not work out, they moved back to their old place and they both got jobs at Sue’s old work place, at Western Pennsylvania Anesthesia Associates but Sue’s position this time pays a lower slavery and they are both trying to make their life work and agreeable.
Included with this article are some advices from the money experts to hopefully help solve their problem. First, they said to make Tim CFO, this way both of the spouses will feel like they are both making a financial contribution. Second, the advice is to keep Sue involved with the financial decision making power and that Sue should not be kept out of it just to let Tim feel empower. The last advice is to rethink their roles, which for their situation, they could think about how much money they could make together. They could either spend more money for a babysitter or they could just take turns with their roles for a while, for they have enough money to be able to do that. Tim also needs to feel that they are both sacrificing themselves and not just him.
This article shows the changing gender roles between a husband and wife. It also shows how a typical man would respond to this switch of gender role because in this article, it was clear of the husband’s reactions toward his wife earning more than him. From the article, when he had to take care of his daughter most of the time, he said, “they just reminded me that my life is dictated by the fact that Sue is the breadwinner. I love my daughter more than anything, but this is not what I wanted. This is not what I thought life would be (Gay, 2005).” From this statement, he surely was surprised with the new role that he was taking over, which did not seem to be clear at first, before his daughter came into he and his wife’s lives. When he said that this was not what he thought life would be like, then what was he thinking in the first place? Did he think all husbands were suppose to always be the financial supporter and should never take over the role of a housewife? It sure seemed like this when he mentioned those words. He was probably uncomfortable with the new situation that he was in since he thinks, like society that men is or should be the breadwinner, whether or not he wanted to be more dominated than his wife, he must have also felt that he should be more dominated in the house than his wife since it was what most people thought about a husband’s role. By saying what he did and saying that he was miserable, he must have felt like he was not doing his part of the gender role expectation or maybe he felt an urge to perform his role as the “supposed” breadwinner. Through this article, we can definitely see how society expectations about how a certain gender role is supposed to perform play a role in reality. If the gender expectations have not been constructed so strongly, taking on this role as a child bearer and taking care of the household work would not have bothered him so much. In fact, from the article, it even says that even though about a third of married women who now work earn much more than then their husbands, this reversal traditional gender role still surprise many of the couples (Gay, 2005).
I have a problem with the belief that men are the breadwinners. When I break down this word, to me, bread means something good to eat that will keep you strong and winner means being the number one so this word just sounds negative to me. It sounds negative to me because to say that a men is the breadwinner, that is almost like saying that only the men deserve to eat bread or food and that they are should be more superior and is number one next to women. Also, I do not think that people should let gender expectations affect their lives so much and let it affect them emotionally, or it will just be like listening to what other people believe and letting that control you emotionally. If I were in his position, I would just be glad that we both doing our best to take care of our family and keep it financially secure. I would also not feel like I want to compete with my wife for the amount that she is making and feel that she is not taking on the role that a wife is suppose to fulfill. With this, I agree especially with what the money advisors was saying about how Tim and Sue should both rethink their roles and could switch roles back and forth so that one does not get to take care of the same thing all the time. Personally, with the situation of Tim and Sue, I think it is kind of childish to think like what Tim did towards Sue because from my point, he was probably also jealous of her and did not like the fact that she seemed to be more dominated than him but then, I can understand the situation form his side also.

Reference:
Gay, Jervey. 2005. “She Makes More Than He Does.” Time, Inc. Vol. 34, Issue 5.

Here is a link to the whole article but it is the official site to it or the offcial format, just in word text file because i could not get the link to work properly:
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Posted by leex1663 at 10:02 PM

Effects of race and family structure

In the case study, “The Effects of Race and Family Structure on Women’s Spatial Relationship to the Labor Market,” by James R. Elliott and Marilyn S. Joyce, I learned a lot about women’s relationship to the Labor market. This cast study was conducted to examine women’s spatial relationships to the labor market and the to find out how these relationships relate to expected earnings because they were a huge role in the recent debates over gender and racial inequalities in the labor market. With survey data from three major metro labor markets from the Multi-City Survey of Urban Inequality, James and Marilyn were able to come up with an analysis. These surveys had information on commute times, modes of transit, and job contacts for a heterogeneous population of working women in a diverse set of metro areas. Before studying the survey and making a conclusion from it, they started out with the assumption that race and gender represent social relations and not individual attributes. This basic assumption about gender is exactly like what we have read earlier from Butler’s reading, “Gender Trouble,” that the body is not what gives meaning to itself but that it is instead, socially constructed. From the survey, they concluded that women’s spactial relationships to the labor are strongly more influenced by race and ethnic relations than by family structure and attendant “gendered” expectations. They interpreted that the reason why minority women tend to work in poorer condition jobs and with lower paid jobs than white women is because they have poorer access to private transportation and job connections, outside of their residential neighborhoods. In further detail, minority women tend to get their job contacts from their neighbors, who usually are just like them, and would just lead them to low-wage jobs whereas if they gotten job connections through other channels, they would get jobs that pay significantly higher. Also for the fact that they have poorer access to transportation needs, they have a lower wage job than white women. A solution that they came up with for anyone who wanted to eliminate this problem of racial differences is that they could try to get the minority women and especially the ones without college degrees to enter “work-first” programs that would educate them on how to find formal job-search skills and networking opportunities.
They said that that solution might work but according to the research of Chapple (2001), it shows that such programs to help minority women rarely work and only increase women’s job networks and not lead to increase pay above the minimum wage, only introduces them to seek other low-wage jobseekers in the community. Another way that might be more effective in the long-term is to improve spatial coverage and also make efficiency of mass transit. By doing this, then working women that do not have access to private transportation could get to more places and therefore be surrounded by more job opportunities. Currently, the Transportation Equity Act and Reverse Job Access projects might be something that could eliminate the racial difference by proving transportation assistance to low-wage workers. Even though there are these possible solutions that might work, we should not depend on them to eliminate the racial wage inequality among women completely and that even though if minority women could get to work faster and get better access to jobs, they might just still receive lower income than white women and so this research will be further more studied on.
Along with the case study, James and Marilyn also included some useful observations that a common argument about gender is that marriage and motherhood, according to cultural expectations encourage women to work closer to their home and so when they have to work closer to home, this narrow down job opportunities and expected wages for them. Also, since minority live according to the “spactial mismatch” thesis which states that whites tend to live closer to booming suburban job opportunities, and urban minorities tend to remain isolated in inner cities, they are spatially mismatch from new job opportunities. Also, mode of transit for minority people is usually the bus instead of by car, which makes their distance traveling worm home to work longer. With this, the minority women, when compared to white women have a higher unemployment rate, and therefore they will have insufficient information and access to jobs since they live farther from job opportunities and have to spend more time getting to work than white women. According to researchers, women tend to place a spatial restriction in order to save time for domestic household work so if these women place such restrictions this just makes it harder for them to obtain a good job since good jobs are hard to find. They say that not to exclude out the man from domestic household work but now, there are man who do these kinds of work but according to this case article, research still continues to show that the distribution of household chores is still far from being equal among these two genders and the traditional gendered expectations related to household and childcare is still pretty much the same. In fact, in 1996, about 60 percent of respondents still claimed that the all individuals in the family benefits when it is the woman who is responsible for home and childcare and when men is the one who provide for the financial support. Further more, 84 percent of respondents also agree that women are fit to be responsible for the care of home and children since, “they are trained to perform this role from childhood (Elliott and Joyce, p. 2).”

After reading this, I am quite amazed at what I did not know before reading this. I have always thought that there was something wrong with the employment system but was not exactly sure why there seemed to be more white people who can get a higher wage job than minority people. I never really consider about how we get our job contact can play a big role in determining what type of job you would get. I also found it useful, for me and for other readers since this could help us understand and perhaps can make the necessary changes for a better job or future. When James and Marilyn talked about how a woman tend to work closer to home, this might not be true to every culture, I agree with that because in our culture, Hmong,. if a woman were married, her in-laws and especially her husband would not want her to work too far away from home. A reason for this is because she might take away a lot of time from domestic work, just like it was mentioned in the article.
James and Marilyn stated that, “men, as a group, benefit, intentionally or not, from the subjugation of women; likewise, whites, benefit from the subjugation of racial minorities (Elliott and Joyce, p.2).” While this may hold true in a way and may tend to be like this anymore, I do not really agree completely with it because it is not true in every situation. In the years before the 1900’s, this might be true because back then, women did not have as much rights as right now and also, back then, there seem to be more racism going on, like the situation of slavery with the black people. The white people seemed to benefit a lot from using the black people as slaves to pick cottons from their fields and work for them without any payments to them. Also, when James and Marilyn talked about how more of the respondents agree that women are fit to be responsible for the care of home and children since they were trained to know the role of a women I thought this was pretty much like what Butler has talked about in “Gender Issues,” that gender is socially constructed and by repeating or performing certain acts over and over again. All of these beliefs about gender came from how society came to believe what was considered for females and male to perform in order for them to be fully considered women or male and they prove this by doing what was considered by society as normal fit for their assigned gender through repeated acts. Although these surveys about how many respondents actually still believe in this gender role expectation thing, this may be still be true but then again, these two surveys were not current so things right now might be different now or have change already.

Reference:
Elliott, James R. 2004. “The Effects of Race and Family Structure on Women’s Spatial Relationship to the Labor Market.” Sociological Inquiry, Vol. 74. No. 3. pages. 1-35.

Below is a link to the copy of this case study article:
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Posted by leex1663 at 7:23 AM