Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
A. Fiona Pearson
Gender segregation is the separation of individuals according to their gender or sex. It takes many forms in various social contexts, including schools, workplaces, religious organizations, sporting activities, and health facilities. The physical construction of public spaces, such as single-sex changing rooms and bathrooms, both reflects and reinforces gender segregation, as do cultural beliefs regarding the social roles of men and women. These divisions along gender lines result in part from historical and cultural assumptions about the meanings of gender (a term that emphasizes the socially constructed dimension of what it means to behave like a man or woman) and sex (a term that emphasizes the biological dimensions of designation as a man or woman). As a result of these assumptions and beliefs, women and men may experience horizontal or vertical segregation. Evidence of horizontal segregation is the disproportionate number of women found in jobs or fields of study vertical ...