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
Lynda J. Ames
Women, on average, make less than men, a differential commonly known as the wage gap. Although significant changes in the status of women in society occurred since the phenomenon was identified, the gap still persists in the 21st century. Currently, women earn about 77 cents for a man's dollar. Causes for the continuing gap include continuing discrimination on the part of employers (and schools and training programs); differential socialization patterns leading to constrained choices of occupations by men and by women; differential, patriarchal family responsibilities of men and women; and, to a waning degree, different human capital. Social and individual consequences to this continuing inequality can be grave. Women may not be able to support themselves and any children they have, and so may be dependent on men (who may be abusive) or dependent on the state. Women and their children are the largest proportion of the poor, including the ...