Edgar Degas,
Portrait de M. Durante

Social Problems

Your paper should be roughly 1,000 words – three to four typed pages (12 point font). Please include a cover sheet with your name, class section, and the title of the writing assignment.



Paper #7: Gender and Gender Stratification

Choose one of these options

A. "The Women's Movement"

Watch The Makers: Women Who Make America, Part 1, Awakenings (57 minutes) and answer the following three prompts: (1) What were the primary sex roles of women in the 1950s in the U.S.? (2) Choose three women that were at the forefront of the women’s movement and discuss the changes they advocated and the strategies they used to achieve their goals. (3) What were the criticisms of the movement offered by both men and women – and what social factors affected whether women were in favor of the movement’s goals?


B. "Husbands and Wives Marital rating Scale"

For this summary and response you will examine George Crane’s 1937 Marital Rating Scale for husbands and wives: "Marital Rating Scale - Husband's Chart" & "Marital Rating Scale - Wife's Chart".  

(1) How do the items and the points they are allocated reflect the sex roles of the times (1930s). Use specific examples. Notice, for example, that while wives get 10 points for “reacts with pleasure and delight to marital congress,” husbands get 20 points if they are “an ardent lover and sees that his wife has an orgasm in marital congress” and that while husbands get 5 points for “remembers birthdays, anniversaries, etc.” they only get 1 point for “helps wife with dishes, caring for children, scrubbing.” (2) Which items, in your view, or no longer relevant? (3) Drawing upon the assigned readings, discuss how have sex roles in the United States changed since the 1930s. (4) How do social factors – race, ethnicity, social class, geographic region, and religiosity – affect sex roles today?