Segments in this Video

Redefinition of the Sexes (02:36)


Traditional male roles include public life and power, whereas women are relegated to the realm of private life and childbearing. Since the beginning of the 20th century, changes steadily evolve in male/female relationships.

Mother Goddess (03:56)

In the beginning, men and women share the work of survival. In hunter/gatherer societies, men and women are interdependent, though each has distinct roles. Their powers are parallel, but neither is superior.

Father God (01:49)

The worldview changes in perspective once women are no longer valorized. Aristotle's view that women function as vessels for procreation only marks the true beginning of the patriarchy that ruled until very recently.

Women in Middle Ages (04:55)

Women's acceptance into daily life and community business rises to new heights in the early Middle Ages. Though Christ's message is egalitarian, theologians in the 12th century believe that women are evil temptresses--dogma that culminated in witch burnings centuries later.

Women's Rights (06:19)

During the 16th-18th centuries, gender is of less significance than social class. Peasants and city dwellers share work equally, though women do not have equal rights. Some women have great opportunities to mix equally with men in the salons. In 1791, Olympe de Gouge publicly reads her Declaration of the Rights of Women.

Women's Suffrage (03:58)

In the U.S., the abolitionist movement gives women the opportunity to become involved in a social cause. The women's suffrage movement is officially launched in 1848, and women demand their rights, including the right to vote.

Women's Movements (03:43)

During WWII, women make a massive contribution to the war effort, but in the 1950s, they are relegated to roles that are more traditional. In the 1960s, a new feminist movement appears, and gradually, women move into all spheres of society, weakening the foundations of the patriarchy.

Exaggerated Images of Sexual Identity (04:02)

Today, the condition of women varies greatly from culture to culture. Women have a harder time gaining access to economic resources and, worldwide, are poorer than men are. In the West, men and women hold themselves to ideal standards and are willing to make sacrifices to conform to those images.

Changing Gender Roles (04:38)

As traditional sexual roles change, society gets restive, as has happened in Trinidad. In cultures where women gain more autonomy, male violence accelerates against them and against the symbols of women's emancipation, such as abortion clinics.

Gender Behavior: Inborn or Learned (06:43)

Are gender roles inborn or are they learned? Research indicates that biology plays a role in the different levels of aggression in both sexes. Many professional areas of society continue to be male-dominated, particularly in areas of power such as boards of directors and government leadership.

Gender Roles: A New Equilibrium (07:01)

Societal tensions mount as gender roles take on less definition. Worldwide, 46% of the labor force consists of women. It is possible that one day, men and women will function as allies rather than opponents.

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From childhood on, biological and social factors combine to shape an individual’s sexual identity. In this program, Ruben Gur, Professor of Neuropsychology at the University of Pennsylvania; sociologist Rhoda Reddock, of the University of the West Indies; philosopher Elisabeth Badinter; historians Arlette Farge and Jennifer Stoddart; and others evaluate gender-related behavioral models from a variety of times and places, ranging from ancient Babylon to the contemporary U.S. Other topics include the shifts in female status that have accompanied society’s evolution from hunter/gatherers, to farmers, to industrialists. (53 minutes)

Length: 53 minutes

Item#: BVL10337

ISBN: 978-1-4213-0618-6

Copyright date: ©1999

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

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Only available in USA and Canada.