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Male-dominated gender roles trace back to one thing...:

Mate Griffon To Mare
...and we all know what that one thing is. It's the one thing. That everyone wants and needs, everyone spends so much of their lives chasing after...

...Get your mind out of the gutter, I'm talking about food.

See, I think that male-dominated gender roles are due to the fact that ever since we've had farming, men have done the majority of it, and thus controlled the means of getting food. My evidence for this is:

  1. Before the agricultural revolution, women's roles and men's were considered equal in value.
  2. The Iroquois culture, in which women did most of the farming, is not male-dominated.
  3. Women started pushing for their suffrage after the industrial revolution, when farming was not such an integral part of everyone's life anymore.
"All pain is a punishment, and every punishment is inflicted for love as much as for justice." — Joseph De Maistre.
 2 Sand Josieph, Fri, 7th Jan '11 2:27:14 AM from Grand Galloping Galaday
Bigonkers! is Magic
Huh, well that explains why the world I created is so lopsided: Long distance communication was invented before farming by a brother sister team (the sister created the yelling, the brother created the listening. Four minutes later, they were picking apples).
♥♥II'GSJQGDvhhMKOmXunSrogZliLHGKVMhGVmNhBzGUPiXLYki'GRQhBITqQrrOIJKNWiXKO♥♥
Cogito ergo cogito
Huh.

One might think that this role as house keepers for women would come about even earlier as it was the men in very ancient times who went hunting and put their life on the line to get food and it was the women who stayed in the cave/hut whatever.

This makes sense biologically, since males are expendable, they have enough seed anyway, whereas it's the women who need to be protected when one considers the optimal means of producing maximum amount of offspring.
'It's gonna rain!'
Mate Griffon To Mare
[up] By male-dominated gender roles, I don't mean just women being housekeepers, I mean men having more political/social/economic power. And in hunter-gatherer societies, women were just as important as men for feeding the clan, because they gathered the food.
"All pain is a punishment, and every punishment is inflicted for love as much as for justice." — Joseph De Maistre.
 5 Sand Josieph, Fri, 7th Jan '11 11:48:17 AM from Grand Galloping Galaday
Bigonkers! is Magic
I wonder how this effects the sea horses.
♥♥II'GSJQGDvhhMKOmXunSrogZliLHGKVMhGVmNhBzGUPiXLYki'GRQhBITqQrrOIJKNWiXKO♥♥
In Riastrad
[up]3: Did Not Do The Research. In pre-agriculture societies, men tended to hunt while women gathered ('gathered' here meaning foraged for berries, fruit, edible plants and edible fungi), so women brought home just as much if not more food than men. I do like Leigh's idea, it's got quite a bit of potential for truthery.

edited 7th Jan '11 2:24:38 PM by Diamonnes

My name is Cu Chulainn.
Beside the raging sea I am left to moan.
Sorrow I am, for I brought down my only son.

Cogito ergo cogito
I admit to making a mistake in implying that men were the only providers of food or that women were treated as second class in these ancient societies.
'It's gonna rain!'
 8 Mr AHR, Tue, 11th Jan '11 12:04:39 PM from ಠ_ಠ Relationship Status: A cockroach, nothing can kill it.
Ahr river
I dunno, I'd say that animals had a lot of inequality going on, but more of a 'separate but equal' thing. After all, you can't really oppress a gender when you're running on instinct.
I don't see this as how it happened, the way I see it, it traces back to religious roots.

edited 25th Apr '11 3:33:09 PM by Mysteria

 
 10 Hungry Joe, Tue, 26th Apr '11 7:14:27 PM from Under the Tree
Gristknife
Than why is it present in every known culture, even those without organized religions?
Charlie Tunoku is a lover and a fighter.
Might want to take a look at this: http://www.alphabetvsgoddess.com/timeline.html Or read the book, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

In a very rough nutshell, it proposes that males/females are more reliant on different parts of their brain (fem associated with imagery, men with writing, etc). Goes on to explain how the descent of women as the priests/goddesses/leaders of society began when humans starting using written language. Sounds nutty in a summary, but it's a very good book and spans from the caveman era to our recent century 2000 in great detail about out society's current state.
 
Brain Girl
Actually, women produce the majority of the world's food. I know less about this historically, but women in hunter-gatherer/early agricultural societies being at least as involved in food production as men, if not more so, seems likely.

What women lack is power.

How that came to be the case, I can only imagine. I really don't buy into the "women and men have very different skills" concept. Other than innate "skills" (sex-linked rather than gender-linked, and not possible even for all members of a sex) like making babies, milk and sperm, there isn't that must distinction on the innate level between sexes. Any "male" task could conceivably be performed by women and any "female" task by men (and most of them have been!). However, we are shaped by our experiences - I am willing to believe that an "average" woman and man may have certain gender-linked differences due to the ways they've been socialised to think and behave. Although even that is a drop in the ocean compared to the variation between individuals.

But once that power difference is established it's really, really hard to get rid of.
Now I've got this image of Robin's secret childhood love affair with Mr. T. - Idler 20
Sexual Dimorphism. Humans have it, even though it's not as radically different as, say, anglerfish.

The average man is simply bigger, stronger, and more aggressive than the average woman. Probably came about due to different gender roles in human society- men did hunting while women did gathering. You can say they contribute equally to society, but when push comes to shove, men will win the disagreements. Men are still bigger, stronger, and more aggresive than women. They simply have the physical capability to dominate their mates if there's a dispute.

Perpetuate that for another hundred thousand years while society evolved to be much more complex, and the physical power simply translated to social and political power.
Adel: Low EARTH orbit! Quistis: FIRE Cavern! Selphie: AIR head! Edea: ICE spear! Rinoa: HEART illy! Ultimecia: By powers COMPRESSED
Incognito
It's politically incorrect to discuss the real differences between the sexes, but they remain nonetheless.

Physical dimorphism: males have greater height, mass, upper body strength. And there are differences in the structure of the hips, because males don't have or need a birth canal. This affect walking and, more importantly, running.

There are also difference in the why males and females brains are wired. We don't understand all of the implications, but males are better at task what emphasize one hemisphere over the other while females are better at tasks involving both hemispheres.

And there are psychological differences that remain despite attempts to eradicate them.

I think the original driving force was when children started having long childhoods, requiring the dedication of years of attention to caring for them. The rest cascades off of that.
Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. — George S. Patton
I had thought that, given that men were the hunters in hunter/gatherer societies, that required them to learn about animal behavior, which then led to animal husbandry and livestock. Raising livestock was more reliable than hunting, and it put men in control of most of the tribe's wealth, as livestock surpluses could be traded with other tribes. As the tribes were rooted, this led to fields getting planted and farming in general...Not to say this is the way it happened with all humanity, just a lot of it...

I had a college professor once suggest that animal husbandry was related to the diminishment of men's view of women and childbirth as mysterious and mystical in that watching animals mate revealed to men how childbirth happened, saying that prior to that noone had made the connection between sex and childbirth. I'm not sure if she was making this up herself or was quoting someone else, but in any case I think the whole idea is demonstrably wrong, and seriously insulting to human intelligence...
 
@OP: Archeological findings suggest that women did most of the work in early agricultural societies. Skeleton parts found in Abu Hureyra show that more women than men were suffering from worn hips, worn knees and arthritis, probably from hard labor in the fields. A lot of women also had had their right big toes bent upwards, theorized to be caused by resting on the right knee while grinding grains with heavy rocks.
 
All females are technical chimeras - a single cell can only use one X chromosome at a time, and whichever chromosome is activated in a cell is a random, independent event. So all women are technically amalgamations of two completely different people mixed up into one body.

I haven't tested this hypothesis out, but it stands to reason that being a technical chimera would effect the formation of a person's mind. Basically, all women are born with two brains, while men are only born with one. Having two brains in their head, it is essential for women to learn the art of compromise and empathy right from childbirth, otherwise their two brains would never be able to function as an individual. Men on the other hand aren't forced by their physiology to learn these skills, so it takes them much more time to catch up to girls in this department. The result is that this world is filled with a lot more self-centered men then women, and self-centered people tend to gain leadership positions more readily, because they believe that they deserve them.

So to sum all that up, its a man's world because men are more willing to act in their own self-interest than women are, causing men to seek out positions of leadership and power.
 
I'm glasses.
The problem with this kind of thing is that it's never more than educated guesswork. That's not enough for science. Don't get me started on evo-psych.

Plus, when gender comes into play, it's usually the preconceived notions about gender that come first and then the conclusion ends up supporting that. I'm sick of that kind of sexist stuff.

edited 21st Sep '11 10:00:18 PM by Sporkaganza

Always, somewhere, someone is fighting for you. As long as you remember them, you are not alone.
 19 iphobos, Thu, 22nd Sep '11 11:43:24 AM from Somewhere's Ville
Disagree, but look it up
Wrong, take a look at Egypt from 10kya-4kya, there was little social distinction, also women in general did most of the farming in the early days, men would usually be too busy kill things and people, or working in metal shops once bronze was discovered, but mostly too busy killing things.
 20 USAF713, Thu, 22nd Sep '11 6:54:35 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.
Yeah, I mean, although it sounds fairly plausible, it doesn't have any scientific value as a positivist sociological theory.

In other words, sure, that's possible. You can't prove it, though. Sad, really. I kind of wish we had a good opposing theory to sociobiology (which is the idea that gender stratification comes from sexual reproductive roles). Ah well.
I am now known as Flyboy.
 21 Pulp Free Bookworm, Tue, 27th Sep '11 7:12:23 PM from Everywhere and Nowhere Relationship Status: In another castle
Post Tenebras Lux
I would just like to add that I heard somewhere that the family unit as we know it may have evolved due to- of all things- very very early proto-humans becoming bipedal. The female needed to hold the baby with both arms (since babies couldn't cling to females anymore because of how they evolved to be born earlier so the mother wouldn't be ripped in half during the birth from the baby's giant head, and females couldn't carry it on their non-vertical backs-it'd fall right off), so the males began to stick around to bring them food and protect them to ensure his offspring survived. (I may have some details here wrong...)

I'm sure this theory is SOMEHOW relevant to the conversation at hand.
I'm getting too old for this ghost-catching tomfoolery.
 22 USAF713, Fri, 30th Sep '11 4:46:26 PM from the United States
I changed accounts.
Actually, I did some research, and there is a tribe where females dominated the politics by controlling the farming.

Go figure...
I am now known as Flyboy.
@willy "Bigger" and "stronger" are obvious... do you have a source on "more aggressive", though?
The dumber people think you are, the more surprised they're going to be when you kill them.
 24 Karalora, Tue, 16th Oct '12 3:37:27 PM from San Fernando Valley, CA Relationship Status: In another castle
Manliest Person on Skype
The female needed to hold the baby with both arms

Why both arms? Babies aren't that heavy.

Not to mention, what happened when proto-humans became bipedal? They started making and using tools with those suddenly unoccupied hands. Tools such as, oh, baby slings.

Failing that, there's this amazing technique called having someone else hold the baby while you do stuff. It really works!
 25 Exelixi, Thu, 18th Oct '12 7:41:32 PM from Alchemist's workshop Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Lesbarian
It should be noted that in most tribes people didn't raise their own kids all the time. Rather, there were women whose jobs were to be communal "mothers" in the sense we think of today. So, no, having to hold babies didn't prevent women from doing things, because they weren't actually holding babies all the time.

Editor: Testosterone causes aggressive behaviour.

edited 18th Oct '12 7:43:15 PM by Exelixi

Mura: -flips the bird to veterinary science with one hand and Euclidean geometry with the other-
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Total posts: 25
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