chapter  2
21 Pages

Understanding Men’s and Women’s Experiences in the Workplace: Methods and Theoretical


Before we examine research and theory on the ways men and women deal with, progress in, and interact in the workplace, it is useful to step back and examine the ways we talk about, think about, and write about sex, gender, and sexuality. Some authors would have us believe men and women are so fundamentally different that they might as well inhabit different planets (e.g., Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus by Gray, 1992), whereas others suggest that there are no real differences and that what we see as essential differences in the behaviors of men and women are in fact nothing more than social conventions. Theory and research on sex, gender, and sexuality are greatly complicated by the number of perspectives on how we should view whether men and women are similar or different and how we should integrate research on similarities and differences at one level (e.g., adult men and women show similar levels of verbal ability) with similarities and differences at another (e.g., regardless of occupation, women are more likely than men to take greater responsibility for child care).