Gender Strategies

Socialization, Allocation, and Strategic Selection Processes Shaping the Gendered Adult Life Course

Authored by: Phyllis Moen , Erin Kelly , Rachel Magennis

Handbook of Research on Adult Learning and Development

Print publication date:  November  2008
Online publication date:  November  2008

Print ISBN: 9780805858198
eBook ISBN: 9780203887882
Adobe ISBN: 9781135597405


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Adulthood is a fundamentally different experience for women and men, even those with similar backgrounds growing up. Why is this the case? Research and theory pose several alternative explanations, grounded in ideas about nature and nurture. Most common historically has been a biological explanation (nature), pointing to the impacts of genetic, hormonal, and physiological differences between women and men. There are, to be sure, male and female traits rooted in biology or nature. But if this were the only reason for gender differences, we wouldn’t find variations in the distinctive experiences and expectations of women and men across cultures, social classes, geographical regions, and history.

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