Gender Inequality and Social Pressure: Analysis on the Life Satisfaction Survey of the Turkish Statistical InstituteSema Ulutürk Akman
Gender is one of the basic features that characterizes human beings, and when gender is mentioned, the first thing that comes to our minds is biological sex. However, the concept of social gender includes much more than innate male and female biological characteristics. Society constructs social gender on top of biological sex. It shapes the two genders by assigning them social duties, roles, and forms of behavior, and it criticizes and directs the genders regarding their attire, behavior, what’s considered normal or abnormal for them, what is expected from them, and what they will be held accountable for. Thus, the two sexes, which are born as equals, stop being equal as a result of the roles determined by society and the duties and responsibilities imposed by it, and gender inequality thus emerges. Furthermore, this disrupts equality to the detriment of women. It is seen that the public sphere is taken as a reference while trying to define the social existence, identity, and actions of women. In many ways, such as attire, behavior, attitude, etc. the public sphere is where women are exposed to much more social pressures and limitations than men. These limitations and pressures cause them to feel that they are under social pressure, from their clothing to their speech and mimics, from their behavior to their socialization. Moreover, the social pressure that women are exposed to is not only from men. It comes from the general society, and therefore, the pressures and limitations in question have a social character. This study aims to analyze the relationship between the demographic characteristics of individuals, especially gender, and the social pressure that individuals feel in terms of social gender and marital status using the logistic regression models, based on the Microdataset of the Turkish Statistical Institute, Life Satisfaction Research 2019. As a result of the analysis, it has been determined that women are exposed to social pressure at a much higher rate than men regarding their gender, marital status, and attire. This situation can be accepted as an indicator of gender inequality between men and women.
Toplumsal Cinsiyet Eşitsizliği ve Toplumsal Baskı: Türkiye İstatistik Kurumu Yaşam Memnuniyeti Araştırması Üzerine AnalizlerSema Ulutürk Akman
Cinsiyet insanı niteleyen temel özelliklerden biridir ve cinsiyet denince ilk olarak biyolojik cinsiyet anlaşılmaktadır. Oysa cinsiyet kavramı doğuştan gelen kadın ve erkek olma durumu dışında çok daha fazla anlam içermektedir. Toplum, kadın ve erkek olarak nitelenen iki cinse toplumsal görevler, roller ve davranış biçimleri yükleyerek onları şekillendirmekte ve kadın ve erkeğe nasıl giyinecekleri, nasıl davranacakları, onlar için nelerin normal veya normal dışı sayılacağı, kendilerinden neler beklendiği ve nelerden sorumlu tutulacakları gibi pek çok konuda telkinde bulunarak, yönlendirerek ve eleştirerek biyolojik cinsiyetin üzerine toplumsal cinsiyeti inşa etmektedir. Böylelikle eşit olarak dünyaya gelen iki cins, toplumun belirlediği roller, yüklediği görev ve sorumluluklar sonucunda eşit olmaktan uzaklaşmakta ve toplumsal cinsiyet eşitsizliği ortaya çıkmaktadır. Öte yandan, kadın açısından ortaya çıkan bu eşitsizlik, iki cins için geçerli olan eşitliği kadın aleyhine bozmaktadır. Kadının toplumsal varlığı, kimliği ve eylemleri tanımlanmaya çalışılırken referans olarak kamusal alanın alındığı görülür. Bu bağlamda kamusal alan, giyim, davranış, tutum vb. pek çok açıdan kadının erkeğe kıyasla çok daha fazla toplumsal baskı ve sınırlamalara maruz kaldığı yaşam alanıdır. Söz konusu sınırlama ve baskılar, giyimlerinden konuşma ve gülüşlerine, davranışlarından sosyalleşmelerine kadar çok geniş bir alanda toplumsal baskı altında hissetmelerine yol açmaktadır. Öte yandan, kadının maruz kaldığı sosyal baskı sadece erkeklerden değil, toplumun genelinden gelmekte ve bu sebeple söz konusu baskı ve sınırlamalar toplumsal nitelik taşımaktadır. Bu çalışmada, Türkiye İstatistik Kurumu, 2019 yılı Yaşam Memnuniyeti Araştırması mikro veri seti kullanılarak fertlerin cinsiyet, medeni durum ve kılık kıyafet konularında hissettikleri toplumsal baskının cinsiyete göre farklılık gösterip göstermediği lojistik regresyon modelleriyle analiz edilmiştir. Öte yandan sözü edilen konularda hissedilen baskı üzerinde bireylerin diğer demografik özelliklerinin etkisi olup olmadığı da araştırılmıştır. Yapılan analizler sonucunda, kadınların cinsiyetleri, medeni durumları ve kılık kıyafetleri konusunda erkeklerden çok daha yüksek oranda toplumsal baskıya maruz kaldıkları tespit edilmiştir. Bu durum kadın ve erkek arasındaki toplumsal cinsiyet eşitsizliğinin bir göstergesi kabul edilebilir.
Humans, defined as biological, psychological, social, and cultural beings, are born with various biological characteristics, like their sex. Some of them are shaped by genetic transition, some of them are shaped by the environment in which they live, and some are shaped by the psychological traits of their own persona and the social and cultural conditions of the society in which they live. In this context, each person is unique, with their identity shaped by their personality traits as well as the sociocultural and socioeconomic environment in which they live, as well as their biological characteristics.
With all these features that we have tried to explain above, a human is a member of the family, which is the smallest social institution, and a member of society in the broadest sense. Therefore, as a result of living in society, it is exposed to positive and negative effects, guidance, encouragement, and criticism at social and cultural levels throughout its life and it has to live in accordance with social and cultural norms adopted by the society. In this context, people are expected to dress, behave, and socialize according to the requirements of the social and cultural environment in which they live.
Gender is one of the main traits that characterizes human beings, and when it comes to gender, the first thing that comes to mind is the innate state of being male or female. However, the concept of social gender includes much more than innate male and female biological characteristics. In the biological sense, the distinction of individuals as male and female is reinforced by the gender roles assigned to the individual on the social plane from the first years of life. Society shapes the two sexes by assigning them social duties, roles, and forms of behavior. In this context, society builds gender on biological sex by suggesting, directing, and criticizing men and women on many issues such as how they dress, how they behave, what is considered normal and abnormal for them, what is expected of them, and what they will be held accountable for.
The two sexes, which are born as equals, stop being equal as a result of the roles determined by society and the duties and responsibilities imposed by it, and gender inequality thus emerges. Furthermore, this gender inequality is to the detriment of women. This lack of balance causes women to be pushed into the living space, which is defined as the private space and which is limited to family and friends.
It is seen that the public sphere is taken as a reference while trying to define the social existence, identity, and actions of women. In many ways, such as attire, behavior, attitude, etc. the public sphere is where women are exposed to much more social pressures and limitations than men. In other words, the public sphere causes women to face various limitations and pressures in the living spaces where they are visible. These limitations and pressures cause them to feel that they are under social or societal pressure in a wide area, from their clothing to their speech and smiles, from their behavior to their socialization, and even to the hours they can be outside.
When evaluated in general, the limitations and pressures experienced by women in the public sphere are not only caused by men. They also originate from women who have been brought up with the value judgements of the society, whose gender perception has been determined and adopted according to a conservative understanding, and who do not question the social order in which they live. For this reason, the oppression and restrictions on women have the characteristics of social or societal pressure.
Social pressure is the behavioral and spiritual sanction power that society creates on people, and it emerges when a society tries to ensure that all individuals assimilate to the thoughts and behavior patterns it has adopted.
Although social pressure is felt on all individuals in the society, it is more effective on women, depending on the perception of gender. In underdeveloped or developing countries and traditional societies where gender inequality is evident, the social pressure that women are exposed to is more widespread and severe.
The Life Satisfaction Survey is carried out every year by the Turkish Statistical Institute, and questions are also included in the survey in order to determine the social pressure that the participants feel about various issues.
In this study, the questions asked in order to determine the social pressure that the participants felt about gender, marital status, and attire were based on questions mentioned in the Life Satisfaction Survey…, and the relationship between the social pressure felt and the demographic characteristics of individuals, especially gender, were analyzed with logistic regression models.
As a result of the analysis, it has been determined that women are exposed to social pressure at a much higher rate than men in terms of their gender, marital status, and attire. This situation can be accepted as an indicator of gender inequality between men and women.
Furthermore, it is understood that the pressure felt regarding gender and marital status is higher in individuals who have never been married or divorced, and that the pressure regarding attire is especially high in individuals who have never been married.
In terms of education and age groups, it is seen that the pressure regarding gender and clothing is higher at younger ages, the pressure regarding gender and marital status increases as the education level increases, and the pressure felt regarding clothing is higher especially for people with a higher level of education (master’s degree, etc.).
As a result, women feel that they are exposed to more social pressure than men in terms of gender, marital status, and attire. When evaluated in general, it is seen that social pressure is felt more in terms of gender, marital status, and dress at younger ages, and social pressure is felt more as the education level increases.