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Human Aspect: For Better Working Conditions

Dirty toilets. Creaking beds. Seeping walls.

This is what welcomed the new engineer to his workplace. He had to share his room with 2 other engineers. Cursing was common in the workplace. The seniors were rude. They smoked openly, chew on betel-nut.

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He quit. 

5 years. He joined a consultancy firm. The pay was good. They had separate rooms. Attached toilets. Privacy, at last! Good food. Clean talk. Work-load was there definitely but the basic hygiene conditions were present.

All differences apart, he wondered about that one distinct difference! 

The gender ratio. In the former, they ratio was somewhere around 5% (women in the entire workforce). In the latter, the firm touched somewhere around 35%. He wondered if the working conditions of male employees would better in an organization that had more women than the ones that did not.

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He knew about all the benefits of diversity. He knew how leadership qualities that organizations need in this age are feminine in nature. But now he saw how a good gender ratio not only benefits an organization but the male employee too.

This is no paradox. This is a new perspective.

Bottomline: If you wish that your working condition improves, pray that your organization employs more women.

Amartya Dey, India

Post Script: Many would argue how in the garment industry of Bangladesh, the working conditions are horrible although most of the workers are women. But this article is not about Bangladesh or sweat shops. This is about regulated industries in countries like India where unions exist and exercise power, where there is a platform already for workers to voice their opinion, where the talented youth cannot be taken for granted and can switch companies if they do not like the job. This is for them.

Other Articles by the Author:

 Credits:

  • Wikimedia Commons

Society & Us: Sex, Gender, and Sexuality

When people refer to someone’s sex (sometimes referred to as biological or physical sex), they’re talking about their anatomical features, that is, physical characteristics, genes and hormones. Many people think of male and female as the only sexes, but that is not true.

Some people have genetic, hormonal and physical features typical of both male and female at the same time, so their biological sex isn’t clearly male or female. They are called intersex.

Sex is typically assigned at birth (or before during ultrasound) based on the appearance of external genitalia. When the external genitalia are ambiguous other indicators such as internal genitalia, chromosomal and hormonal sex are considered to assign a sex that is most likely to be congruent with the child’s gender identity.

The term gender identity refers to a person’s deeply‐felt, inherent sense of being a boy, a man, or male; a girl, a woman, or female; or an alternative gender.

On the other hand, society expects people to look and behave a certain way depending on their biological sex. Gender refers to the attitudes, feelings, and behaviors that a given culture associates with a person’s biological sex.

Behavior that is compatible with cultural expectations is referred to as gender-normative while behaviors that are viewed as incompatible with these expectations constitute gender non-conformity.

Gender identity may or may not correspond to a person’s sex assigned at birth. Although for most people, gender identity is congruent with the sex assigned at birth, there are those who experience incongruence between the gender assigned to them at birth and their gender identity. This condition is termed as gender dysphoria.

In common usage the term sexuality refers to the presumably biologically-based desire in people that finds expression through sexual activity and sexual relationships. Sexual orientation refers to the sex of those to whom one is sexually and romantically attracted.

Categories of sexual orientation typically have included attraction to members of one’s own sex (gay men or lesbians), attraction to members of the other sex (heterosexuals), and attraction to members of both sexes (bisexuals). While these categories continue to be widely used, research has suggested that sexual orientation does not always appear in such definable categories and instead occurs on a continuum. In addition, some research indicates that sexual orientation is fluid for some people, and this may be especially true for women.

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Picture Credit: factmyth.com

The distinctive sociological take on sexuality is to challenge its biological basis and to draw attention to the great cultural variety in what counts as legitimate sexual activity. For example, in some societies (ancient Greek and nomadic Arab, for example) homosexuality is commonplace whereas in others it is repressed. Again, in some societies sexual activity is regarded as a source of pleasure; in others it is treated as a dangerous and destabilizing force, to be confined to what is necessary to reproduce the society.

Author: Stuti Das, India

Click to access the other articles in the “Society & Us” series: 

Society & Us: Labeling Theory

Society & Us: McDonaldization

Society & Us: Alienation

Reference: 

  • Bruce, S., & Yearley, S. (2006). The SAGE Dictionary of Sociology. London: SAGE Publications.
  • American Psychological Association. (2015). Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People. American Psychologist, 70(9), 832-864. doi.org/10.1037/a0039906
  • American Psychological Association. (2012). Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Clients. American Psychologist, 67(1), 10–42. doi: 10.1037/a0024659
  • American Psychological Association & National Association of School Psychologists. (2015). Resolution on gender and sexual orientation diversity in children and adolescents in schools. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/about/polic y/orientation-diversity.aspx
  • Sex, sexuality and gender explained. (n.d.). Retrieved December 12, 2016, from http://au.reachout.com/sex-sexuality-and-gender-explained