The Relationship Between Stressful Life Events And Gender Among Nigerians.

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Olusakin, A.M
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In most societies, the gender stratification system tends to favour males although this is a matter of degree. At one extreme, women's power is minimal and confined to the household. At the other end of the continuum are relatively egalitarian social systems in which power differences are narrowed and women have important roles in non-family institutional spheres. There is a culturally universal belief that females are entrusted with child care and other tasks that centred on the household. In contrast, males are assigned roles that involve risks. The logic behind this division of labour is related to a mother's need to remain as a nurse to the family. Stressful life events of men also involve more changes and are of greater magnitude than those of women due to the nature of men's jobs involving decisions and higher risks than women's work compared to the boring and repetitious nature of house-work in which most women are involved. The fact that women are often dependent upon men for economic support and for their sense of personal worth is also indicative of magnitude of the stressful life events of men. A woman in the traditional setting was expected to raise her own children and also cater for the extended family. The nature of Niqerian women's family roles particularly the housewife roles, is also indicative of the fact that women would experience less anticipation of and control over the occurrence of their stressful life events than men. Apart from the routine life, she is also expected to subordinate her wish to earn an independent living since her need for personal fulfilment through productive activity is often sacrificed to the wishes and needs of her husband; she keeps the house, looks after the children and sees to other domestic affairs. Today, this pattern is breaking up because of the changing roles of the woman in the contem porary society. Women with higher education or in specialized training find it increasingly difficult to give up their jobs on getting married. The gradual acceptance of feminine role shows that it is now very rampart and acceptable for a woman to think of the idea of work outside the home as a career woman. This research work was designed to investigate the relationship between stressful life events and gender. 1,850 men and 2,040' women were used as sample for this study. All of them were married. The results summarized how a stressful life events paradigm can be used to explore and compare the everyday life experiences of women and men. In terms of overall intensity of stressful life events men scored higher than women. This was expected as a consequence of men's greater participation in instrumental r.oles as well as their greater involvement in decision-making and positions of authority both at home and at work. Further, in terms of content of stressful life events, women reported more stressful life events than men centering on the family and family-related activities, while men reported more stressful life events than women centering on work-related activities. The counselling implications were also discussed.
Conference Paper
Stressful Life Events , Gender
Olusakin,A.M.(2004) The Relationship Between Stressful Life Events And Gender Among Nigerians. Being a Paper Presented At The International Conference On Gendering The Millenium Held At University Of Dundee,Scotland,United Kingdom.