Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




F. Jones


P. Pineo




In this thesis Gerhard Lenski's theory of social stratification was used to analyze the inequality between the sexes. This required a conceptualization of the sexes as two distinct power classes which allowed the determination of the underlying variables accounting for the differences in power and rewards accruing to them in the political, educational and occupational spheres of the distributive system. Three variables, the level of technology/industrialization of a nation, the political orientation of a nation, the percent age of Roman Catholics in the population were postulated and tested as important determinants of the distributive system as it affects the sexual class system. Indices of the status of women relative to that of men were based on secondary data gathered for forty-nine countries. The methodological section of the thesis deal t in some detail with the construction of the indicators needed to test the hypotheses. The analysis of the sexual class systems revealed that, contrary to Lenski's prediction, technology was not the single most important determinant of the nature of distributive systems. Ta account fol' the range of variations between countries on the indices of the status of women it was necessary to also consider the ideological variables of politics and religion.

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