27 August 2016

Segregation of Sexes in India

An important difference between agricultural society and industrial society is the relationship between the sexes.

20th century India was an agricultural society. One feature of an agricultural society is the segregation of the sexes. Boys and girls sat separately in schools and colleges. They did not talk to each other. If a boy talked to a girl (or vice versa) it would make news. As a result, boys and girls grew up without interacting much with each other. This situation continued into adulthood. Women did not work much outside the house. Their participation in the workforce was low. So men and women also did not interact much with each other.

21st century India is an industrialising society. It is completely different from 20th century India. It is not yet an industrial society. But it is no longer an agricultural society either. Today boys and girls sit together in schools and colleges. They talk to each other all the time. And more women are now working outside the house and participating in the workforce. So men and women also interact much more with each other.

This seems like a trivial point (and today's youth will find this description of 20th century India bizarre). But it may have some relevance. Social scientists say that violence against women is mainly due to the segregation of the sexes. How? One, boys/men don't know/understand girls/women. So they don't respect/appreciate them enough. Two, boys/men don't have normal and healthy relationships with girls/women. So this leads to frustration - which in turn leads to violence. Now if this theory is correct, then increasing industrialisation/modernisation will lead to decreased violence against women.

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