ERIC Number: ED224760
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Women and Slavery: A Cross-Cultural Perspective.
Wertz, Dorothy C.
A cross-cultural and historical survey of the relationship between slavery and the status of women focuses on Marxian theory, the position of free women, sexual division of labor, the threat of rape, and equivalents of slavery in the modern world. Throughout history, the majority of slaves have been women, many of whom held favored positions, dependent, however, upon the whim of the owner. Differing theories exist about whether the existence of slavery lowered or raised the status of free women. Marx suggests that patriarchy is an extension of slavery; others maintain that slavery relieved a wife from tedious chores and thus raised her position while lowering her economic value. The reversal of sex roles under slavery in some cultures led to women's being assigned to hard labor, with the effect of decreasing their reproductive capabilities. In the Caribbean, the slave population diminished so that slaves had to be imported. The widespread submission to rape occurred because of threats of violence or with the hope that some privilege would be gained. One may observe the current equivalents to slavery in the large-scale death camps of Nazi Germany and in the smaller-scale wife and child abuse. (KC)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (San Francisco, CA, September, 1982).