Somehow in my day-today life I see little evidence of “gender inequality” yet interesting examples that it’s alive and well pop up on occasion.

the road

Looking Towards an Uncertain Future

Did you know that not one major league football, basketball, baseball, etc. team has a woman as the head coach? When a ball club is recruiting for coaches, the option of a woman in the role apparently never enters anyone’s mind. Update from Time, August 17, 2015 – A woman has been appointed as an assistant coach, the very first, on an NFL team.

I have trouble getting to caught up in the details of sport, but an editorial did alert me to a more troubling circumstance. In today’s Austin American Statesman, Debra Umberson, UT Department of Sociology, wrote about equality in marriage. She was concerned about who we let marry each other and made an interesting observation, in passing, about male and female behaviors that affect the elderly, and hence come into our purview here.

Speaking about the support same-sex couples give each other when one is ill, she said, “Perhaps most striking, same-sex patients and their spouses are more likely to mutually support each other when one of them is seriously ill, and to have more confidence that the spouse will provide the support he or she needs if future health problems occur. In contrast, heterosexual marriages are characterized by strong gender dynamics in which women provide more support to men than men provide to women. Heterosexual women provide more support to their spouses even when the woman is the patient. Indeed, heterosexual women more often feel they cannot rely on their spouses to take care of them. And couples are more likely to divorce if a wife becomes seriously ill than if a husband becomes seriously ill.”

A troubling perspective, as a woman enters into the last stages of life with a husband who may prove to be less dependable than expected.


Umberson, D. Health is a benefit to same-sex marriage nobody talks about. Austin American Statesman, May 13, 2015.

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