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Among gender theorists, Rae Lesser Blumberg (1984, 1978) has been at the forefront of a scientific theory of gender stratification. This theory draws from empirical knowledge of diverse societies, first initiated when she was a peace corps volunteer in Venezuela and now totaling data collected in 38 societies. Her data set now ranges from hunting and gathering, through horticulture and agrarianism, to industrial and postindustrial societies. Her theory is thus designed to explain gender inequalities or equalities in all times and places.

The theory originated in her PhD dissertation, from Northwestern University, in which she drew upon Gerhard Lenski's typology of societal types. But the main impetus to the theory has come from empirical observations and a series of puzzles about the roles played by women ...

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