An Advantage with Limits: The Lower Risk for Women of Becoming Homeless
Marpsat, M. (2000). An Advantage with Limits: The Lower Risk for Women of Becoming Homeless. Population: An English Selection, 12, 247-291.
Conducting surveys on homeless people is particularly difficult for many reasons. Homeless women have to date received relatively little attention, probably because they are far less likely than men to be in this position. But this of course begs the question of why this should be. Most homeless people are recruited from the poorest sections of the population; yet these are the categories in which women are the most numerous. So why do women form only a small minority among the homeless, and why are they less likely than men to end up in the street after losing their home? In this article Maryse MARPSAT shows that this relative 'advantage' is probably an effect of social representations of gender roles, and of the power of the mother ideal in our society. But it also has to be pointed out that preferential treatment for mothers is not entirely free of paternalism