Sunday, October 10, 2010

Homeless Culture: Patriarchal Culture

The chronically homeless is almost the only segment of society which is dominated by single men. In the broader homeless population, single men make up 51 percent of the population, but most families, women and children drop off in less than a year. It is mostly single men who find homeless to be an option for survival. This does not mean that women do not also find themselves to be homeless for more than a year, but it is more rare. Among the chronically homeless, in my observation, women only make up less than a third of the population.

Because of this, chronically homeless culture is testosterone-driven. Because of the lack of children, men are less providers than protectors, but they are primarily protectors of their own reputation. Although women are not considered property, women are often expected to follow the values established by men or to face violence. Physical abuse of girlfriends or the girlfriends of friends is relatively common.

On the other hand, some women adapt to the patriarchal value system by taking on male power traits. These women are treated as equals, or even superiors in a matriarchal sense. All women also are protected by the ethics of the society from violence from outsiders or rape from anyone.

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