I agree with LauraLee, I think it's more of a problem in richer areas where people have time to think about this stuff.

I think a sense of self worth is something built into some religions. I know it is in Christianity. I think as ppl depart from organized religion, they are kind of left on their own to create their own sense of self worth here and there.

(I am using "sense of self worth" synonymously w/ "self esteem" bc I just don't like the term "self esteem" as the meaning is a bit nebulous.)

And also as we move beyond traditional gender roles and traditional expectations, the old ways in which men and women could buid their sense of self worth often no onger apply.
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
This is an interesting concept that I'm not understanding. So you think self esteem comes from religion/roles(gender or otherwise)? What about school and career?
Originally Posted by Josephine
Back in the day, it came from those things.

I remember watching a documentary about farmers in an isolated enclave somewhere out west. And one guy wanted to marry his girlfriend an he recollected that the first time he saw her, he knew he had to have her. The way she fed the chickens, the way she picked the corn, the way she got up early to milk the cows. He knew she would be a good farm wife and that was all a man like him wanted.

When a woman, in a traditional culture, had healthy babies and worked the farm and cooked hearty meals, etc., she was cherished and she knew her role and value in the bigger scheme of things. Not saying she might nt have been oppressed, too. Or whatever. But in her mind, she had value. She wasn't on Prozac, she wasn't trying to kill herself, she wasn't drinking herself blind at the saloon and letting different guys climb on top of her. Maybe she was bored and maybe she didn't have rights, but she wasn't questioning her reason for being born or wishing she was dead. (Not saying it's OK for ppl not to have equal rights.)

But as roles change, ppl have to carve out new niches for themselves and it doesn't always work. Well, yes, I can cook a great, hearty meal for my family and use what I don't cook for clothing and to grease the wagon wheel axles. But oh wait, my family likes McDonald's and my househusband shops at the gap. Cow fat isn't indicated for the BMW I can't afford.
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
Okay so you're tying career(in this case farmer/full time mother) to self esteem. I can see it tied more directly to self worth and then to self esteem, the two usually go hand in hand. I don't see how it's different now. Most people still work but I don't think they revolve their self worth around their career or jobs as much anymore but many still do.

I get the religion thing, you need a reason/explanation for your purpose in life.