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An Important Topic in Society Is Gender Roles

Updated August 9, 2022

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An Important Topic in Society Is Gender Roles essay

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Gender is quite a significant concept within society. It refers to the cultural, economic, political, and social features and opportunities associated with being a female and male. The social definitions of what it means to be a woman or a man vary among cultures and change over time. Gender is a sociocultural expression of particular characteristics and roles that are associated with certain groups of people with reference to their sex and sexuality.When discussing gender there are also roles present especially in a family. The family plays a great part in developing them. There are consequences which are related to gender roles as well.

A Gender Role is described as the expected behaviors for each gender. Gender roles are created by both socially enforced rules and values, and individual disposition. A nuclear family is composed of a husband, wife, and dependent children. It is a functioning system which involves and depends on equal balance and successful role performance. Family plays an important part in developing our gender roles. Some examples of common role responsibilities are providing financial stability, cleaning the home, preparing meals, as well as taking caring for the children along with disciplining them. Maintaining relationships with friends and family is another important ideal. There is in fact a stereotype when referring to gender roles which are socially determined behaviors for each gender. These stereotypes are caused by expectations of others.

The pressure to conform by others is very prominent also. Gender stereotypes are primarily developed in family in early ages and then fortified by gender socialization, differential parental treatment, and parental role model of behavior toward children. These types of stereotypes have long-term effects upon the lives of individuals involving their education, employment, and other areas in which they participate. Therefore, it is vital to sort out gender stereotyping at the earliest age. This may be done so by changing the parents’ psyche and attitudes. Their behavior with children should be free of discrimination and stereotypic attitudes. In this regard, there is need to convince parents to adopt gender-balanced behavior while socializing and treating their children. In addition, to prevent children from adopting gender stereotyping belief systems requires conscious efforts from parents to challenge stereotypes and become degendered.

Classical or traditional sociology, divides family gender roles into expressive roles and instrumental roles. In traditional social role setting, the women’s roles and the men’s roles within the family are diverse. The classical sociological viewpoint of the male caregiving role is instrumental in nature. The men play instrumental roles by earning money in their chosen profession. The female’s role is quite the opposite compared to the men’s role in the family. The classical sociological view of the female caregiving role is characterized by emotional, physical, and maintenance work. Female family roles are commonly viewed as partaking and keeping relationships overall close and connected. Women play very expressive roles due to the fact that they take care of the home and emotional well being of a family. A full-time mother is responsible for the family needs, while the father/husband is responsible for income. Women were limited to their roles of wives and mothers. This type of thinking was apparent when Sociologists around the 1950s believed that young girls were given mixed messages by providing them with a full education and afterwards offering marriage and motherhood as the primary or only roles available (Breines, 1986).

Ultimately, the roles represents the classical sociological belief of a division between gendered family roles such as instrumental versus expressive roles within the family. In general, there are many individuals opposed to the belief in differentiated gendered family or caregiving roles (Carroll & Campbell, 2008).While gender roles and stereotypes may seem innocent and slowly diminishing in today’s culture, they are still present and cause a major effect on the current and future generations. Many may suggest that they set limits on personality and lowers self esteem. They try to force males and females into specific job categories and discriminate against those who wish to not conform. This type of thinking is what causes hostility towards the other individuals and amongst one another which could eventually lead to violence. Gender roles even affect the way family life is established and maintained.

The gender roles that were made many years prior have damaged the culture of today. They affect education by telling males that schooling, especially college, is not necessary unless one is female. They affect the way a person is raised and how they preserve themselves by labeling traits and behaviors as female or male. Gender roles and stereotypes may not seem like much, but the impact that they have will last for many generations to come.

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An Important Topic in Society Is Gender Roles. (2022, Aug 09). Retrieved from