In society, gender roles are basically how people are supposed to behave according to their gender, determined by the prevailing cultural norms. As we grow up, we learn behaviours and traits from those around us. During the socialization process, children are usually introduced to specific roles related to their respective gender. The characterization of gender roles begins at birth and continues throughout life. Our society is quick to dress girls in pink and boys in blue. It is based on how people act, speak, dress, groom, and conduct themselves. Generally, the female gender is expected to behave politely, be accommodating and nurturing, and dress in feminine ways. Men, on the other hand, are expected to be strong, aggressive, and bold. Over the centuries and in recent times, gender roles have changed in many ways. With each generation comes different expectations for how men and women should behave. Despite the changes that have occurred over the decades, society still has expectations for how men and women should act. Although we may be more open to exceptions than past generations, there are still expected norms of behaviour for how women and men act in society (Wienclaw, 2011).
This article discusses gender roles and the development of social organizations. There is plenty of evidence that parents engage their sons and daughters in different ways in families. In general, girls have the freedom to get out of their prescribed gender roles. However, differentiated gender roles usually bring greater privileges to a son. Sons are often freed from household chores such as cleaning and cooking, as well as other household chores considered feminine. Daughters are passive, compassionate, generally obedient, and constrained by the expectation of taking responsibility for household chores. Even if parents aim for gender equality, there may be underlying evidence of inequality. Maybe. For example, boys may be required to do tasks that require strength and toughness, while girls may be required to fold laundry or do tasks that require cleanliness and attention. Once the difference between how they interact with their sons and daughters is pointed out to most parents, they often say that genders are naturally different biologically and behaviorally (Wienclaw, 2011).
In society, women are assigned to care for the family and children. They perform this role by attending to their family members’ emotional needs and ensuring harmony is maintained in the family. Conversely, men have been seen as economically providers for their families and family representatives in the outside world. According to society, the male gender should be independent and self-reliant and develop other helpful skills to help them perform their responsibilities. Men are also expected to dominate their wives and have control of economic resources. (Spence and Helmreich, 1979).
Society has occupational assumptions concerning gender roles based on the theory of traits and factors, which are unique traits that can be reliably measured and assigned individuals to specific professions. A strict work culture insists on hiring people based on gender after supervising various trainers. Because the academic background is not considered, women have many indirect gender imperfections when trying to find a job and experience equality. Men are given positions with greater prestige and power than women. Women tend to be discriminated against regarding hiring, promotions and salaries. Compared to men, women tend to get discouraged from seeking political positions and influence and getting the required training to get into male-dominated fields of work (Spence and Helmreich, 1979).
In conclusion, society has expectations of how male and female genders should behave, with women being expected to be nurturing while men are supposed to be bold. Gender is not only a socialized role but also part of a person’s self-concept and identity. Despite the changes in society over the centuries, the notion has not changed at all regarding gender roles.
Wienclaw, R. A. (2011). Gender roles. Sociology reference guide: Gender roles and equality, 33-40.
Kerka, S. (1998). Career development and gender, race, and class. Columbus, OH: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, Center on Education and Training for Employment, College of Education preferences among preschool peers: A developmental/ethological perspective. Child development, 1958-1965., the Ohio State University.
Spence, J. T., & Helmreich, R. L. (1979). Masculinity and femininity: Their psychological dimensions, correlates, and antecedents. University of Texas Press.