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Gender differences

Uploaded by hwlady on Jul 23, 2002

Everyone acknowledges that there are significant differences between males and females, even if they are only physical. Others see not only the physical but also the social, emotional and intellectual differences between male and female. Gender roles influence women and men in virtually every area of life including family and occupation, but are women and men subject to different roles or behavior expectations?

Gender roles by definition are the social norms that dictate what is socially appropriate male and female behavior (Tobias, 1997). In early American culture it was common for a women's job to be a submissive homemaker in clear contrast to the males aggressive breadwinner role.

The seventies marked the beginning of the Woman's Movement and the end of the ideals we held on what it is to be a "man" and what it is to be a "woman." Gender roles in Western society have been changing rapidly in recent years. The transformation was created by evolutionary changes in society, including economic changes, and perhaps because people felt pressured to change; they felt the traditional social structure was somehow unjust or unfair.

Gender roles are a part of the socialization process of human beings. These roles are influenced by the individual’s cultural and economic background. They are initiated at a very early age, beginning at birth. From the time of birth our young are beginning to learn their gender roles. Society begins teaching them certain values and creating in them certain behavior patterns acceptable to their social roles. These roles have been in a state of flux in American society in recent years. Men and women today can be seen as having expanded their roles in society, with women entering formerly male dominated roles and men finding new ways to relate to and function in the family unit.

ROLES OF MEN AND WOMEN IN THE FAMILY


Clearly, circumstances of family life have changed in the modern era. Industry has been taken out of the home, and large families are no longer economically possible or socially desired. Women have made advances toward the equality they seek only to encounter a backlash in the form of religious fundamentalism, claims of reverse discrimination by males, and hostility from a public that thinks the women's movement has won everything it wanted and should thus now be silent. Both the needs of women today and the backlash that has developed derive from the changes in social...

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Uploaded by:   hwlady

Date:   07/23/2002

Category:   Social Issues

Length:   6 pages (1,398 words)

Views:   938

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