A man should not cry; a woman should want to be a mother. Men should strive to be smart and rich; women should strive to be beautiful. These are examples of gender roles present in today’s society. Gender roles are defined as set behavioral guidelines within which members of their respective gender are supposed to act. They are not written down per say, but they are engrained in the culture as a whole. This essay will focus specifically on gender roles as they are present in American society.
Gender roles are not innately bad or good, they simply exist around the culture which created them. It is the ways in which men and women treat each other in regards to these roles and how people are perceived when they violate these roles that give the roles their power. For example, in our society, it is abnormal to see a man walk down the street wearing a skirt. Skirts are not powered by a second x chromosome, nor do they require a curved pelvic bone to wear. However a man walking down the street in a skirt is not normal in American society. Why? The answer is that skirts are traditionally feminine wear, and women alone should wear skirts, as feminine things are for females only. These sets of thinking fall in line with traditional gender roles, and a man wearing a skirt violates these rules. He is abnormal.
What happens to the man who wears a skirt? This depends on the context of why he is wearing it; if it’s for comedic reasons or the theatre, this is acceptable. If he is wearing it for personal reasons, then he will likely be mocked. Mocking him serves to prevent others from mimicking his abnormal behavior, and serves to discourage him from continuing his behavior that violates the rules established by society. The q...
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... that create mental health problems (Gregory, Wampold, & Zamarripa 2003) and manipulate the ways in which people will respond in times of need (Eagly 2009). Gender roles affect the ways in which children are raised. Children that do not conform are marked atypical. They at the very least contribute very little to continue prejudices against the homosexual population (Stefurak, Taylor,& Mehta 2010). . However this does not make them a wholly positive force on society; it shows that gender roles are not a completely negative force either.
Gender roles manipulate the way our society works; they create problems which otherwise may not exist and have become so engrained in our society, our likelihood to conform to them is considered a genetic trait (Iervolino , Knafo, & Plomin, 2005).As such, they may be viewed as a force of nature, and perhaps a malevolent one at that.
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