Family Gender Roles

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A typical afternoon consists of my dad laying on the couch from a long day at work, and my mom in the kitchen, preparing dinner. Although we live in an era that has predominantly nullified sex-specific social norms, a difference in gender roles still exists within households. What exactly are gender roles? They are fixed, gender specific expectations, established, in this case, among families. These roles of what should socially be considered masculine and feminine have existed throughout many centuries. A particular issue regarding gender roles is, do gender roles in households ultimately affect both the physical and mental development of a child? With thorough research and observations conducted by, Jacquelynne S. Eccles, Janis E. Jacobs,…show more content…
Gender roles are fundamentally supported by such components. Daniel Blake Smith studies the early gentry families in his book, Inside the Great House, and the vital impact that parents’ practices have on children. The attitudes and routines associated with nursing are reflected onto social interactions. As previously mentioned, the disciplined nursing tactics parents take on affect the mindset of the child. Smith focuses on the importance of children understanding what it really means to be male or female from their parents. Even before a child can identify their own preferences, parents begin to construct different environments for them, of which they may not necessarily agree with. A universal example would be the color blue, which is usually referenced to a boy, whereas the color pink is generally thought to be for girls. Smith concludes that through alterations in the environment, boys are “encouraged assertiveness, exploration and emotion control, while, girls, promote imitation, dependency and emotional sensitivity.”…show more content…
Psychologist, Richard A. Lippa, takes on the challenge of proving the concept that an individual’s idea of gender is derived from their brain, an issue otherwise recognized as “nature vs. nurture” in his book, Gender, Nature, and Nurture. Francis Galton, defines nature and nurture, as, “Nature is all that a man brings with himself into the world; nurture is every influence from without that affects him after birth.” Galton emphasizes the fact that nature produces the infant, with direct influences, determining both “growth of body and mind” (Galton) while nurture is an alteration of the environment for the comfort of the infant. Lippa establishes that each gender displays different levels of hormones, and physical capabilities, which will contribute to “nature.” An intriguing study conducted by Henry F. Harlow, whether the gender of a monkey can be determined, with or without the aid of parental influence. Regardless of whether the monkeys had a parent, the behaviors that they demonstrated in their natural environment were the same. The fundamental principle behind this is due to the fact that males were “influenced by the exposure to testosterone.” (122) As human beings, we vary in physical attributes, which subconsciously come into play when it comes to our preferences. This explains why the things that we do are gender
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