Gender Roles And Gender Development

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Gender Roles Gender is defined as, “The social and psychological aspects of being male or female” (King 312). Gender is formed by two parts: The development of the physical body and the understanding of mental gender roles. Gender Roles are, “Roles that reflect the individual’s expectations for how females and males should think, act and feel” (King 313). Gender roles are behaviors that are considered to be socially appropriate for a specific gender. They define how males and females should interact with others. Gender roles are influenced by many things, including parents, teachers, television, movies, music, books, and religion. Gender roles and gender development are created and altered by a mix of cultural, cognitive and social areas.…show more content…
In 1955 an American sociologist named Talcott Parsons developed a model of the “Nuclear family”. The nuclear family structure was established with a traditional view on gender roles. The nuclear family included a father, mother and kids. The Parsons model was used to determine positions on gender roles, including education, profession, housework, decision making and child care. “He (Parsons) saw the division of labor in the nuclear family as the father being more suited for ‘instrumental’ (the workplace and workforce) and the mother as being naturally suited for the ‘expressive’ (domestic labor, nurturing and caring) roles” (Watson). Parsons believed that the nuclear family structure was important for teaching children cultural values and shaping personalities. He regarded the nuclear family as a unit that created love and nurture along with security and support…show more content…
Given all of these circumstances sometimes people are forced to adapt and alter their gender roles. Teenage parents face many challenges including being pushed into becoming an adult before they are ready to take the role. Divorce and single parenting is also a tough situation. An article published by the founders of “The Future of Our Children” explains the hardships single parents face and the effects on their children: “Researchers have several theories to explain why children growing up with single parents have an elevated risk of experiencing cognitive, social, and emotional problems. Most refer either to the economic and parental resources available to children or to the stressful events and circumstances to which these children must adapt” (Journal Issue 2005). These include economic hardship, quality of parenting, stress and impact of family values and perspective. These circumstances dramatically change the gender role of the parent and the child (Journal Issue
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