Evolution of Family Structures and Gender Roles

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Historically, the model family involved couples marrying and starting a family young and absolutely no divorces. However, as time has progressed, the family structure has become increasingly complex, and less “traditional.” The typical and “traditional” family of the 1950s included the breadwinner father, housewife/mother and 2.5 happy and well-adjusted children (Kimmel and Aronson 181). Gender roles have always played a significant role in the root of the “traditional” family and marriage. Some individuals believe that we are born with these innate instincts to assume these gender-specific roles, while others believe these roles have been socially constructed over time. Gender roles allow men to assume superiority over women and unfortunately, …show more content…

Many aspects of the traditional family and marriage have changed, in fact, a 2014 survey taken by the Pew Research Center revealed that less than half of children (aged 17 and younger) in the United States are living in a “traditional” household (Livingston). The median age at which individuals are marrying has also seen a drastic change. In the 1950s, the average age at marriage was 23 for men and 20 for women, historic lows (Cherlin 183). As of 2014, the median age at marriage was 29 for men and 27 for women (U.S. Census …show more content…

Instead, my mother played the role of both the husband and wife. She worked, cooked, cleaned and cared for me; she was the breadwinner and caretaker. As a current college student, I have never aspired to be a stay at home mother, not a housewife – I have goals and ambitions that I intend on achieving. Because of this, it was important for me to find a significant other that did not expect our relationship to be governed by gender roles. Now, as an adult in a serious and committed relationship, neither my boyfriend or I expect one another to adhere to the guidelines of a traditional family and marriage. As the woman, I do not only cook and clean, but I also work full-time and go to school. As the man, my boyfriend does not come each day from work and expect me to wait on him hand and foot. We share the responsibilities equally among the two of us – we have a fair and level relationship, the opposite of what is considered

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