Gender Roles, Socialization and Relationships

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Watch the classical film Grease and one will understand how relationships function in western Society. The film tells a story of a boy (Danny) and a girl (Sandy) who falls in love. Through a series of misunderstandings they break up, but still care enough about each other that they still try revive their relationship. Through ballads such as Summer Night’s that are still popular today, the film shows how differently males and females view relationships. Danny, for example, describes his relationship in more physical terms while Sandy describes her relationship in much more emotional terms –such as what they did that night. Films like Grease are like a mirror, reflecting societal values and how it socializes its members. It makes clear that in relationships, males –like Danny—are socialized to view relationships as mostly a physical, sexual endeavor, while females –like Sandy— view it as an emotional bond, that is has resulted from a deeper connection between the two individuals within a relationship. It is tempting to believe that when couples say that they are “in love,” they view their love in the same way –that they have successfully “defined their relationship.” Love after all, is the only legitimate reason for marriage in western society and one should at least be on the same page before entering into a perpetual union (Henslin 468). Sociologists like to say that romantic love is composed of two components: sexual attraction (a biological response) and idealization of the other (a societal created response that promotes a bond between two individuals) (Henslin 468). However this is a very simple definition of love because it turns out that romantic love is in the eye of the beholder. Researchers of heterosexual love have ... ... middle of paper ... ... completely differently. It is not stretch then to conclude that a dating couple who is watching this movie will be reinforced in what they already believe. The man will still view relationships as mostly physical and sexual and the women, as a means to satisfy her emotional needs and that of her offspring. Works Cited Dosser, David A., Jack O. Balswick, and Charles F. Halverson Jr. "Male Inexpressiveness and Relationships." Journal of Social and Personal Relationships 3.241 (1986): 241-58. Print. Gray, Peter. Psychology. 6th ed. New York: Worth, 2011. Print. Henslin, James M. Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. 10th ed. Ally & Bacon, 2010. Print. Kanin, Eugene J., Karen R. Davidson, and Sonia R. Scheck. "A Research Note on Male- Female Differentials in Experience of Heterosexual Love." The Journal of Sex Research 6.1 (1970): 64-72. Print.

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