Gender Roles in the United States Essay example

Gender Roles in the United States Essay example

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In American society, gender roles construct the behavioral norms that are accepted and considered appropriate for men and women. Gender roles determine how one thinks, speaks, dresses, and interacts in society. Also, age, race, and social class further define individuals' roles, which influence how men and women interact and the attitudes and behaviors expected of each (Lindsey, 1994). Although American society has vastly improved in terms of equal opportunities for women we still live in a very patriarchal culture. Scholars have described Western European cultures as inherently patriarchal and highly objectifying by placing women in subjugated positions while elevating the social status of men (Bryan, 2008). Patriarchal cultures are societies where men generally have greater power than women and where characteristics associated with male qualities such as independence, strength, and competition are valued (). Patriarchal societies influence women to view themselves as objects, putting them at risk for mental or physical health issues.
The Female Role
Men and women are taught that they should act in consistent gender roles in fear that we will be marginalized by the rest of society. For instance, females are expected to be emotional, sensitive, unselfish, and to put others needs ahead of their own. Females are also defined by their roles in relationship to others including, mothers, wives, caretakers. In contrast, males are expected to be strong, powerful, successful, and physical. These descriptions of gender role expectations are stereotypes society has created and are not inherently true for specific genders. Nonetheless, females and males are perceived in this stereotypical way whether or not they fit the criteria....


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...oviding. This alternative gender role has largely evolved due to African American women’s historical experience of slavery and its aftermath, which made the role of worker outside of the home and producers of labor central to the definition of African American womanhood (Collins, 2000). In fact, African American women are more likely than their European American counterparts to work outside the home and to see paid employment as compatible with maternal and familial responsibilities. In contrast to the U.S. where independence is highly valued, African American families depend on extended family and church as their support system. A recent study by Szymanski and Stewart (2010) aimed to increase our knowledge about African American women by examining the relations between external and internalized racism, sexism and African American women’s psychological distress.

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Gender Roles in the United States Essay example

- In American society, gender roles construct the behavioral norms that are accepted and considered appropriate for men and women. Gender roles determine how one thinks, speaks, dresses, and interacts in society. Also, age, race, and social class further define individuals' roles, which influence how men and women interact and the attitudes and behaviors expected of each (Lindsey, 1994). Although American society has vastly improved in terms of equal opportunities for women we still live in a very patriarchal culture....   [tags: behavioral norms, women, dresses]

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