According to Helgeson (2012), gender roles refer to the psychological attributes and expectations we have for the biological categories of the female and male sex. The text suggests that we “typically expect men to be strong, independent, and competitive, and to keep their emotions hidden” (Helgeson, 2012, p.4), where as women are expected to be “caring, emotionally expressive, polite and helpful” (Helgeson, 2012, p.4). These traits are then used to classify one as either masculine or feminine. A gender-role attitude is “our own personal view about how women and men should behave” (Helgeson, 2012, p.7).
In lecture, we discussed three different types of gender-role attitudes; traditional, egalitarian, and transitional (Newton, 2016). Traditional gender-role attitudes assume that the male should take the role of the provider for their family while the woman stays home and takes care of the kids and support the man. An egalitarian gender-role attitude is one where both genders are perceived as completely equal, where it would be okay for both the male and female to work or stay home. Finally, a transitional gender-role attitude allows for the woman to have equal power as the man but there is still the expectation that they must care for the family whilst still working full time. In today’s North American society, many seem to follow the ideas of the transitional gender-role attitudes, but an egalitarian view on gender-roles is what would be ideal for the future. The text then lists examples of gender-roles as they change in different parts of the world. For example, Helgeson (2012) discusses how in Morocco there are distinctly two genders whose gender roles manifest in distinct physical spaces (p.12). “Private space, the space...
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...tude. My mom is a stay-at-home mom, by choice, and my dad works a full-time job to provide for our family. Although I would say that my mom and dad both consider each other as equal in their marriage and both have equal power in many situations in their lives, my mom is still expected to take the care-giver role. That is not to say that my dad doesn’t do his part to help around the house or cook dinner, however, by him being the primary source of income in my household it leaves a lot of the typical roles expected of females to be completed by my mother. My family and friends are aware of my attitude towards gender-roles and have played a large part in influencing my attitude towards the specific roles each gender should play. I am lucky enough that my family accepts my opinions and doesn’t try to push their beliefs, whether they are the same or different, on to me.
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