The Importance of Maintaining Gender Roles Essay

The Importance of Maintaining Gender Roles Essay

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In today’s society, gender roles play a large part in formation of the individual. The photograph chosen, which appeared on the Boston Globe’s website and was captured by John Tlumacki, exposes the emotion of a three-year-old boy saying goodbye to his father before deployment, while including references to military masculinity and gender roles. At first glance, the viewer sees the obvious separation between the civilians and the Military Police Soldiers through physical distance. There is a clear discrepancy between the structures of these two sides. The masculine soldiers, all in uniform, virtually possess the same stances and the same blank facial expressions. The civilian group, consisting of wives and children in particular, are all jumbled together in a disorganized manner. There is no use of color to order or group the civilians together (Tlumacki). In plain sight, the photograph could easily be overlooked, but viewed in the context of gender role portrayal, it speaks volumes. Gender roles play a large part in the behavior of individuals, and each specific gender role offers punishment or reward to the individual for deviation or compliance.
The clear contrast in this photograph lies in the emotion shown by the young boy and the statuesque lack of emotion shown by his father and the other soldiers. Although the eye initially drifts to the young boy, let us first discuss the importance of the soldiers and what they represent in the photograph. Here it becomes obvious that masculinity is a main focus of the picture. The soldiers on the left side of the photograph embody the desired characteristics for the achievement of masculinity. Devor states that there is no hierarchical relationship among different gender roles, but examp...


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Works Cited

Chaplin, Tara M., and Amelia Aldao. "Gender Differences In Emotion Expression In Children:
A Meta-Analytic Review." Psychological Bulletin 139.4 (2013): 735-765.
Devor, Aaron H. “Becoming Members of Society: Learning the Social Meanings of Gender”. Readings for Analytical Writing. Farris, Basgier, Jankowski, Neal, Oler. Third edition. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2006. 109-118. Print
Hinojosa, Ramon. "Doing Hegemony: Military, Men, And Constructing A Hegemonic
Masculinity." Journal Of Men's Studies 18.2 (2010): 179-194. SPORTDiscus with Full
Text. Web. 15 Apr. 2014
Richardson, Deborah, Sandy Bernstein, and Clyde Hendrick. "Deviations From Conventional
Sex-Role Behavior: Effect Of Perceivers' Sex-Role Attitudes On Attraction." Basic &
Applied Social Psychology 1.4 (1980): 351-355. Business Source Premier. Web. 16 Apr.
2014.

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