Gender is defined as, “The social and psychological aspects of being male or female” (King 312). Gender is formed by two parts: The development of the physical body and the understanding of mental gender roles. Gender Roles are, “Roles that reflect the individual’s expectations for how females and males should think, act and feel” (King 313). Gender roles are behaviors that are considered to be socially appropriate for a specific gender. They define how males and females should interact with others. Gender roles are influenced by many things, including parents, teachers, television, movies, music, books, and religion. Gender roles and gender development are created and altered by a mix of cultural, cognitive and social areas.
Gender Roles evolve with our transformations in culture as we go through time. In 1955 an American sociologist named Talcott Parsons developed a model of the “Nuclear family”. The nuclear family structure was established with a traditional view on gender roles. The nuclear family included a father, mother and kids. The Parsons model was used to determine positions on gender roles, including education, profession, housework, decision making and child care. “He (Parsons) saw the division of labor in the nuclear family as the father being more suited for ‘instrumental’ (the workplace and workforce) and the mother as being naturally suited for the ‘expressive’ (domestic labor, nurturing and caring) roles” (Watson). Parsons believed that the nuclear family structure was important for teaching children cultural values and shaping personalities. He regarded the nuclear family as a unit that created love and nurture along with security and support (Watson).
We often still see these traditional gend...
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... personal experiences. They define how males and females should think, speak and interact within society. Gender roles are transformed by cultural, cognitive and social aspects. Due to our constant evolution and changing of society, our gender roles are reforming and modifying with time. In our current society and culture we see a mix of traditional and non-traditional gender roles. Women have been granted more opportunity with the women’s rights and empowerment. Both men and women have had to redefine their gender roles to fit within the context of the society they live. Although I live in a world were men and women are guided by traditional gender roles, I don’t believe in a certain set of rules and roles for men and women. There is not right or wrong with gender roles, they are an interpretation of who one wants to be. They are a lifestyle choice and perspective.
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