Sex And Gender Roles Sociology Essay
The society has different expectations regarding gender and the behavior to expect from men and women. This results to gender socialization which is the propensity of men and women to socialize differently. From early in life, boys are carefully raised to be conventional to the male gender roles while girls are taught to conform to the roles of the female counter parts. These roles include a set of attitudes, behaviors and personality distinctiveness which are expected and pushed for, of an individuals based on their sex (Crompton 106). There has been mixed explanations regarding these roles as some experts believe that there is no genetic disposition to these roles while other experts suggest biological and innate differences which exist in both men and women. As a matter of fact, professionals have differed on many occasions to base the difference on how men and women interact either on nurture, nature of a combination of both attributes. Those who support nature as the cause of the difference in socializing raise some aspects like the neurophysiology of women and men brains, where language centers occur in both hemispheres of women’s brain but in the left hemisphere in males’ brain (Jill ¶ 2). This affects in the way both are able to acquire language skills, interpersonal communication and communication skills with women doing all these with much ease (Crompton 106).
Regardless of the commonality in the appropriate behavior for males and females, every culture has its own guidelines on what to expect from males and the appropriate behavior for females. Family, which is the basic unit of the society, influences many of these gender roles and family members in one way or the other socialize young kids in gendered ways, either consciously or subconsciously. Right from the modes of dressing to the toys given to each kid differentiates clearly the roles as either boy or a girl. Parents even distinguish the different colors to encourage each child and some behaviors are strictly instilled for different sexes. Children are well known to learn quickly from their environment and according to the way their parents interact with each other; they end up mastering their specific roles as either a man or a woman.
Arlie Hochschild explores what she refers to as “the stalled revolution” and clearly enlightens the American Society on the current role of men and women in modern households. Many families have moved from one career household to two career households and are still struggling to accommodate that change (Hochschild 56). Hochschild points out that from the mid 1970’s, women have increased in the work place as the economy has deemed it necessary and some work in order to fulfill their personal ambitions (Jill ¶ 5). It has now become the norm of modern family to embrace dual earning in their households. Hochschild describes the need for home revolution as it has occurred in the labor force. The existence of a cultural lag she describes is caused by stalled revolution in households which in turn is brought about by the social norms guiding the interaction between both genders which lag behind the current social life. One of the things Hochschild points out is that, women work for extended periods outside their homes, but this does not relieve them of their obligations or does not warrant the sharing of responsibilities at home with their husbands.
According to the women she closely studied, the total work women do translate to 15 hours of more work than their male counterparts per week, which in turn means one more extra month each year (Hochschild 62). Hochschild referred to this difference as the leisure gap, which is the difference in amount of work women have to do at home in order to equal the wage gap women and men undergo at work. According to her, the fact that women have at last embraced a working culture, this constitutes the revolution (Jill ¶ 7). The stalling has occurred because the roles of women back home is not changing as fast at in the labor force. She discharges all her duties to make their home feel at home including emotional and physical inputs. It is however evident that the division of labor is biased and the economy gratitude is greatly wanting. All what she tries to do is to define who should be grateful to who, and explain the relationship which should exist between external rate of exchange and the help male offer at home (Crompton 106). Stalled revolution is about women progressively going to previously male dominated jobs and on the other hand, the work itself, men, and the society has not changed accordingly to completely adopt the reality of time (Hochschild 23).
The second shift is the result of this phenomenon as it is referred by Hochschild. They end up doing both paid work and unpaid household work which the society has designed for them and tend to think it is rightfully a woman’s duty. The question is what about the man? What is he supposed to do or to contribute towards household duties and rising of children? When women were in the verge of entering into labor force and started acquiring part time work, men did not alter their domestic contribution to align themselves with this change. Even now as women have completely adopted a working culture due to the associated economic challenges or in pursuit of their ambitions or talents, men reluctantly tend to realize there is need alter what they have been doing since time in memorial.
The consequences of gender socialization have been held responsible for this “stalled revolution”. The effects of male material dominance have been carefully cultivated by the society through gender socialization and this makes it hard for the men to change. They have been brought up differently form the women folk and through mass media and personal experiences like observations have come to clearly assume some roles and have left other specifically to the women. It should not be expected to be a spontaneous process the change from the traditionally accepted gender roles (Jill ¶ 2). The attitude towards these roles has to gradually change and nowadays, it is evident that some societies are embracing an open mind towards gender roles.
According to many societies, many women would not mind having a job. But at the end of the day all what she wants is children and a home she can adore. It is also assumed by many societies that men have the responsibility of earning money while the woman’s main responsibility is to look after the family and maintain the home. Many societies would not appreciate completely a man who stays home and care for the children as the woman goes to work. Although it might work for some time, it will lead to negative opinion among the peers and a lowered self esteem as the man is concerned. Gender socialization is influenced by nearly all aspects of life (Hochschild 21). The education system allows traditional expectations for both girls and boys to thrive differently. Traditional, teachers viewed boys to be more analytical in nature so expected them to excel in mathematics and sciences and related fields like engineering and computer science. It has been revealed by current research that boys are not being favored by the current education system. More boys drop outs are being witnessed and learning disability in boys is more that in girls. The fact that boys mature less fast than girls has also been raised as a potential contributor to difficult in learning by the boys and an education system favoring girls more than boys. The overall picture is a society where gender socialization is aligned to gender roles and every gender is keen on what the society expects of them. Separate educational system for either boys or girls advances their state of gender socialization, getting to mingle with only members of their own gender at a critical time during their growth. It will be hard for any of these kids to clearly understand a universal kind of socialization having been taught specific gender roles.
Gender socialization has a great influence on career choice. Since most societies expect girls to be more nurturing and compassionate than boys, counselors, teachers and even parents tend to steer them towards careers that require much concern and patient for others. For example, a girl with the ambition or dream to be a nuclear engineer will receive less support and encouragement than a boy with the same ambition. The same ideologies governing gender socialization and cultivating it makes it hard for men to alter their habits or culture at large even at the face of women adopting full time working ideologies.
The problem of “stalled revolution” does not entirely lie on gender socialization, but also on the formulation of policies at work. Family friendly policies encourage the families to work together either directly or indirectly. If these policies favor uniting of families and provide enough time for the families to be together, it will be easier to cross the “stalled revolution” gap and household jobs can be debated on and shared. Indirectly, this will mean that childhood and upbringing will lead to some how less aligned upbringing as kids can copy what their parents are doing.
Gender socialization leads to a male-dominated society and in this connection, “stalled revolution” can not be avoided unless a sensible socialization is embraced and that’s why the leisure gap between women and men Hochschild talks about will continue to persist in societies.
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