Thursday, October 20, 2011

Gender Differences and Gender Roles

First off, it comes as no shock to any one that there are differences between men and women, beyond the physical ones. Women are seen as better with multi tasking, being more emotional and more verbal while men are seen as being tough, great problem solvers and more straightforward. Yes, differences do exist, but they are not the same for every man or every woman. The things I just listed are stereotypes that have been constructed by the society in which we live. I could go on and on explaining the impact of these socially constructed gender roles, but I won't. I don't want to get into it because in all reality, when discussing the family, I think it is more important to look at gender similarities. Even though men and women are different, they are similar in many ways and the tings they differ in, complement each other very well. Because men and women are able to compliment each others strengths and weaknesses, it is completely possible for men and women to get along compatibly and cohesively.
Along those same lines comes the idea of gender roles, or roles that a particular gender fulfills based on what is functional for society, the family, or an individual. In class we shared how tasks were divided in our families based upon gender. What I discovered was that roles in my family were fairly androgynous - or either gender. Because this is what I grew up with, and I have no other personal perspective to base my opinion, I feel like this works well. In my family, roles are fulfilled out of need (Both parents worked when I was younger out of necessity) or simply out of personality choices (my dad helps with the cooking because he likes to cook). I feel that in the long run, if roles are being filled in a functional (or helpful) way, then it really doesn't matter who does the laundry and who mows the lawn.

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