Gender Roles in Today’s Society

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Updated: Feb 24, 2021
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“The purpose of gender roles in society today is how people expect women and men to dress up, to act, and present themselves. Gender roles have been downplaying children’s identities ever since they were born, and it has caused a lot of issues. An example of this would be that women around the world are not treated the same as men. That is why I believe that over the century’s women have suffered restriction of gender roles over men by far.

Women gender roles can go as far back as even the colonial era. The colonial era of the United States covers the time frame where the Europe colonies of America from the beginning of colonization in the beginning of the 16th century until the corporation of the colonies transforms into the United States of America. An example of a well-known woman from the 19th century was a respectable Indian woman known as Sacagawea. She participated in the Lewis and Clark Expedition which was an expedition to the Pacific coast and back. Her role was to be used as an Indian endorsement and this correlated to the manifest destiny. Meaning that Sacagawea was only used because of her gender and not her actual skills. In 1821, Emma Willard a woman created the Troy Female Seminary in New York City. This facility was the very first American school to give young women high education on the college level which was equal to young men. This showed that for the first time instead of women never getting the chance to further their education and being restricted by the roles that they can pursue they can strive for the same roles as men.

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In the 20th century women began to gain more equal gender roles. Across the united states, middle-class women organized social reforms during the Progressive Era. The progressive era involves social activism and political reform in the United States that spanned over the period of 1890-1920. Most young urban women applied for jobs before marriage, then would quite due to their original roles as housewives. Before high schools in the 1900s, it was common for most adolescent women to leave school after the eighth grade commonly around the age of fourteen or fifteen. The United States granted women the right to vote due to the results of the war. The 19th amendment of the constitution, is what allowed women the right to vote and was passed in 1920.

In the 21st century women have made names for themselves and have strived many milestones in order to get to where they’re at in the most recent era. American woman served in Afghanistan War as American soldiers from early 2011 to 2014. Women also participated in the Iraq War as well from 2003 to 2011. During this time several firsts for women in the military participated during the war. As well as that in 2004, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon became the first same-sex couple to be legally married in the United States, since San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom allowed city hall to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The reason why women have suffered greatly from gender roles compared to men is because they were never respected enough to be on equal terms with men. Men saw themselves as superior beings for whatever reason never giving women a chance. An example of this would be the gender pay gap. The gender pay gap is the gap between what men and women are paid in the same Job. It refers to the annual pay of all women who work full time annually, compared to the pay of a man in those similar areas. The gender pay gap is the result of many factors, including occupational segregation, bias against working mothers, and direct pay discrimination. Also, racial bias, disability, access to education, and age play a role as well. Different groups of women experience very different gaps in pay all over the work force.

Gender discrimination also plays a role as well. Based on the Pew Research Center survey 48 percent of women say they work in places where there are more women than men, while 18 percent say there are more men than women. This shows you that women are still being cornered in the work field over so many years. While about half of women who say their workplace is male say sexual harassment is a problem where they work, far smaller share of women who work in mostly female workplaces say the same.
Although women make up nearly 51 percent of the U.S. population, only 20 percent of the U.S. Congress is compromised of women. Worldwide, just 22 percent of all national parliamentarians were female as of January 2015, based on the U.N. This conveys restricted gender roles in some nations due to the fact that many nations still see women as inferior and will never allow them to surpass this restriction of gender roles in order to allow there to be equality.

Gender or physiological biases is also involved in this topic as well. Gender bias is a prejudice towards one gender over the other. Bias can be intentional or not and can lead to different circumstances both good and bad. Gender bias can lead to a result in small or large consequences. In a study conducted for the justification of gender roles in Spain it was aimed to explore different attitudes in young people and investigating the role of these contributions of boys and girls to housework. For this purpose, approximately 139 Spanish high school students which were 67 females and 72 males responded to the ASI and AMI scales. This study resulted in girls contributing significantly more to housework than boys. As well as that, correlating analyses shows that their benevolent sexism towards women and hostility towards men was significantly related to specific gender typed tasks only in the female sample.

Another example of gender bias was conducted in another research which measured prescriptive gender stereotypes for children, adults, and elderly men and women in 3 studies to compare how prescriptive gender stereotypes change over different age groups. This is to see whether stereotypes of males are more restrictive than stereotypes of females regarding gender roles. For studies one and two students were used and for study three community members were used. Majority of the sample were U.S. and white samples. The study resulted in the participants realizing that once they’re old enough to understand their roles, perceivers which are people who view them or interact with them are less eager about what is the desired behavior.

Boys and girls growing up in the same community were directed onto different pathways during their transition from early to late adolescence. Adolescents and parents in both sites identified mothers are primary actors, socializing adolescents into how to dress and behave and what gender roles play, although fathers were also mentioned as influential. Parents teach their children to adhere to inequitable gender norms in both Delhi and Shanghai. However, education and career expectations for boys and girls differed. This experiment from Delhi and Shanghai shows you another example of how parents can play a big role in restricting children by gender roles.

In conclusion gender roles play large factor in today’s society all around the world. In my experience I have always been taught the same things as my sister, but my parents treated her differently. This was because since she was a female she was restricted to certain things compared to me. Women may lean towards constrictive gender roles compared to men due to how they were treated in history, not being respected on equal terms as men, and also the gender/physiological biases towards women as well. That is why in my opinion I believe that women have suffered more of this topic than men have.”

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Gender Roles in Today's Society. (2021, Feb 24). Retrieved from