Gender Roles : A Sociological Perspective

1840 Words Feb 12th, 2015 8 Pages
Gender Roles Defined In every culture, society creates gender roles for individuals based on the typical behavior of each gender. For the purpose of this study, the definition proposed by Donaghue and Fallon (2003) will be used, which states that gender roles are expectations shared by a culture placed on individuals because of their gender. These roles determine everything from how males and females should think and interact within the context of society to how they should dress and speak. There have been several theories on where gender roles stem from, but the consensus between most researchers is that the roles are both cultural and personal. Blackstone (2003) proposed three main perspectives on the origin of gender roles. First, an ecological perspective states gender roles are a result of the interactions between individuals and their environments. Second, from a biological standpoint, it is suggested that women have a natural association with the feminine gender role and men vice versa. Lastly, a sociological perspective explains that gender roles are learned and do not necessarily have anything to do with biological traits (Blackstone, 2003). The gender role theory suggests that “individuals internalize cultural expectations about their gender because social pressures external to the individual favor behavior consistent with their prescribed gender role.” (Kidder, 2002). Chodorow (1994) also had a theory that gender roles originate and stem from a…
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