Gender Socialization and Gender Roles Essay

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Gender socialization and gender roles have always existed in society. When analyzing gender roles, they are not always equal or consistent when comparing cultures, however, the expectations of females and males are often times clearly defined with a little to no common area. The Japanese culture is an example of the defined gender roles that change over time. According to Schafer (2010), because “gender roles are society’s expectations of the proper behavior, attitudes, and activities of males and females”, they must be taught (p.357). These roles define how females and males are viewed in society, their household, and workplace. When examining gender socialization in the Japanese culture, it is important to analyze how gender roles are …show more content…
Handbooks were written for either men or women that shared gender codes that were not legal laws, but established gender socializations that were taught at young ages. One handbook stated when a girl is young, “the chief duty of a girl living in the parental house is to practice filial piety toward her mother and father” (McClain, 2002, p. 94). Then once a woman is married, the new wife “must look to her husband as a lord and must serve him….. [and] when the husband issues his instructions the wife must never disobey them” (McClain, 2002, p. 94). In addition to abiding by the orders of her husband, the new wife must honor her father-in-law and mother-in-law more than her own parents and perform any task asked for them. Women were not only demanded who to obey, but they also had limits placed on their feelings. Women were told to “avoid extravagance” and act in a proper demeanor, “courteous, humble and conciliatory; never peevish, intractable, rude and arrogant” (McClain, 2002, p. 94). While women were banned from divorcing their husbands, men could divorce their wives for reasons as simple as disobedience, an inability to bear children, lewd acts, jealousy, leprosy, or “disturb[ance to] the harmony of the household”(McClain, 2002, p. 94).
Like in many other patriarchy cultures, the expectation to conceive a son was high. Not having children in the Japanese
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