Gender roles


The gender roles are cultural and personal . These roles are what determine how men and women should think, speak, dress and interact within the context of society . They are a theoretical construction within the branch of social and human sciences that explains the social and behavioral norms within a culture or country, appropriate for people depending on sex. It also refers to the image of a person in front of others and in front of society. While various agents of socializationAs parents, teachers, peers, movies, television, music, books, and religion teach and reinforce gender roles throughout life, parents are likely to be the most influential , especially when their children are young and in learning stage. The learning plays a role in this process of shaping gender roles.

What are gender roles?

Gender roles are the factors that determine the way in which men and women should behave towards other people and in society , they vary from country to country, from culture to culture and sex and are governed by social norms and behavior .

  • What are the gender roles
  • Characteristics of gender roles
  • Origin of gender roles
  • Importance of gender roles
  • Examples

What are the gender roles

There are within current societies, four different and main gender roles, which we detail below:

  • Personality traits:  within the traits expected “normally” by society , women are expected to be complacent, loving and emotional, and men to be masculine, strong, confident, confident and aggressive.
  • Domestic behavior:  In this aspect, what we know as machismo has a great influence . Some people expect women to be the only ones to take care of the children, educate them, prepare food and simply function as housewives, while for men they are expected to be the ones in charge of finances, car and home repairs.
  • The different occupations:  In this area we also observe how the male sex tries to impose itself on the female sex. Women are expected to take on simpler and more feminine jobs, such as teaching and nursing, while those engaged in medicine , administration, engineering, or piloting aircraft are men.
  • The Physical Appearance:  Today ‘s world stereotypes expect women to be slim and graceful, while men are expected to be tall and muscular. Men and women are also expected to dress and groom themselves in a stereotypical way based on their gender .

Characteristics of gender roles

The role of women was mainly related to raising children and that of men is based on work and providing the money necessary to live.

Gender roles adopted during childhood normally continue into adulthood.

They can also change in the same society over time.

The stereotypes about gender can lead to unequal treatment and unfair because of the gender of a person, which is called sexism.

Hyper femininity can be presented in female roles that includes the exaggeration of stereotypical behavior that is considered as feminine. Hyper feminine people exaggerate qualities and this can include being passive, naive, inexperienced, weak, and flirtatious. Contrary to the previous characteristic, we have hyper masculinity , which implies the exaggeration of the stereotyped behavior that is believed to be masculine. They believe that they must compete with other men and dominate feminine persons by being aggressive, worldly, sexually experienced, insensitive, physically imposing, ambitious, and demanding.

Origin of gender roles

The term gender role was first coined by John Money in 1955, during the course of his study of intersex individuals, to describe the ways in which these individuals expressed their status as male or female in a situation in which there was no one. clear biological assignment. The word role is a word that comes from the English word “ role ”, although its etymological origin is found in the French rôle . The word refers to the function or role that an individual has in a certain context.

Importance of gender roles

Extreme gender stereotypes are harmful because they do not allow people to fully express themselves and their emotions, and for this reason it is important to find a way to eradicate them , however, without gender roles, there would be confusion and disorder. Gradual progress has been made in allowing women to work and play important roles within society, but there are still roles that women and men must fulfill.


Some examples that help us understand gender roles are the following:

  • Pink is for girls and blue is for boys.
  • Women are nurses, not doctors
  • Women are not as strong as men
  • Women are supposed to earn less than men
  • The best women are housewives
  • Women don’t need to go to college
  • Women don’t play sports
  • Women cannot participate in politics
  • All men enjoy working on cars
  • Men cannot be nurses, they are doctors
  • Men do “dirty jobs” like construction and mechanics; they are not secretaries, teachers or cosmetologists
  • Men do not do housework and are not responsible for caring for children
  • Men play video games

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