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Stereotypes and Gender Roles

Many of our gender stereotypes are strong because we emphasize gender so much in culture (Bigler & Liben, 2007). For example, children learn at a young age that there are distinct expectations for boys and girls. Gender roles refer to the role or behaviors learned by a person as appropriate to their gender and are determined by the dominant cultural norms. Cross-cultural studies reveal that children are aware of gender roles by age two or three and can label others’ gender and sort objects into gender categories. At four or five, most children are firmly entrenched in culturally appropriate gender roles (Kane, 1996). When children do not conform to the appropriate gender role for their culture, they may face negative sanctions such as being criticized, bullied, marginalized or rejected by their peers. A girl who wishes to take karate class instead of dance lessons may be called a “tomboy” and face difficulty gaining acceptance from both male and female peer groups (Ready, 2001). Boys, especially, are subject to intense ridicule for gender nonconformity (Coltrane and Adams, 2008; Kimmel, 2000)

By the time we are adults, our gender roles are a stable part of our personalities, and we usually hold many gender stereotypes. Men tend to outnumber women in professions such as law enforcement, the military, and politics. Women tend to outnumber men in care-related occupations such as child care, health care, and social work. These occupational roles are examples of typical Western male and female behavior, derived from our culture’s traditions. Adherence to these occupational gender roles demonstrates fulfillment of social expectations but may not necessarily reflect personal preference (Diamond, 2002).

Two images side by side. The first image shows a female police officer and the second image shows a Black male nurse taking a blood pressure reading with a White female patient.

Gender stereotypes are not unique to American culture. Williams and Best (1982) conducted several cross-cultural explorations of gender stereotypes using data collected from 30 cultures. There was a high degree of agreement on stereotypes across all cultures which led the researchers to conclude that gender stereotypes may be universal. Additional research found that males tend to be associated with stronger and more active characteristics than females (Best, 2001); however recent research argues that culture shapes how some gender stereotypes are perceived. Researchers found that across cultures, individualistic traits were viewed as more masculine; however, collectivist cultures rated masculine traits as collectivist and not individualist (Cuddy et al., 2015). These findings provide support that gender stereotypes may be moderated by cultural values.

There are two major psychological theories that partially explain how children form their own gender roles after they learn to differentiate based on gender. Gender schema theory argues that children are active learners who essentially socialize themselves and actively organize others’ behavior, activities, and attributes into gender categories, which are known as schemas . These schemas then affect what children notice and remember later. People of all ages are more likely to remember schema-consistent behaviors and attributes than schema-inconsistent behaviors and attributes. So, people are more likely to remember men, and forget women, who are firefighters. They also misremember schema-inconsistent information. If research participants are shown pictures of someone standing at the stove, they are more likely to remember the person to be cooking if depicted as a woman, and the person to be repairing the stove if depicted as a man. By only remembering schema-consistent information, gender schemas strengthen more and more over time.

Three female firefighters are standing in front of their fire truck.

A second theory that attempts to explain the formation of gender roles in children is social learning theory which argues that gender roles are learned through reinforcement, punishment, and modeling. Children are rewarded and reinforced for behaving in concordance with gender roles and punished for breaking gender roles. In addition, social learning theory argues that children learn many of their gender roles by modeling the behavior of adults and older children and, in doing so, develop ideas about what behaviors are appropriate for each gender. Social learning theory has less support than gender schema theory but research shows that parents do reinforce gender-appropriate play and often reinforce cultural gender norms.

Gender Roles and Culture

Hofstede’s (2001) research revealed that on the Masculinity and Femininity dimension (MAS), cultures with high masculinity reported distinct gender roles, moralistic views of sexuality and encouraged passive roles for women. Additionally, these cultures discourage premarital sex for women but have no such restrictions for men. The cultures with the highest masculinity scores were: Japan, Italy, Austria and Venezuela. Cultures low in masculinity (high femininity) had gender roles that were more likely to overlap and encouraged more active roles for women. Sex before marriage was seen as acceptable for both women and men in these cultures. Four countries scoring lowest in masculinity were Norway, Denmark, Netherlands and Sweden. The United States is slightly more masculine than feminine on this dimension; however, these aspects of high masculinity are balanced by a need for individuality.

Culture and Psychology Copyright © 2020 by L D Worthy; T Lavigne; and F Romero is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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David M. Allen M.D.

The Evolution of Gender Roles

A personal perspective: the family roles of men and women is still a big issue..

Posted June 26, 2023 | Reviewed by Davia Sills

  • Families and individuals often have great difficulty adjusting to rapidly changing cultural mandates.
  • When it comes to gender roles, "having it all" is extremely difficult because of old standards.
  • Women still do on average more child care and housework than men.
  • Parental guilt can lead to problems both at home and at work.

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Cultural lag is an important concept from sociology that affects a great many people in our current cultural landscape. As originally defined, it is when there are differences in the rate of change between different groups within a society. For example, if one group adopts a new technology more quickly than another group, this can lead to a gap in knowledge and understanding between the two groups.

It clearly happens when the culture evolves and begins to demand a more individualistic way of being and relating to others. This process was well described in historical terms by Erich Fromm in his classic book, Escape from Freedom.

Confusion Over Gender Roles Still a Common Issue

This phenomenon has created a great many problems in our society. A big one is internal confusion and ambivalence about gender roles, which often leads to marital squabbles among other things. It also seems to cause parental guilt over not being there for the children as much. This guilt may be the reason for the marked increase in so-called helicopter parenting , as parents try to assuage their guilt by trying overly hard to protect their children from any and all adversity.

The old cultural mandates about such things as having children and independence from family have been internalized by members (who follow a series of rules about these areas). In turn, if everyone follows the rules, the family functions smoothly—called family homeostasis . This can be highly adaptive—when the rules within a culture are fairly clear. When these rules evolve, many families literally can’t keep up with the changes, and their family rules and the resulting behavior become maladaptive in the larger society. Cultural changes are happening more quickly, leaving more and more families in the dust.

Rapid Cultural Changes Lead to Problems

In the not-too-distant past, women were not allowed to vote, serve on juries, or own a credit card. Within my lifetime, women started to join the workforce in large numbers, oftentimes in jobs women in the past only thought about performing. The feminist movement has led to a more egalitarian society, but the old ways still gnaw at many people.

One extremely common pattern: With household chores, many of the prior divisions of labor between wives and husbands remain stuck in old patterns. People may read about how easy it is to have it all , when in fact in today’s culture this is often next to impossible for middle and working-class women. We also have feminists on one side denigrating stay-at-home mothers, while on the other are preachers telling women that they are harming their children by not being home with them. At the same time, many employers are asking for more and more time from employees and could not care less about childcare responsibilities. This is a factor in the parental guilt mentioned above.

Childcare and Employment Difficulties

Mothers even now are, in general, more responsible for children than male parents. While some of the differences in income between men and women who are doing the same jobs are indeed due to ongoing sexism, some of it is because many have to take care of the kids. Therefore, they don’t work as many hours.

My understanding of this was supported by a study that showed that more wives are now primary earners, but still spend more time performing most household chores, let alone childcare, than their spouses. Aliya Hamid Rao, an assistant professor in the department of methodology at the London School of Economics, is the author of the study. She found that most husbands spend less time on housework even when the wives were earning as much or more than they are. In fact, this research shows that in more marriages today than ever before, men still spend more time at work, relaxing and socializing and less time mopping floors, cooking dinner, and picking up kids from school than their spouses.

Most of the time when we talk about gender equality, we focus on the workplace where women are sharply underrepresented at the top, face discrimination in hiring and promotions, and are paid less for the same work. But gender disparities don’t just happen at work, but continue to be difficulties when people go home.

Statistically, the share of women who earn as much or more than their husbands has tripled over the past 50 years, In about a third of marriages, 29 percent, husbands and wives earn roughly the same. In 16 percent of marriages, wives are the breadwinners. But housework and caregiving responsibilities are still widely considered women’s work.

Brinkman, R.L. and Brinkman, “J.E. Cultural lag: conception and theory.” International Journal of Social Economics (24:6), 1997 .

Fromm, E. Escape from Freedom . Holt, Rinehart & Winston; First Edition, 1968.

Hamid Rao, A.H. Crunch Time: How Married Couples Confront Unemployment. University of California Press (2020).

David M. Allen M.D.

David M. Allen, M.D. is a professor of psychiatry at the University of Tennessee and the author of the book Coping with Critical, Demanding, and Dysfunctional Parents .

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Gender Roles Essay: Topics Ideas And Tips

gender roles essay

This type academic writing assignment requires students to take a position on a topic related to gender issues – These are generally issues we deal with on a day-to-day basis and our understanding of them make them excellent topics to discuss in an argumentative or persuasive format. We’ve included five tips for writing a great assignment as well as a handful of topics for you to consider.

What Are Gender Roles?

Throughout history, the concepts of sex and gender have evolved.

Specifically, gender roles are the socially normalized roles that men and women have within a society.

Generally, an example of gender roles would be that women are supposed to take care of the household and children, while men are meant to be the providers. This is a very basic example. Currently, gender roles are relevant for in the modern world concepts of gender are constantly evolving and being studied. What are the differences between sex and gender? What does it mean to withstand normalized gender roles? These are only the surface of all the relevant, contemporary questions relating to gender.

Gender Equality Essay: Five Writing Tips

For the concept of gender roles is a widespread one, it might feel daunting when beginning to write an essay about it. Here are some tips to help you get started and carry you on throughout the process.

Consider a variety of arguable topics You college professor might have sets of acceptable gender essay topics to choose from. These are safe starting points towards developing your own gender topics to write about. If you don’t find anything in these sets that you find particularly interesting, consider writing about something you are passionate about and would like to explore further through adequate academic research. Always get approval from your professor before starting any work, and have a few different topics to fall back on if your first choice is not accepted or proves to be more difficult than expected. Research materials and take comprehensive notes Be sure to take great gender studies notes when you do your research. Start by simply looking up your topic on the web and taking down factual information and listing resources for you to check further. You can start broadly and work your way towards a focused topic dealing with a central question and a few supplementary or sub-topics. You can also use famous quotes to grab readers’ attention. Hemingway’s quotes may come in handy here. Next, take your preliminary notes and list of resources to the library and start digging more in-depth. Your citations (i.e., supporting evidence and examples) should all come from trustworthy and current academic or government resources. Develop an outline and start writing Summarize your research notes into a single thesis and about 3 – 5 discussion points. These should be the strongest statements to make in support of the thesis. They will make up your body paragraphs and depending on the length of your paper should all fit within the standard 5 – 7 paragraph form. Next, start writing! You’ve got a focused idea and your time spent researching should allow you to write extensively on the topic. Don’t worry about getting the words perfect. Just write what comes to mind and keep referring to your outline. Revise, edit and proofread your writing It’s a good idea to get as far away from your essay on gender roles as possible. Some students can get away for as much as a week, but even a day or two can improve the level and quality of revising, editing and proofreading your mater to ensure it’s the best writing it can be. Print out your document and use a bright-colored pen or marker to highlight, underline, and cross-out any words, phrases, or sentences that need to change or omitted entirely. Your aim is to express your argument in an as clear and as concise way as possible. Edit and proofread for grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Don’t just rely on auto-checkers. By re-reading your work carefully in printed form you will catch small mistakes you likely would not have noticed on a computer screen. Have someone else review your work Lastly, have a friend or classmate read through your gender inequality essay one last time. All of the time and energy you have spent on the assignment may cloud your judgment when it comes to critiquing your own writing. An unbiased look done by someone else can point out confusing language or small mistakes that both the auto-checker and you might have missed due to your own familiarity with the topic can detract from your differences between sex and gender essay.

Great Gender Essay Topics That Generate Interest

Here are some interesting gender topics to get you started, or help you come up with something you want to write about:

  • Write a gender roles in society essay dealing with the different ways in which men and women are portrayed, perceived and treated and how moving away from these norms can be looked at as a negative behavior.
  • Write a gender roles in Macbeth essay discussing the ways in which Shakespeare plays with non-traditional portrayals in men and women and how this affects the viewer’s or reader’s perception of masculinity and femininity.
  • Despite the strides that women have made professionally and academically in the U.S., there are still large gaps in equal pay and respect. Write a gender roles in America essay explaining the reasons why equality is still hard to achieve.
  • Write a gender stereotypes essay in which you explain the types of characterizations that are used to over-generalize men and women. Are there certain areas in society where these characterizations are more prevalent than in others?
  • Write a gender discrimination essay in which you explore the most common instances of prejudice in hiring practices at multi-billion dollar corporations. What does this say about the way society feels about women in positions of power?
  • How do marriages in different parts of the world help maintain traditional views of gender roles? Write an argumentative gender roles in society essay in which you take a position in support of traditional viewpoints/opinions of marital and family dynamics.

Further is a list of more, specific topics that you might find useful and are free to use:

Gender Roles Essay Topics

Do you think there is a disparity between how women and men are treated in society? You can write one of these gender roles essays that can be creative.

  • How do gender roles affect how people live?
  • How are gender roles portrayed in society?
  • The major gender norms and gender roles.
  • The sociological perspective of gender roles.
  • The major family values and gender roles.
  • Evaluate the gender role theory.
  • Make a comparison of the major cultural gender roles.
  • The gender roles as portrayed during war and peace.
  • The relation between gender roles and stereotypes.
  • How are gender roles portrayed in Disney?
  • The gender roles portrayed in Russia.

Good Gender Essay Topics

These are some of the best gender essay topics that can help you to attain top grades. Just try to be neutral while writing the essays to ensure you aren’t biased.

  • Major expectations accustomed to gender roles.
  • Gender roles of a patriarchal society.
  • Significance of gender roles in modern society.
  • Religious view of gender roles.
  • The major psychological effects of gender roles.
  • Relation between masculinity and gender roles.
  • The relation between gender roles and gender stratification.
  • The importance of gender roles in the development of countries.
  • Why do different societies need gender roles?
  • What do you think society would look like without gender roles?
  • The importance of gender roles to the build-up of a family?

Interesting Gender Equality Essay Topics

Are you looking for an advanced gender essay? Here are some of the best ideas. They are ideal and will help you to learn more about how men and women are treated in different environments.

  • The gender roles as portrayed in “Things fall apart”.
  • The major social expectations that both women and men have.
  • Gender roles and stereotypes associated with it.
  • Impact of gender roles in consciousness and grief.
  • Attitudes and behaviors associated with gender roles.
  • The perspective of gender roles and identity in the family.
  • Evaluate gender as portrayed by Shakespeare in his work.
  • Gender equality in Britain in the 20th century.
  • Gender discrimination in the workplace.
  • Impact of gender roles in workplace performance.
  • Is gender a culturally or biologically prescribed role?

Controversial Gender Research Topics

How good are you with research? You can use these topics for your research project, research thesis, or dissertation. They are ideal, easy, and straightforward topics on gender.

  • Is gender natural or acquired?
  • Modern issues of the gender studies.
  • Role of gender in society.
  • Role of gender in social media interactions.
  • Role of gender in cartoons and commercials.
  • The gender roles as portrayed in cartoons.
  • Do you think there are gender biases in the workplace environment?
  • Social construction of gender.
  • The impact of gender-neutral upbringing.
  • How is gender inequality portrayed in Iran politics?
  • Major causes and treatment of gender dysphoria.

Gender Argumentative Essay Topics

At times you can get confused about the various issues about gender, and might even feel like you need sociology homework help or essay assistance. Well, here are some of the best gender argumentative essay topics that you can start with.

  • The relation between sex, gender, and inequalities.
  • Is gender equality and peace connected?
  • Relation better gender equality and family division of labor.
  • Role of gender equality in economic development.
  • The importance of gender inequality in the modern family.
  • How is gender equality achievable?
  • How do you think women are still being held back by stereotypes?
  • Should women’s equality be a gradual process?
  • How governments can foster courage in women.
  • The negative effects of sexual harassment in the office.
  • Should both women and men be given maternity leave?

Gender Inequality Essay Topics

Everyone in society should be treated equally regardless of status. Here are some of the best gender essay topics that you can start with.

  • Gender inequality in Canada and Algeria.
  • The gender inequality portrayed in Afghanistan.
  • Gender inequality as portrayed in family businesses.
  • Gender inequality and the historical origin.
  • Gender inequality and health disparities.
  • Gender inequality as a global problem.
  • The major issues surrounding gender inequality in the workplace.
  • The scarcity of water and its effect on gender inequality.
  • How is gender inequality defined as unequal treatment?
  • Gender inequality in the women’s rights movement.
  • The gender inequality issues in international relations.

Best Gender Roles Essay Topics

Do you know the various gender roles that people should have in society? People have different roles in society and that should be respected. Try your best in this gender roles topics.

  • Major gender inequalities features.
  • Impact of gender inequality on employee satisfaction.
  • The major consequences of gender inequality.
  • Major legislation as associated with gender inequality.
  • Do gender roles help women to relate better in the workplace?
  • Effectiveness of state enforcement of gender equality roles.
  • Do you think women are being held back by stereotypes?

Need More Help With Gender Roles Essay?

This article provides you with basic, albeit valuable, information on writing a great essay about gender roles for any advanced college or graduate-level course in women and gender studies, but you might feel compelled to get even more assistance towards creating the perfect assignment. This is where a good professional assignment service can prove to be an indispensable resource.

A professional service can provide you with custom gender roles essay topics, gender roles essay tips and tricks, and gender essay template outlines to help you get started. The ability to pay people to do your homework is now more accessible than ever. Contact customer support before starting your assignment to discuss all of the different ways a service can be of assistance. In addition to making the writing experience much easier, a good service will make writing a gender identity essay more enjoyable.

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50 Gender Roles Examples

gender roles examples and definition, explained below

Gender roles might feel outdated in the 21st Century, but they continue to be subtly reinforced through culture, media, and gender socialization to this day.

Traditional ideas about gender identity, fitting neatly into a male-female and masculine-feminine binary, have shaped society for many centuries.

From ideas that only men could be rulers of Kingdoms to historical notions of women’s roles in the home , today’s society’s gender stereotypes are fundamentally shaped by traditional societies’ limiting and often oppressive gender theories.

As you read through the examples in this article, keep a critical eye open for how these outdated ideas of gender might be perpetuated today, in film, songs, fashion, and even everyday conversations.

Gender Roles Examples

Traditional gender roles for men.

1. The Breadwinner Role

Historically, one of the traditional roles assigned to men was being the breadwinner of the family. In this role, they were expected to provide the primary source of income, working outside the home to support their families. This idea reinforced the concept that men should be strong, financially stable, and emotionally reserved. However, these assumptions are now outdated, as progressive ideas disavow the notion that the women are less capable of working for a living.

2. The Stoic Figure

Another traditional and now obsolete gender role is that of men as ‘stoic’ figures. This perspective disallowed men from openly expressing their emotions. Men were often expected to project strength and resilience, thus discouraging them from showing vulnerability or emotional distress. This concept has significantly contributed to the notion of toxic masculinity . However, contemporary understanding of emotional health recognizes the importance of emotional expression and mental health for all genders, effectively challenging this outdated stereotype.

3. The Protector Role

In the past, men were typically characterized as the protectors of their families and communities. They were expected to bravely confront dangers, defend their ‘territory’, and ensure the safety of their loved ones. This role reinforced the belief that men are inherently stronger and braver than women. Nowadays, however, this idea is seen as antiquated since both men and women are capable of providing safety and security, depending on their individual strengths and skills.

4. The Decision-Maker

The traditional gender role often cast men as the primary decision-makers within a household. They were presumed to be the ones responsible for major decisions regarding finances, family plans, and livelihoods. This role suggested that men are more rational and superior decision-makers, which is an outdated misconception. In modern times, the importance of joint decision-making in relationships is emphasized, recognizing women’s equally valuable insights and judgments.

5. The Fixer of Things

Historically, another gender role attributed to men was being the ‘handyman’. They were supposed to naturally excel in tasks like carpentry, automotive repair, and home maintenance. This stereotype restricted men to manual and technical tasks, inadvertently excluding women by implying that they were less competent in these areas. Now, it is widely accepted that proficiency in these tasks depends on individual interests and skills, not gender.

6. Dominance in Relationships

Classic gender roles often portrayed men as the dominant partner in relationships. Their assumed dominance manifested in controlling various aspects of the relationship, including decision-making and power dynamics. This stereotype fostered inequality, giving rise to a belief that men must inherently possess more power in relationships. Today, society places a strong emphasis on equality in relationships, deemphasizing traditional gender-based power dynamics.

7. Emotional Resilience

Traditionally, men were often instructed to show emotional resilience, which involved suppressing emotional responses. Crying or showcasing any form of emotional vulnerability was portrayed as a sign of weakness restricted mainly to females. Today, these sentiments are rapidly receding as more and more people understand the importance of emotional expression for everyone, regardless of their gender.

8. Career-Focused

In the past, men were also represented as largely career-oriented. This traditional gender role perpetuated the belief that the professional realm is primarily the domain of men, while women should focus on homemaking and raising a family. Today, this representation is largely outdated as women are visible and successful across various professional spaces, and men are more involved in household tasks and child-rearing.

9. Leadership Role

In many traditional societies, leadership was regarded as a characteristic exclusive to men. Whether in politics, business, or the community, men were generally chosen to lead, leaving women in mostly subordinate roles. This outdated belief was based on the erroneous assumption that men are inherently more competent leaders. In recent times, we recognize that leadership qualities do not depend on gender but on individual capability and skills.

10. Adventure and Risk-taking

Another traditional masculine role involved adventure and risk-taking actions. Men were usually portrayed as thrill-seekers, willing to take on dangerous tasks or careers—often leaving women to the safer, routine tasks. Presently, this role has been challenged with advancements in gender equality as women have proven themselves in various risky and adventurous fields, negating gender as a determinant of risk-taking behavior.

Additional Examples of Traditional Male Gender Roles:

  • Men don’t cry.
  • Men are breadwinners.
  • Men are strong and tough.
  • Men don’t show emotion.
  • Men are protectors.
  • Men should be handy and good with tools.
  • Men should not be interested in fashion or makeup.
  • Men are not nurturing.
  • Men should be dominant in relationships.
  • Men should not be interested in “domestic” tasks like cooking or cleaning.
  • Men should be interested in sports.
  • Men should not display vulnerability.
  • Men are not good listeners.
  • Men are not interested in or good at childcare.
  • Men should be sexually aggressive.
  • Men should not be interested in gossip or “chick flicks”.
  • Men should not express affection towards other men.
  • Men should be the head of the household.
  • Men should be interested in cars and mechanics.
  • Men should not ask for help.
  • Men should not be interested in arts or dance.
  • Men should be stoic.
  • Men should not be concerned with personal appearance beyond basic grooming.
  • Men should not show fear.
  • Men should be decision-makers.

Go Deeper: Examples of Masculinity

Traditional Gender Roles for Women

1. The Caregiver Role

Conventionally, women were delegated the role of caregivers in the family unit. They were primarily responsible for bearing children, nurturing them, and taking care of the household duties. The stereotype conditioned society to believe that women are innately more nurturing and suited for caregiving. However, these stereotyped duties have been challenged today, as both men and women share caregiving responsibilities, proving that caregiving is not confined to one gender.

2. The Homemaker Role

Historically, women were also predominantly assigned the role of homemakers. The tasks associated with homemaking, such as cooking, cleaning, and maintaining the home, were considered their exclusive domain. This traditional belief perpetuated the image of women as domesticated beings and severely limited their pursuits outside the home. Presently, this notion is outdated as both women and men actively contribute to home maintenance and chores, reflecting a more balanced distribution of domestic responsibilities.

3. The Subservient Partner

Considered outdated now, women used to be seen as lesser equals in a relationship, often expected to be submissive to their male partners. They were purported to be less capable, both mentally and physically, thereby needing male companionship for completion. This misrepresentation fostered an unhealthy dynamic in relationships. Modern perspectives advocate an equal partnership wherein both individuals share responsibilities, rights, and voice their opinions.

4. The Emotional Support Role

Traditionally, women were often assigned the role of emotional support within family structures and relationships. They were envisaged as sensitive, empathetic, and nurturing individuals equipped to handle the emotional needs of their family members. This limited view placed undue emotional burden on women, while absolving men from expressing or dealing with emotions. Today, this stereotype is rejected as emotional capability and sensitivity extend beyond gender boundaries.

5. Appearance Conscious

In the past, women were often pressurized to prioritize their appearance, deemed an essential part of their identity. They were expected to conform to societal beauty standards, regularly engage in beauty rituals, and present impeccable appearances. This traditional role minimized the value of women to their appearance, undermining their other capabilities. Nowadays, this shallow view is constantly being challenged as beauty norms diversify, appreciating people for who they are and not merely for how they look.

6. The Nurturer

Women, according to age-old gender roles, were perceived as the primary nurturers of children. They were expected to cultivate moral, social, and cultural values in children, while men were typically absolved of these duties. This belief perpetuated the stereotype that women are inherently naturally adept at nurturing, while men are not. In contemporary society, this role is shared equally by both parents, recognizing that nurturing comes not from gender, but from the ability to care for and understand the needs of children.

7. The Peacekeeper Role

In bygone eras, women were perceived as the peacekeepers in households and social gatherings. They were expected to maintain harmony among family members and soothe any tensions or arguments. This traditional role imposed undue emotional labor on women while relieving men of such responsibilities. Today, however, we understand that emotional labor should be shared between both genders.

8. The Patient Listener

In the past, women were seen as patient listeners, often providing an empathetic ear to family members, friends, or partners. They were expected to contain their feelings and opinions to patiently listen and comfort others. This stereotype borrows heavily from the idea that women are often relegated to supportive roles and could promote emotional suppression in women. In modern times, the importance of equality in dialogue and emotional exchange in relationships is widely acknowledged.

9. The Multi-Tasker

Traditionally, women were often portrayed as adept multi-taskers, expected to juggle various responsibilities, from household chores to childcare, without any complaint. These expectations created an image of women as indefatigable workers shouldering multiple roles seamlessly. Today, this role is considered outdated, as it reinforces gender inequality. It’s understood that the ability to multitask is not gender-specific and societal expectations should reflect shared responsibilities between both genders.

10. Natural Teacher

In many past societies, women were seen as natural teachers, especially for young children. Regardless of their education or profession, they were expected to take responsibility for their children’s early education and moral guidance. This presupposition confined women to educational roles based solely on their gender. In today’s world, this stereotype is rebuffed as teaching is recognized as a skill , not a gender-dictated obligation.

Additional Examples of Traditional Female Gender Roles:

  • Women are emotional and irrational.
  • Women are caregivers and nurturers.
  • Women should be primarily responsible for domestic tasks like cooking and cleaning.
  • Women are not as physically strong as men.
  • Women should be submissive and passive.
  • Women are primarily valued for their appearance.
  • Women should be interested in fashion and beauty.
  • Women are not good at math or science.
  • Women should be the primary caregivers for children.
  • Women are more interested in relationships than careers.
  • Women are not good at sports or are only interested in “feminine” sports.
  • Women are more prone to gossip.
  • Women are not as ambitious or driven as men.
  • Women should be modest and demure.
  • Women are not as sexually aggressive as men.
  • Women should prioritize family over career.
  • Women are more intuitive than logical.
  • Women should not be too outspoken or assertive.
  • Women are more interested in “chick flicks” and romance novels.
  • Women are not good with tools or mechanics.
  • Women are more sensitive and easily hurt.
  • Women should aspire to be wives and mothers above all else.
  • Women are more concerned with personal appearance.
  • Women are not as capable in leadership roles.
  • Women are more prone to be followers rather than leaders.

Go Deeper: Examples of Femininity

Gender roles are not innocuous. If we continue to perpetuate the idea that men can’t do things, women can’t do things, and so on, we will perpetuate gender bias and limit individual freedom and autonomy for everyone. But by continuing to talk about them, examine them, and look at how gender is socially constructed through media and culture, we can start to deconstruct them and highlight the absurdity of patriarchal worldviews that have been so pervasive for so much of human history.


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Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. [Image Descriptor: Photo of Chris]

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Home — Essay Samples — Social Issues — Gender Discrimination — Effects of Gender Roles and Gender Expectations


Effects of Gender Roles and Gender Expectations

  • Categories: Gender Discrimination

About this sample


Words: 667 |

Published: Jan 29, 2024

Words: 667 | Page: 1 | 4 min read

Table of contents

Background information, cultural impact of gender roles and expectations, psychological effects of gender roles and expectations, economic consequences of gender roles and expectations, educational impacts of gender roles and expectations, challenges and resistance to gender roles and expectations.

  • UN Women: https://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/gender-equality-in-the-context-of-covid-19
  • World Economic Forum: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/12/gender-inequality-womens-rights-covid19/#:~:text=The%20Coronavirus%20pandemic%20has%20at,the%20disadvantages%20women%20face%20worldwide.
  • The Lancet: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(17)30293-X/fulltext

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gender roles essay

Gender Roles in Society Essay

This essay will discuss the evolution and current state of gender roles in society. It will examine how gender roles are socially constructed, their impact on individuals and communities, and the progress towards gender equality. The piece will analyze the influence of culture, media, and education on gender roles. At PapersOwl too, you can discover numerous free essay illustrations related to Gender.

How it works

Gender is a critical aspect of social inequality. Gender has been defined as a means to “serve to reduce assumed parallels between biological and psychological sex or at least make explicit any assumptions of such parallels (Unger 1976, p. 1086). Gender inequality is a prevalent issue in society as a whole, and America is no exception. It is a sociological construct which carves the path in which men and women will live their lives, affecting a broad range of choices and availability of resources (Macionis, 2018). Gender inequality exists due to the fact that women and men are clearly defined as distinctive types of people (Macionis, 2018).

Additionally, books and media influence children by presenting stereotypical roles of men and women, with women lacking representation in traditionally male roles (Purcell and Stuart 1990). More over, these influences continue later in life and spread to other means, such as video games, social media and celebrities. Even advertisements perpetuate gender bias and reinforce gender norms, with men in advertisements shown to focus on the product they’re representing, while women focus on the men (Goffman, 1979). In fact, gender is instilled into children even before they are born by parents carefully selecting gender appropriate clothing, such as pink for newborn girls and blue for newborn boys (Zosuls et al., 2001).

Why is it that gender exists at all? In earlier times, the use of gender and the roles each sex played were more abundant than in today’s time. The differences in biological make up that each sex carried were far more important (Macionis, 2018). For instance, in the time of hunters and gatherers, there was no means of controlling pregnancy and reproduction, which burdened women as being caretakers of their many children (Macionis, 2018). Because women were bound to their homes and their children, women were forced to construct their roles around the home (Macionis, 2018). Thus, women often took on such jobs as planting and gathering vegetation to provide food for themselves and their family (Macionis, 2018). Men, on the other hand, boasting their stronger and larger size due to the biological differences in their genetic make up, often took on the role of hunting or warfare, which left the women, again, with no choice but to be bound to their homes (Macionis, 2018).

As time continued on, gender roles became less and less fundamental. When the Industrial Revolution took place, there were effective means of preventing pregnancy (Macionis, 2018). The ability to decide when and if to get pregnant gave women more of a choice in their home-maker status. Additionally, the Industrial Revolution developed more advanced technology that diminished the need for physical strength in the workplace and for economic production as a whole (Macionis, 2018). Many advances in technology and changes to society that have followed in the time after the Industrial Revolution have led to gender roles becoming less and less of a determinant for what kind of job one may possess.

With the need for gender to exist diminishing more and more with each step society and technology takes, what is it that makes gender still relevant? One may turn to sociological perspectives in order to gain insight on such a question. According to the structural-functional theory, gender is “society’s recognition that women and men differ in some respects” (Macionis, 2018, p. 118). Gender is viewed as complementarity, meaning the differences between men and women are limited but important (Macionis, 2018). Gender, according to the structural-functional approach, defines the different obligations each sex is required to perform (Macionis, 2018). Due to these differences, the genders are complementary in the way in which both sexes rely on one another to perform their duties, which is said to bring unity to families and in a broader sense, communities as a whole (Macionis, 2018).

Talcott Parsons, who was born in 1902 and passed away in 1979, was an American sociologist. Parsons developed the most well known theory of gender in the realm of structural functional outlooks (Macionis, 2018). According to Parsons, the differences in gender continue to grow smaller as time moves forward, yet are still encouraged by modern societies as they are a useful integration tool and encourage the sexes to work together (Macionis, 2018). The main point of specification of this is that gender is defined in a complementary way that encourages both men and women to rely on one another and see one another as an asset (Macionis, 2018). For example, women are child bearers, and the biological drive in men to produce offspring brings the two genders together. Due to this reliance, both genders see benefits in forming a relationship and, more importantly, a family (Macionis, 2018).

Despite the diminishing differences in women and men, women are traditionally still deemed as the primary caretaker of the household, while men are seen as the primary wealth holder and are deemed responsible for the economic advancement of the family (Macionis, 2018). In order to achieve a society in which the genders work complementarily, gender differences are engrained into a person starting from a young age (Macionis, 2018). For example, masculinity is an “instrumental orientation, emphasizing rationality, competition, and a focus on goals” (Macionis, 2018, p. 118). Femininity, on the other hand, involves “an opposing expressive orientation: emotional responsiveness, cooperation, and concern for other people and relationships” (Macionis, 2018, p. 118). These inherent differences in upbringing result in women smiling more, and maintaining politeness in situations where they would rather not. Societies pressures to fill these gender roles lead to disapproval of those who go against their gender norms, who often find loss of sex appeal amongst the disapproval (Macionis, 2018).

Today, the structural-functional theory is seen as less influential than when it was initially introduced fifty years ago (Macionis, 2018). This is partly due to the theories approach in reinforcing and rationalizing traditional gender roles, with some seeing complementary roles as a weakly disguised vail for male domination (Macionis, 2018). Additionally, the approach does not fully explain all roles that genders take and ignores those that do not fit into a clear cutting block. For instance, women and men do not need to see value in their gender differences to interact with one another. Moreover, their interactions may not fit into the traditional gender norm laid out by Parsons, as work roles (instrumental) are often not the same role one takes on in a relationship (expressive) (Macionis, 2018). Finally, the theory is said to ignore the issues caused by gender roles and norms, which falls heavily on the shoulders of those who stray from traditional roles in their lives. This fault has been made apparent in recent years as transgender or non-binary individuals continue to suffer from the insensitivities of persons who see gender roles as unchanging.

The social-conflict theory is another tool for analyzing gender in society. Rather than view genders as being complementary, the theory views the issue of gender inequality “vertically” (Macionis, 2018). The social-conflict theory asserts that gender is a divisive part of society, rather than a means of unification like the structural functional approach suggests. Friedrech Engels, who was born in 1820 and passed away in 1895, was a friend of Karl Marx and thus was very familiar with Marx’s thinking (Macionis, 2018). Engels believed capitalism to lead to the dominant position men hold over women, and the basis of this assertion is laid out by examining the evolution of society from hunting and gathering, to capitalism (Macionis, 2018).

Looking back at the time of hunters and gatherers, the social-conflict theory asserts that while men and women took on different roles, both roles were necessary and vital (Macionis, 2018). For instance, women played just as crucial a role by providing vegetation as men did when they were hunting (Macionis, 2018). Due to the necessity and importance of both roles, the social-conflict theory claims that simple societies such as those of the hunter-gatherers were close to achieving gender equality.

However, as time passed and industrial advancements were made (such as raising livestock and gardening), the availability of goods rose and some individuals or families were able to obtain a surplus of goods (Macionis, 2018). This addition of surplus goods led to the rise of social classes, with those enjoying the majority of the surplus becoming wealthy (Macionis, 2018). With the formation of social classes came the idea of private property, which was used as a means of the wealthy retaining their surplus of goods (Macionis, 2018). The idea of private property then led to the dominance of men over women, as men wished to carry on their legacies through their sons, rather than their partners (Macionis, 2018). Again, women were soon seen as their beneficial role being that of the caretaker of their homes and children.

As time passed on and technological advancements grew, capitalism came to rise and so did the male-dominated capitalist class (Macionis, 2018, p. 120). In order to continue the patriarchal society formed with capitalism, women were led to discover happiness in the form of male partnership, and domestic life and duties, while men were driven to factories to work long hours (Macionis, 2018). Women were taught to seek a man in order to prosper and survive, rather than forming their own financial independence by obtaining jobs. Both gender norms coincided to reinforce the ideal that women were responsible for the entirety of the housework, again reinforcing gender inequality.

However, the social- conflict theory is not without its own critics. Critics assert that families, despite being patriarchal, are still a necessity as they provide a means of both having and raising children (Macionis, 2018). Additionally, the theory fails to account for the fact that not all differences between men and women are seen as unjust (Macionis, 2018). For example, even in today’s society there are many people of both genders who are happy to take on the role of caregiver to their children while their partner provides economically. Finally, critics point out that Engels assertion of capitalism as the route of gender stratification does not hold true in the world today, as many socialist nations still have patriarchal societies (Macionis, 2018).

As previously asserted, gender does in fact impact society and furthermore the lives that make up such a society. Gender typically is connected to varying levels of power, with men often enjoying more freedom to behave in different ways (Macionis, 2018). For example, men in Hollywood often still portray sexier roles on screen as they age and society accepts this, even if their counterpart in the illustrious relationship is far younger. However, as women age in Hollywood we do not see the same hold true for them. Furthermore, women are judged more harshly for traits like assertiveness, and more often take on softer traits that rely on politeness (Smith-Lovin & Brody, 1989). The symbolic-interaction theory investigates gender roles in a smaller lens than that of the structural function approach, focusing on these daily interactions in everyday life (Macionis, 2018).

The symbolic-interaction theory asserts that gender norms are engrained into our society by the means that we use it every day, and thus is a vital part of our society. For example, gender influences the relative freedom one may feel to make certain decisions, facial expressions, or clothing choices. Women are judged more heavily on their facial expressions, and the desire to be polite has led them to smile more (Macionis, 2018). Additionally, women typically are judged more harshly for taking up more space, as “daintiness” is seen as a feminine trait, while men are more likely to be seen as masculine for taking up more space (Macionis, 2018). It is also generally expected in society that a woman will take a mans last name when married (Macionis, 2018). While the symbolic-interaction theory allows insight into the daily ways in which gender influences society, it fails to account for a broader stance on how gender actually shapes society as a whole (Macionis, 2018).

It is unlikely that the source of gender inequality will ever be agreed upon. However, it is abundantly clear the gender does perform a role in society. As society continues to advance, it is likely the world will continue to see gender roles redefined. With the emergence of new genders, and sexual orientations, gender roles will continue to change. In fact, there are already notable differences in gender traits (masculinity, femininity) in those of straight white women versus their counterparts of other sexual orientations (Kachel, Steffens, & Niedlich, 2016).

What is not apparent, is whether or not gender equality will be reached. Today, women are still viewed as being primarily responsible for routine housework, while men are expected to do non-routine chores (Geist, 2018). This is in part due to the fact that women can produce children, and the role of becoming a mother often leads to women falling behind men in their careers, contributing to the gender wage gap (Slaughter, 2012).

What remains unclear is whether or not gender equality will be achieved, and if it is, will everyone agree on it? The social-conflict theory claims gender equality was close to being achieved at the time of hunter-gatherers, however, whether men and women felt that way at the time is debatable. The structural functional approach claims that gender roles are necessary for unification between men and women, and while this may hold some merit, in a broader sense this ideal is flawed for not recognizing the inequality in value held for both necessary roles (male and female). For society to unlearn the societal norms that have led to the clear division between men and women gender roles will take a notable effort from society as a whole, as well as vast amounts of time.    

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Gender Roles and Stereotyping in Education Essay


Gender issues have been discussed during many international meetings and forums. The role of both sexes in society has raised many questions while most analysts and researchers have found out that education plays a great role in determining the role of a gender personality. Teachers instructing children should be familiar with methods of effective analysis of gender roles with students since it is a serious problem affecting contemporary society. Stereotypes produce a negative effect on human beings leading to failure in understanding the needs and motivations of another sex. In this essay, the relationship between stereotypes and genuine gender roles is discussed broadly about activities and the effectiveness of performance of individuals.

The academic performance of male and female students differs due to stereotypes producing effects on their self-identification and individual progress. According to researches conducted in most schools worldwide, girls perform better in languages than boys (Pajares and Valiante, 2002) whereas male students are better in exact sciences that require a logical approach and numeric data analysis. Females are found to be better at defining and describing their thoughts because their skills and logic enable them to do it better than, for instance, calculating and solving mathematical problems. Masculine motivation is oriented toward performing challenging and resource-consuming assignments that deal with calculations and scientific innovations. Teachers play an important role in modeling the self-identification of students at school since they spend most of the time with them.

Educators should be trained on methods of explaining gender roles effectively about possible differences and shifts that occur due to technological progress and changes in society. It is necessary to encourage both genders to play active roles in society regardless of their sex though taking into account their skills and competencies (Connolly, 2008). The best way the teachers can do this is by encouraging the students to use their inborn skills.

Recent findings show that stereotyping is harmful to society because it reduces the chances of people searching for information effectively. As information is an integral part of our lives and most work is related to it, individuals should resist the effects of stereotyping. In the USA, the racial stereotyping of youth has led to the increase of antisocial activities such as robbery and murder in the streets (Welch, 2007). Stereotypes are based on a generalization of certain characteristics that are said to be typical for some groups of people leading to the labeling of all people of this group as those possessing such a characteristic.

To sum up, the topic of gender should be introduced in educational institutions to enable the students to learn the differences and peculiar features of gender roles in the community. Though findings show that female and male students do have some differences in academic performance that occur due to their sex, students should be encouraged to shift roles and use their skills regardless of the effects of stereotyping. Teachers should be trained to give clear and useful instruction to students on the issue of gender roles in modern society. Stereotypes help people to manipulate others’ viewpoints by omitting the details and escaping a multifaceted approach in dealing with a particular individual. Therefore, students should learn more about gender roles and the negative effects of stereotyping; besides, students need to avoid those effects.

  • Connolly, P. (2008). A critical review of some recent developments in quantitative research on gender and achievement in the United Kingdom. Routledge and Francis Journal , 29(3), 249-260.
  • Pajares, F., & Valiante, G. (2002). Gender differences in writing motivation and achievement of middle school students: a function of gender orientation? Apps for Library Journal, 26 (3), 366-381.
  • Welch, K. (2007). Black criminal stereotypes and racial profiling. Journal of Contemporary criminal Journal , 23 (3), 575-596.
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  • A Step-by-Step Guide for Writing an A-Grade Gender Roles Essay

A Step-by-Step Guide for Writing an A-Grade Gender Roles Essay

What Is a Gender Roles Essay?

How to structure a gender roles paper the right way, 6 simple tips for crafting a perfect essay on gender roles, essay on gender roles sample on the topic “how is the social gender formed”.

  • Let's Conclude

A gender roles essay is a piece of writing where a student is expected to describe his/her understanding of gender roles that are specific to males and females. Both school and college teachers assign students to write this kind of paper to check how the modern generation treats the set of social and behavioral norms set by the generation of our ancestors.

Time passes and the gender roles change. If one is writing an essay on this topic, it is necessary to research how the set norms have changed in your society compared to other cultures. The topic of male/female gender roles has been discussed all over the world. It is still one of the most actual topics nowadays. In your work, you are supposed to tell about influences on the traditional attitudes to women (girls) /men (boys) in different cultures, society, at home as they may vary.

The major task of a student is to draw attention to the period of time when females didn’t have equal rights as males. In your essay, try to present evidence. Show that now the situation has improved but still one can witness discrimination of women at workplace, educational establishments, etc. Work about gender roles involves several aspects. You need to conduct social research based on interesting historical facts about a man’s life, his behavior and attitudes towards the woman playing different gender roles: the mother, wife, daughter.

Research the current situation on gender roles sharing your personal attitude to gender roles and the existing discrimination. Support gender role ideas. Have you been assigned to write a woman/man/children gender roles essay and you just have no idea on where to get started? Use this effective step-by-step essays guide. It is intended to be helpful for writing a paper on the role, which sex plays in the relationships between people living in one house. You’re expected to reveal the gender roles topic making it attractive to professors of the best educational institutions.

Before getting started with the gender roles paper, you need to have a clear picture of what a gender is. Most students mistakenly think that sex and gender have the same meaning. Is there any difference between sex and gender? The term “sex” refers to the biological features of a person while the gender means the role, which a person plays in a specific society.

In order to get an A-grade, check what you need to reveal in this type of essay.  The main idea of the gender roles essay is to check what a student thinks about cultural differences of the gender roles given to males/females on the birth day.

A teacher asks to write a gender roles paper expecting you to provide in-depth analysis of gender roles considering the economic, cultural, social sphere. Conduct research on gender roles giving sufficient evidence to prove your standpoint.

The topic of gender roles is broad and you need to choose an aspect for the deeper gender role research. Focus on the chosen problem writing a gender roles paper consisting of an introduction, the main body, and conclusion. The main principles will stay the same. A gender roles paper is a work about the problem of gender discrimination you should consider from different angles.

It should include careful gender research. Express your own thoughts on gender roles defined by the society the very 1-st day a girl or boy is born.

Writing a college/university gender research paper, you are expected to meet certain structural requirements not only concerning the number of pages. A well-structured logical gender roles paper can get an A-grade. Remember that at times when going to craft a gender essay, you need to check whether you know how to structure the gender roles text the right way. Have a closer look at must-have parts that affect  a gender roles essay’s quality:

  • Introduction: The beginning of a gender essay should be interesting and eye-catching. It must be brief. A mistake many students make commonly is writing too long introductions making the reader bored. Don’t deprive readers of a wish to continue reading. Make your task to present the main idea of the further gender discussion. Introduce the topic in a way everyone would like to discover what is going to be next and Produce the best possible effect.

Imagine that this is a brand to sell. Write a gender paper introduction able to “sell” the rest of the work and give some facts/figures concerning the gender topic. Bear in mind that people like statistics. It is a good idea to start with gender figures starting your essay on gender roles with some intriguing question on gender roles everyone would like to answer.

  • Thesis statement: Write a strong gender thesis statement at the end of an introduction. Craft a powerful sentence that consists of several words about gender roles and states the major ideas that will attract your target audience. Make it creative using various language means.
  • The Main Body: Here, you are supposed to tell about the gender research conducted and the findings you have got. The work will be full if you research both positive/negative attitudes towards men/women due to their biological sex in the past and gender roles of a male/a female in the today's society, in the house environment. Provide your own understanding of the gender power. Find certain gender facts that will serve as convincing arguments for your standpoint and note that the number of gender paper paragraphs may slightly vary. Browse classification essay examples , they might help with your writing.

There are 3-4 paragraphs about the sex influence in all spheres of life.  To provide ideas on the traditional family roles, the household patterns of behavior, and the interconnection between the sex and the behavior, look for evidence of your thoughts.

  • Conclusion: At the end, write a short paragraph with a brief paper summary. You are expected to set the major concept presented in the gender essay making it clear to the reader what position you occupy.

You should remember that the powerful conclusion is of the utmost importance. The reader may evaluate the entire work reading the last lines, it might matter a lot. Write the conclusion so that the reader doesn't have any additional questions on the topic. Finish only after making sure you have done a good job as finishing the main thought is a must.

  • A bibliography list: Don't forget to place a list of references where you should provide all information sources that turned out to be useful for your research. Check all necessary formatting rules to write references the right way.

Every student knows that writing any kind of academic assignment is a time-consuming process. A gender assignment isn't an exception. It must be based on some facts, opinions of famous scientists. This doesn't mean there are no effective tricks that may help you to save time crafting an essay on gender roles. Check the list of the recommendations that can make your life easier helping to pass your essay on gender roles in the society with flying colors.

  • Write an essay based on your own life experience. It is a good idea to think of your own life experience using it as a foundation as you can use examples of sexual discrimination your friends/acquaintances faced. The topic about roles of a man/a woman in the society provides freedom to express views or feelings towards gender roles determined by the society.  That's why you can benefit greatly from this opportunity to share your own life experiences.
  • Check the availability of reliable information resources before choosing a topic. Haven't been assigned to write an essay on a certain issue? Then, you are free to choose any topic as the gender topic is broad.

For example, write about the influence of our society on the formation of boys/ girls’ behavior, explain why there is a discrimination between men/women at the workplace. Or you could explain how stereotyped sociaty is about driving skill and car knoledge dependong on gender, even though a lot of males use car manuals as much as females do to have an understanding about how vehicle works. When picking the topic, you should be guided by the main rule: choose the theme you are passionate about, the one, which can be researched successfully.

Include more facts, statistics, examples. Your essay will be more interesting if you include some facts that not everyone has heard about. Simply, look for the examples of the sex discrimination in different societies, search for the information in the media,  and give some numerical data to build trust. Check whether you understand all terms used in the text. Follow the informative essay format  to write such kind of a paper.

Assure that your essay contains in-depth analysis. Before submitting an essay, you are recommended to read it aloud to understand whether it sounds persuasive. If the research you have conducted is of the low quality, edit paragraphs to sound better and then leave your gender essay for 1-2 days before the submission. Read it once again to be sure it is well-researched. Hand it in if there is no need to add any kind of information.

Use grammar/plagiarism checkers: On the Internet, you’ll find many online software tools. They are aimed at helping writers to check whether the essay is of the high quality. Copy your essay’s text, check whether there are any grammar/spelling mistakes. If everything is fine, the next step is to check whether it is 100% unique or you’ve plagiarised somebody's thought with or without a special intention.  Make all necessary corrections before you demonstrate an essay to the teacher.

Make sure you have met all teacher's expectations concerning the essay style and formatting taking into account that there are many formatting styles - APA,  MLA format , Chicago, etc. You should ask your teacher which one it is better to give preference to. Check the requirements in the necessary styling guide and assure that you did everything the right way. If you lack time, then buy essay papers online composed by professional writers who can give a helping hand by editing/proofreading the work.

The formation of gender identity begins at an early age manifesting itself as a subjective feeling of belonging to baby-boys/baby-girls. Already at the age of three, kids start getting a kind of education on the gender role. Boys prefer to play with boys, girls - with girls. Joint games are present in the lives of both genders.

They are important for acquiring communication skills with each other. Preschoolers try to correspond to those ideas about the "right" behavior for the boy/ girl, which they learn from their family seeing at home - a place where they are living and are being raised.

For generations of girls, the image of both the woman, the main example of which is the mother, and the image of the man-father, is very important. For boys, the perception of the patterns of both male and female behavior is of the utmost importance.

Parents should give children the first example of an equal relationship between a husband and a wife, which largely determines their behavioral traits when dealing with people of two opposite sexes. While growing up, more importantly, it is essential for kids to get an idea of what equality is and which rights every member of the family has.

Up to 9-10 years, children are susceptible to the specific external impact of socialization. Close contact with peers of the opposite sex in school and other activities help the child to assimilate the behavioral gender status adopted in the modern society. Role-playing games that are taught in the kindergarten, with time become more difficult. Participation in them is important for children: they have the opportunity to choose the gender of the character in accordance with their own, they learn to match the gender role they have been shown.

Children represent men or women as individuals. They primarily reflect the acceptable stereotypes of gender behaviors adopted at home, in the families, and at school. They show those qualities that are considered in their environment feminine or masculine. In the prepubertal period (approximately 7-12 years old), children with very different personal qualities tend to unite in social groups in different ways, while avoiding representatives of the opposite sex.

During puberty, teenagers, as a rule, try to emphasize their gender qualities socially. In the list of those qualities which they begin to include communication with the opposite sex. An adolescent boy, trying to show his masculinity, shows determination, strength, but should actively care about girls.

The assimilation of gender roles and the development of gender identification is allowed as a result of the complex interaction of natural instincts, individual characteristics of a child and his/her environment, as well as actions in the society. If parents, knowing the norms of this process, do not impose their stereotypes on the child, but help him/her to reveal his/her individuality, then in adolescence/older age he/she will have less problems associated with puberty, awareness of the marriage, acceptance of his/her gender roles.

Let's Conclude

When crafting an essay on genders, you need to plunge into the history. Analyze whether the gender roles of men/ women have changed in a significant way or not. Provide your point of view on the basis of the public research available. Support your ideas with the good illustrative examples and refer to the works of the psychology/sociology, thinking over the scientists’ findings.

Stick to the correct essay structure that has been discussed in this article. Use the good quality sample as an example of the essay on the gender subject. If you follow all pieces of advice that are present here, you will enjoy the process of writing due to the fact that there are a lot of issues to concentrate the attention of your reader on.

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Many college and university students find it hard to write a good women's rights essay because they have other education shores and social responsibilities. Simply listing the rights of a woman in the society isn’t enough. You need to research the history of relevant movements, choose interesting id...

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Essay on Gender Roles in Society

Students are often asked to write an essay on Gender Roles in Society in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on Gender Roles in Society

Understanding gender roles.

Gender roles refer to societal expectations of behaviors, attitudes, and activities traditionally associated with males and females. They are shaped by cultural, historical, and social contexts.

Gender Roles in Different Cultures

Cultures worldwide have diverse gender roles. In some, men are seen as breadwinners while women manage home. In others, roles are more balanced, promoting equality.

Changing Gender Roles

Modern society is witnessing a shift in gender roles. Women are increasingly participating in professional fields, while men share domestic responsibilities.

Understanding gender roles is crucial for creating an equal society. It’s important to respect individual choices and promote flexibility in roles.

250 Words Essay on Gender Roles in Society


Gender roles, the societal expectations and norms associated with one’s sex, have been integral in shaping human behavior and interactions. These roles have been subject to significant changes over time, reflecting the evolving understanding of gender and its impact on society.

The Traditional View

Historically, gender roles were distinctly defined. Men were primarily seen as breadwinners, expected to provide for their families, while women were relegated to the domestic sphere, tasked with child-rearing and household chores. These roles were deeply ingrained, limiting individual potential and perpetuating gender inequality.

Modern Perspectives

In contemporary society, the perception of gender roles has undergone a paradigm shift. The feminist movement, LGBTQ+ rights activism, and increased awareness about gender diversity have challenged traditional norms. Men are now more involved in child-rearing and household tasks, and women have made significant strides in professional fields. Yet, gender-based stereotypes and biases persist, influencing career choices, income levels, and social interactions.

Impact of Evolving Gender Roles

The evolution of gender roles has profound implications for society. It fosters diversity, promotes equality, and allows individuals to explore their potentials beyond traditional confines. However, it also presents challenges, such as resistance to change and the struggle for identity.

Gender roles in society are not static but evolve with cultural, economic, and technological shifts. The challenge lies in fostering a society that acknowledges and respects this diversity, ensuring equal opportunities for all, irrespective of gender.

500 Words Essay on Gender Roles in Society

Gender roles are socially constructed and culturally specific norms that dictate the behavioral expectations of men and women in a society. These roles, deeply entrenched within the social fabric, profoundly influence individuals’ attitudes, behaviors, and identities.

The Evolution of Gender Roles

Historically, societies have been predominantly patriarchal, with gender roles strictly delineated. Men were typically associated with the public sphere – working, providing for the family, and making decisions, while women were confined to the private sphere – caring for children, managing the household, and nurturing relationships. However, the feminist movements of the 20th century challenged these stereotypes, advocating for gender equality and women’s rights.

In contemporary society, we are witnessing a shift in gender roles, with an increasing number of women entering the workforce and men partaking in household chores and child-rearing. Despite these changes, traditional gender roles persist, subtly influencing our perceptions and expectations.

Impact of Gender Roles on Society

Gender roles exert a significant influence on societal structures and individual lives. They contribute to gender inequality, limiting the opportunities and potential of individuals based on their gender. For instance, traditional roles often stereotype women as emotional and men as rational, influencing career choices and opportunities, and perpetuating wage gaps.

Moreover, these roles perpetuate harmful stereotypes, impacting mental health. The stereotype of men as strong and unemotional can lead to toxic masculinity, suppressing men’s emotional expression and promoting aggression. Similarly, the ideal of women as caregivers can limit their personal and professional growth.

Challenging Gender Roles

Challenging and reshaping gender roles is crucial for societal progress. Encouraging a culture that values individual capabilities over gender stereotypes can foster equality. Education plays a vital role in this process, promoting critical thinking about gender norms and fostering an understanding of gender as a social construct.

Additionally, media can play a significant role in challenging gender roles. By representing diverse gender identities and roles, media can help break stereotypes and promote a more inclusive understanding of gender.

In conclusion, gender roles, deeply embedded in our society, significantly shape our lives and experiences. While we have made strides towards equality, traditional gender roles continue to persist. Therefore, it is crucial to continually challenge these norms, fostering a society that values individuals for their capabilities and potential, rather than their gender. Through education and media, we can facilitate this shift, promoting a more inclusive, equal, and diverse society.

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Gender Roles (Essay Sample)

Table of Contents

Gender Roles

Gender is the array of characteristics to pertain or distinguish between femininity and masculinity. Depending on the contexts, these properties may be including biological sex (the state of being female or male or an intersex variation which may be complicating sex assignment), sex found social structures (includes gender roles and alternative social roles), or gender specification. Some cultures are having particular gender roles that can be contemplated distinct from male and female, such as the chhaka (hijra) of Pakistan and India. A sexologist known as John Money established the terminological contrast between gender as a role and biological sex in the year 1955. Before his findings, it was unusual to be using the word gender to be referring to anything grammatical groupings. Money’s meaning however did not become common until 1970s, when feminist theory was embracing the concept of variation social constructing of gender and biological sex. Currently the variation is strictly followed in some setting usually the social sciences and documents listed by the World Health Organization. In alternative settings, including some subjects of social sciences, gender is including sex or replacing it. For example, in researching non human animal, gender is usually used to be referring to the biological sex of the animals. This alter in the meaning can be found in the 1980s. The United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was starting to use gender instead of sex in the year 1993 (Mazure & Jones, 2015). Gender identity is referring to individual identifying with certain gender and gender roles in the society. This essay seeks to describe the gender roles and its significance in the society.

Gender Identity

Gender identity, is the experiencing of one’s gender by an individual. Gender identity can match with assigned sex during birth, or can be differing from it totally. All societies own a set of gender classification that can be serving as the basis of the forming of a person’s social identity in relating to other members of the community. In most communities, there is a ground breakup between gender features assigned to females and males, a gender binary to which most individuals are adhering and which is including expectations of femininity and masculinity in all aspect of gender and sex: gender expression, gender identity, and biological sex. In all communities, some people are not identifying with some or all details of gender that is assigned to their biological sex. Some of these individuals are gender queer, or transgender (Pega et al 2017). Some communities are having third gender bracket. By the age of three, the core gender identity is usually forming. After the age of three, it is truly difficult to alter and attempting to reassign it can bring about gender dysphoria. Both social and biological factors have been suggested to be influencing its formation. Several theories describing about how and when gender identity is forming exists and the study of the subject is difficult since children are lacking language will be requiring researchers to be making assumptions from direct evidence. John Money was suggesting children might be having awareness of, and attaching some impact to gender from the beginning of eighteen months to two years.

A gender role is a collection of societal norms that dictates the types of behaviors which are normally considered desirable, appropriate, or acceptable basing people on their actual or perceiving sexuality or sex. Gender roles are normally centered on the perception of masculinity and femininity, although there are variations and exceptions. The specifics that regard these gendered outlooks may be varying to a large extent among societies, while alternative traits may be usual throughout a span of cultures. There is unfinished discussion as to what reach gender roles and their differences are biologically established, and to what reach they are socially built. Different groups, most commonly the feminist movements have been leading efforts to alter features of prevailing gender roles they believe to be inaccurate and oppressive. In 1955, John Money created the term gender role during the course of studying intersex persons, describing the ways in which these persons are expressing their status as female and male in a state where no comprehensible biological task was existing. Some of the societal norms includes; acting, speaking, dressing, grooming, and conducting oneself basing upon assigned sex. For instance, women and girls are expected to be wearing dress, speaking politely, nurturing, and accommodating while men and boys are expected to be wearing trousers, to be bold, strong, and aggressive. However these gender roles can be varying in every society, culture, and ethnic groups, and can also be varying from group to group. Gender roles can also vary from time to time in some society. For example, the blue color was used to be considered a feminine color while pink color was considered masculine color in the United States (Mazarin, 2017).

Importance of Gender Roles in the Society

Gender complementarity and uniqueness means that each gender has a special contribution to society, work and interpersonal interaction that other gender cannot be filling in its entirety. Here, men and women are bringing special and complementary gifts, skills, talents, and abilities to relationships to the society, to one another, and to work. Acknowledging gender variations is helping children in learning more effectively. Major changes begin occurring early in children’s development. These variations are traced throughout the life of a child. Girls like co-operating more than boys and like competing less. Girls are caring more about playmates’ feelings and are good in reading other’s emotions better than boys. Boys on the other hand are more self serving. For instance, they are having a harder time to learn in sharing and they are acting up more and are less likely to become team players in school. Men and women are living a healthier and happier when they are acknowledging and celebrating their respective gender variations. People who are having a secure gender identity tend to be leading a healthy and happier life. Those individuals who are gender confused tend to be having more emotional, mental and psychological issues than those who have healthy gender make up. Some of the gender confused individuals include; trans-sexual, bisexual, and transgender. The masculine gender is an important aspect of fatherhood and children who are raised by a devoted father tend to be doing better in life. The feminine gender is also an important aspect of motherhood and children who are also raised by devoted mothers tend to be doing even better in life.

In conclusion, gender is the array of characteristics to pertain or distinguish between femininity and masculinity. Gender is an important part of the virtuous human experience because it is bifurcating into complementary and separate groups, which has a great influence on one’s abilities in understanding and relating to others. Gender roles are needed in making the gender variation complementary and real. Furthermore, the particular gender roles will be shifting from time to time and social environment reasons.

  • Mazure M. Jones P. (2015). Twenty years and still counting: including women as participants and studying sex and gender in biomedical research. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4624369/
  • Mazarin J. (2017). Gender Roles in Society: Definition & Overview. Retrieved from http://study.com/academy/lesson/gender-roles-in-society-definition-lesson-quiz.html
  • Pega F. Reisner S. Sell R. Veale J. (2017).Transgender Health: New Zealand’s Innovative Statistical Standard for Gender Identity.  American Journal of Public Health, 107(2), p217-221

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