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Gender Roles and their Consequences
- Gender-role socialization – process of learning the norms and roles that are expected of people in a particular society
- Sexism – bias against people on the basis of their gender
- Gender stereotypes – widely accepted beliefs about females'’ and males’ abilities, personality traits, and behavior patterns
Male Gender Roles
- Three Ps: provider, protector, and procreator
- What this entails….
- Rites of passage
- Relationship with mom
- During adolescence, often teased and shamed
- Mask emotions and true selves
- Society does not tolerate loneliness, helplessness, and fear in their “MEN”
- Eventually become desensitized
American Male Stereotypes
- Emotional unavailability -A man tends to show his affection by being a “good
- Independence-A man is expected to be mainly self-reliant. Rather than admitting
- that he needs anything from anyone, he must lead a life of exaggerated
- Power and aggressiveness- A man is told that he must be powerful physically,
- sexually, intellectually, and financially.
- Denial of fears-A man is told that it is important to hide his fears, even in
- situations where he is frightened.
- Protection of his inner self-With other men he keeps himself hidden because
- they are competitors and in this sense potential enemies.
- Invulnerability -He cannot make himself vulnerable, as is evidenced by his
- general unwillingness to disclose much of his inner experience.
- Lack of bodily self-awareness-Common physical stress signals include
- headaches, nausea, heartburn, muscle aches, backaches, and high blood
- pressure, but men often ignore these stress symptoms, denying their
- potential consequences and failing to address their causes.
- Remoteness with other men-Although he may have plenty of acquaintances,
- he rarely confides in male friends.
- Driven to succeed-A man is told that it is important to win, to be competitive,
- and to gain recognition, respect, and status.
- Denial of feminine qualities-Men are frequently shut off from their emotional
- selves because they see the subjective world of feelings as being essentially
- Avoidance of physical contact-A man has a difficult time touching freely or
- expressing affection and caring for other men.
- Rigid perceptions-A man tends to view gender roles as rigid categories.
- Devotion to work-A man is socialized with the message that work is the most
- important part of his identity.
- Loss of the male spirit and experience of depression-Because he is cut off from his
- inner self, he has lost a way to make intuitive sense of the world.
Challenging Traditional Male Roles
- Gender roles stem from need for division of labor
- Increasing number of groups, workshops, conferences devoted to helping men break free of stereotypes
- Traditional roles are not unhealthy for everyone, all the time
Female Gender Roles
- Resistant to traditional gender roles
- Limiting gender stereotypes
- poor self concept, wellbeing, and physical health
- Caretaker of the family
- Women are regarded as….
- Warm, expressive, and nurturing
- Emotional and intuitive
- Unaccomplished: family vs. career
- Women must not deviate from their female role
Women and Work
- Women’s work choices opening up—Social inequality
- Still less employed in jobs traditionally performed by men
- There is still salary discrimination
- Dual “Careers”
- More women postponing marriage and children for careers and education
- Multiple roles: worker AND homemaker
Challenging Traditional Roles
- Do these roles work for you? Do they help you to achieve your goals? Gain success?
- Important to be aware of stereotypes so we can make choices about whether or not to accept these stereotypes
Alternatives to Gender Role Expectations
- Androgyny- both male and female
- Carl Jung is both vvvvv
- Animus – female’s masculine aspects
- Anima – men’s feminine aspects
- Gender-role transcendence
- Going beyond rigid gender categories and allowing for flexible behaviors
- Separates personality from biological sex
- You want me to do WHAT?!
- Difficult to talk about personal concerns and fears
- It’s all about open communication
- Mutual empathy -the awareness that each partner in the relationship
- cares for the other and knows that this care is reciprocated.
- Important to set boundaries early
- Ask for what you want
- Common Concerns
Developing Sexual Values
- Sexuality is influenced by the values we learned in our family
- Cultural values & Familial expectations
- Abstinence is a valid choice
- Honestly question yourself
- What are your reasons for choosing to have or not have sex?
- How do you feel about discussing sex?
- Define your boundaries and enforce them
guilt & misconceptions
- GUILT over sexual feelings
- Lack of control?
- GUILT over sexual experiences
- masturbation, affairs, promiscuity, “abnormal” sexual practices
- MISCONCEPTIONS about sexuality
- Become aware of verbal and non-verbal messages regarding sexuality and gender-role behavior
Sensuality vs. sexuality
- Sexuality- expressing ourselves through physical contact with another.
- Sensuality- experiencing pleasure with all 5 senses
- Sensuality does not always include sexual activity
- Being present in the moment and not worrying about the outcome
- Performance anxiety