Male and Female Roles in Contemporary Society


Societies both traditional and modern have been assigning roles to men and women based on their gender. However, these gender roles are just but perceived behavioral norms that a given social group or society assigns to males or females (Jacobson & Mazur, 1995). This concept is more pronounced in the form of division of labor by gender. This is instilled by socialization agents who include families, friends, teachers, mass media, and leaders in the society such that the result is that young boys and girls grow up having their gender roles defined for them. In essence, gender roles come into being when biological sexuality is transformed into products of human activity in the society for instance in decision making, education, child care, and lastly professions (Miller 61).

Examples of how these gender roles are pronounced are highlighted briefly below using Talcott Parson’s model (Jacobson 45). With the issue of decision making, men are deemed the best in decision making locking out women in this issue. Secondly, education is considered the primary requirement for men resulting in a lower education enrolment rate for women. Thirdly childcare and domestic chores are considered the primary roles for women thus locking out men in child support and care including their participation in domestic chores and other obligations (Jacobson 46).

Lastly, concerning the profession, high professional qualification is considered only for the man. In reality, the above extremes may not be found but serve to highlight the presence of such gender roles especially in traditional patriarchal societies. These gender roles can sometimes be linked to stereotypes whereby masculinity is associated with power, dominance, and control. However, with modernization and necessary legislation these gender roles are slowly disappearing (Steinem 87).

Role of Women

The contribution of women in the US revolutionary war was a great step in achieving gender equality. Women’s roles were mainly domesticated as housewives. In contemporary society, however, gender inequality in the labor force is still in existence with other disheartening aspects of ethnicity. Women continue to be paid less for the equal work done by men.

The restructuring of the labor force in contemporary society has motivated women to work equally hard and women unlike before have been motivated to acquire power. Power mandates women to take control over resources and hence determine the structure of the labor force. The inclusion of women in political systems influences the paid work (Miller 89).

The changes in the paid work facilitate the decision of many individuals in career choice and venture into high-risk investment. This has also helped in the acquisition of high-paid work within the labor market in that, the production rate is not the same. This however depends on the economic development of a country. Paid work differs from one country to another with gender inequality being more evident in third world countries.

The labor force is the major determinant of gender equality. Women need to be appreciated in modern society for their contributions to the capital market. The girl child needs education in the growing global village (Strathern, 29).

Since time immemorial child care and obligations around it have been done by women all over the world. This is conspicuous in everyday child care at homes, elementary schools, and other daycare institutions. The fact is that fathers rarely participate in child care and housework (Steinem 34). This is so especially in this modern society where human rights and equality are constantly fought for and upheld…

Works Cited

Jacobson, Fred. Sexism and sexuality in advertising. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1995.

Miller, Kate. Male and Female Roles; Opposing Viewpoints. New York: Greenhaven Press, 2009.

Steinem, George. Outrageous acts and everyday rebellions: Owlet Book. South Australia: H. Holt Press, 2007.

Strathern, Martin. Women in between; female roles in a male world: Classics in anthropology. New Guinea Rowman & Littlefield Press, 2008.