The social construction of gender is the idea that sex is not predetermined but is instead a product of societal expectations and values. While some feminine and masculine qualities may be biologically determined, most behavior associated with gender is learned through socialization. This means that culture and other social influences greatly affect peoples’ thoughts regarding gender roles division. The social construction of gender roles in working parents defines the responsibilities and expectations fathers and mothers are expected to fulfill based on their biological sex in order to build a great family.
The social construction of gender roles in working parents refers to the duties that society assigns to mothers and fathers based on their sexes. For instance, cultural norms may dictate that fathers are responsible for providing financial support for their families, while mothers are typically seen as caretakers who are responsible for raising children (Giuliano 21). These roles can vary depending on a family’s culture, religion, socioeconomic status, and other factors. While the social construction of gender roles is often helpful in outlining expectations for parents, it can also be limiting.
Working mothers are expected to balance work life and domestic chores. The idea that women should be primarily responsible for domestic tasks and childrearing is a social construction that has a long history. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, women were generally responsible for all domestic tasks, including cooking, cleaning, and childcare (Giuliano 3). Even though mothers may be working thus being able to support their families but still this does not exempt them from their motherly roles (Vincent 549). Working mothers help to create a balance between work and family life and provide family care and financial support for their families.
Working mothers serve as positive role models for their children, teaching them the importance of hard work and determination. They manage this in many ways; by working hard to provide for their families, being involved in their children’s lives, and acting as a pillar of support. They exemplify the importance of determination, effort, and family (Vincent 45). Spending time with their children while also maintaining busy careers demonstrates to kids the value of work-life balance, something that is increasingly important in today’s world. And finally, by showing their children that it is possible to have it all; a successful career and a supportive family life. Societal norms expect mothers to act as role models to their children for their future success.
On the other hand, working fathers are expected to be the primary financial provider for their families. There are a number of ways working fathers can provide financial support to their children. They are expected to contribute to a savings account or help pay for their children’s healthcare and education expenses (Giuliano 14). Additionally, fathers should contribute to providing the basic needs of their children, such as food, clothing, and shelter (Giuliano 7). In short, society expects fathers to provide financial aid to their children to remain healthy and educated.
Working fathers motivate their children to remain focused and succeed in life. Working fathers gift their children meaningful things that will help them maintain better performance in their academics (Oláh et al. 51). Alternatively, fathers are also expected to organize extra tuition if they feel that their child could benefit from additional academic support. Fathers who are involved in their children’s lives tend to have better relationships with them, perform better in school, and suffer less from depression and anxiety due to the lack of basic needs.
Similarly, working fathers should support their partners holistically to ensure family growth. By showing interest and appreciation in what their wives are striving for, fathers help to create a home environment that is conducive to happiness and success (Giuliano 22). It is all about giving their partners the time and space they need to grow in their careers. This might mean taking on more of the household duties by helping them perform a few house chores or employing house helps to take care of the children when they travel for work. Fathers are similarly known to be a great source of encouragement and support, praising their wives for professional accomplishments and making them feel confident and motivated in their career pursuits (Vincent 551). As parents and husbands, working fathers should take care of their children and wives’ welfare and development.
Additionally, fathers are expected to provide emotional support by being there for their children and wives during the good and bad times. Conversely, according to social construction, there are equally many ways in which working fathers can support their children. In order to support their children and wives emotionally, working fathers must find a healthy balance between work and family life (Vincent 545). This means taking time for themselves, spending time with their wives, and setting aside time each day to connect with their children. It also means communicating openly with their wives about both work and family issues. By establishing regular communication patterns and staying connected emotionally, working fathers can provide the support their families need.
In conclusion, working parents play an important role in social construction through the division of responsibilities to ensure family success. Working mothers should always find a balance between work life and domestic chores performance such as cleaning and cooking for their family members. They are similarly expected to act as role models to their children: demonstrating how they should behave and that it is possible to parent and succeed professionally. Working fathers, on the other hand, are to provide financial support to their children by paying for their health and school fees. They likewise motivate their children and wives to succeed in their activities as well as provide emotional support to them during hard moments.
Giuliano, Paola. “Gender: An Historical Perspective”. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2017.
Oláh, Livia Sz, Irena E. Kotowska, and Rudolf Richter. “The New Roles of Men and Women and Implications for Families and Societies.” A Demographic Perspective on Gender, Family and Health in Europe. Springer, Cham, 2018.
Vincent, Carol. “The Children Have Only Got One Education and You Have to Make Sure It’s a Good One’: Parenting and Parent–School Relations in a Neoliberal Age”. Gender and Education, vol. 29, no. 5, 2017, pp. 541-557.