Gender Roles and Psychological Differences
Running head: CHANGES IN FAMILY ROLES IN SOCIETY TODAY
Changing Family Roles Assignment
In the past generation, families in general have encountered a massive change when it comes to the increase in married women??™s paid employment outside the home. Nowadays, women who are married work outside the home and are responsible for the roles that a typical married women must play, which includes for all the unpaid work in the home. Unpaid work refers to all the duties a wife or a mother is supposed to play, such as cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, and taking care of the kids. Since more women are working outside the home being a second source for income, child day care centers are highly emphasized. Also, since women now are working outside the home, families including the husband and children now turn to fast-food restaurants to make up for the meals the women used to make.
The impact of married women now working, has taken great effect on the division of household labor one used to complete or perform. Since women are out working in various work places, who then completes all the housework ???The most recent study finds women doing more housework and spending more time on child care than men, whether it be on a workday or when off work.??? (Schaefer & Haaland, 2006) Arlie Hochschild, a sociologist, explains the phrase ???second shift??? to describe the double load that women have to carry. Second shift refers to the work a woman has to perform outside the home, which would be paid, then also coming back from work and spending time on unpaid work, which includes child care. Since women have such busy schedules, there are more chances of certain aspects in their life going wrong. Women are more prone to go through stress than men are because men have less hectic schedules and have less to worry about. Furthermore, the impact of married women now working more has reduced the number of children a woman may wish to have. Since women are so busy with their daily schedules, working outside the home and coming back to a list of chores to complete, they are having fewer children.
For my assignments, I was asked to go to a nearby card shop, where I would be able to analyze Father??™s and Mother??™s Day cards. In total, this procedure was to take students roughly around 60-90 minutes in total. We were all asked to see how many different categories of cards there were in display and then were asked to list them all with a provided booklet. A category that was present for both Mother??™s and Father??™s for example was ???From Son??? or ???From Daughter.??? Then I was asked to see how many different types of designs they had for Father??™s and Mother??™s Day cards in total. Afterwards, I was then asked to provide a detailed description of a selection of cards. In this description, I mentioned certain aspects of the card, such as the color of the writing, any pictures or drawings in the cards, and even the texture and type of paper used for the cards itself. For both assignments, we were to select one card from certain categories. Some of the categories for example were, Father/Mother ??“ humorous, Father/Mother ??“ religious and Father/Mother ??“ from small child(ren). I was also asked to pick any card that I personally liked and would consider choosing for my own father. Also, we were all asked to find the most expensive card in the whole store so we can record a detailed description of that also. In the end, we were asked to record a description of the overall impressions of the shop itself. We were asked to verify how busy or slow the store was, the atmosphere of the stores and any overheard conversations of customers buying Father??™s or Mother??™s Day cards.
My main findings from my research on Father??™s and Mother??™s Day cards was that for Mother??™s Day, there was more variety to choose from. Also for Mother??™s Day, the colors used were the typical feminine colors such as pinks and purples. The pictures used for the Mother??™s Day cards had a lot of flowers and outdoor sceneries on them. The nice and simple cards for Mother??™s Day were very classy and actually had meaningful phrases in them whereas the eye-catching cards were mostly humorous. For the humorous section, I noticed a lot of cartoon characters, and had the typical image of a housewife. There were pictures of women cooking in the kitchen, cleaning the house, and out in the store shopping for grocery. Mother??™s Day cards portrayed the image of a typical women being a stay at home mom. On the other hand, there were many cards that showed respect for the ???Mother??? and did not poke any fun towards them.
My research findings on the cards for Father??™s Day in general were that most of them were very funny and humorous. The colors that were used was mainly earth tone colors such as blues and greens. The general themes used for Fathers were mainly outdoor activities such as playing sports, fishing or cutting the grass. Not the forget, there were many cards that had the dad portraying a ???couch potatoe??? by lying on the coach watching television with a beer in his hand. The cards from the ???wives??? were much more thoughtful and meaningful when compared to the cards I saw during our Mother??™s assignment. Father??™s Day cards were much more humorous when compared to the Mother??™s Day cards. The mothers were portrayed to have more respect and honour by their children when compared to the fathers.
My findings do not reflect the kinds of changes I have mentioned in my introduction because nowadays, women are working outside the home, not just at home. Many women don??™t do half the chores that one used to perform back in the day, and men more doing much more than they used to. Nowadays, you will see men helping out in the kitchens and taking care of the children.
For men and women, when it comes to ???work??? there will be always be gender discrimination towards women. ???Work is a larger part of men??™s identity, while women are more likely to see work as a means of responding to family needs.??? (Beaujot, 2000) No matter what, women will always be seen as a ???typical housewife??? because even in my Mother??™s Day assignment, women were perceived to be in the kitchen either cooking or cleaning. Working outside the home for men is a sense of pride and honor one will give, but when it comes to women they don??™t receive the right amount of attention especially if their working outside the home. Men want to me the main providers for their family, because if their wives are the ones earning for the family, these men will be looked down upon by other men in society. ???The choice of an occupation can be a coping strategy, and while these strategies may well be beneficial to the welfare of families and children, they can pose problems for women and children when marriages are not viable.??? (Beaujot, 2000) If women are working outside the home, this may cause conflicts between both spouses and will take effect on the children. If women are outside the home being co-givers towards the household, they are less likely to pay the same amount of time at home with the family. This may cause problems for both the husband and the wife, and mainly a big issue for the children if any. If a wife is working outside the home, I believe that she should give her family a lot of time, because in each and every household, the love and affection that a mother shows is not possible for any father to complete. Women are the building blocks of a family, and without them many things wouldn??™t be possible.
If men were to be stay-at-home fathers, they would be able to take the position that a mother hold in a typical family. ???In-home caretaking dads formed more-lasting bonds with their children than did working fathers.??? (Tucker, 2005) I think it is mandatory for at least one of the spouses to have a proper relationship with the children because children will always need guidance and assistance. If fathers took the responsibility of a mother, and all women became working mothers outside the home, fathers would be able to take the position that a mother holds. In my Father??™s Day assignment, all women were shown to be stay-at-home mothers, but I think if fathers were to be stay-at-home dads, society may look at them differently. Fathers are known to provide the main source of income towards a household, and I believe that other men would look down upon these fathers who decide to be stay-at-home fathers. I believe that men will always have the upper hand in providing for families because that??™s the way our society feels it should be.
In society today, the typical role of men and women has been clearly identified within our communities. In my assignments, for example, the colors used for men were blues and greens and the colors used for women were pinks and purples. Society in general has made these certain norms which people have accepted in our society today. While growing up, girls are taught to play with dolls and boys are taught to play with cars and tools. It just the way people have been brought up, and now when we look in society, it is taking deep effect into the lives of families. ???Studies of housework rarely focus on the meaning of the two chores traditionally performed by men, auto work and yard work.??? (Kroska, 2003) With these types of jobs, it??™s a way for a man to feel pride in what he does and it shows a sense of masculinity in him. ???If masculine chores do help men display masculinity, men may consider these chores nicer, more potent, and perhaps more lively than women do.??? (Kroska, 2003) When men perform such activities such as fixing certain things around the house, it??™s like they achieve a source of self-esteem for themselves that they are actually worthy of and contribute to the family. Men probably feel that women are contributing much more towards the family, so when they do such tasks around the house, they feel like they a+re contributing a great amount.
While completing my assignments, it was clearly present that women do more than men, especially the pictures of fathers being coach potatoes. Since women are working and taking care of their families, it is a lot of pressure on them. ???The odds of feeling sometimes or always rushed were more than twice as high for married women with children than it was for single, childless women. But men who were married and had children didn??™t feel rushed then single, childless men.??? (Women Feel More Rushed than Men, 2007) With men helping out more around the house then they used to, women still today feel more responsible for their families than men do.
The images portrayed in the Mother??™s and Father??™s Day greeting cards and the issue of changing gender roles in family greatly contributes with one another. Many aspects of families have changed in the past generation, but even when men are helping out more around the house, women are still held more responsible for looking after the family. I think that women will always feel more pressure towards the family, because its something we??™ve all been brought up with. Women have always been the one to take care of the kids and the house. Yes, I think that men are contributing more but I still feel like women still play a bigger role in families in general. I have learned that many aspects of families have changed in the past little while, but I still feel women will naturally have more stress and pressure when it comes down to family rather than men. In the years to come, I feel like women will make great progress, and there will be more equality in the work force, but I still feel that women will have a bigger hand in aiding for the family.
Beaujot, R. (2000). Earning & Caring in Canadian Families. Toronto; Broadview Press, Ltd.
Kroska, Amy (2003). Investigating Gender Differences in the Meaning of Household Chores and Child Care. Journal of Marriage & Family, Vol. 65 Issue 2, 456-473. Retrieved July 25, 2007, from EBSCO HOST Research Databases.
LiveScience Staff. (2006). Women Feel More Rushed than Men. Retrieved July 26, 2007 from http://www.livescience.com/strangenews/060125_women_rush.html
Schaefer, R. T., Haaland, B. (2006). Sociology: A Brief Introduction. Second Canadian Edition, 222-239.
Tucker, Patrick (2005). Stay-at-Home Dads. Futurist, Vol. 39 Issue 5, 12-13. Retrieved July 25, 2007, from EBSCO HOST Research Databases.