Gender sociology is a set of expectations imposed on to men and women, which can be viewed as either a negative or positive aspect of society. These types of expectations can range from appearance to behavior and decision-making. For example, girls are expected to wear dresses and makeup, are envisioned to be caring, and are supposed to be dependent on men in a relationship. Men, on the other hand, expected to be the “breadwinners” in a relationship and are viewed as apathetic. These roles and behaviors, although there is biological evidence that shows that they occur before one is born, also have a heavy influence on the environment and are mostly enforced by society’s beliefs.
Although gender socialization affects children by forcing them to play with certain toys and dress as the gender they are, I will be explaining how gender socialization primarily influences adult men and women in a negative way because it prevents women from going into specific career paths, restricts men from showing emotion in public, and provides certain genders fixed roles in a married relationship. For example, girls that plays with dolls and plays dress-up games will be expected, once they are adults, to dress in a particular fashion and be interested in beauty and makeup.
On the other hand, boys that plays with building blocks and cars will be expected to consider careers that involve mechanics and building when they are older. The effect that these gender roles and limitations have on adults can lead to great amounts of stress, which can lead to depression, anxiety, issues with one’s image, and eating disorders. The annotated bibliography will support my argument because it will go into detail about in what ways do gender roles are harmful to adults from scholarly journals from the databases. Finally, this will answer the question, “How does gender socialization negatively impact the adult life of men and women?”
Baker, Judith A.; and Goggin, Noreen L. “PORTRAYALS OF OLDER ADULTS IN MODERN MATURITY ADVERTISEMENTS.” Educational Gerontology, vol. 20, no. 2, 1994, pp. 139. Print .
Distelhorst, Daniel J. “Dominance and Deference: Status Expectations of Men and Women.” The Diversity Factor, vol. 13, no. 2, 2005, pp. 24-28. Print.
In this article, Distelhorst addresses how women recognize how men dominate during conversations, tasks, and discussions in the workplace, and describes reasons for why that may be possible. He states, “Many women report that men tend to dominate in mixed-gender work groups…Men seem to also have a greater influence on group discussions and decisions” (24). Some may claim that men obtaining leadership at work is an example of the cruelty of women, but I would argue that it can relate to gender roles in the workplace. The reason for that being is how society expects men to be natural born leaders, which allows males to be dominating in meetings and discussions.
To go into further detail, he claims, “Competitions ( ‘strive to win’), hierarchy (‘ take charge’) and individualism ( ‘stand on your own’) are seen as central to appropriate male behavior” (25). These expectations put a large amount of pressure onto men in the workplace, and it makes women more submissive and discourages them from speaking and giving ideas because they are believed to be silenced by traditional gender roles. Due to these regulations that have become socially normalized, there is gender inequality at work, which is why gender socialization mainly distresses adults.
Flynn, Patricia M., Cavanagh, Kevin V.; and Bilimoria, Diana. “CLOSING THE GENDER GAP.” BizEd, vol. 14, no. 2, 2015, pp. 38-41. Print.
This article, written by Flynn et. al, discloses the lack of appreciation for women studying in the business industry and the bias of men over women in career paths such as professors and instructors, going into statistics that strengthen their claims and proposes ways of bringing more women into business and financing occupations along with preventing gender inequality in the workplace.
The article suggests, “Among business faculty in the U.S., women make up 19% of full professors, 23.6% of tenured faculty positions, 30.4% of associate professors, 37.4% of assistant professors, and 39.5% of instructors” (39). Because of this data, it proves how women are rejected most of the time in business professions. The reason being, as well as why this pertains to gender socialization affecting adults, is that these types of occupations are more imposed towards men by society. This negatively impacts adult women because it discourages them from taking jobs they desire to pursue in order to maintain their femininity.
The authors also state, “After being hired as full-time business faculty, women are less likely to become full professors than men” (38). This demonstrates the bias towards men in career paths that were more “masculine” and excludes women due to how society did not accept females in a profession that was viewed as male-centered. Although some would argue that this article pertains to feminism and the oppression of women, it also correlates with traditional gender roles because it associates different careers with a certain gender and expects men and women to consider the choices given to them. Overall, Flynn et. al explains how most of the roles in business are predominantly male and there should be a change in how society rejects women who are striving to work in business fields.
Galligan, Stephanie B.; Barnett, Rosemary V.; Brennan, Mark A.; and Israel, Glenn D. “THE EFFECTS OF GENDER ROLE CONFLICT ON ADOLESCENT AND ADULT MALE RESILIENCY.” The Journal of Men’s Studies, vol. 18, no. 1, 2010, pp. 3-21.
Composed by Galligan et. al, the article conducts an experiment to analyze how struggles associating with gender roles impact the ability of resilience in men. This experiment uses young adults who are studying in college. While organizing this experiment, the authors state that gender role conflict does correlate with resilience; when adolescent males experience higher degrees of gender role conflict, resilience declines, which can increase the risk of problematic behaviors (11). This relates to how gender socialization negatively influencing adults because they experience many forms of gender role conflict in the workplace, in marriage, and while hanging out with friends.
By society, men are expected to work more, which can lead to inevitable stress and burnout. Along with that, men are restricted from showing emotion, which in turn, allows men to partake in aggressive behavior and other harmful tendencies. Once this experiment was completed, the results state, “Specifically, three of the four gender role conflict pattern scores were inversely related to resiliency…thus, the null hypothesis that there was no relationship between gender role conflict and resilience was rejected” (13). This suggests that there is a correlation between gender socialization and how it impact one’s ability to act. Men still experience struggles with gender socialization as late as adolescent life. The expectations society has imposed onto men has caused them to become hostile and show problematic behaviors.