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How Gender Roles Shapes the Future

gender stereotypes are sets of cultural expectations/ Photo By YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV via Shutterstock

 

Gender is a sensitive topic to discuss. Having a meaningful and unbiased conversation is not easy to happen since most people are being uncomfortable and have different opinions about the issues under gender. Gender stereotypes are sets of cultural expectations popularly adopted by the mass majority. These roles and expectations are kept in place partly because of the human need to belong. Even in the present era, there are still some cultures that have their restrictions on gender stereotypes even though most of the parts in the world have become lenient and accepting of deviation from gender roles. Susty Vibes defined gender roles as for how males and females should think, speak, dress, and interact within the context of the society. Gender roles are adopted during childhood and normally continue into adulthood.

 

In a website called Better Help, they stated that gender stereotypes have a massive impact on shaping society. Each gender bases their beliefs and opinions mostly on how the media portrayed their gender role in society. The media has a vital role to play in portraying the gender stereotypes in society through the use of television programs, news programs, music videos, commercials, video games, newspapers, and magazines. Gender stereotypes which are portrayed in different media outlets could also have an effect on how children will view themselves when they get older. Whatever they saw on the televisions and movies could stay on their heads and make them believe that it is the only right thing to do. Kids could also get the concept where boys are smarter than girls or there are certain jobs that are best for men and others for women. The worst thing that the media could portray the children’s young minds is that how girls are responsible for their own sexual assaults and that boys will always be boys.

Furthermore, the sexualization among women has led to many societal problems, including the increased rate of rape and violence against women. Most girls who hit puberty also experienced oppression from a very young age. Yet, there are still some cultures where women are taught to satisfy men which will destroy her self-esteem, confidence, and crushing their ambitions.

 

Gender roles on kids

 

Childhood is a vital part of anyone’s life since this is where most of the values and attitudes were shaped. In a web article posted by CNN, they mentioned that it is advisable for the children to have an earlier introduction about sexuality, relationships, and identity in order for them to be aware of the negative effects of gender roles on their well-being. Children should be able to understand that there is a greater meaning behind every textbook definitions that defines sexuality and identity. Family, friends, and society play an important impression of what it means to be a boy or a girl, which could have a place rigid gender expectations on children from a young age. Researchers from John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the World Health Organization worked together to publish a study that covers the topic of gender expectations on children and its association with the risks on mental and physical health problems of the adult.

“Adolescent health risks are shaped by behaviors rooted in gender roles that can be well-established in kids by the time they are 10 or 11 years old,” said Kristin Mmari, associate professor at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and lead researcher for qualitative research on the Global Adolescent Study. She also added that around the world, billions of dollars have been invested in health programs that are focused on adolescents since they believe that education and healthy well-being among young adolescents could have a huge difference on the world’s future.

 

Young audiences can absorb ideas from the media on how to behave and what to become could have false assumptions and harmful conclusions because of these characterizations. According to CNN, a lifetime of viewing stereotypical media can affect the child’s career choices, self-worth, relationships, and ability to achieve their full potential.

gender stereotypes have a massive impact on shaping society/ Photo by Gajus via Shutterstock

 

What is a hegemonic masculinity?

Studies showed that girls face the risk of having an unwanted marriage, pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections and exposure to violence, while on the other hand boys suffer from the pressure because of the gender expectations that the society is teaching them. This pressure could lead them in substance abuse, suicide, and shorter life expectancy than women. The researchers also coiled a term called hegemonic myth where people perceive men to be the dominant sex over women who needed protection.

 

Moreover, in a website called patheos.com, they stated that hegemonic masculinity is toxic, unhealthy, and poisoning. The European Institute for Gender Equality explained that the “pattern of masculinity, which shapes the hegemonic position, is not only adverse to equality and inclusion, but also brings disadvantages and costs for men.” hegemonic masculinity is part of R.W Connell’s gender order theory, which recognizes multiple masculinities that vary across time, culture and the individual. It is defined as a practice where it legitimizes men’s dominant position in society and justifies the subordination of women and other marginalized ways of being a man.

 

The nature of hegemonic masculinity derives from the theory of cultural hegemony, by the Marxist theorist, Antonio Gramsci, which analyses the power relations among the social classes of a society.  The conceptual beginnings of hegemonic masculinity represented the culturally idealized form of manhood that was socially and hierarchically exclusive and concerned with bread-winning; that was anxiety-provoking and differentiated; that was brutal and violent, pseudo-natural and tough, and psychologically contradictory.

 

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