The Role and Duties of Gender in Marriage

The role and duties of each gender within a marriage has been a debated issue for decades. Stereotypically, the female role in the marriage is perceived as submissive and dependent in relation to her spouse. The male role in the marriage has been primarily known as the primary financial provider for the household which takes on a more dominate role. Throughout history we have seen an evolution in the marriage relationships between the genders. There have been serval historic events that have contributed to these changes which include World War II, economic recession, the women’s rights movement, and the arise of technological innovations. The gender role ideologies vary based on family upbringing, culture, peers, and mass media which has formed into three different styles of marriage such as traditional marriage style, egalitarianism, and collaborative marriage.

The U.S. economy played a large part in influencing the changes in marital roles. Since only men were drafted and sent away to fight in the Second World War, women left their house life and entered the work force to take up the jobs of men. Many of these jobs consisted of working in sew shops and tailors, sewing clothes and mending shoes to factory jobs ranging from machine and automobile work to manufacturing weapons such as guns, ammunition, and the supplies that were needed for the war. Any job previously held by a man was now occupied by a woman. While it was a necessity to fill these positions that were previously occupied by men, women did not receive the same wages as the men who covered the same position. (#4)

In the article The Great Recession and Gender Marriage Transformation the author discusses how the U.S. economy experienced economic success in which salaries and the job marker was prosperous. After the 1970’s with the new addition of technology such as telecommunication and computer innovations, companies became competitive which effected wages from increasing. Married men were experiencing salary freezes in which they were no longer receiving increases in their salaries. Men were finding it difficult to support their family in the lifestyle that they have grown accustomed to. This led to the decision of women entering the workforce to help support their household with the additional income. The book refers to this as the second shift in which women have now entered the workforce, either full or part time, they are still expected to perform all of their duties in addition to having the expectation to complete the duties and responsibilities of a housewife. Women still have certain expectations despite the fact women’s roles were changing. (#1)

The exposure and influence of varying customs and beliefs is the process known of globalization. Across the globe marriage is viewed in several different ways, this being because globalization has been an influence on the changes made in the customs and cultural ideals held by people within relationships. In fact, for a successful marriage to occur as stated in the article Gender-Role egalitarianism predicts desirable traits of potential marriage partners: A cross-cultural comparison each partner comes to the relationship with their own ideas of what the perfect match is for them. These expectations have taken years to form and develop based on their culture, peer groups, and family upbringing (#2).

Throughout history the evolution of women’s right which started in the late 1700’s led to the activation and recognition of women’s rights. As stated by Susannah Wellford in the article Women’s approach to marriage is evolving as American society shifts it was stated that women are climbing towards parity with men in economic status and in leadership this is the leading cause of why throughout the 21st century the roles of both genders in today’s society has been constantly changing at a rapid pace. (Wellford,2017) (#5)

Men and women have always been confronted with limiting specific social and cultural standards that are expected for them to continue to demonstrate thorough out the rest of their life. This is evident in everyday like at home, in the workplace, and throughout society. In fact, parents start directing their children in a specific social direction from the age of infancy by giving them specific activities to complete that have been made specifically towards their gender. For example, little girls are given dolls, doll houses, and dress up clothes, while boys are given dinosaurs, trains, trucks, and building blocks, but if a girl is seen playing with a toy truck she would only receive a few social consequences, while on the other hand if a boy plays with a baby doll some may see it as a way to build imagination, and giving the boy the opportunity to develop their social and emotional skills while most others in society see it as socially inappropriate and must cease. (sociology textbook page 237)

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