Ellee Oregon

Gender Roles

Gender roles affect everyone in society and breed sexism.

Dear Future President,

The concept of gender roles affects everyone no matter their place in society. In an article on sexism and traditional gender roles, Cathy Young, a contributing editor at Reason magazine states,"Traditional roles for women and men [have] little scientific basis." If they have almost no scientific basis, then why are gender roles deeply ingrained into our culture? I would like you to lead by example and help society abolish gender roles. You should portray a sense of acceptance of all and be unbiased towards a person's gender.

Some try to justify these roles by using the animal kingdom as a model and trying to prove that it’s more natural for men to be in a dominant role. But as Young points out, “The animal world's varied and complex sex roles are hardly a model of family values, given that in some 60 percent of primate species the young are reared by single moms.” Using the animal kingdom as an example is realistically showing that mothers should be the primary provider, which is contrary to societal beliefs.

Stereotypically fathers, or the male figure in a household, are seen to be the “breadwinners.” Young brings light to this issue by referencing The Pew Research Center report "Breadwinner Moms"; the report “reveals that mothers are now the primary breadwinners for 40 percent of American households with children under eighteen.” In another Pew poll, “54 percent of men and 68 percent of women disagreed with the statement that "a pre-school child is likely to suffer if his or her mother works,”. These numbers make it seem like progress is being made against the breadwinner stereotype, but when you look closer, the numbers show something else. Twenty five percent of the forty account for single-mother families, the other fifteen are married mothers providing their families primary earnings. This means that women are only a small portion of primary financial providers in a family. The Pew poll also shows the opposing side since, for the statistics to be true, forty six percent of men and thirty two percent of women think that children are likely to suffer if their mother works. These opinions are examples of how gender roles affect a person's perspective.

Society's overall perspective needs to change, and laws won't do this. In order to change something that is so ingrained in society we need leaders to change their point of view. To do this you need to have equal pay within your jurisdiction of the government. You should also not have a gender based preference on the professionals you consult. In order to show that you honestly have no bias you need to make sure that you do not express any sexist views or say anything that would be considered sexist.

We live in a time where by the equality act , which “Amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation in places of public accommodation”, it is illegal to discriminate against a person based upon gender. As a society, we ingrain the thought of superiority in men and inferiority in women, and completely ignore all identifiers in between, for no societal gain. Our cultural construct is a hypocrisy. Laws are made to prevent discrimination, yet we breed it through social expectations. This problem can not be solved through laws. In order to be fixed, we need those in power to demonstrate a community without gender roles.


Young, Cathy. "There Is Nothing Inherently Preferable About Traditional Gender Roles." Gender Roles. Ed. Noël Merino. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press, 2014. Opposing Viewpoints. Rpt. from "Female Breadwinners and the Power of the Market." www.realclearpolitics.com. 2013.Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 11 Oct. 2016.

H.R.3185 - Equality Act https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/3185