Gender Roles: The Gender Process Of Social Construction

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Social construction is a concept that one may not be aware of while it takes place from a young age. People somewhat live in segregation depending on their skin colour, their class, or gender. In reality, skin colour, class or gender does not really mean anything; these concepts only have meaning because society has given them meaning (Flores, 2014). Social construction refers to how society has grouped people based on demographics and given privileges to those who are regarded as higher up (Flores, 2014; Hurlock, 1981). Social construction allows people to differentiate what is normal and what is not. (get more on social construction) The formation of a gender roles begins at the moment of birth…The beginning of gender process of social…show more content…
The mother and father have different roles that they play as husband and wife. As mentioned earlier Tthe offspring learn their role within their relationships and the role they should play from the interactions of their mother or father (Flores, 2014; Coetzee, 2001). These socially determined roles for men and women are culturally or socially created and are perceived as being expected and ‘normal’ (Flores, 2014). From these gender roles, certain characteristics that are a reflection of what it means to be male or to be masculine are expected of men, while other characteristics are ascribed to women and their femininity. For example, some may propose that men are supposed to be natural leaders, decision makers and providers in society, beginning within the family, while women are the caregivers, supporters and followers of men (Stets & Burke, 2006). In addition, women are usually allocated the role of domestic chores as if it were normal for them to do this (Pretorius,…show more content…
Gender inequalities have been linked to higher HIV prevalence in 72 countries diminished educational and economic opportunities for women and gender-related violence (World Health Organization, 2015). In South Africa, gender inequalities have been associated with unprotected sex and increased risk for HIV infection among women (Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, 2006). South Africa has pushed hard for gender equality. In 2006, women comprised nearly 33% of members of Parliament, four of the nine provincial leaders were women, and the deputy president was a woman (Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, 2006). Although, according to Hurlock (1981), after World War II there has been a shift away from the approved gender roles. People are moving towards equality; however, changes in stereotypes that have persisted for so long are hard to change. Hurlock (1981) further elaborates how men are more likely to enjoy their positions because it is more dominant, in turn, this makes the process of change even harder because on one end there is a group of females who are willing to change their role and on the other hand there is a group of males who won’t give up their role as being male. The inequality further impacts the quality of relationships in that females are moving towards change and males are not. This may raise conflict or

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