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Running head: PERCEPTIONS ON GENDER ROLES BETWEEN INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE MARRIED AND THOSE THAT ARE IN A COMMITTED

INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP 1

Perceptions of Gender Roles between Individuals Who Are Married and Those that Are in a Committed Intimate Relationship An Assignment Submitted by Name of Student Name of Establishment Class XXXX, Section XXXX, Fall 2012

PERCEPTIONS ON GENDER ROLES BETWEEN INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE MARRIED AND THOSE THAT ARE IN A COMMITTED INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP Perceptions of Gender Roles between Individuals Who Are Married and Those that Are in a Committed Intimate Relationship Sociologists and psychologists have always emphasized gross impact of gender roles on family. Presently, they outline significant changes in this, one of the most controversial, sociological issues: Perhaps no single facet of human behaviour in the 20th century has more influenced marriages and families than have changing gender roles (Davidson & Moore, 1996, p. 48). Though specialists still argue about the essence and the role of gender roles in social life, they are almost univocal about their definition: Gender-specific roles and responsibilities are often conditioned by household structure, access to resources, specific impacts of the global economy, and other locally relevant factors such as ecological conditions (FAO, 1997). Perception of gender roles is inseparably linked with understanding of inner and outer factors, which include differences in culture (Khalid, 2011), status inequality (Neff, et. al., 2007), race, and other. Though there are numerous outer factors influencing perception of gender roles in family and committed intimate relationships, inner factors play the same important role in stereotyping. This is, probably, connected with the fact that every mating system

undergoes certain evolutionary development, which imprints perception of gender roles. This evolution is sometimes referred to as dynamics of relationships (Palchykov, et. al., 2012). In their research, Palchykov and his colleagues assume that even in monogamous mating systems, the pattern of investment in close relationships should vary across the life-span when post-weaning investment plays an important role in maximizing fitness (Palchykov, et. al., 2012). The large-scale mobile study, which was implemented in one

PERCEPTIONS ON GENDER ROLES BETWEEN INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE MARRIED AND THOSE THAT ARE IN A COMMITTED INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP of European countries, helped to draw conclusions about the development of gender stereotypes in men and women at different life-stages. Researchers, in particular, outline that women tend to have stronger gender-biases, than men (Palchykov, et. al., 2012), which can be explained by the fact that their patterns of social contact are strongly driven by the changes in the patterns of reproductive investment across the lifespan (Palchykov, et. al., 2012). The same studies revealed unexpected shift to female matrilineal relationships in human social organisation (Palchykov, et. al., 2012), which means that, in modern society, the influence of mother-daughter relationships tend to dominate over male-male relationships, which had been typical to social organization several decades before (Rodseth, et. al, 1991). It must be admitted, though, that perception of a male role as dominant is still prevailing in Eastern world. For example, in China, the majority of married women agree that man is more suitable for leadership than woman (Zhao, et.al, 2006, p.780), thus, he plays decisive role in decision-making. Perceiving men as a family core, almost half of interviewed Chinese women agree that husbands health is more important than wifes in the family (Zhao, et.al, 2006, p.780). Thus, perceiving dominant role of male-male relationships, Eastern people maintain traditional social organization. Previously mentioned studies outline several models of social organization based on perception of gender roles. Obviously, this perception is predetermined by various factors, which include historical development, degree of the countrys isolation or, on the contrary, - the number of foreign contacts. The latter often results in significant shifts in perception of gender roles.

PERCEPTIONS ON GENDER ROLES BETWEEN INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE MARRIED AND THOSE THAT ARE IN A COMMITTED INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP Like in China, in Islamic Pakistan, male-male relationships are perceived as the dominant model of social organization. This, however, cannot be applied to the majority of migrant families, whose life abroad has been influenced by gender roles perception typical to other countries and cultures. The study of 120 Pakistan residents, both nonmigrants and migrants, revealed that the latter are more open to sharing house and parental responsibilities (Khalid, 2011). This type of behaviour, which is less common among non-migrant residents of Pakistan, is perceived as the basis of equal relations, in which traditional male-male model is put on a par with progressive mother-daughter type of social organization. Thus, outer factors, including country of residence or culture, play significant, but not fundamental role in gender-roles stereotyping. Specialists agree that family should be treated as an institute inculcating the concepts of gender-roles and gender-equality. The latter remains an important problem in Western social landscape (Neff, et.al., 2007, p. 682). Numerous researches conducted in the field reveal that gender is one of first social categories learned by humans (Neff, et.al., 2007, p. 682). It is evident that this category is initially learned in family and in the inner circle. In spite of the abovementioned shift in perception of gender roles in Western society, the majority of children continue to learn about gender inequality in their families. Sex-roles stereotypes (Neff, et. al., 2007) have not underwent significant changes since 1970s. Like several decades before, a man and a father is perceived as a dominant figure in childrens development (Paterna & Martinez, 2006) and inculcating gender roles knowledge. Though in modern families, parents have to renegotiate child-care

PERCEPTIONS ON GENDER ROLES BETWEEN INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE MARRIED AND THOSE THAT ARE IN A COMMITTED INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP responsibilities (Paterna & Martinez, 2006), a father is still perceived as a primary figure in gender socialization (Mackey, 2001). At the same time, traditional view of maternity (Paterna & Martinez, 2006, p. 172) experiences significant evolution. On the one hand, modern women position themselves as equal to men professionals; while on the other hand, they tend to establish balance between their social and maternal functions. Thus, modern Western society faces the need to review male and female professional and childcare responsibilities. Living in dynamic society, women try to set balance between maternity and professional development; while men tend to extend their paternal functions, which had been limited to gender socialization before. In their article, Paterna & Martinez (2006) admit: As a consequence of mens wish to participate more frequently and with more quality in their childrens education, a change in the traditional gender role is expected, although at the same time, this generates some ambivalence and complexity. (p. 172). Apart from parenting, gender-roles perception and stereotypes influence emotional background of a family or committed intimate relationship. For example, differences in gender roles perception often regulate the problem of infidelity within a spouse. According to recent studies, married men or men in intimate relations are more likely to overperceive the likelihood of their partners sexual infidelity (Goetz & Causey, 2009, p. 253); they are also more likely to assume their own sexual infidelity in future. This is, obviously, associated with the fact that a man has always been perceived as a person who ensured preservation and distribution of genes, which could not be associated with monogamous relations; while traditional perception of a man as a getter

PERCEPTIONS ON GENDER ROLES BETWEEN INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE MARRIED AND THOSE THAT ARE IN A COMMITTED INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP and a woman as a keeper obligated the latter to keep a family home from outer encroachment. It must be admitted that the results of Goetzs & Causeys study confirm previous conclusion, which was drawn by Hyde (1995): men perceive women as less faithful, than the latter reported themselves. The studies, which covered both family couples and individuals in intimate relations, indicate the existing stereotype that men are obliged to much less parental investment (Eagly & Wood, 1999; Sprecher, et. al., 1998), so, they are more likely to be unfaithful with their partners. Thus, numerous researches conducted in the field reveal significant differences in gender roles perception in men and women. These differences are predetermined by inner and outer factors and often evolve over time. Studies show that differences, which exist in gender-roles perception, may become significant obstacle to building strong relations between individuals. Though researches identify certain time-stages and time-frames in development of gender-roles stereotypes, they do not indicate differences in gender-roles perception within married couples and individuals in committed intimate relations. This, obviously, means that different types of couples undergo almost unique evolution of gender roles perception and stereotypes. Realizing gross impact of gender-roles perception on family and individuals in intimate relations, sociologists and psychologists emphasize the necessity of continued studies of new trends in the field aimed at creating an adequate image of modern family, which corresponds to economic, social, and cultural changes.

PERCEPTIONS ON GENDER ROLES BETWEEN INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE MARRIED AND THOSE THAT ARE IN A COMMITTED INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP References Davidson, K. & Moore, N. (1996). Marriage and Family: Change and Continuity. Allyn & Bacon Eagly, A. H., & Wood, W. (1999). The origins of sex differences in human behavior: Evolved dispositions versus social roles. American Psychologist. No 54, 408-423. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) (1997). Retrieved from: http://www.fao.org/Gender/gender.htm Goetz, A. & Causey, K. (2009). Sex differences in perceptions of infidelity: Men often assume the worst. Evolutionary Psychology. No 7(2), 253-263 Khalid, R. (2011). Changes in perception of gender roles: Returned migrants. Pakistan Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology. Vol. 9, 16-20 Mackey, W.(2001). Support for the existence of an independent man-to-child affiliative bond: Fatherhood as a biocultural invention. Psychology of Men and Masculinity. No 2, 51-66. Neff, K., Cooper, C., & Woodruff, A. (2007). Childrens and adolescents developing perceptions of gender inequality. Social Development. Vol. 16. No 4, 682-699. Palchykov, V., Kaski, K., Kertesz, J., Barabasi A.-L. & Dunbar, R. (2012). Sex differences in intimate relationships. Scientific Reports. doi:10.1038/srep00370 Paterna, C. & Martinez, C. (2006). Fathers and gender traditionalism: Perception of inequality and life roles. The Spanish Journal of Psychology. Vol. 9, No 2, 171181. Rodseth, L., Wrangham, R. W., Harrigan, A. M. & Smuts, B. B. (1991) .The human community as a primate society. Current Anthropology. No 32, 221255.

PERCEPTIONS ON GENDER ROLES BETWEEN INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE MARRIED AND THOSE THAT ARE IN A COMMITTED INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP Sprecher, S., Regan, P., & McKinney, K. (1998). Beliefs about the outcomes of extramarital sexual relationships as a function of the gender of the cheating spouse. Sex Roles. No 38, 301-311. Zhao, F., Guo, S., Wang, L., Zhang, T., Wu, J., Du, Y. & Fang, W. Study on the perception of gender role and decision-making regarding family affairs among married women and its impact on the utilization of perinatal care. Pub Med. Vol. 27(9), 780-784