Gender Roles

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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Social roles and expectations of men and women are socially defined by the mores and norms of society. The social expectations and attitudes vary between societies, and usually change over time. These roles and expectations are learned from birth; they are acquired from various places such as parents, peers, teachers, and the media. Parents usual treat their male and female children differently, thus, allowing sex-differentiated expectations to continue throughout the rest of their lives. As a result, children receive different messages about gender roles from a very young age. Society?s gender roles become even more defined during adulthood. These gender expectations and roles greatly come into effect when entering the world of dating and marriage. Throughout the years, the changes in dating and marriage customs have directly influenced the change in society?s gender roles.

A long time ago when my grandparents were young, dating and marriage was much different.

Some people used date with the sole purpose of finding a husband or wife. Families even went so far as to arrange their children?s marriages. During that time dating was much more of a formal and official practice. There was almost a set of unwritten rules for dating back then. The girl asking the boy out was practically unheard of. Also, before taking out a girl on a date the boys usually had to meet the girl?s parents first.

People were typically married young when my grandparents and my parents were both growing up. It was common for people in their early twenties, and even sometimes in their late teens to get hitched. Another trend many years ago, that has since changed, was that very few women attended college. For many women, they spent their lives looking for a partner, and when they found one their job was to be...