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Some Individual Costs Of Gender Role Conformity

Essay, Research Paper Some Individual Costs of Gender Role ConformityChafetz essay deals with the issue ofconformity to sexrelevant stereotypes. This is demonstrated in the waysheexpresses how we are given a part to play, which stronglyinfluencesthe way we act. Gender role stereotypes vary in relation to social class,religion, race, and ethnicity.

Essay, Research Paper

Some Individual Costs of Gender Role ConformityChafetz essay deals with the issue ofconformity to sexrelevant stereotypes. This is demonstrated in the waysheexpresses how we are given a part to play, which stronglyinfluencesthe way we act. Gender role stereotypes vary in relation to social class,religion, race, and ethnicity. One example Chafetz provides is thehispanic groups whose culture stresses female passivity, anddominance and physical prowess in the male. Although genderstereotypes exist, they are declining according to Chafetz. Theauthor’s reason for this is that survival has long depended onfemales as well as males,thus reducing the emphasis on thetraditional female stereotype.Differences in stereotypes among certain groups remains vague.Chafetzdoes point out that minorities are pressured by thedominant society toconform. Society defines minorities asinferior to some degree. Theminorities generally accept thisinferiority, and often try to live upto the majority expectations.The author provides the black family asan example. Thetraditional way is for the black woman as head of family. Now theblack family is attempting to flow with society in returningthemale to the position of provider. Those who choose not toconform are faced with the cost ofnonconformity. As the author states,they must face the wrath of most of themembers of society. An example would be the loss ofjob opportunities. Chafetz article continues with the perceived costs andbenefit

s of gender role. A nineteen seventy one study determinedthe following according to Chafetz. “There seem to be many moredisadvantages adhering to the feminine role as perceived by femalesthan to the masculine roleas perceived by males. Conversely, moreadvantages are seen as accruingto the masculine role by femalesthan to the feminine role by males.” (Chafetz, Rereading America,Pg 197) The advantage of one group is thedisadvantage to theopposite sex. Chafetz states that males complain ofhaving to beaggressive and successful while women complain of theirpassivity.Males see females as enjoying structural benefits, and having onlyone right. Females see males as having structural benefits as wellas more rights. The authors next issue was economic costs andbenefits. Thisinvolved the cost of following the stereotypical role. The authorshows how female traits tend to be more of a disadvantage asthereare far more hindering traits than beneficial traits. “The costoffemininity for those who would enter the world outside the homecould scarcely be more clear: The more a female conforms, the lessis shecapable of functioning in roles that are other thandomestic.”(Chafetz, Rereading America, Pg. 198) Chafetz concludes her essay with the following. “In short,feminine role stereotype gears women foreconomic failure, and ifthat is not the case, women explain theirsuccess in terms externalto themselves. The masculine role stereotype gears men for economic success, and if that is not forthcoming men perceivethemselves as personally responsible for their “failure.”"(Chafetz, Rereading America, Pg. 198)

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