Gender Roles in Australian Contemporary Society

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Gender roles within Australian contemporary Australian Society.

‘Women produce children; women are mothers and wives; women do the cooking, cleaning, sewing and washing; they take care of men and are subordinate to male authority; they are largely excluded from high-status occupations and from positions of power.’ (Haralambous and Holborn 1995, Sociology Themes and Perspectives, HarperCollins Publishers) These stereotypes have come from our past and have now become quite frequently used in today’s society. Women have been seen as the maintainers of the household while the men go out to work and earn a living. “When our ancient ancestors switched to hunting as a way of life, the relationship between males and females was dramatically altered. Females with their heavy reproductive burden were unable to play a major role in this new feeding pattern, which had become so vital for survival. A much greater division of labor between the sexes arose.” (Tiger). This statement shows the view that males are seen as the more successful gender within society, as they are able to maintain and keep their families alive. With this in mind, it is easy to see how gender roles have been maintained through out the ages. Children grow up seeing their mothers cooking and cleaning and fathers going out to work and support the family’s financial needs. From birth our families and friends instill gender ideals onto us, from buying little girls pink clothing and dolls, to buying blue for boys and trucks and trains to play with. Children do not have the ability to choose their own gender pathway, and therefore have to rely on their parents and elders to lead them in the correct direction and trust their selection of gender roles. Once a child has become old enough to be able to choose for itself, they develop a more individual personality variance and definition of gender. From these roles being passed on through generation-to-generation, people in contemporary Australian society have...
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