Gender Roles in Society

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Throughout history stereotypes have imposed a major role in society’s views of people. Today, gender remains one of the most common causes of stereotypical prejudice. Presenting an unfair standard for all to follow, gender roles taint people’s ideas of how someone should act and what someone should do. Believing these roles to be accurate, society casts negative opinions toward those who strive to do what others view as anomalous. Since the time that humans developed the ability to reason and communicate, gender roles have affected both men and women’s place in society. Gender roles influence the actions of parents and, consequently, their children, strengthening the roots of stereotypes in the world. The effect of gender roles in society is most evident in the workplace, where women have never been equal to men in salary or status. While the trends of the last century lean toward an equal future, gender roles continue to affect the lives of men and women around the world. Gender roles create a significant disparity in the nature of the positions held by men and women. In 1880, for example, “Only ten percent of women [in New York City ] held paying jobs,” and, “two-thirds [of those women] worked in the clothing trade” (#3)”. Based on this statistic, it is apparent that women of that era were greatly affected by the conservative ideas of women’s place in society. Because of gender roles, that era’s society anticipated that the hard work would be done by the men and that women would stay at home, raise their family, and be devoted housewives. This chauvinistic theory also seems to be present in today’s society, where women and men still do not hold equally prominent positions in the workforce. In fact, only twenty-eight companies in the Fortune 1000 have a woman CEO (#2). That equates to 0.28 % of the top one thousand corporations in America that have women at the helm. This ratio is obviously one that is hindered by the prevalent opinions of women’s abilities as...
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