10 Sex Stereotypes and Gender Roles
1. The "Macho" Man
We begin with the concept that men are supposed to be macho and strong. Gender roles dictate they are supposed to be the hunters, the protectors, and the defenders of women and children. They can't show any emotion besides anger because it makes them weak.
This was fine and dandy during the stone age, but that's no longer the case. Men and women should be strong but in a different way. They don't have to be physically strong and emotionless to be male.
In fact, men who are able to feel and show off their sensitive side are far better people than those that can't. It makes them human and it's okay for them to cry and not be a huge hulk like figure who can bench 400 lbs.
Mental toughness is more important than physical strength and mental toughness is knowing how to handle difficult situations while being able to convey a wide set of emotions. The macho man stereotype is completely old fashioned, outdated, and should no longer be considered the definition of a real man.
2. Women Can't Play Sports
On the opposite side of the coin, there are preconceived notions with women and how strong and tough they are supposed to be. Women were supposed to be the caretakers, the givers, and the weaker gender who could never do things like athletics.
Except this is the 21st century and such ideals are completely ridiculous. In today's world, we have emerging female athletes everyday who are proving how strong they really are. We even have emerging MMA (mixed martial arts) stars like Ronda Rousey who are challenging those stereotypes head on.
There's no such thing as being called the weaker gender because again it's not all about physical strength. We know women can be very strong physically, but mentally they are some of the toughest around. They can even deal with things that men may not be able to handle as well.
In sports you don't have to be the most physically gifted because it all comes down to fundamentals. If you know how to play a sport correctly, then you don't have to athletically gifted in order to play it. Women have proven themselves to be fundamentally sound and capable of playing any physical competition.
Unfortunately many men still view female athletics as a joke and believe women shouldn't get involved because either they don't know the sport or aren't physically capable of performing it. A lot of those same thoughts apply to women who do stereotypical male oriented jobs/careers.
3. The Lazy, Messy Male
If you ask someone whose usually the messier of the two, then I bet most will say that men are. Males are still portrayed as being dirty or messy while women are seen as being clean and organized.
However, many times the opposite can reign true. There are plenty of instances where females are far more messy or lazy than men are, and it depends on the individual rather than the gender. Some people are very clean and organized and some aren't.
There are plenty of men who enjoy cleanliness and being organized. They like having a clean home, car, and surroundings while their significant other may not care as much. The opposite is true, but it's not because their male.
The lazy factor used to apply to things like taking care of the children or housework which used to be seen as women's work. It's what was used to define gender roles back in the 1950s and earlier, but that has changed dramatically.
4. Women Should Take Care of the Children
This stereotype defines women as caretakers of either their children or other children. They were supposed to be the ones responsible for their kids while the husband worked.
Although there are plenty of instances where this continues to be the case, there are also many cases where the opposite occurs. More men than ever are starting to take care of the kids and be stay at home dads while their spouse works outside the home.
Unfortunately that almost ties in with the lazy male stereotype because society still believes men should be the big earners and women should watch the children if they have to. It's a hypocritical way of thinking when stay at home moms are considered to be hard workers while stay at home dads are viewed as lazy because they don't technically work.
Everything depends on the situation and sometimes women earn a lot more than their spouses would and can't take care of the children.
5. Men Perform Blue Collar Jobs
This stereotype will take a long time to diminish because the majority of workers in these professions are males, but that doesn't mean men have to perform these jobs.
Blue collar jobs can also refer to the "dirty jobs" like construction, being a mechanic, electrician, and other hands on physical labor. This notion of performing hard labor can also be tied into the macho man stereotype where men are supposed to do those kinds of jobs.
Be mindful that there are more and more women who are doing these jobs as well, but they may not be biologically as strong enough to perform certain tasks. That's what it may come down to rather than females not knowing how to do certain tasks.
On the other side of the coin, men don't have to do physical jobs and can be artists, writers, teachers, and nurses. They shouldn't have to feel bad if they aren't mechanics or hands-on workers because they don't have to be anymore.
6. Women are Bad at Math and Science
It's almost the same as saying women aren't quite as smart as men. The problem with this stereotype isn't that women are incapable of being scientists and mathematicians, but that men still dominate these fields.
Men are more likely to be scientists than women because there are more of them in the field, but that is continuing to change. More and more women are attending and outnumbering men when it comes to getting a college education, which means more women will be interested to pursuing a career in math or science.
It will take a while to change the dynamics, but it will happen eventually as trends continue to favor women in education. They are just as intelligent and capable of grasping math and science related concepts as men are, and many are becoming even more intelligent than some men in these fields.
7. Men Love Sports
It's one of the oldest stereotypes in the books where men love things like sports while women love to shop and gossip.
Men don't have to like sports and women may love them. It's okay to not like watching or playing physical competitions and other sporting events regardless of your gender. However, there's a level of scrutiny that still occurs for men who aren't interested or know how to play any sports.
These levels of scrutiny usually come from other men, especially those who love sports. They may look at you funny if you don't know anything about football or basketball because they assume you should.
Not every male watches ESPN 24/7 and your other male comrades have to get that through their heads. There is more to life than discussing sporting events, and the same applies to women. Women don't have to talk about clothes or makeup; they can discuss their favorite sports teams and play sports without it being an issue.
8. Women Are Supposed to Cook and Clean
Along with the idea that women are supposed to take care of kids is that they're supposed to do all of the cooking and cleaning in the household.
It's one of many outdated stereotypes that is continuing to dwindle. In a partnership, the responsibilities regarding cooking and cleaning should be divided equally.
There are a lot of men who love to cook and whom do most of the cooking at home. There are women who also perform these tasks, but not because they have to based on gender. Honestly everyone should learn how to do those things because it's important to know how to be able to keep a clean home and cook your own meals.
This is no longer a gender issue and all of these idiotic comments about how women are supposed to stay in the kitchen and make sandwiches are ridiculous and make the men who say them look like morons.
9. The Sexually Active Male
It may be one of the most common male stereotypes out there, and it's still frequently talked about. It's the whole idea that men are always sexually active, they have numerous partners, and that they are constantly thinking about sex.
There are some aspects that may be proven true biologically, but the problem is that it goes too far. Men aren't always thinking about sex and many men are monogamous. The biological norms have shifted over hundreds of years as society continued to transform people.
So although men are still far more prone to think and behave more sexually compared to women, the actual numbers are far different than what people believe. On the other hand, women also have plenty of sexual thoughts and ideals. There are a lot of women who are more sexually active and those numbers are increasing.
A changing society has allowed previously repressed women to finally let go and not be afraid to be promiscuous. The entire idea that women weren't allowed to think in those ways and that only men were has changed dramatically in first world countries.
As negative connotation go away, more and more women won't feel ashamed to express themselves sexually.
10. The Submissive Female
This stereotype, which is now largely seen as outdated is the female who is supposed to be seen and not heard.
The submissive female was supposed to obey her male counterparts and do what she's told. She wasn't allowed to speak out or go against her husband. There are still some places where women are expected to behave in such as way.
This remains the norm in many countries around the globe as well as old fashioned couples whom go by this notion. The reasons why this exists are far more disturbing than we think, and it's one of the reasons domestic violence exists.
Unfortunately the consequences of women taking action and speaking out has led to horrifying cases of domestic abuse and violence. The ideas of domestic violence is often viewed as being seen and not heard because people don't talk about it very much unless it's relevant.
When a celebrity or someone well known is guilty of domestic abuse, everybody pays attention, but if they're not then people don't seem to care. This stereotype is one of the most damaging and needs to change because of the horrors that surround it.