How Does Culture Influence Gender Roles

Cultural Influences on Gender Roles

Gender roles in the United States are profoundly influenced by culture and society. Every week, Americans are exposed to hundreds of cultural messages about gender roles, which include ads, movies, television, music, publications, and family influence, among other things. Because of the continual barrage of information, conventional and growing less-traditionally defined gender roles are being presented. People unconsciously and consciously take in this cultural knowledge about gender roles in both unconscious and conscious ways.

Despite the fact that many individuals and groups are challenging traditional gender norms, the effect of mainstream culture on attitudes continues to be visible, despite the fact that alternative cultural influences are emerging.


Children have learnt about social expectations for gender-appropriate employment from a variety of sources, including their homes, companies, restaurants, the media, and their classmates, from an early age, and from a variety of sources. For younger children, females are frequently expected to play “home” or “teacher,” whereas boys are supposed to play “war” or “firefighter,” according to traditional gender roles. These old vocational positions are becoming less established as cultural norms as a result of the changing nature of social media and community communications.

These early introductions to employment provide the basis for a way of thinking about future jobs that will stick with them throughout life.

Children are exposed to a wide range of job options that are less restricted by gender as a result of changes in family structure and media portrayals of conventional employment choices.

Family Relations

Women have typically been the primary carers for their children as well as the primary breadwinners in their households. Historically, they have been responsible for more housework, such as laundry, dishwashing, cleaning, and cooking, although gender roles and responsibilities in the home are no longer clearly defined according to gender. Movies, television, and other forms of media, via the characters they portray, promote these conventional roles in the family, although they are becoming increasingly representative of more balanced roles in the household.

According to studies, women are still responsible for a greater proportion of home activities than males.

Despite the fact that more women are working outside the home, there has been no change in the volume and kind of household activities performed by men and women.

Social Behavior

Tradition has it that females are thought to be more soft, docile, emotional, dependant, patient, and communicative than male counterparts, but males are considered to be more talkative. Men are often described with adjectives such as “rough,” “independent,” “powerful,” “inexpressive,” and “straightforward,” among others. Following the establishment of cultural labels connected to gender norms, social and psychological expectations impact how individuals respond to one another and how they perceive themselves in light of those labels.

The idea of self-fulfilling prophecy, on the other hand, has the potential to take those gender descriptors and make them the only way individuals describe themselves.

A woman who perceives herself as strong and capable may be more motivated to seek for development in her professional life as a result.


Men and women’s perceptions of themselves in relation to their gender roles are influenced by culture. Advertisements, movies, and television shows frequently portray women as promiscuous or weak, sending a message that might have an impact on how women regard their bodies and their skills. An investigation by Kenyon College found that around 30% of clothes sold to young girls falls under the category of being “sexualizing.” In addition to having an impact on self-esteem and confidence, these expectations for physical attractiveness can also have an impact on men and women.

The mindset of an extremely masculine family, in which all women are relegated to subservient duties, may influence a child’s development and influence his or her own relationships and actions as an adult.

Council Post: How Culture Impacts Our Value Of Women

As a gender specialist, I devote virtually all of my time to speaking, teaching, and writing about issues that concern women and girls. Topics covered include the influence of gender on leadership, professional progression, emotional intelligence, biases, gender roles, and gender perceptions, among other things. Overall, I’m interested in understanding what variables influence gender views and how they influence our perceptions of ourselves and others, how we behave and present ourselves, as well as what we achieve in our job and personal life.

  • From the pink or blue blankets we’re typically wrapped in at birth, to the lessons our parents, teachers, coaches, and friends instill in us, to the messages we take in from the cartoons, books, magazines, and movies we watch and consume, it all begins very early.
  • Although less potent than race or ethnicity, family culture is just as influential and begins at a young age as it does.
  • Furthermore, there is increased pressure placed on girls and women to appear and act in specific ways.
  • Many Asian, Indian, Hispanic, and Latino cultures, on the other hand, feel that girls (even the youngest) should be responsible for the male members of the household.
  • I’ve had the opportunity to teach hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students over the course of three years.
  • In this paper, I encourage them to consider the forces that have affected their gender identity and gender roles.
  • Time and time again, the culture of a family has shown to be one of the most significant impacts on our gender ideas and gender roles – and it appears to be prevalent across most races and ethnicities in the world.
  • All of these people have similar assumptions about gender roles and the importance of girls and women in the home and in society as one another.
  • A Mexican student stated that she was expected to prepare all meals and do all washing for her brothers, who had never been taught these skills before she arrived on the campus.

However, her parents only permitted her to study piano since it was “more appropriate for girls.” Another student, who is Filipino-American, revealed that she and her brother were expected to prioritize education above extracurricular activities such as going out with friends or being in romantic relationships when they were in high school.

  • Regardless of how many times her brother chose to put other aspects of his life ahead of education, he was always forgiven.
  • She tends to stay away from them by following the majority’s lead.
  • This double standard in how we treat males and girls might prevent girls from expressing themselves, attempting new things, and standing up for what they believe is right for themselves.
  • The bottom line is that powerful cultural and family influences may have a significant impact on the personality, success, and goals of young girls and women.
  • You may have had similar experiences in the past, or you may be having them now.
  • The majority of the time, they were passed down to you through your parents and other relatives since that’s what they were taught to believe as children.
  • In the case of parents who have girls, what cultural views, expectations, and values are they passing on to their offspring?
  • If so, are you making an effort to ensure that your children learn about responsibility in an equitable manner?
  • Our children should learn to cook, clean, do laundry and mend things around the house, since these are critical life skills for every adult to have.

We must confront cultural assumptions that women should be held accountable for things that men are not responsible for. Women are just as capable as males of achieving success and happiness in their lives. That should be reflected in our upbringing and culture from an early age.

Age-Old Cultural Norms Dictate Gender Roles Even Today

Labor-saving devices introduced in the twentieth century paved the way for women to pursue careers outside the house, and the Pill, which gave women some control over the size of their families, expedited this development. Gender roles are explained by a variety of economic variables, including development and education levels, which are commonly used to describe gender roles across nations. However, in recent years, economists have turned their attention away from these issues and toward the effect of culture.

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Paola Giuliano of UCLA Anderson examines this growing corpus of evidence in a piece that will be published in the Oxford Review of Economic Policy in the near future.

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Agrarian traditions: In communities that relied on plows to dig the land, males were more likely than women to undertake the farming while women were more likely than men to stay at home. Even when the role of brutal labor lessened, these gender roles remained. Fathers are provided greater parental power, inheritance rules are more favorable to male heirs, and women are given less freedom to travel outside the home, according to a research that Giuliano co-authored. Women in these civilizations are also more likely to cover their faces in public than in other societies.

  1. Women’s nouns differ from those used by males in the majority of Romance languages, to name just a few examples.
  2. Men picking wheat |
  3. Because he stays a member of the family after marriage, parents in patrilocal communities in northern India place higher emphasis on a boy’s education and health than on a girl’s education and health, according to a recent research.
  4. The government’s pension scheme, which essentially decoupled old-age support from parental investment in children, led to a research finding that parents reduced their investment in their daughters when the program was implemented.
  5. Those who live in societies where bride price payments (a transfer from the groom’s or his family to the bride’s family) are widespread, however, are more likely to appreciate the need of educating girls, according to a research performed in Indonesia and Zambia.
  6. According to a 2004 research, sons who grew up with working moms are more likely to want a working wife or are more likely to assist in household duties, making it simpler for their partners to be at home with their children.
  7. Ambition kept hidden: A study of MBA students at a big public business school in the United States discovered that single women were hesitant to make career-enhancing decisions, likely because they believed it would harm their prospects of finding a husband in the future.

However, only when they were aware that their choices would be shared with their male peers did single female students indicate lower desired salaries as well as a lower readiness to travel or work long hours, according to the researchers.

Male-female imbalance: The majority of Australia’s early immigrants were male farmers, miners, and convicts who were transported from the United Kingdom.

According to one study, the gender disparity was connected with women being more likely to marry, less likely to work outside the house, and less likely to work in high-ranking jobs, among other things.

In China, the development of spinning and weaving methods changed the cotton business, allowing women to manufacture textiles at home and then sell them.

Photograph of a lady working in a Chinese textile mill courtesy of Getty Images Information alters social norms: In Saudi Arabia, which is a tightly regulated and patriarchal country, female labor force participation is only 15 percent of the total workforce.

When men were informed that they were not alone, they were significantly more inclined to let their spouses to work, and, five months later, their women were far more likely to have applied for and been interviewed for a job outside the house, according to the study.

Societies with more cross-generational climatic instability, according to the findings of the study, put less value on conserving cultural traditions, including gender norms, as evaluated by female involvement in the labor force.

Competitiveness: Among the Masai, a patriarchal community in Tanzania, and the Khasi, a matrilineal society in India where women control inheritance and lineage, a research discovered that 50 percent of males preferred to play in a ball-throwing game, compared to only 26 percent of women in the Masai society.

Despite this, 54 percent of women in the Khasi community decided to participate, compared to only 39 percent of males. Faculty Members in the Spotlight

  • Paola Giuliano is a Professor of Economics and the Justice Elwood Lui Endowed Term Chair in Management at the University of California, Berkeley.

Concerning the Investigation P. Giuliano is the author of this article (in press). Gender and culture are important considerations. The Oxford Review of Economic Policy is a journal published by the University of Oxford.

How Does Culture Affect the Roles of Women and Men in Ministry?

In order to better understand the cultural influence of gender on ministry, case studies from Kenya, India, Venezuela, and the United States were chosen as examples of how gender has an impact on Christian ministry in these countries and others.


Judy W. Mbugua, PACWA Continental Coordinator, provides the following statement: (Kenya, Africa) Culture, according to the Oxford Dictionary, is defined as “the habits, civilization, and achievement of a specific time or people.” Culture frequently determines the values, worldview, attitudes, behavior, and customs of women and men from the time of their conception until the time of their death. When examining how we could effectively tackle the topic of gender in Christian ministry, it is vital to examine the society in which we live.

  • Despite the fact that most societies look down on women and highly on men, they express their feelings in different ways.
  • Women and dogs are not permitted in one mosque in Nairobi, Kenya, according to a sign affixed to the outside of the building.
  • Men have a responsibility to protect and guide women.
  • Despite this societal subjugation, women in African tradition commonly hold positions of leadership in divination, rainmaking, and as mediums in prophecy, healing, and counseling, among other activities.
  • Examples of African culture and how women are treated are provided.
  • Chicken wings—Women are not permitted to consume chicken wings in Uganda. In any other case, they would fly like a bird and would not be submissive, particularly in bed
  • In certain tribes in West Africa, women are expected to be beaten at least once every three months in order to maintain their discipline and keep them in line. In the event that they are not beaten, the ladies demand it
  • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) (FGM). Some cultures believe that a woman must be tamed by female genital mutilation (FGM) in order to avoid being sexually promiscuous. This prehistoric tradition is still in use today. According to the Kenya Demographic Health Survey conducted in 1998, 50 percent of women aged 35 years and older are circumcised.

While most societies appear to devalue or diminish the worth of women, civilizations frequently elevate the value of males to dangerously high levels, creating a potentially dangerous situation. Example: A Moran (young guy from the Maassi tribe) is supposed to kill a Lion in order to establish that he is an actual man. “Never weep,” is the advice given to the boy youngster. In Botswana and Swaziland, marriage and concubines are common practices. It is acceptable to have more than one wife, and some pastors have a wife in the countryside and another in the city.

  • Inheritance from a wife Some men lay aside their Christian beliefs in order to claim the property and wife of a deceased brother in the name of culture, even when the spouse dies as a result of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
  • The Church is a group of people who believe in God.
  • The ordination process is discriminatory towards women.
  • Churches are in charge of ordination, and the vast majority of them do not encourage women to enter the ministry.
  • Women are required to remain silent in church.
  • Not only do these doctrines indicate that males are superior to women, but they also make it difficult for women to be successful in the ministry as a whole.
  • For women to grow and develop, the church should provide a safe and supporting atmosphere.
  • This acknowledgment should be beneficial to both men and women who are involved in Christian ministry.
  • The unfortunate reality is that they have accepted the very concept of inferiority that prevents them from pursuing careers in the church.
  • Our mission statement at the Pan African Women’s Association is that we “advocate for our genuine dignity as contained in the Bible.” Conclusion “Unity in diversity is strength,” as the proverb goes.

Thousands of men and women would be delivered and empowered to complete the job of fulfilling the Great Commission if the church preached the gospel in a way that demonstrates its supremacy over bad culture and society.


Submitted by Bangalore-based E. Leelavathi Manasse Shanti and her husband Raj have two children, a daughter and a son, whom they are very proud of. Raj had a personal encounter with Christ a few years back while participating in a home Bible study sponsored by their church’s youth group. They had a debate on the Christian perspective about dowry during one of their sessions. In most regions of our nation, the father or parents of the bride are expected to provide dowry as a wedding present. The Holy Spirit convicts Raj to inform Shanti that he is sorry for having sought and received dowry from her father at the time of their marriage, while he is contemplating this matter.

  • She described to Raj the difficulty her father faced in obtaining the funds and paying off the loan.
  • After much deliberation and prayer, Raj went to her father’s house to express his regret and to return the dowry.
  • The actions we take, however, make a significant contribution to altering and reconstructing the world, starting with our own family bonds and our own personal lives.
  • Often, we are unable to take a courageous move in order to rescue individuals and circumstances from unfairness and injustice.
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Nora Matilde Mendez de Mora contributed to this article. My observations of men and women in ministry in my home country of Venezuela have shown the following cultural barriers to mutuality: 1.The male pastors who mentor them do not provide women with opportunity for advancement or encouragement. It is often believed that women’s leadership abilities are restricted. A friend told me about a church in a particular denomination that did not allow women to teach men, despite the fact that the women had far greater Bible knowledge than the men.

  • 2.Latin American mothers are frequently left alone to care for a large number of children.
  • In literature, art, religious practice, and national holidays, mothers are celebrated, and this encourages matriarchy, dominance, and control instead of healthy communication.
  • 3.Family structures that are abusive and dysfunctional are frequent in Latin American societies.
  • We require grace-based models of church life that accord dignity, respect, and opportunities for service to all members of the congregation.

Healthy communication is essential in any profession or ministry, but cultural influences and socialization are powerful impediments to effective communication. Furthermore, cultural influences contribute to the perpetuation of abuse within the church, the home, and society.

United States

Nora Matilde Mendez de Mora contributed to this report. My observations of men and women in ministry in my home country of Venezuela have shown the following cultural barriers to mutuality: The male pastors who mentor them do not provide women with opportunity or encouragement. Female leadership abilities are generally seen to be constrained by gender. In one religion, a friend told me of a church where women were barred from instructing male members even though women had significantly greater Bible knowledge than the males in attendance.

  1. 2.Latin American mothers are frequently left alone to care for a large number of youngsters in their family.
  2. Motherhood, according to Latin culture, is the highest and most fulfilling condition of being.
  3. Resentment, codependency, and dread are also exacerbated as a result of this.
  4. It puts them at risk of maltreatment from churches that are founded on shame and legalistic practices.
  5. In order to progress in their pursuit of God, men and women in Christ must learn how to appreciate genuine friendships as they grow together.
  6. Furthermore, cultural forces are also responsible for the perpetuation of abuse inside the church, the home, and the wider community.

Chapter Conclusion

It has been asserted that males are valued more highly than women in most civilizations and religious systems. As Christians, we believe that God values all persons equally, and we strive to become more culturally sensitive to the subtle and overt ways in which culture devalues individuality in our society. With this website, we hope to provide an appropriate and biblical voice that asserts, as the Bible teaches, that all persons are made in God’s image and, as a result, all people deserve the same dignity and care.

Men as Cultural Ideals: How Culture Shapes Gender Stereotypes – Working Paper – Faculty & Research

According to three research, culture influences the content of gender stereotypes, resulting in males being viewed as holding a greater number of whatever characteristics are traditionally prized. According to the results of Study 1, Americans perceived men to be less interdependent than women; Koreans, on the other hand, saw men to be more reliant than women, straying from the “universal” gender stereotype of male independence, according to the results of Study 2. Men were judged as less interdependent in Study 2 when they took the survey in English, but as more interdependent when they conducted the survey in Korean, indicating how cultural frameworks may affect the substance of gender stereotypes.


According to three research, culture influences the content of gender stereotypes, resulting in males being viewed as possessing more of whatever characteristics are culturally valued. According to the results of Study 1, Americans perceived men to be less interdependent than women; Koreans, on the other hand, saw men to be more reliant than women, breaking from the “universal” gender stereotype of male independence, according to the results of Study 1. Those who participated in Study 2 were bi-cultural Korean Americans who assessed males as less interdependent if they took a survey in English, but as more interdependent if they did the survey in Korean, indicating how cultural frames alter the contents of gender stereotypes Similarly, in Study 3, American college students assessed a male student as higher on either the trait of ambition or the trait of sociability that they were told was the most important cultural value at their university, demonstrating that cultural values have a causal impact on the content of gender stereotypes.

The effects of culture on gender identity

Submitted by: Ohle, Allison Email:[email protected] Course name: Psych100D: Developmental Psychology from a Cultural Perspective UC Santa Cruz is the institution of higher learning. Eugene Matusov is the instructor. ClassWeb:Children Observations:No Date: June 10th, 1997 Time:15:01:50 Name of the remote


In this paper, information from a variety of studies is used to investigate how gender is constructed in our society. When comparing men and women, the biological differences between them are taken into consideration, but also noting that gender, as opposed to sexuality, is mostly a social creation, The study addresses the psychological effects that such socially created positions may have on individuals, particularly in terms of their ability to make decisions and limit their possibilities.


Specifically, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the cultural influence of gender on identity, because one’s own impression and attitudes toward her gender have a significant impact on the construction of her own identity, which is also greatly influenced by, and therefore related to, one’s cultural background. I’d want to acknowledge and thank my classmate, Victoria Brown, for her contribution to the study that was used in this report, which she has graciously accepted. The spirit of independence and autonomy that pervades the United States has had an impact on the population’s development of cultural identity, resulting in Americans who are ambitious and goal-driven.

  1. The presence of university students among American women is ubiquitous, and their presence is typically associated with aspiration and social standing.
  2. This determines the sort of job a woman undertakes and her position in society.
  3. As a result of this dichotomy, sex is associated with biology, but the gender identity of men and women in any particular culture is influenced by social and psychological factors (which includes historical and cultural factors).
  4. However, in order to define gender, it is necessary to take into consideration societal and cultural notions of masculine and feminine qualities and behaviors.
  5. Gender is taught via a process of socialization as well as through the culture of the particular society in which one is born and raised.
  6. Children learn their gender from the moment they are born.
  7. Throughout their lives, this is reinforced by their parents, teachers, classmates, their culture, and the wider community.
  8. Consequently, there is a great deal of variance in gender roles amongst different civilizations.
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These responsibilities are assigned in accordance with the convenience and precedence of the local culture, and they establish the masculine and feminine roles: ‘ Researchers led by Professor George Murdock investigated 224 civilizations (most of which were preliterate) and discovered that there is a significant propensity to separate economic activities in one way or another based on sexual orientation.

  1. He proposes that some activities are more typically associated with men than with women, and vice versa, based on a list of 46 such activities.
  2. Hunting, fishing, weapon-making, boat-building, and mining are all considered male activities, but processing grain and transporting water are considered feminine activities.
  3. The year is 1972 and Oakley is the author of the book.
  4. There is no doubt about the fact that women play an important role in biological reproduction, childbirth, and breastfeeding.
  5. Each family’s sexual division of labor includes both reproductive and productive tasks, and this is true in every household.
  6. There is no doubt that the allocation of labor and the rights to dispose of the revenue generated by that labor is primarily of a social and not primarily of a biological origin (Ostergaard, 1992).
  7. Men and women both’make’ and ‘have’ babies, and the phrase ‘to bear a kid’ is used interchangeably to refer to either a male or a woman who is pregnant.

As soon as the kid is born, the father’s condition is defined as “having a baby.” The Trobriand Islanders are well-known for their lack of understanding of the biological function of the father in reproduction, but they emphasize the importance of the father sharing all responsibilities associated with child rearing with the mother.

As a result, we can observe that tasks and the division of labor are not related to the sex of the persons involved, and as a result, they are not universally applicable to one sex across cultures, but rather are particular to each culture.

Women’s and men’s roles differ not just from one culture to another, but they also differ within civilizations through time; culture is not static, but rather develops.

Brett (1991) defined formalized euphemism as There are numerous variations in the roles that women play in different societies, and their situation is determined by the legislation, religious norms, economic status or social class, cultural values, ethnicity, and types of productive activity that are prevalent in a particular country, community, or household.

  1. In most countries, they also have a significant part in the family’s productive activities, which include farming, paid domestic labor, services, industries, and other sources of money.
  2. When it comes to reproduction, production, and the community, women have been disproportionately influenced by the development process in each of these three domains.
  3. Because women’s work is less mobile than men’s labor, they are more negatively affected by the development process than men are.
  4. (1994), explain for why women confront unequal limits in their economic activity.
  5. Another issue is the duplication of gender role models: economic possibilities that are originally taken up by males are distributed throughout a male population by a process that does not convey them to the female population, as in the first case.
  6. The fourth factor is reproduction, which places additional demands on the time and health of women, further increasing their inflexibility in this area.
  7. According to the book The Japanese Woman, “Japanese women think that, despite the fact that men and women are different in disposition, conduct, and biology, they may be equal as humans.” (See Iwao, p.3).
  8. This is reflected in the attitudes about labor and job mobility that exist in the two nations.

In a 1987 poll of men’s and women’s opinions (Iwao, p 163), a high level of support for the belief that “women should leave working when children are born but return to work when they are old enough to require less care” was discovered among Japanese (43 percent of men and 52 percent of women).

An alternative option, that “women should continue working even after having delivery,” was shown to have a higher level of support among Americans (43 percent overall).

Tanaka (1995) and Iwao (1993) have both written about this topic.

The lack of incentive to work because the male is the breadwinner, the need for a woman to raise the family due of the lack of assistance from her husband, and the discrimination experienced by many Japanese women who attempt to pursue a profession in Japan are all possible explanations (Iwao, 172-176).

  1. Designing initiatives and programs to make life ‘easier’ for women and to assist them in their gender-specific activities is one approach to taking.
  2. In addition, women are participating in (3.) community management activities that are carried out at the local community level in both urban and rural settings.
  3. In addition, only work that is considered productive is classified as work.
  4. Females suffer as a result of this, which is extremely detrimental.
  5. Men’s labor, on the other hand, is highly appreciated, either directly via financial compensation or indirectly through social standing and political influence.
  6. As an ironic result of the ‘determinism’ that goes hand in hand with the belief in ‘the biological character of women,’ women are routinely treated as a minority group, despite the fact that they make up more than half of the world’s population.

Consequently, being female is linked with having a permanent disability; as a result, women are relegated or excluded “for biological reasons.” Such biases have not only dominated public opinion, but they have also influenced social scientists, who, until relatively recently, believed that sex differences were outside the scope of social analysis, obstructing their understanding of the social and historical roots of gender relations.


How and why gender is a development concern.

2-4) Oxfam International is based in Oxford.

Collier, A.C.

Roberts, and K.

Edwards et al.


Moser & Associates, Inc.

Changing Perceptions: Writings on Gender Development is a collection of essays on gender development (pp.


The Intersection of Gender, Sexuality, and Society Gower Publishing Company is based in Aldershot, United Kingdom.

Ostergaard is the editor of this volume (1992).

Survey on women conducted by the Prime Minister’s Office (Josei ni kansuru yoron chosa).

Ries, P., and Stone, A.J.

The American Woman was published in 1992-1993.

Norton & Company and the Royal Tropical Institute, New York (1995).

The KIT Press is based in Amsterdam.

Japanese women as shown in contemporary portraits Praeger, Westport, Connecticut: Connecticuit, 1995.

Even though I acknowledge the importance of the internet and its accessibility, I did not believe it was necessary to provide the URL of a website that I did not visit in order to fulfill a criterion for the assignment.

The internet is available to serve as an extra resource, but it was of little assistance to me, and I was able to find more than enough material in the books that I’ve referenced in this section.

Last modified August 06, 2015

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