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Gender Communication in the Family KIMBERLY PIKE
Introduction Families are more than groups of related people People are gendered within their families Families are organized by gender Impossible to fully study gender without family Where we learn roles are unequal
Introduction Importance of gender roles Gender roles taught by families Traditional gender roles reinforce stereotypes Hidden role of family traditions Role of gendered social scripts
The Ideal Nuclear Family Most families do not fit this mold Families today are very unique and diverse The nuclear family is elusive Masculinity & femininity emerges in 1800s
Nuclear is not the norm 38% of all marriages end in divorce Around 75% of divorced persons remarry with a 60% chance of divorce 50% of marriages occurring this year are expected to end in divorce Almost 30% of homes are headed by a single adult 52% of families have no children under 18 30 % of children will live in blended families at some point (CDC, 2005a; The International Stepfamily Association, 2006) In most two-parent homes, both parents work outside the home (Hochschild, 2003)
Stereotypes Emerge Masculinity, femininity, and nuclear family Institutionalized in the 1950s Role of the media and economic growth Spread of this ideal outside the U.S.
Research on the Nuclear Family Research affected by ideology Unequal levels of housework deemed normal “His vs. her marriage”
Parent-Child Communication Parental modeling The power of observation Influence of parent/child interaction Is gender teaching conscious? Social accountability
Parent-Child Communication Militant Motherhood Children actively create gender Gender Schema Theory
Adult Friends and Lovers Heteronormativity Devaluing of friendships The Two-Culture Theory Influence of the normative ideal
Dating Relationships Gender Role Scripts Deviating From the Norms Do we really express intimacy that differently?
Marital Communication Popular Research Topic Demand/Withdrawal Pattern Two-culture theory Power perspective
Domestic Violence Not all conflicts are bad for relationships Family maintains gender inequalities and violence Every instance is unique CCV- Common couple violence
Facts on Domestic Violence in the U.S. 4 children die in the U.S. everyday from abuse and neglect in the family 4 women are murdered in the U.S. daily by boyfriends or husbands Women are 10 times more likely to be victims of domestic violence than are men 4+ million children in the U.S. are abused or neglected by family members annually 16% of men and 27% of women were victimized as children 25% of women have been physically assaulted or raped by an intimate partner, both in the U.S. and around the world
Domestic Violence What types of men abuse? How do gender expectations play a role? How family hides abuse Sex differences in violence
Emancipatory Families Why do they matter? Society’s ideals of fatherhood Benefits of engaged fatherhood Lack of research on fathers
Emancipatory Families Diverse fathers Violence vs. nurture Homosexual fathers
Conclusion Families are diverse, so is their communication The “Ideal” is not the norm The ideal perpetuates inequalities in communication, role expectations, and violence between the sexes Breaking from the ideal is how we improve