Gender roles and household tasks


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Gender roles and household tasks

  1. 1. Gender Roles and Household Tasks<br />Tessa Turnbow<br />Soc 235- Gender Roles<br />E. Dixon<br />
  2. 2. Topic<br />The topic that I decided to study for this research project is gender roles. More specifically, are gender roles still stereotyped as they were years ago when it comes to household tasks. What I am most interested to see is if the younger generation, i.e. ages 16-18, have seen a change in the stereotypes.<br />
  3. 3. Background<br />In the early 1900s it was unheard of for women to work and in some cases it was illegal. In 1930, in fact, it was against the law in 26 of the 48 states for married women to be employed (Gender Roles).<br />Married women were expected to stay home, cook, clean, and take care of the children while their husbands were at work<br />In the 1970s, about 50% of women ages 25 to 54 worked outside of home and in the work place, and in 1995, 76% of women worked outside of home (Gender and Society ). <br />Now, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 45% of white men, who used to control the workplace, make up the total workers and 47% of women, even though men still make more money (She Works. They’re Happy.)<br />However, research has also found that when women work by themselves they are less successful than men (Martinot,D). <br />
  4. 4. Background contd. <br />According to a recent study from the Pew Research Center, women are now the primary breadwinners in marriages and roles have also shifted<br />Divorce rates have actually gone down since this role shift. In 1970 there was an average of 23 divorces per 1,000 couples, and that has dropped to less than 17 divorces per 1,000 couples (She Works. They’re Happy.). <br />This may be because, as many experts point out, women no longer are looking for a husband that, simply, has a lot of money but looking for someone that better suits them based on their personality. Also, I believe that the divorce rate has gone down because with women becoming more independent men have more respect for them, and respect is one of the most important parts in relationships.<br />
  5. 5. Hypothesis<br />My hypothesis is that even though our society has taken great strides in changing gender roles, people my age will still stereotype men and women into certain roles because of what they have observed growing up and in today’s society. <br />
  6. 6. Method and Subjects<br />The method I used to carry out my research was a survey. Since this was a correlation study I distributed the survey to as many different people as I could.<br />My subjects were all students at Olympia High School ages 16 to 18. I did not let my close friends fill out the survey because I wanted it to be as random as possible so that I could not predict the results. I surveyed 46 students of varied genders, ages, and backgrounds.<br />
  7. 7. Results<br /> For my results, I divided everything into three sections: ages 16, 17, and 18. On each section I calculated the percentage for each personal question for example, on section one 27% of the subjects surveyed are female and 73% are male. I rounded each percentage to the nearest percent. <br />On the opinion section I figured out how many people chose male, female, or both and then calculated the percentages to the nearest tenth.<br />The results show that the participants in section one thought that females should be the ones to cook dinner, sweep, do the laundry, weed, vacuum, plant flowers, and clean the bathroom. They felt that males should be the ones to mow the lawn, and fix the appliances. Finally, they believed that both the male and female should wash dishes, clean the vehicles, mop the floors, and take out the garbage.<br />
  8. 8. Results Contd.<br />The results for section two were quite different, they showed that the subjects believed that both males and females should do all of the tasks except for mowing the lawn and fixing appliances, which is what males should do, and sweeping, weeding, mopping the floors, and planting flowers, which is something that females should do.<br />In section three, the results were a lot like section one. The participants indicated that the female tasks are: cooking dinner, sweeping, cleaning the vehicles, weeding, mopping the floors, and planting flowers. The tasks they thought that were something males should do are: mowing the lawn and fixing appliances. The tasks indicated for both male and female are: washing dishes, doing the laundry, making the bed, vacuuming, taking out the garbage, and cleaning the bathroom.<br />In each section, It was indicated that men should be the ones to fix appliances and mow the lawn.<br />
  9. 9. Conclusion<br />Throughout this research project, my hypothesis was both supported and refuted<br />I was correct that there are still some stereotypes, the most obvious is that in each section of results the participants believed that mowing the lawn and fixing appliances is something that males should do.<br />The fact that there are still tasks that are obviously gender stereotyped supported my hypothesis, however there were several tasks that the participants thought both males and females could complete.<br />In each section washing the dishes, making the bed, and taking out the garbage were all considered to be tasks that men and women should do. These results refuted my hypothesis because it shows that tasks that would be considered a female stereotype (i.e. washing the dishes) are now something that both genders should do.<br />
  10. 10. Conclusion Contd.<br />If I were to do this research over again, I would do several things differently. <br />I would broaden the age range and ask more questions in the background section, this would help me see if certain answers are because of a bias a person may have because of their religion, relationship status, etc.<br />This study made me question if we are really doing enough as a society to change the stereotypes of gender roles.<br />This research may help sociologists who are trying to figure out what we still need to change as a society and how much we have already changed in the area of gendered stereotypes. <br />This research is, over all, important to the study of gender because it shows that we still have a long ways to go when it comes to men and women being considered equal.<br />
  11. 11. References<br />Gender and Society. Retrieved Feb 22, 2010, from <br /><br />Gender Roles. Retrieved Feb 25, 2010, from<br /><br />Martinot, D., & Viallon, M.L. (June 2009). The Effects of Solo Status on Women’s and Men’s Success: The Moderating Role of the Performance Context.(24)191-205. Retrieved Feb 26, 2010, from Ebsco<br />
  12. 12. References Contd.<br />She Works. They’re Happy. (2010, January 24). Retrieved Feb 27, 2010, from The New York Times’ website:<br /> <br />