A gender role is a set of expectations that decide how females or males should think, act, or feel. We will now explore the effects of gender roles in marriage in the past and present by summarizing research on various structures of marriage and their effects. Research completed on the formation of gender can also be used to examine the formation of gender roles within a marriage. The Evolutionary Psychology Theory of Gender says that differing roles in reproduction places different pressures on males and females, which creates gender roles as the man being the more competitive and violent figure, while the women being more involved in nurturing activities.
Some Research Questions which seems to effect the relationship:
- Does religious background have an effect on perceived gender roles in single and married people?
- Does educational attainment have an effect on perceived gender roles in single and married people?
- Does family background have an effect on gender roles?
- Are there distinct patterns of perceived gender roles between males and females?
- Are there any noticeable differences between the perceived gender roles in marriage of single people, and actual gender roles being played out in married couples lives?
The Impact of Gender Role Expectations on Relationships :
There is empirical evidence that expectations can affect couples in two ways: 1) They can serve as goal structures in which partners can shape and guide their relationship or 2) They can create a “counter factual” phenomenon, where people compare what has occurred within their relationship to what might have occurred. In essence, the former can cause positive changes within relationships while the latter can create negative outcomes and
disappointment. One study found that “unrealistic expectations” was the major reason that 30 percent of women respondents gave for their divorces in Texas. Thus, it is essential
for both members of the couple to understand the gender role expectations of themselves and of their partners throughout the course of the marriage.
Dr.Phil’s suggestions about the roles in marriage :
- Communicate. Instead of just complaining, be specific about what it is that you want. “We’re trainable,” says Dr. Phil, on behalf of all men. “You just have to put the dots close together!”
- Negotiate. Every relationship is negotiated, and needs to be continually negotiated. Even if you’ve done things one way for 20 years, it’s not too late to find a new way to share responsibilities. Find a division of labor that both of you can live with. Come up with new definitions for your relationship.
- Work on things during times of peace. In the heat of an argument is no time to come up with solutions that will work for both of you. Don’t expect things to change without working on changing them.
- Love every idea for 15 minutes when you hear it. Sometimes we don’t even consider ideas, or even elements of them that may work, when they may be a good starting point for compromise.
- Try to see things through your partner’s eyes. You need not necessarily switch roles completely, but you do need to understand what your spouse is saying.
- Remember that your wife is your partner, not your mother. Don’t expect her to clean up after you and cut your meat for you. Perhaps your mother did that when you were a child, but you’re now in a partnership.
Reference : http://www.drphil.com/articles/article/322