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How Do Men and Women Experience Work and Family Differently?

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The Roles of Women and Men in the Home Domestic roles which a husband and wife undertake in the house are called conjugal roles these can include childcare and housework

In the past there were clean divisions between the husband's bread-winning role and the wife's housewife/mother role. Today it can be argued that the divisions of labour within the home have become blurred and household tasks are shared. Some sociologists argue that a 'new man' is emerging, and he seems to be sharing more domestic tasks, engaging emotionally with women and showing interest in developing his fathering skills.

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Over the last 50 years, roles of men and woman have changed tremendously. During the 1950s men and woman were viewed contrastively, expected to fulfill certain roles. Men worked outside the home however women were expected to stay within the home. Men have been tasked with providing money for the family whereas women had no choice but to become housewives, meaning they had to be caring mothers, hard-working homemakers, and respectful wives. However in 2013 men and women have a choice on what they want their roles to be in society. Women’s stereotype of being a house wife has changed and men are no longer considered the providers for their families. In the 1950s woman were obligated to stay home and forbidden to have a job outside. Women are performing duties that were traditionally assigned to men. Women are now more independent than ever, educated and successful. Women's education is encouraged which allows for better career opportunities. The percentage of unmarried women is significantly higher than in the 1950s causing woman to play both parenting roles. Women have double duties, at work and at home but still manage time for both. Women aren’t being pressured to get married and are waiting longer than ever. Women don’t want to have kids as soon as they get married because they have no time and are busy with work. Women want to have a stable career before starting a family. It’s now considered more acceptable for women to have a career. Women are doing as much as men are, maybe even more. In the 1950s men were portrayed as the dominant sex and felt superior to woman. Men were required to work to provide money for the family therefore had the upper hand in society. Men expected to come home to a cooked meal in a peaceful environment

A man’s role was to be the protector and supporter. Fathers would take care of all disciplinary actions rather than the mother because the man is the strong and tough individual in the relationship. Overtime men have become less and less mature. Today in 2013 men don’t feel the obligation to have a full time job because now woman bring a paycheck home too. Women are now pushing men to get work done.

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Moreover, men do not feel an obligation when they are involved in the home as women do, as they perceive it more as a hobby or a free choice. Also, those house chores that keep the home every day (shopping, cooking, washing dishes, washing clothes, and cleaning the house) are considered feminine, while those considered male or neutral tasks (paying bills, taking care of the car or home maintenance) do not involve daily devotion. Some cultural interpretation argue that women are more involved in house chores and do not want to fully share because of the belief that this is central to their gender identity and a source of power in the family, whereas husbands, whose gender identity has traditionally been marked by paid work, would not object to do less household chores than their wives (Martínez and Paterna, 2009)

Besides, a crossover effect must be included: to the greater involvement of women in the family and household chores must be added the greatest involvement of men in the workplace (Bakker et al., 2008), which supposes an increased family burden for women. As husbands are not available for household chores, wives suffer overload by household chores and emotional demands related to children caregiving, which will increase still more women stress and family to work interference (Frone, 2003).

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As can be seen, the study of family and gender roles is a major attribute in what society uses to advance

Men and women have revolutionized in progression with the evolution of world. Through time, women have gained the right to vote while men are engaging in what society defines as ‘female occupations.’ By doing so, men, women, girls and boys of all ages have molded what was considered to be the norm into an evolution of what use to be an expression of taboo. Families have empowered themselves to accomplish many goals in evolving in all aspects of society. Changes have permitted acceptance of gender role reversal and different roles a family member plays in a unit. Together, the world has seen many resolutions, and will have many more to come.

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Martínez M. C., Paterna C. (2009). “Perspectiva de género aplicada a la conciliación (Gender perspective applied to work-family conciliation),” in Género y Conciliación de la Vida Familiar y Laboral: Un análisis psicosocial, ed. Martínez M. C. (Murcia: Editum-Ediciones de la Universidad de Murcia; ), 17–44.

How job demands affect partners' experience of exhaustion: integrating work-family conflict and crossover theory. Bakker AB, Demerouti E, Dollard MF J Appl Psychol. 2008 Jul; 93(4):901-11.

Frone M. R. (2003). “Work-family balance,” in Handbook of Occupational Health Psychology, eds Quick J. C., Tetrick L. E. (Washington, DC: American Psychological Association; ), 143–162. 10.1037/10474-007

Social support and undermining in close relationships: their independent effects on the mental health of unemployed persons. Vinokur AD, van Ryn MJ Pers Soc Psychol. 1993 Aug; 65(2):350-9.

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