A. We are so used with the idea of
gender roles, we are simply not aware how inaccurate it really is.
1. Children starts to learn about
gender stereotyping as early as the age of 2! (Knorr, 2017)
a. Children learnt how one should
behave according to their gender through toys their parents bought and
television shows they watch (Knorr, 2017)
b. Throughout their journey of growing
into adulthood, they are bound by the images that deters how one ought to
c. For example, ‘Snow White’ and
‘Hercules’ have given out silent messages that women should do house chores and
men need to be strong.
d. I’m not denying the fact that there
are many kid’s shows that defy gender stereotyping like ‘Doc Mcstuffin’ where
her father is a househusband and her mother is a doctor, yet how many can
compete with the abundance number of television shows that promote gender
2. The belief of gender stereotyping
differs from one culture to another.
a. Something that is vastly promoted is
seen differently through the eyes of people from different part of the world.
b. For example, it is normal for
Middle-Eastern people to wear a long robe for both men and women but if it were
to be applied in the other part of the world, it would seem taboo for the
(Transition: After explaining how inaccurate
gender roles is, I will touch on how dangerous gender roles can be)
B. Gender roles causes one’s
capabilities to be limited.
1. Eagly and Karau (2002) came up with
role incongruity theory that has two aspects, one, descriptive expectations,
where one gender is expected to act accordingly to their gender and second,
normative associations and evaluations of behaviour, what is Deemed appropriate
or inappropriate behaviour. (Eckes, 2004)
2. Jobs are categorized into two
different classes; masculine and feminine.
a. Jobs like soldiers, engineers and
top management positions in a company are considered more suitable for men
while in the other hand jobs such as nurses, teachers and secretaries are more
correlated to women.
b. This, in a subtle way, may express
the idea that opposite gender may not have successful outcome if they were to
work in the work field contrary to society’s expectations.
3. One may be at a disadvantage even
from the early stage of applying for a job.
a. Imagine this, a situation where both
a man and a woman are applying for a top-notch position in a company. The
woman, have all the qualifications and job experiences. Then, there’s the man,
who have fewer qualifications and job experiences compare to the woman. Yet,
they still hire the man over the woman because they believe that men are more
suitable to be leaders rather than women.
b. Clearly, this shows that people
assume one personality trait and behaviour through their gender, which is
clearly wrong as gender does not explain your credibility and qualifications.
4. Gender expectations in work field
may cause someone to perform less than what they are capable of doing.
a. Stereotype threat may happen when
one is aware of stereotypes in that particular field, they may intentionally
reduce their performance to avoid outperforming the opposite gender. (Steele
and Aronson, 1995).
b. Burton et al. (2009) claimed that due to role incongruity, women are at a
drawback in the employment market for supervision positions due to three
reasons; one, the normative gender roles in attribution where women are
expected to attribute much less leadership ability than men, two, the nature of
preference where it is less desirable for masculine leadership performance from
a woman than that from a man, and three, role appropriation causes reduction of
self-confidence as it was to be understood ‘she may not perform correctly’.
c. This may cause someone to not use
their full potential and ability as they believe their hard work is unworthy as
at the end of the day, they would still be labelled according to their gender.
(Transition: Now, we see how gender stereotypes may be able to
jeopardize one’s future, would you believe me if I say it could ruin one’s
present as well?)