From a young age we are taught to behave a certain way according to our gender. Boys are taught to be masculine and that they are the providers for the family and girls are taught to be feminine that they are the ones who give comfort and emotional support; for example parents will buy boys trucks and buy girls dolls. With these continued ways of thinking males and females will always be trapped in the same roles unless something pushes them into a different role.
The female role as it has been taught is to be loving, caring, nurturing, to be patient, and to express feelings openly. The role of a female in society is to become married, stay home, take care of the children, clean the house and cook. In most households the female is the one who runs the house. She makes sure the children are taken care of, she helps them with whatever schoolwork they have, she helps with the problems they have, and she cleans up after the family. In most families mom is the person who is approached when there is a problem and a child needs to talk to someone. She is the one who makes sure that everybody in the household is alright and taken care of. Whenever something is wrong with someone in the household she notices and tries to help in anyway she can.
The male role as it has been taught is to be the man of the house, he is taught to be the provider for the family and to keep his emotions to himself. He has learned that he has to be the primary provider for the family, and if the female makes more money then it is a problem. Society has given people the idea that money equals power and the person making the money in the home has the power. Males think that because they bring the money into the household that they make final decisions on everything that happens in the household. In view of the fact that a male has learned to keep his feelings and emotions to himself it is often hard to approach the male in the house with a problem, which contributes, to females as being the ones giving the emotional support.
Today, people realize and see that there is not the same consensus of family dynamics and lifestyles that the 1950's demonstrated when "the family life and gender roles became much more predictable" (Coontz 36). An analysis of Stephanie Coontz's, What We Really Miss About the 1950's, along with the episodes of Leave It To Beaver, have revealed certain roles and structure of a quintessential family ...
In single parent homes the male or female in that home has to play both the male and female role. In homes where there is merely a female present she has to be the caregiver, give emotional support, and become the provider for the family. Providing for the family may be something that she isn’t used to but it something that she has to achieve to take care of her family. While in homes where there is simply a male present he has to be the provider and give emotional support. Emotional support is harder for a male to give than a female because males have been taught from a young age that it’s not alright to show their emotions and to express their feelings. Males are taught to keep their emotions bottled up.
Even though males and females have learned to play these roles from a young age they often switch roles to accommodate whatever situation they are in. It is hard for a person to be different than how they have been taught, but it is something that happens now more than ever. Today there are more single parent homes than there were even ten years ago; because of this we are seeing males take a more active role in their children’s lives and females providing more for their families.