Dealbreakers: Should Traditional Gender Roles Remain Intact?
3 weeks ago
Cooking, cleaning...calling it quits?
Renowned Harvard sociologist Talcott Parsons once argued that the "nuclear family," a term he famously coined, was most functional when the husband played the “instrumental” role, fulfilled mostly by going out into the workforce to earn the family's living, and the wife took on the "expressive" role of nurturing, caring and providing emotional support within the home.
But that was 1955. Today, women are increasingly challenging the stuffy confines of traditional gender roles as 53 percent of them now act as the primary breadwinner in their household.
But Parsons would likely find solace in knowing that some traditions have managed to withstand the test of time and social upheaval. A recent survey by the University of California, Santa Cruz, found that of the 277 heterosexual students who participated, not a single one -- male or female -- indicated they would "definitely" want the woman to propose marriage in a relationship. Additionally, going against the grain of established gender roles doesn't always work to one's advantage as another study found that men who spend their time doing "women's work" at home like cooking, cleaning and shopping have less sex than those who take on yard work, paying bills and changing the oil.
With happy marriages and healthy sex lives on the line, should modern-day couples continue to embrace society's role reversal or stick to tradition?Did You Know There's A Gender-Neutral Easy-Bake Oven On The Way?
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY
Maryann Reid, lifestyle expert and author: "I say we need to bring back traditional roles and stop treating them as if they are scary. 'Modern roles' are not necessarily better since everything balances out in the end; the couple reverts to same kind of roles anyway and, very often, look traditional."
Tina Tessina, psychotherapist: "Couples who are free to choose their household tasks, have the careers they wish and share the work equally are much more successful and happy than couples who cling to traditional models as 'shoulds.' But if a traditional model works well for a couple, it's fine. And if the historically prescribed gender roles aren't functional for the couple, they should choose otherwise."Does 'Hooking Up' Guarantee Female Progress?
WHAT YOU SAY