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Changing Gender Roles in Families

Gender roles have been continuously changing for the last four decades or so. It is crucial to mention that the feminist movement was developed to give women equal rights with men. It is indisputable that massive transformation has taken place in regards to the roles of men and women. On the other hand, some roles have largely remained the same. For instance, men expected to be heads of families and offer the much-needed protection.

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The role of home making is still a darling duty for women even if most of them have stepped their feet in career development and professional world. Single parenthood has significantly contributed towards the changing gender roles in families. For example, single mothers are no longer expected to stay back home and wait for husbands to provide.

They perform all forms of jobs and work for long hours to cater for their families. This has tightened parenting roles because single mothers play both masculine and feminine roles. This brief essay argues that the changing gender roles in modern society is rapidly being driven by single parent family controversy.

In a New York Times editorial article by Roiphe (2012), the author laments that single mothers have been labeled as ‘bad elements in society’ by the American public. In a recent poll conducted by Pew Research Centre, it is apparent that close to 70 percent of Americans are against the idea of single mothers. However, the author fights to defend single motherhood by asserting that about 53 percent of all children born in America today are from single mothers.

Although the society associates single motherhood with moral decadence, Roiphe maintains that such a large number of single mothers cannot be directly linked with morality. In other words, it is utterly wrong to condemn single mothers based on research studies that have been conducted in the past. Besides, the author emphasizes that there is no typical way a family structure should be since both nuclear and single-mother families are justified in the face of humanity.

I indeed agree with Roiphe’s arguments since the growing number of single mothers is primarily contributed by our equally large number of irresponsible men. If the absentee fathers can assume their roles as anticipated by society, then single-motherhood would not bring about the controversies we are witnessing today (Minnotte, 2012). Single motherhood should not be taken as a strange family structure.

It is just one option through a family unit can be constituted. In any case, factors such as death, divorce and separation make it inevitable to elude the reality of single motherhood.

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Finally, the arguments posed by the author are strong because they are backed by both empirical research studies and personal experience as a single mother. However, the author could have also argued along the negative impacts of single motherhood in society.


Minnotte, K. L. (2012). Family structure, gender, and the work-family interface: Work-to- family conflict among single and partnered parents. Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 33(1), 95-107.

Roiphe (2012). In Defense of Single Motherhood.

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StudyCorgi. 2020. "Changing Gender Roles in Families." April 11, 2020.


StudyCorgi. (2020) 'Changing Gender Roles in Families'. 11 April.

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