Modern Western society is characterized by a great deal of gender equality. Moreover, people tend to refer to such countries as Canada, the USA, European countries as egalitarian societies. It is natural to see women working in various areas and even occupy high posts in the sphere of politics, business, science. However, women often face the issues associated with the so-called glass ceiling in many areas. This can be explained by the fact that gender stereotypes are still persistent. According to various studies, these stereotypes are often developed within families and further transferred to the next generations.
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Researchers report that parents model gender roles to their children. Women are expected to have the so-called second shifts even in families where both parents work full time. The second shift is a set of household and childcare duties carried out at home after a full day of work. It has been acknowledged that the spread of gender stereotypes and their prevalence in families can be regarded as an influential factor contributing to the disproportionate distribution of roles in the working environment. This paper focuses on a study that explores the extent to which parents model gender roles to their children. The study is also considered in terms of the existing research on the matter.
Identification of the Article and Its Methodology
The article in question dwells upon the development of gender stereotypes in children aged 7 to 13. Croft, Schmader, Block, and Baron (2014) explore the way parents’ behavior, as well as explicit and implicit beliefs associated with domestic roles, affect their children’s views on the matter. Croft et al. (2014) state that parents convey information concerning stereotypes and gender roles to their children. The researchers note that daughters often have more interest in pursuing careers if their fathers share second shift duties with their mothers. Fathers’ implicit beliefs also have an impact on daughters’ occupational preferences. Sons do not develop family-oriented views even their fathers exhibit the corresponding behavior.
The researchers provide possible explanations for these trends. An interesting assumption provided is associated with the father’s role in the life of their daughters who acquire more masculine traits through extensive communication with the father. Daughters of fathers who share second shift responsibilities develop a belief that a woman can and should pursue a career rather than focus on the family and household duties. The researchers also add that parents’ models are unlikely to be the only factor affecting children’s perceptions since such aspects as the community, peers, and school has an impact on their development. Croft et al. (2014) conclude that a balanced division of domestic duties may positively affect the development of a truly equal workforce.
This study is quantitative as researchers employ a number of questionnaires and scales to measure people’s perceptions. Thus, participants answered particular questions, matched items concerning gender stereotypes, completed Implicit Association Tests. Statistical analysis was used to measure the findings. The researchers do not focus on stories of people but try to evaluate trends that exist in the particular population, which is a characteristic feature of quantitative research.
Relevance to my Specialization Area in Psychology
I have been researching the development of gender stereotypes and their influence on equality in the working place. I want to identify particular factors that contribute to the development of stereotypes. It appears that family is one of the most important platforms where stereotypes are developed. New generations follow their parents’ models, which leads to inequality in the working place. The society is still patriarchal due to implicit and explicit beliefs of people irrespective of their age.
The article in question provides valuable insights into the way stereotypes are transferred from parents to their children. Croft et al. (2014) unveil some patterns through which stereotypes develop. Importantly, this article focuses on the family rather than the society in general or the working environment. The researchers pay specific attention to the way fathers and mothers affect their children’s views. It is noteworthy that daughters are more subjected to their fathers’ influence and often adopt their views on roles they can perform. The study in question includes findings that are consistent with other studies. For instance, Endendijk et al. (2013) draw similar conclusions.
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The researchers stress that parents inflict their own implicit and explicit beliefs on their children, which contributes to the spread of gender stereotypes. Children still believe that it is more appropriate for a woman to stay home and perform all the household duties while the father should work outside the house. Interestingly, such beliefs acquire peculiar forms, and working women are perceived negatively. Okimoto and Heilman (2012) claim that gender stereotypes existing in western societies affect the way working mothers are perceived. This can be explained by the fact that people develop their beliefs in their childhood, and although the society has become more egalitarian, it is far from being equal when it comes to gender roles within families and in the working place.
Croft, A., Schmader, T., Block, K., & Baron, A.S. (2014). The second shift reflected in the second generation: Do parents’ gender roles at home predict children’s aspirations? Psychological Science, 1-14. Web.
Endendijk, J.J., Groeneveld, M.G., Van Berkel, S.R., Hallers-Haalboom, E.T., Mesman, J. & Bakermans-Kranenburg, M.J. (2013). Gender stereotypes in the family context: Mothers, fathers, and siblings. Sex Roles, 68, 577-590. Web.
Okimoto, T. G., & Heilman, M. E. (2012). The “bad parent” assumption: How gender stereotypes affect reactions to working mothers. Journal of Social Issues, 68(4), 704-724. Web.