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Gender Stereotypes in Families

Gender stereotypes are still persistent in societies that often seem to be egalitarian. According to numerous studies, these stereotypes are transmitted to younger generations that copy their parents’ role models. This paper dwells upon this issue with a focus on the way parents’ professional preferences affect their children’s career aspirations. This paper involves the analysis of the research by Croft, Schmader, Block & Baron (2014) that focuses on the second shift and its effects on the second generation. The theoretical framework and the study’s contribution to research are also discussed.

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Research Topic

The study in question deals with the correlation between the second shift as well as parental professional preferences and the developments of gender stereotypes in children (Croft et al., 2014). Croft et al. (2014) hypothesize that the parent’s domestic roles and careers affected their children’s explicit and implicit beliefs concerning gender roles. It is predicted that fathers who share domestic duties and have the second shift tend to have an egalitarian view on gender roles, which is transmitted to children.

Finding of the Literature Related to the Research Problem

It is necessary to note that this study is based on the existing knowledge on the matter. Moreover, it is consistent with the findings revealed in recent research. Endendijk et al. (2013) claim that implicit and explicit beliefs and parents’ behaviors form (to a great extent) their children’s explicit and implicit beliefs on gender roles. Okimoto and Heilman (2012) stress that gender stereotypes are prevalent in the working place. It is found that working women are negatively regarded in their working place especially among male employees. These findings reveal the way gender stereotypes are developed and manifested.

Research Problem and Research Questions

The research problem is the transmission of gender stereotypes within families. The research question (although not outlined explicitly) can be formulated as follows. Do parental explicit and implicit gender-role associations and behaviors predict their children’s professional aspirations?

The Contribution the Research Made to the Knowledge Base in Psychology

It is possible to note that the study in question has made a certain contribution to the scope of knowledge in psychology. First, the researchers explore the way parental professional preferences, as well as their gender-role associations, affect the development of gender stereotypes in their children. Croft et al. (2014) unveil an intriguing correlation between fathers’ implicit as well as explicit beliefs and behaviors and their daughters’ career aspirations.

No similar trend is present in the relationships between fathers and sons or mothers and daughters. The researchers’ conclusion concerning the distribution of household duties is supported by evidence. It can be regarded as a background for further research as well as the development of particular strategies to promote egalitarian views and practices within families. Croft et al. (2014) unveil one of the mechanisms contributing to the development of stereotypes.

The Theoretical Framework used in the Research

The study in question is mainly based on the social role theory. The central provision of the theory is that gender roles have been developing throughout history (Berscheid & Regan, 2016). These roles are distributed rather unevenly, which is a result of the development of the patriarchal society. Females are largely seen as domestic workers who focus on child-rearing and household duties. Whereas, males perform various roles within society. Another theory the researchers refer to as the social learning theory. Bandura is one of the major developers of this framework, and he stressed that children often learn the behaviors they observe.

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Parents are the major source of social learning at certain stages of human life. It holds it that children mainly copy their parents’ behaviors and beliefs (Berscheid & Regan, 2016). The researchers grounded their analysis on this assumption and predicted that parents’ implicit and explicit behaviors are transmitted to their children.

The Contribution the Research Made to Psychological Theories

This study made a certain contribution to psychological theory. Mainly, it provided evidence to support existing theories. Thus, it is clear that children do copy their parents’ behaviors and beliefs. However, Croft et al. (2014) stress that boys are not as receptive as daughters are when it comes to egalitarian views and especially the behavior of their fathers. The researchers emphasize the need to explore the degree to which parents or society affects the development of gender stereotypes in males.


In conclusion, it is possible to note that the study in question provides valuable insights into several aspects of gender stereotypes development. The researchers claim that the distribution of domestic roles affects the way gender stereotypes develop in children. The authors find a specific correlation between fathers’ explicit and implicit beliefs as well as behaviors and their daughters’ professional aspirations. The trend is not found in the relationships between fathers (or mothers) and their sons. This finding brings to the fore some questions concerning the role the family and the society play in the development of people. The researchers also conclude that the distribution of domestic roles has a significant impact on the way children develop gender stereotypes. This finding can be used to develop strategies aimed at the development of a truly egalitarian society.


Berscheid, E.S., & Regan, P.C. (2016). Psychology of interpersonal relationships. New York, NY: Psychology Press. Web.

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.

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StudyCorgi. (2020, November 8). Gender Stereotypes in Families. Retrieved from


StudyCorgi. (2020, November 8). Gender Stereotypes in Families.

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