Gender Stereotypes in Family: Research Methods


First, I researched a number of online databases and libraries. For example, I used Capella University library to search for the necessary articles. I used such keywords as gender stereotypes, family, parents. I found only one appropriate article on the chosen topic. I also used Open Library and EBSCO, but I was not completely satisfied with the sources I found. I decided to use Google to search for better options. Ironically, I found the rest of the articles using this method. I keyed in such words as gender stereotypes, family, parents. I focused on scholarly journals and books. I disregarded newspaper articles although those were such reputable sources as The Washington Post or The New York Times. I wanted to find particular data on the existing research on the topic of my choice rather than opinion or news.

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Gender stereotypes in the family

The role of the family in forming or breaking stereotypes has been a focus of extensive research for decades. It is acknowledged that the family is one of the most important factors that affect the development of children’s perceptions concerning gender roles. Steinmetz and Sussman (2013) stress that parents transmit their own gender-related beliefs to their children through games, being a model, talking and so on. The researchers also stress that the majority of gender stereotypes have not changed although women have become more empowered.

Aina and Cameron (2011) also support this idea and note that storytelling is one of the most significant means of transmitting gender-related beliefs. Endendijk et al. (2013) studied particular ways beliefs, as well as stereotypes, were imposed on children through explicit (mainly fathers) and implicit (mainly mothers) beliefs of parents. Researchers also reveal a trend concerning a limited power of stereotypes within families with mixed gender children.

The role of stereotypes is also related to the issues concerning work and family. Okimoto and Heilman (2012) explore the way stereotypes affect the way females evaluate their motherhood. The researchers emphasize that women tend to think they are not good mothers if they work in the male-dominated environment. De Silva De Alwis (2011) reveals similar trends but the researcher focuses on policies concerning the work/family balance. The existing stereotypes contribute to the disproportionate division of tasks both in families and at work. The issues related to work are also important for the understanding of the way gender stereotypes develop.


It is clear that every study should focus on a particular aspect of the issue to explore the matter fully and in detail. Researchers should also make sure they study aspects that have not been investigated in detail; otherwise, the research will not have scientific merit. Explaining things everybody knows is inappropriate in the scholarly world. Researchers are interested in new facets as they want to come up with or develop the necessary background for strategies to overcome issues existing in the society.

Looking into different angles of the problem also reduces bias that may be unavoidable in some studies. Checking hypothesis and findings of different researchers with the use of different paradigms also adds top validity of findings or reveals the flaws of previous research. Moreover, any study should put new questions to facilitate the research on various topics. It can also be effective to check, develop and introduce new theoretical approaches that can be employed in new studies on new matters.


Aina, O.E. & Cameron, P.A. (2011). Why does gender matter? Counteracting stereotypes with young children. Dimensions of Early Childhood, 39(3), 11-19. Web.

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De Silva De Alwis, R. (2011). Examining gender stereotypes in New Work/ family reconciliation policies: The creation of a new paradigm for egalitarian legislation. Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy, 18(2), 305-334. 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.

Steinmetz, S.K., & Sussman, M.B. (2013). Handbook of marriage and the family. New York, NY: Springer Science & Business Media.

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