GENDER ROLE ATTITUDES AND THEIR COMPONENTS
The first men and first women joined the world called Altse Hastin, and Altse Assdzaa created the world and taught new skills, and made their progeny. To understand gender role attitudes, only this information about the body and composition of human beings is not enough. Biology alone cannot define the differences between men, women, and androgynous. Sex is just biological differences between men and women; however, gender is fluid. It refers to social categories of males and females affected by psychological features and role attributes assigned to sex. Gender roles are mainly society’s influence on biologically based types between men and women. One can say that gender role attitudes are not what one’s body is; it is what is lived by oneself, easily malleable by other members, beliefs, customs, religion, denizens, etc. In simple words: our perception about how men and women should behave is called gender role attitude.
There are various roles expected from men and women, and these roles are not different because of biological differences but many socio-cultural prejudices or beliefs. The theory of social constructionism defines how concepts like men and women emerged and how they are differentiated and expected to behave in a certain way because of physical differences. Individual choice, socio-cultural pressure, biological potentials, and psychological attitude lead to a particular behavior performed by men, women, and androgynous.
Traditional gender role attitude is when one believes that men should go out and work and
women to stay home and engage themselves in domestic work. For example, in Morocco, men and women roles are even in question; men are head of the family, and women are engaged in domestic work.
The other type of gender role attitude is the egalitarian gender role attitude that is when an
individual believes that men and women both should be caring and equally responsible for
working outside. For example, in Balkan, the roles of men and women are not different; their
purpose is to serve the needs of society.
Transitional gender role attitude is when an individual believes that men and women should be equally responsible for going out and working. Still, man’s primary priority should be work, and women's immediate priority should be home and children. This gender role can be observed mainly in developing countries like India, where women are expected to work and take responsibility but should primarily focus on their kids and home.
It involves a person's feelings, emotions, and behavior toward a particular behavior. It is
excellent or obnoxious behavior towards a specific gender when expected behavior is not
performed. In simple language, hatred or liking towards a particular person because of its sex is sexism.
Sexism is a practical component of gender role attitude. Labeling or calling out any woman
termagant and disliking her when she displays competitive or aggressive behavior is a paragon of sexism. However, different types of sexism explain different kinds of feeling towards individuals because of sex. Traditional sexism explicitly regards women as a lower section of society and hatred and less value of women because they are women. . There is an endorsement of conventional roles on men and women, which include nurturing behavior, domestic work, sympathy, expressive behavior from women and competitive, less explicit, aggressive, confident behavior from men. Sexist behavior also involves eve-teasing or shaming other sexes in society. a typical traditional attitude towards the gay member of the LGBTQ+ community ( of sexual orientation or sexuality of any individual which is a little different from sex).
Modern sexism includes complete ignorance, antagonism to women’s demands in society. It
means denial of the needs of women and zero levels of empathy towards women. It involves
denouncing women's struggles and the usage of harsh sexist language. It also overestimates
women's number in so-called male-oriented jobs.
Recent connoisseur example of modern sexism is voting by the house in US parliament circa
February 2020 for removal of ERA that is equal right amendment act which is an explicit denial and refutation of the fact that women need equal rights as men, equal pay as me, equal opportunities, legal status, abortion right, etc. another example of modern sexism is preception of women virago and vixen if she demands her fundamental economic, political and social rights or joins feminist movements. In India is believing that women should go out for work but not expect any financial stability from their income.
People who show hostile sexism are those who challenge the traditional gender role of women. It is related to the superior position and dominant orientation of men. It is also associated with rape myths, so people who score high on hostile sexism often see women challenging their superiority. The reason for Hostile sexism is fundamental traditional structure and power differences between men and women.
Hostile sexism can be observed in Netflix series: Delhi Crime (based on actual events of
Nirbhaya gang-rape case) where the main accused who instigated other men to rape and caused grievous hurt to women had a hostile feeling towards women as he hated her behavior in the local bus. Also, movies like lipstick under my burkha showcase the malicious behavior of a husband on his wife by not letting her work out because he can’t go on with the fact that his wife is superior to him in any way. Hostile behavior of men can easily be observed in patriarchal families where men try to suppress women by screaming, blaming women’s family or abusing them on small, not at all essential domestic work.
Benevolent sexism is a positive feeling towards women that is a desire to help and protect
women. This is deeply rooted because of patriarchy in society which never allows women to
forget the traditional gender roles of men and women. People who are high on benevolent sexism are maintaining conventional gender roles and supporting the so-called social order. Benevolent sexism include driving a woman home with a man because it's dark and it's not safe for her to go alone or men offering to pick up your luggage on the train to offering seats to women instead of older men to younger brothers accompanying their elder sister because it's so not safe and women should be protected when they step out of the house.
This behavior directly benefits the recipient, which is often dictated by social norms, and it is
challenging to explain why someone does not require help. One has to note that sexism is not only against men ``sexuality toward men '' is ambivalent; it is mixed (mixed feeling). It is hostile as well as benevolent, which is rooted because of gender differentiation. Homophobia is fear of homosexuals or fear of associating with homosexuals. It is interesting to know that men are higher in homophobia than females because homosexuality is a threat to heterosexual relationships in which men are dominant. Studies also indicate that LGBTQ+ community students have suicidal thoughts because of pressure created by heterosexual peers.
A recent example of target based expectancies is Shabnam case where the court declared death sentence to Shabnam for killing 7 people, though there are many instances where the court is inclined in favour of women but here apart from sex her individual information is used to make judgements. There are gender stereotypes built which may vary in age, ethnic groups and stereotypes of homosexuals. For example, various studies show that increased age is strongly associated with negative evaluations of women than men. The difference of ethnic group gender stereotypes in the US for men is independent and athletic whereas gender stereotypes in China are valuing poetry, rituals, music interdependence and cooperation.
Stereotypes of homosexuals can be undoubtfully observed in India where same-sex marriage is still not legalized men are perceived as less masculine than heterosexual men. However one have to note that media play a very important role in gender stereotypes where the representation of homosexuality can be observed but are very circumlocutory, very negative and is not represented by actual members of the LGBTQ+ community
Stereotyping is a very virulent disease that influences our perception of and behaviour toward others and in a way that others also confirm this stereotyping known as a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Examples of this can be seen in the Indian patriarchal structure where one might think boys can cook so they don't give them a chance or let them go and cook something. It's not like men are no good cooks and chefs but the situation has a stereotype that then confirms the stereotype.
Amendments are one way to alter gender role attitude that has a negative effect on people with different sex, sexuality and gender identity but is a long haul on ground level which should be communicated through media, social groups, education system, only an inclusive environment everywhere are learning to respect people’s individuality.
About The author
LLB student at JGLS
BA PROGRAMME: IPCW, DU