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One realizes the fact that relations between men and women are the complex issue which is impacted by the topical social values, approaches, and sex stereotypes. These are “socially shared beliefs about what qualities can be assigned to individuals based on their on their membership in the female or male half o the human race” (Sex Stereotypes 2). These beliefs have always been an ongoing issue that changed across the times and regulated the relations in couples, introducing certain patterns according to which every partner had to behave.
Besides, the traditional point of view related to gender relations provides the pattern which implies the dominant role of a man and his right to accept the most important decisions while a woman has to follow him and create a comfortable environment.
However, the growth of numerous feministic movements gave rise to a number of concerns related to the roles of partners in couples. The fact is that the modern woman has the same rights any man has. In this regard, she could also reckon on the dominant role and become an equal partner. Furthermore, there are numerous real-life examples of a woman dominating over her man, providing the couple with the needed products, while a male accepts his supporting role.
Yet, this shift of priorities conditions the initiation of vigorous debates about the distribution of roles in couples and the right of a certain individual to perform the dominant role. The feminist point of view as opposed to those of the adherers of the traditional idea which accepts males as the main contributors to the development of relations in couples.
Altogether, the last reconsiderations of the nature of relations promoted the appearance of numerous debates related to the role of partners and their right to be the leader.
Appropriate gender behavior
It is obvious that all people are unique, and they have their own peculiarities that impact their behavior and condition the appearance of a certain trait or habit. These differences also result from the environment and society that have an overwhelming impact on the formation of every individual. Moreover, society dictates the norms and patterns according to which a person should act to be accepted in the community. These social beliefs regulate numerous aspects of human activity including gender relations and the model which should be followed by a man or a woman.
The fact is that males and females are expected to behave in absolutely opposite ways. Women should be more sensitive than men and demonstrate great flexibility (Gender and conceptions of justice 553) while men are brutal and reserved. There are many other stereotypes that regulate gender relations and give rise to numerous patterns of socially accepted behavior.
However, nowadays the last dramatic changes in the structure of various communities and the evolution of peoples self-consciousness condition the appearance of the new approach to gender behavior. It condemns the existing stereotypes considering them outdated and provides the new pattern according to which both males and females might act in the way they like. Adherence to the most common beliefs becomes unnecessary as any individual has the right to freedom of will and should be able to accept any decisions.
In these regards, the existence of a certain model of behavior accepted by society becomes more and more doubtful. The reconsideration of the traditional pattern resulted in the increased importance of the freedom of will. That is why, nowadays, any person should have the opportunity to act in the way he/she considers appropriate being not afraid of social condemnation.
Friendship is a unique phenomenon that impacts the life of an individual greatly. When entering into this sort o relations, a person obtains a trustful partner who might help in various complicated situations and provide the needed support. The absence of any sexual context between friends is another important concern. However, there are still numerous aspects related to the question of gender and the peculiarities of male or female behavior.
Traditionally, it is believed that “friendships between males are stronger and deeper than those between females” (Family and Friends 440 ). The given stereotype results from the peculiarities of male and female behavior and values appreciated by them. Yet, this statement is not obvious as there are many important concerns that should be mentioned.
The fact is that there is no credible evidence that proves the stronger character of friendship between same-sex partners. This belief is based on the traditional and prejudiced point of view which implies the inability of females to be devoted friends and provide valuable support for each other. There is also the tendency to relate the given sort of friendship with the rivalry which exists between women who try to attract attention and obtain a preferable position.
At the same time, researchers prove the fact that women tend to provide more personal information to their friends while self-disclosure could serve as a good basis for long-termed and stable relations (Family and Friends 441)
For these reasons, it is impossible to conclude that the weakness or strength of same-sex friendship is conditioned by gender peculiarities. Yet, one should accept the fact that the unique traits of certain individuals impact relations greatly and determine their status.
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Impact gender stereotypes
The life of any individual is impacted by numerous factors and stressors that determine the formation of a certain behavioral pattern and conditions the appearance of numerous traits needed to survive in a certain community. Besides, the development of any person is predetermined by the dominant values, beliefs, and stereotypes which appear in the process of evolution of society and change along with it.
Being a social creature, a human is not able to ignore all the above-mentioned factors as they condition his/her acceptance by society. That is why these concepts play a crucial role in the functioning of any individual. If to speak about relations between males and females, which are the basic element of any society, there are numerous gender stereotypes that influence peoples behavior and condition the adherence to a certain pattern. It is believed that there are certain male and female qualities that should be peculiar to men and women for them to be attractive. The exploitation of these qualities is also expected to promote the creation of stable relations.
However, researchers have found the change in the content of gender stereotypes (Sex Stereotypes 7) which means that society has already initiated the reconsideration of the approaches to this basic element. Nowadays, the majority of the previous concepts might seem outdated and event unnecessary. We can observe the change in their content and their weakening. The evolution of society promoted the need for freedom while the adherence to a certain pattern contradicts the spirit of the epoch.
Nevertheless, gender stereotypes still remain rather influential; however, numerous processes in modern society condition their weakening and introduce the new important trends.
Masculinity and its role in relations
Traditionally, males have been considered the main initiators of any relations. Playing the dominant role in society, they had to demonstrate various male qualities to assert himself and attract the attention of other members of the community. Moreover, the importance of this self-realization conditioned the increased importance of social opinion as it became the main determiner of all males actions. Furthermore, the concept of masculinity became dependant on the values and beliefs appreciated by a certain group.
Besides, when evaluating a certain man using the existing stereotypes, people create the basis for the further development of these prejudices and their sophistication (Sex Stereotypes 11). For this reason, the modern concept of masculinity goes through the stage of numerous changes. The shifts in traditional priorities and the creation of the new behavioral pattern predetermined the appearance of the new approach to masculinity. It is based on the persons success and his ability to perform tasks that are considered male ones. Thus, the given stereotype might also be characterized as unfair as it introduces increased expectations to men while society promotes equality in gender relations.
Additionally, masculinity impacts the males status and his ability to find a partner. The fact is that the above-mentioned gender and sex stereotypes imply a certain pattern regulating the initiation of any relations and their continuation. If a man is not able to correspond to the concept of masculinity, he will suffer from the inability to enter into relations. That is why the reconsideration of the approach to masculinity and its increased importance in terms of the modern conditions might pose a certain threat to the existence of the traditional pattern and to the further evolution of society.
Gender and equity
The relations between men and women have always been an ongoing issue for society. Being an integral aspect of its functioning, they also give rise to numerous concerns related to the roles males and females should play in the community and their contribution to its development. Peculiarities of the historical development of our world conditioned the exclusion of women from social life and provision of the privileged status for men. However, the increased self-consciousness resulted in numerous feminist movements that attained success and promoted equality in gender relations. Yet, there are still numerous concerns related to this issue.
The fact is that nowadays both men and women are able to perform the same actions and obtain the same jobs. Besides, the last ones might suffer from a biased attitude and numerous prejudices related to gender relations. They also might expect much lower incomes and rewards. Numerous studies evidence that “womens standards of what is fair pay for themselves are lower than those of men” (Gender and Conceptions of justice 554). The given statement highlights the existing problem which lies in the lack of tolerance and understanding of the main peculiarities of gender relations. Women are not able to recognize the fact that modern society accepts equity as a crucial element. They still except for another treatment and are not ready to proclaim their significance.
In these regards, there is still no equity in gender relations as males still have some benefits. Nevertheless, the further evolution of society predetermines the development of the given question and appearance of other problems.
Marriage and gender roles
The evolution of any community is determined by the efficient functioning of various social institutions that contribute to its development and create the basis for the appearance of the new significant tendencies. Marriage is one of these institutions as it guarantees the preservation of the main values and their cultivation. However, the importance of the given phenomena also conditions its great complexity as relations between the partners are impacted by numerous factors including the peculiarities of gender behavior and stereotypes accepted by the community.
Being an intimate heterosexual relationship, marriage introduces a number of new issues that should be faced by partners to preserve their relations and continue the development of this very institution (Family and Friends 458). Yet, labor distribution is one of the crucial concerns of any marriage. The fact is that there are numerous aspects that impact this process and introduce some problematic areas.
First, the alterations of the traditional female role conditioned the shift of priorities within households. Many women acquired a new gender role and started to work. However, “the movement of wives into the paid labor force has not been accompanied by an equal shift of husbands into greater participation in housework” (Family and Friends 459). This fact means that males are not ready to meet the new conditions and accept the reconsideration of traditional gender roles.
Altogether, the modern shift of priorities might be considered dangerous as it could destroy the basis of the family and introduce various misunderstandings between partners. At the same time, this process is unavoidable, and couples should find ways to solve the existing problem.
Future of relations
The significant reconsideration of the appreciated values and numerous shifts in the structure of society introduced a number of questions related to the future of relations between males and females. The fact is that the modern behavioral pattern is characterized by radical changes that distinguish it from the traditional one, and there is a tendency for further alteration. Under these conditions, the future of gender relations becomes a significant concern that should be given great attention.
Nowadays, society suffers from such phenomena as sexism, which means a sort of prejudice based on sexual category (Sex Stereotypes 17). Yet, the evolution of sexism could be taken as the result of various movements aimed at the improvement of the state of both genders. Having achieved success, they promoted the shifts of mentality and appearance of the new point of view on gender relations. Under these conditions, the further development of gender questions might be predicted.
It is obvious that there are still numerous unsolved problems related to the given sphere. That is why the attempts to reconsider the existing pattern might result in the creation of a new approach based on the absence of any difference between genders. It will introduce a number of new questions conditioned by the destruction of the direct line between males and females.
Altogether, the complexity of gender relations gives rise to numerous speculations and suggestions. Yet, there are still numerous problems which should be solved.