I have done more extensive research into how gender roles affect the workplace and aggressive behavior. According to a study on Work Family Conflict and Social Undermining (Scott, Ingram, Zagenczky, and Shoss), women experience more social undermining in the workplace from work family conflicts than men. ”When the demands of one’s work role encroach upon one’s family role, [this is] defined as work–family conflict.” Women are also more likely to blame the workplace for work family conflict (Shockley & Singla, 2011). This is because women are traditionally supposed to be the managers of the household and raise children. These expectations haven’t changed since women have entered the workforce. Women tend to balance work and family roles to a greater extent than men (Parasuraman & Greenhaus, 1993). Women are more expected to sacrifice their jobs for their family while men are expected to sacrifice their family for greater success in their career (Tenbrunsel, Brett, Maoz, Stroh, & Reilly, 1995).

In the same study, the authors present gender role theory which states that men and women unconsciously engage in social and cultural norms and expectations about their gender and carry out behaviors associated with their gender. “Cultural and societal norms portray men as more agentic, assertive, independent, and achievement-orientated, whereas women are more communal, friendly, unselfish, interdependent, expressive, and relationship-oriented (Eagly & Mladinic, 1989).” These stereotypes lead to gender divided labor and what work is appropriate for men and women, because these gender roles are strongly influential in society men and women identify themselves with these roles (Kidder, 2002; Wood & Eagly, 2012).  

Another aspect of gender inequality that I studied was aggressive behavior because it is a stereotyped behavior of men. The study Sex Differences in Aggression among Children of Low and High Gender Inequality Backgrounds (Nivette, Eisner, Malti, Ribeaud), compared two theories. One was the sexual selection theory which focuses on sex differences that are rooted in biological processes which shape greater male than female reproductive competition during human evolution (Archer, 2006, 2009). The other theory is social role theory which argues that “sex differences in aggression are culturally determined and emerge from differential socialization into gender roles; males are taught to be aggressive and competitive, whereas females are taught to be domestic and compassionate (Eagly, 1997).” Social role theory would expect to see sex differences in aggression in societies that have more gender inequality. Men are taught to be competitive and aggressive while women are taught to be compassionate and nurturing. Sexual selection theory argues that sex differences in aggression is attributed to greater evolutionary pressures on males toward reproductive success. The opposing theories are similar to nature versus nurture as to why men would exhibit more aggressive behavior.

 

Sources:

Work Family Conflict: http://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?vid=16&sid=399ca679-60d7-4d11-9300-9476ac856ba6%40sessionmgr4010&hid=4201&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=100576752&db=pbh
Social Role Theory vs. Sexual Selection Theory: http://web.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/detail/detail?vid=5&sid=0e22d3df-9712-45f1-bed4-b10c583d7210%40sessionmgr120&hid=129&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3QtbGl2ZQ%3d%3d#AN=97501225&db=pbh

CC BY-SA 4.0 The Effect of Gender Roles on the Workplace and Behavior by Suzanna is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

2 Comments
  1. Samantha 10 months ago

    Suzie I love your topic because I think it is a very under appreciated topic. I think its interesting that you are doing this topic because I was looking at an article about how more women are being recruited into the science and math workforce which is a highly populated job for men. keep up the good work with your research.

  2. Anna 10 months ago

    Suzanna, I like the fact that you have take a very unique approach to gender roles in the workplace rather than just relating everything to the highly debatable wage gap. Have you been taking into account the genders of the people conducting this research, and do you think that their genders create a bias in the conclusions they reach?

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