Stereotyping is the belief that a group of people must behave or act a certain way based on an overgeneralized idea. The study of sociology has taught us that our environment, beliefs, and stereotypes motivate a specific lifestyle.
As a child, you may begin to notice stereotypes from a very young age, specifically gender stereotypes. You may see that girls wear pink dresses and boys wear blue suits. Even toys add to the gender stereotype. With pretty dolls for young girls and rugged action figures for young boys.
As we grow older, the gender stereotype does not falter from its origin. For instance, young men enjoy STEM subjects, and young women enjoy the arts. According to the Gender Equality Law Center, we carry this stereotype well into our adult years.
The most common male stereotype within the home is that they should be the exclusive provider for the family. Because of this, people assume that men will always make more money than women. Not only does this affect the woman’s feelings, but it creates an awkwardness.
Another example of stereotypes at home is through a man’s behavior. Men are expected to be assertive leaders with little to no emotion. This belief that a man can not cry or show emotion can harm his relationship with his family and others. Being taught not show emotion can create a lack of intimacy between partners and children. Stereotypes can easily cause problems within a family dynamic. You can learn more about male stereotypes with BetterHelp articles; these articles address the commonality of stereotypes and how to overcome them.
Many people expect the woman to take care of household chores, raise children, and only take jobs that require nurturing or care.
Firstly, the stereotype that women should be the ones to take care of all household chores can quickly cause burnout. According to Breakthrough, “64% of women in urban areas and 60% of women in rural areas are involved in domestic work due to lack of members to help them carry out domestic duties.” Women should not have to bear the burdens of the home alone.
Also, people often assume that all women want to give birth and raise children. Many situations do not warrant this. For example, infertility and career ambition are both viable reasons for not having children. If a woman decides that she does wish to have a child, it is not her sole responsibility to care for him or her. Stereotypes can often make women feel inadequate for not putting their careers on pause for children.
How to Promote Gender Equality Within the Home
Teach Them While They’re Young
The best way to promote gender equality within the home is to start early! If you have children, let them decide what their likes and dislikes are. For example, if a young boy wants the pinkest scooter, he should enjoy that. By teaching children that their passions and feelings are validated, they will be more secure in themselves.
Conquer Chores Together
Another way to promote gender equality is by breaking the pattern. Women who tackle household chores alone should receive help from everyone in the family. Girl Scouts is currently teaching this approach to their troops. Take a list of chores and split them up evenly among the family. This will give women a break and give others a sense of appreciation.
Allowing an open line of communication between family members can encourage growth and intimacy. Each member can voice their concerns. Women can use this time to ask for support for their careers or ambitions. Men can also use this space to show emotion and vulnerability. Communication is a great way to break stereotypes and promote gender equality within the home!
Marie Miguel Biography
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.