Free Essay

Parental Gender Roles

In: Social Issues

Submitted By FuzziStar09
Words 2142
Pages 9
Shameia Gatewood
4 December 2012
Parental Gender Roles Image this; your significant other and you are blessed with a beautiful baby boy. Because of a health reason the man in the relationship cannot partake in the work force and results with the woman bringing the family income. The man, in turn, is a stay at home father and raises his son as such while the mother is more distant. Is it safe to say that your family’s house hold will be the reason for your son being homosexual? Or is safe to say that your son’s homosexuality isn’t a result of your family’s way of life but that your family’s way of life is not of God due to the lack of gender roles? The presence of or lack of parental gender roles and stereotypes have an effect on a developing child. Concerning the debate over the necessity of parental gender roles, I support the position that parental gender roles are unnecessary while raising children. I stand against the opposing position that parental gender roles are necessary and that the child will be hindered without them. In the first section of this paper, I will explain the first opposing argument, which states that parental gender roles are a necessity in the Christian faith. I will disprove this argument by stating that the Holy Bible has not been proven to withhold un-tampered words from the Lord. In the second section, I will examine the second opposing argument, which states that the lack of parental gender roles will create sex role insecurity and homosexuality. I will disprove this argument by stating that there is not only insufficient evidence to support this claim but also there is a logical fallacy within the argument. I will finish this paper with main arguments that support my opposition that parental gender roles are unnecessary. The first opposing argument suggest that by Christian faith, parents must abide by gender roles set in the Holy Bible just as they are to abide by other faith laws spoken in the Holy Bible. Being a fellow Christian myself, we are taught that Gods will and word is all written in the Holy Bible and that we are to teach our children just as the Lord teaches us. We are also taught not to question the Holy Bible for you are not to question Gods will or word. With that being said, gender role laws are laid out in the holy text and Christians are to follow them without question, just as many other laws in the text. Many Christians refer to 1Timothy 2:12 as evidence of God’s will. 1 Timothy 2:12 states, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet”. While this quote doesn’t directly suggest that the woman is not to work, it does, on the other hand, demand that woman are not to be above men which directly shows strict gender laws. Another popular scripture Christians use in their defense is Colossians 3:18 which states, “Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord”. This quote directly tells Christian woman that they are to submit to their husbands, or follow the gender law, because it is what the Lord wants. Many Christians do not go against nor question the Holy Bible therefore not questioning their assigned gender roles as man or woman. This presented argument is wrong. There are many scriptures in the Holy Bible that guide Christians on the subject of gender roles. Although the Church teaches Christians to pass down the gender roles teachings to their children, no scriptures in the bible suggest such parenting style. Many Christians that argue God’s will is to raise children under strict gender roles, when in reality; it is roles in marriage that all Bible scriptures on gender roles are referring to. I believe that because the Church teaches Christians to apply strict gender roles while raising children that many are lead to think it is God’s will. The second opposing argument claims that lack of parental gender roles create sex role insecurity and homosexuality. This argument is false as well due to insufficient data and their Post-Hoc implementation of their findings. To start, Adolescence academic writer Cameron says:
The adjustment of young boys requires that they identify with their fathers and with the male roles more generally. If this identification is problematic, sex role insecurity will occur as well as homosexuality, hyper masculinity, or difficulty in relating to woman can often occur (142).
This statement was taken from an article entitled “Homosexual Parents” from the year 1996. The article contained information and data from a study that proved sex role insecurity, homosexuality, and many other issues occur when parental gender roles aren’t present.
The article did not present much data which in my opinion supports the thought of an invalid argument. Along with the insufficient data, the Post-Hoc logical fallacy is used as a strategy to convey readers onto their position of the matter. Post-Hoc is the “after this therefore because of this” fallacy. Cameron is committing this fallacy by suggesting that homosexuality and hyper masculinity is caused from the lack of parental gender role when in fact that is false. There are many other factors that play into a child becoming homosexual and developing hyper masculinity yet aren’t mentioned because of the Post-Hoc fallacy used as a means to convince readers to their position. While the causes of homosexuality are unclear and still being studied, homosexuality is often associated with free choice. Hyper masculinity is also a current phenomenon that is still being studied and has been connected to cultural influence, not lack of gender roles structure while being raised. In my opinion, it is hard for pro parental gender role activist to convince readers to join their opposition when fallacies are found in their arguments and there studies lack a sufficient amount of data. These issues aren’t present when looking into androgynous parenting the opposition against parental gender roles and here is the proof. Androgynous parenting is the non parental gender role form of parenting. The influence is exceedingly self explanatory with teaching and influencing children with androgynous ways. The word androgynous simply means having no clear difference between masculine and feminine qualities. Many believe that lack of gender roles can create more opportunities and breaks the stereotypical limitation set from gender roles. University of Akron professor Witt said:
There are some benefits to adhering to strict gender role stereotypes but there are also costs involved in the maintenance of gender roles stereotypes. These cost include limited opportunities for both boys and girls, ignoring talent, and perpetuating unfairness in our society. (12). Many people agree with Witt in the idea that gender stereotyping ultimately limits a child and gender roles influence them to conform to social norm. Ultimately having parental gender roles will result in children who adhere to gender roles because of parental influence. With these children following the stereotypes of gender roles they essentially are put in a box of social limitations that will hinder them from reaching their full potential. More evidence of why parental gender roles are unnecessary comes from profound psychologist and author Leonore Alder. In his 1993 International Handbook on Gender Roles Alder said, “Gender roles are a person’s choice, it is neither the decision of society nor one single person to dictate the behavior of an individual” (210). This statement suggests to readers that gender roles are a choice to which a person should make their selves. When raising children under strict gender roles you are taking that child’s option to choose away. With parental gender roles the child is forced into a box with social limitations without having a chance at freedom. Although a child may not be coherent enough to regulate whether or not they abide by gender roles, the subject should be un-tampered with and un-influenced until the age of proper coherence. If this is done, then the now teenager or young adult will be able to properly dictate how they approach society, in a box or without social limitations. Androgynous gender children only develop from androgynous parental style. Androgynous gender children are thought to have egalitarian ways of thinking and views towards life. Weisner and Wilson-Mitchell’s study on nonconventional families in 1990 showed American that children who had outside working mothers aren’t as stereotypical in gender roles or sexual orientation as those of children whose mothers were traditional stay at home. The households selected for the study were those who enforced gender roles upon their children and those who didn’t. The study presented a record of behavior for children who were affected by having a traditional stay at home mother and having a non-traditional working mother along with several interviews with the children studied. No psychological examination of the children was presented but the behavior log and child interviews were later examined by psychologists John Antill, John D. Cunningham and Sandra Cotton. From the later done psychological study, Antill concluded that:
Preschool children whose mothers work outside the home experience the world with a sense that everyone in the family gets to become a member of the outside world, and their sense of self includes knowledge that they have the ability to make choices which are not hindered by gender. (23).
This is a prime example in how a parent’s actions influence a child’s thought process which will ultimately stick with them. This is also excellent evidence that non-traditional gender strict families produce children who have a healthy and positive outlook on the world and possess great optimism. In 1989 a study on children raised under gender role laws and androgynous raised children was done by psychologists Jacquline Scott and Alwin Duane. The study presented continuous interviews of children following gender roles and children following androgynous roles. The psychologist interviewed children 3-4 times a year for a duration of 10 years. By the end of the study Scott concluded:
Children will always follow in the footsteps of their parent whether it leads them to a damaging fate or not. Children who follow parents down a path of gender specifications and qualifications will often result with emotional instability and a pessimistic outlook on the boxed in world in which they live in. Those children who follow parents down an androgynous way of life often will result in having increased optimism and wiliness to challenge their selves. (225).
This statement presents powerful evidence that raising children under strict gender roles can and most likely will result in emotional and psychological damage to the child. This statement also proves my opposition that gender roles while raising children are unnecessary and additionally can have a controlling effect that is later seen in the child’s adult life. In conclusion, parental gender roles are unnecessary and harmful. Let’s go back to you, your significant other, your child and the scenario mentioned earlier in the paper. It’s ok for the female to work and for the male to be the stay at home caretaker. God will not hate you and your child won’t be homosexual strictly because you don’t abide by gender roles.
There are many parents and professionals that will argue gender roles are God’s will or that gender roles create stable healthy children. I have proven in this paper that not only are pro parental gender role arguments incorrect, but that many arguments made by my opponent are null in void due to logical fallacies or lack of sufficient evidence. It is impossible to trust an argument that does not and cannot play fair in the debate of parental gender roles. An intelligent person such as you knows to put their trust and belief in the argument that not only presents sufficient creditable evidence, but plays fair and doesn’t present fallacies while in a debate against parental gender role. I am more than confident that I have shown you how and why parental gender roles are unnecessary.

Works Cited
Adler, Leonore. International Handbook on Gender Roles. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1993. Print.
Antill, John K., John D. Cunningham, and Sandra Cotton. "Gender-Role Attitudes In Middle Childhood: In What Ways Do Parents Influence Their Children?." Australian Journal Of Psychology 55.3 (2003): 148-153. Print.
Cameron, Paul, and Kirk Cameron. "Homosexual Parents." Adolescence 31.124 (1996): 757. Academic Search Complete. Web. 10 Oct. 2012.
Holy Bible: The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982. Print.
Scott, Jacqueline, and Alwin Duane F. "Gender Differences In Parental Strain: Parental Role Or Gender Role?." Journal Of Family Issues10.4 (1989): 482-503. Academic Search Complete. Web. 10 Oct. 2012.
Witt, Susan D. "Parental Influence On Children's Socialization To Gender Roles." Adolescence 32.126 (1997): 253. Print.

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