Essay Sample: Gendered Stereotypes Portray Masculinity Preference and Femininity Dislike

Published: 2022-07-04
Essay Sample: Gendered Stereotypes Portray Masculinity Preference and Femininity Dislike
Type of paper:  Critical thinking
Categories:  Gender Stereotypes
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1837 words
16 min read

Gender inequality presents itself as favorable conditions for men and unfavorable situations for women. Preconceived ideas regarding women and men expectations are the leading causes of gender inequality. Gendered stereotypes convey the expected behavior for men and women across all societies. However, attitudes towards women are undesirable and demeaning leading to their low status in society. Throughout history and an across all societies, women have been portrayed to be the weaker sex and generalizations aim at putting women in their rightful position. The focus of this essay is to explain the gendered stereotypes and to describe how men compare to women. The effect of the simple ideas at the family level and how the belief extends to the outside world. Importantly, this essay reveals opposing views that argue that stereotypes concerning women according to them an advantage over men. It ends with concluding remarks that holds that despite the disagreeing views by the opposers to the argument, the gendered stereotypes recommend the expected behavior for men and women and by so doing actualize the belief of men to be the better sex and that the demeaning expectations towards women breed gender inequality.

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The society endorses a form of sexual double standards through gendered stereotypes that demand that women should have lesser control over their sexuality. Social norms prescribe the expected behavior for women and men and the norms are critical in creating gender differences due to focus on portraying men to have greater sexual freedom compared to women. The double standards demand that women should not make the first move in love relationships (Baron 110). Men are allowed to have more sexual partners while women are expected to have a single partner

The decreased autonomy of women in sexual relationships has made them remain in abusive relationships. The view has also contributed to the failure of recognition of aspects such as marital rape despite it being a common phenomenon in society. Other effects of the sexual double standard and the reduced say by women in sexual affairs lead to their reduced uptake of HIV AIDS prevention measures including the use of condoms. The risk is also heightened by societal values that allow men to have more sexual partners and to engage in polygamy marriage (Baron 111). Therefore, when more women contract HIV, their ability to engage in economic activities reduces and it contributes to widening the gap between men and women.

Gendered stereotypes prescribe the culturally desired behavior for men and women. Societies place a lesser value on feminine behavior as opposed to masculine behaviors. The endorsement of conventional roles provides for the existence of power differential between men and women. Since expected behaviors for men portray them to wield power over women the same is transferred to sexual relationships (Baron 109). If one individual in a relationship has more power over the other, the stronger individual dominates, the weaker individual. The unequal power relationships are common in families, and some women agree with the same.

Men domination over women results to unequal power relationship at the family level where men wield greater decision making power over women. Men have the right to make significant decisions including the use of money earned through family activities such as agriculture and rental income. Despite women making significant contributions to the means of acquiring money, men tend to have greater power in determining its use (Baron 109). In most instances, men are the owners of the bank account, it contributes to women dependence on men, and it contributes to their vulnerability in instances of divorce.

Gendered beliefs regarding gender division of labor at the household level demand that women be involved in household duties that include assuming the role to be the primary caregivers for the children and the old. Their male counterparts are expected to participate in the public sphere including seeking employment to provide for the family. It means that women spend a considerable amount of their time in household chores while men spend their time in activities that have a monetary value (Baron 112). Women are also likely to work nearby the homestead due to their caring responsibilities. In most instances, women are involved in economic activities including trading and agriculture around the home.

Generalizations about the desired patterns of the gender division of labor contribute to inequality at the household level that contributes to gender parity in other spheres. The lower income levels for women and their reduced decision making power over the use and ownership of household resource contributes to limited access to means of controlling their livelihood. Women have reduced entitlements to land, asset and credit owing to their reduced say in the use of their incomes and household income (Baron 112). Also, since women are involved in domestic activities, they are likely to spend a significant amount of money on buying household items limiting their possibility of contributing to home ownership plans.

Gendered stereotypes include the belief that women should be engaged in clean jobs including secretaries, librarians, and teachers. The stereotypes towards men dictate that they are to be involved in activities in the technical field including science and engineering. The stereotypes stem from the belief that women are less intelligent compared to men and that they are more concerned in jobs that provide them with a chance to focus on their beauty (Baron 113). Women jobs are related to low income while male jobs attract high pay.

The stereotypes about the desired employment opportunities for women and men contribute to employment segregation that gets based on gender. It also leads to gender wage differentials where employment settings tend to pay women a lesser amount than their male counterparts on jobs that demand the use of the same effort and experience (Baron 120). Despite some of the women defying odds to study careers including engineering most of them still get employment in departments that require low technicality and others end up unemployed.

The stereotype that men should be on top and always in charge. Women are expected to accord respect to men and listen while they speak. Therefore, the expected relationship between men and women is hierarchical as opposed to equal where men are the ones to take the lead and to make significant decisions. Women are expected to be submissive and take men directions without questioning (Baron 131). Importantly, most of the societies do not allow women leadership in all social setting reasonably, and most of them argue that women lack the required authority to lead.

The stereotypes enhance women subordination and men domination at the household level, and it expands beyond the homestead, to affect women in different career fields. Professional women are exposed to a hectic time while they are expected to continue with their expected behavior at home in the work environment. The women who have managed to be managers and supervisors experience a difficult time compared with their male counterparts in directing their colleagues, especially where most of the other employees are men. The belief creates inequality since the capability of women to develop their leadership qualities(Brescoll 420). Decreased involvement of women in leadership positions means that the managers rarely consider them in succession planning activities since women have limited opportunity to show their capability.

The gendered stereotypes place value on a woman according to their level of attractiveness. Beauty is portrayed to be inherently important, and most of the women have to spend a lot of time and their money on beauty products. A recent study in the United States of America sought to establish the driving factors that lead to placing different value for men and women. The study revealed that that the society values men according to their qualities that would be instrumental in making a good employee. The findings showed that 23 % of the respondents believed that the social value honesty and morality in men, 19% argued that society value men according to their level of ambition and strength, 23 % argued for professional success and 11 % favored physical attractiveness (Parker et al.). In the same study, 35% of the respondents argue that women get valued according to their physical attractiveness, and 22% argue that the society place value on women depending on their nurturing capacity, kindness, and empathy. Therefore, physical attractiveness is a key determinant of the treatment that women may receive in the society.

Society values on physical attractiveness and associated qualities mean that the society understands women to be less committed to their work and to be less competent in comparison to their male counterparts. The value of women by their level of beauty make it hard for them to advance in a man's world. It means that women have to face extra societal hurdles to make in a society where masculine qualities are more desired compared to feminine qualities (Brescoll 420). Unlike their male counterparts where competence is critical in determining their entry to a career in the media, the threshold for women is quite higher since they have to be both attractive and competitive.

The stereotypes that the best wife is a stay at home mum has been a source of controversial debate in the household and the work level. Men are likely to prevent their wives from getting involved in professional work since the society view the man to be irresponsible where the woman is engaged in paid employment. Also, men tend to feel insecure since they believe that their wives may get dated by their bosses at the workplace (Brescoll 420). Despite women having the necessary skills, they have to remain at home as per their husband's demands.

The stereotype involving the belief that the best woman spends time at home has led to gender parity through the decreased involvement of women in the industrial sector. The denial of experienced women to engage in paid employment contributes to low representation of women in various institutions in the hospital and in education leading to reduced measures to look into the affairs of women who receive services in such institutions (Brescol 421). Since the notion demands that the husbands are the bread winner's, women have limited independence and lack of their own money, demand that their husbands put them at the same level as children.

The stereotype that women do not have to attain college education since they will get married by wealthy suitors contributes to low enrolment rates of women in higher institutions of learning. Since the society believes that women will leave the homestead to become a member of another family, boy child preference is common phenomena in most societies. It is evident from the celebrations made after the childbirth that the society places more honor to the family that gives birth to a boy compared to one that delivers a girl. A boy is considered a resource to the entire society due to expectations that they will make great achievements through involvement in science and technology (Brescoll 423). A girl is considered to be a burden to the family since the family is aware that they may educate the girl only to elope with a man never to be seen again after attaining higher education.

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