College Essay Examples

Changing Family Gender Roles

Exam 2 Diagnostic

A family refers to a micro-social unit that reciprocally associates and reflects other macro-level organizations of the society. No society has ever been created without a social arrangement that is familial or labelled kinship. Therefore the endeavours of people in their families contribute significantly to their personal lives and the wider society. Since the existence of humankind, families have occurred in one form or another. The form on which a family looks like does and operates depends on several complex factors. In short, families’ operations are not within a vacuum, and it is imperative to understand families within the environmental context. Additionally, families are not merely passive recipients of social set up or socio-economic and political factors surrounding them. In a reciprocal or dynamic footprint, the family tunes to the social arrangements and adapts in a flowing manner making it highly flexible and transformative (Mitchell, 2017). 

The emerging family patterns and trends are related to transformations in gender roles, particularly increasing the female role to the family’s economic provider and later changing men’s role to extend their involvement in family responsibilities, specifically childcare. Interconnection in gender awareness and family changes has led to the conceptualization of gender revolution in the family structure. In Central-East European nations, there was a high rate of maternal and female employment in the period of state-socialist. In Western Europe, the increase in mothers’ economic involvement and employment began in the Nordic countries, where there was a rise in the new family trends. These countries were the first to record women’s aspirations for employment leading to a new female work trend. According to the trend, women do not withdraw from work once married or into motherhood (Oláh, Kotowska  & Richter, 2018).

In the late 1980s, nations of the Liberal and the General Family Support clusters such as Canada joined the trend, followed by the Familiarity cluster in the mid to late 1990s. Anomalously, the decline of the state-socialist era resulted in a substantial decrease in females participating in the labour force during the Transition Post-Socialist brought about by economic empowerment. As the economic performance of countries gradually advanced, female economic involvement maximized. Nevertheless, with specific reference to children below three years old, family provisions policy cuts made it more difficult for work-family reconciliation alongside a rigid labour market economy. Gender variations in labour force involvement had greatly declined by the beginning of the twenty-first century. Women’s engagement in economic activities has greatly motivated their participation in higher education. Men’s educational achievement had been surpassed by women’s achievement by the mid-1990s in the childbearing age and equalized to that of men in the larger working-age population (Oláh, Kotowska  & Richter, 2018).  

The substantially minimized gender employment difference notwithstanding, women earn an averagely sixteen per cent less than men, and the variation is much larger among top earners to about twenty-one per cent. The disadvantage in female wage is strongly associated with women’s weaker position in the labour market due to women’s higher engagement in family duties despite the rising participation in paid work. Therefore, part-time employment is highly common among females than males and is rampantly used. Male’s share of part-time work has a range of five and fifteen per cent across nations. Gender variations for unemployment are at modest levels with a difference of between five and twenty per cent. Youth unemployment has been on a much higher level that can hinder family building, particularly among the less educated for both males and females (Gittins, 2017). 

The trends demonstrate that the emerging female gender responsibilities have broadly incorporated aspects of economic independence and enhance male-dominated duties until recent times and have created redistribution of family economic provision roles between males and females. However, the transformation has mostly been accompanied by rising trends in gender allocation of care and housework regarding the limited opportunities in women and men sharing unpaid duties in the country. A greater reduction in the gender gap for unpaid duties is attributed to less time of female’s investment in unpaid responsibilities due to much participation in paid work compared to substantial emergence in men’s care work or household contribution. It has lead to a double in women’s burden and more tensions between family life and work (Esping-Andersen, 2016). 

Among younger individuals, fathers seem to embrace the thought of active parenting increasingly. Father’s efforts have received much policy support both at the national and international levels. However, at the organization or company level, the attitude of employers and co-workers towards fathers as caregivers is specifically to be of specific significance in diversifying the male gender role. Moreover, mothers require recognizing fathers as equals to them regarding children’s parental care to accomplish the new male responsibility. Gender revolution will only be complete once men’s participation in care work and domestic tasks match women’s involvement in paid jobs (Esping-Andersen, 2016). 

The serious concern for public gender equality and family life gender equity is initiating change in family trends and patterns. These aspects have been theoretically synthesized on multiple equilibrium frameworks and gender revolution to describe past trends and current family changes concerning the prevailing gender role transformations. Both concepts on multiple equilibrium framework and gender revolution focus on the connection between families associated habits and deviations in men’s and women’s social roles portrayed in their gendered duties for family care and economic provisions. Multiple equilibrium framework is concerned with family evolution from male breadwinner structure to dual-earner—dual-career structure particularly checking on female revolution, due to gender roles transformations in the direction of gender egalitarianism. Family linked demographic habits are viewed to strictly relate to changes across the family equilibrium, focusing on consistency between individuals evolving choices and behaviour (Oláh, Kotowska  & Richter, 2018).

Gender revolution differentiates between two phases of gender roles transformation. The first phase is characterized by a great increase in women’s labour force engagement and a gradual public adaptation towards enhancing gender equality, while family gender roles are unchanged. The stage includes a change from male breadwinner structure to civilized male breadwinner or dual-earner females’ double burden structure (Oláh, Kotowska & Richter, 2018).

In conclusion, the changing gender roles are brought about by socio-economic factors of the twenty-first century. Women who have moved from the house are outs in the market looking for jobs. The economic activities they undertake make them also take part in family provisions. As women go to work, men have to assist in house chores, thereby becoming dual breadwinners and caregivers. The public cal for gender equality and equity has also greatly contributed to the profound change in families’ gender roles.



Esping-Andersen, G. (2016). Families in the 21st Century (p. 113). Stockholm: SNS förlag.

Gittins, D. (2017). The family in question: Changing households and familiar ideologies. Macmillan International Higher Education.

Mitchell, B. A. (2017). Family matters: An introduction to family sociology in Canada. Canadian Scholars’ Press.

Oláh, L. S., Kotowska, I. E., & Richter, R. (2018). The new roles of men and women and implications for families and societies. In A Demographic perspective on gender, family and health in Europe (pp. 41-64). Springer, Cham.

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