VOLUME 5 (2003) - ISSUE 9 (SUMMER)

Men-Women Role Expectations: Do they still overlap?

by Marcos AGUIAR DE SOUZA and Maria-Cristina FERREIRA


The chapter discusses recent social transformations in the contemporary world and its consequences for the structuring of gender social relationships. First it considers the biological origins of gender differences, which explain the male domination by genetically programmed characteristics. Secondly, it discusses the different historical periods associated with the construction of gender social relationships and its effects on gender stereotype formation underlying expectations of masculine and feminine roles. And third, it presents the view that these global transformations may be  leading to changes in social structures that reinforce and maintain the differentiation between gender roles, specially those related to stereotype formation and development, and the attitudes related to those roles. As a base for this argument, the increasing  participation of women in most segments of the society and education, and the organization of women movements in different countries are discussed and compared with the evidences that  show a clear man privilege, like women with a double or triple work-day; disparities in husband and wife domestic responsibilities; women viewed as a object of desire and masculine pleasure; domestic violence and others forms of abuse, and the influence of culture and religion in the formation and maintenance of women submission to men. As a conclusion, considerations are made concerning the anomie state as a main characteristic of  men and women roles in developed countries, with a transitional moment which can lead to a new organization, with more equalitarian gender social relationships.


Gender relations - Gender Role Expectations - Men - Women - Gender Roles


Marcos AGUIAR DE SOUZA holds a Master in Social Psychology from Gama Filho University, Brazil (1993), and is a Doctoral student at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the Education Institute of the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His publications include a book about Educational Psychology (2000), books chapters about the self-concept and gender role conflicts at men (1997, 2002), and articles related to social identity and gender identity (1997, 2002). His research interests are anomie, individualist/collectivist values, gender identity, and theories linking social and psychological change.

Maria Cristina FERREIRA is a professor of Social Psychology at Gama Filho University,  Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and a Senior Researcher associated to the Brazilian National Scientific Research and Development Council. She has completed her Doctorate at the Getulio Vargas Foundation, Brazil, in 1985. Her research interests include topics such as gender relations, organizational behavior and cross-cultural studies. She published notably on gender identity (1995, 1996, 1998), gender stereotypes (1997), attitudes toward women (1999) and cross-cultural issues in social psychology (2000, 2001).


Author Name (Year), “Title”, in: The International Scope Review, Volume Number, Issue Number, TSCF Editions, Brussels.


This contribution is a chapter of the book edited by Patrick HUNOUT, The Erosion of the Social Link in the Economically Advanced Countries.


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