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Social Role Theories

The gender role theory emerged in the 60s of the 20th century. As a result, theorists of "gender" begin to distinguish "biological sex" as male or female, which determines the structure of the body, from the "social gender", which, according to this theory, a person can choose by her/himself. That is why the term "gender" means a set of psychosocial characteristics, behaviors, and relationships that are formed by the influence of culture and society (Newman, 2007). The main purpose of the development of gender role theory is the elimination of the heterosexual division of people into men and women and its replacement with a new division. In accordance with the theory, gender identity is a sexual awareness of individual, subjective interpretation of his/her gender role, which is manifested in the unity of sexual identity and behavior. It is necessary to mention that the gender role approach denies the existence of a causal relationship between male and female anatomy and the social roles of men and women in society. It draws attention to the role of the researcher as a social designer, distribution under consideration for development, and reproduction of multiple non-gender equality. Moreover, it examines the value attributed to the differences between men and woman.

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According to the gender role theory, people in society should not vary by biological sex, as it has been for millennia, but primarily on the principle of social gender. Gender ideology argues that biological sex does not necessarily coincide with the social one. The biological family of male and female should no longer be a criterion as it would be considered discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity (Vogel, 2003).

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The advantage of the gender role theory can be seen in the assertion that gender is constructed through socialization, division of labor, a system of gender roles in society, family, and the media. Gender role is also determined by individuals and their level of awareness, acceptance and internalization of norms set by society. This confirms the fact that the gender roles are imposed by people, culture, and society. From the point of view of the theory of social construction, almost all the psychological differences between men and women (such as emotional dependence, passivity or activity, competition) are formed in the process of socialization in a particular society. People around expect from a little girl or boy that they will behave themselves in accordance with the generally accepted notions male and female. Thus, social expectations have a tremendous impact on the formation of a child's personality, for example reducing the activity of girls and increasing it in boys, while girl’s emotional support is correspondingly increased and boy’s encouragement is reduced, etc. Maccoby and Jacklin analyzed 1600 researches on the psychology of sex differences. Their analysis showed that there were no fundamental differences between the innate psychological characteristics of men and women in many areas. The differences in young children are extremely small, and they are not enough to make a decision that the differences between gender roles of men and women are based on the physical differences.

The main limitations of the gender role theory are based on the fact of splitting or fragmentation of gender roles. There is no single role of man or woman. Each person has a number of different roles, such as a wife, mother, student, daughter, friend, etc. Sometimes, these roles do not fit together, which leads to the role conflict. The conflict between the roles of a business woman and mother is a well-known fact. The proponents of gender expressed the idea that traditional gender roles hindered personal development and implementation of the existing human potential. At present, there is evidence that the performance of many roles promotes psychological well-being. The theory also does not answer the question of assimilation of children gender roles and subsequent reproduction of relations of inequality between the sexes.

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The gender system crushes on the person before his/her birth (the desire of parents to have a child of a particular sex), continuing to play with the social status of men and women throughout their lives. Language, art, literature, philosophy, and political science are permeated by social myths and are sexist in their under-kind. This means that I, personally, and all the people around me have their gender roles that were imposed on us by family, society, and culture. Therefore, when people see the conflict of traditional roles (for example, father in the traditional family plays the role of housewife and babysitter), they may feel the inner conflict that rejects the role of man.

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