Menstuff® has compiled the following information on Sex Roles.
This is a label for which there would be no concept if there were not
sexism. Sex role refers to proper or customary behavior from a person
because of their assigned part in a play whose script was written by
others. "Let's talk straight facts. Boys have pee-pee tails; girls
have woo-woos. When they grow up, the boys want to stick their
pee-pee tails in the girls' woo-woos and the girls let them. There is
nothing else in this life you need to know. Everything that takes
place upon the world's stage emanates from this irrefutable
fact." - Susan Day, 1984.
Why we should be thinking of sexual intimacy in terms of
of Men & Masculinity in Film & TV - 28:26
Those Claiming Sexism can only be Perpetrated
That Kind of Sexism is Sexist
Women Stare Too - "Is it
a righty or lefty?
masculinity vs. natural masculinity
are these roles enforced on men?
of male oppression
traditional mechanisms of oppression:
and Celebrating Natural Masculinity
Related Issues: A Real
If Women Ran the
check out guys crotch bulge on train
Girls Look At - butt, crotch or biceps
Those Claiming Sexism can only be
Perpetrated Against Women
Mary Anne Warren, 1980: Behavior, policy, language, or other
action of men or women which expresses the institutionalized,
systematic, comprehensive, or consistent view that women are
inferior. The term probably was an analogy with the term racism. Both
terms reflect a rising social awareness of the oppression suffered in
our culture by those who are not white males. Sexism and racism
discriminate and define individuals as inferior, limits their
opinions, and subjects them to exploitation and demeaning treatment,
on the basis of their membership in some general class.(Here are how
some define sexism:
Linda Phelps, 1975: A social relationship in which males
have authority over females.
Susan Sands, 1970: Is an unconscious philosophy based on the
premise that men must have first choice in everything.
Dale Spender, 1982: Is no bias which can be eliminated but
(is) the foundation stone of learning and education in our male
Liz Stanley and Sue Wise, 1983: Is the name of the problem
addressed by feminism.
Sonia Johnson, 1984: The polite term for the war on women. It
is the model for racism, classism, ageism.
That Kind of Sexism is Sexist
While Sexism has often been defined as only affecting women, that,
in itself, is sexist. A few more liberal definitions that leave open
the possibility that sexism may also impact men directly when used to
Sara Delamont, 1980: Is stereotyping people by sex; just as
racism is stereotyping people by race.
Nelle Morton: A way of ordering life by gender "that
robs people of their humanness and aborts the Spirit moving in the
communities of which we are a part."
Angela Davis, 1982: Can never be seen in isolation. It has to
be placed in the context of its interconnections with racism, and
especially with class exploitation. (Ed. Homophobia might be a good
one to add.)
We strongly endorse Cathy Young's statement (made as a chapter
title) in Ceasefire!: "Men Are from Earth, Women Are from Earth." The
similarities between the genders far out weigh any differences.
Specifically, loving your children and nurturing are not simply
female traits, but human. That men do not express themselves the same
way as women should never be taken as lack of feeling, commitment, or
This page cites scientific studies from among the vast body of
research on fatherhood.. One of America's leading researchers who has
a website is Richard Warshak, Ph.D., which provides numerous
supporting papers. His book, The Custody Revolution (New York:
Poseidon Press, 1992) and Ross Parke's Throwaway Dads (Boston:
Houghton Mifflin Co., 1999; Prof. Parke also a leading researcher
into fatherhood) contributed greatly to the construction of this
- Infants form close attachments to their fathers (bonding) as
readily and deeply as, and at the same time as, their mothers.
Role of the Father, Michael Lamb, pp 1 - 63; Michael Lamb,
"Father-Infant and Mother-Infant Interaction in the First Year of
Life," Child Development, vol. 48 (1977), PP 167 - 181.
- Fathers are as excited as mothers over their newborns, and
bond to them at the same time and pace. Fathers hold and rock more
than mothers, and equal mothers in talking, kissing and imitating.
Greenberg & Morris, "Engrossment: The Newborn's Impact upon
the Father," American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, vol 44 (1974), p
526; Parke & O'Leary, "Father-Mother-Infant Interaction in the
Newborn Period," The Developing Individual in a Changing World,
vol 2, Riegal & Meacham, eds. (The Hague: Mounton, 1976), pp
653 - 663.
- Fathers are as sensitive as mothers to their baby's signals,
and as competent as caregivers. Ross Parke and Douglas Sawin, "The
Father's Role in Infancy: A Re-Evaluation," Family Coordinator,
vol 25 (1976), pp 365 - 371
- Even male college students are as sensitive as women to infant
crying patterns. Frodi, Lamb, Leavitt, Donovan, Neff, &
Sherry, "Fathers' and Mothers' Responses to the Faces and Cries of
Normal and Premature Infants," Developmental Psychology, vol. 13
(1978), pp 490-498. See also Ross Parke's book, Fathers
- "We know for certain that men can be competent, capable,
creative caretakers of newborns. This is all the more remarkable
given that most men are typically raised with an understanding
that they are destined through some natural law to be ineffective
nurturers. . . . The research on the subject, some of it now
decades old, says this assumption is just not so. And it says it
over and over again, in data from many different discipliners."
Pruett, Nurturing Father, p. 30.
- Men's hormone levels change on the birth of their children.
Gubenick, Worthman, & Stallings, "Hormonal Correlates of
Fatherhood in Men: A Preliminary Study," unpublished paper, Emory
University, 1994. Cited in Throwaway Dads, Ross Parke & Armin
Brott, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1999.
But denying the however subtle differences between the genders is
equal folly. Each gender has things about which to take pride, and in
which the other should equally rejoice. Fathers have been found to be
particularly important in developing social skills, independence, a
strong moral sense, and intellectual skills:
- ". . . high paternal expectations derived from a context of a
warm father-daughter relationship are conductive to the
development of autonomy, independence, achievement, and creativity
among females." Biller & Shalter, Father Loss, p. 351.
- Among the women who credit their fathers with inspiring their
achievements: anthropologist Margaret Mead, Prime Minister Indira
Gandhi, psychoanalyst Anna Freud, Congressman Shirley Chisholm,
opera star Beverly Sills, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
- "In general, girls who have a warm relationship with their
father and feel accepted by them are more likely to feel
comfortable and confident when relating to the opposite sex. . . .
During the teen years and later, a girl who has not had a
rewarding relationship with her father is apt to feel insecure
around males. She may feel unattractive as a woman, doubt that any
man could love her for herself, and distrust men in general."
Richard Warshack, The Custody Revolution, p. 44 - 45.
- Even at five months, the boys who have more contact with their
father are more sociable with a stranger. Milton Kotelchuck, "The
Infant's Relationship to the Father: Experimental Evidence," Lamb,
ed., Role of the Father, pp. 329 - 344.
- "When fathers are away for long periods of time, as in the
case of sailors at sea, their boys are less popular with
classmates and do not enjoy friendships as much as do boys who
have more contact with their fathers." Richard Warshack, The
Custody Revolution, p. 41.
- Fathers do more physical play. When two-and-a-half-year-olds
want to play, more than two thirds of the time they will choose
their father over their mother. Clarke-Stewart, "And Daddy Makes
Three: The Father's Impact on Mother and Young Child," Child
Development Vol. 49 (1978), pp. 466 - 478.
- A lot of physical father play corresponds to better, deeper
friendships with peers among children. Children learn self
control, how to manage and express their emotions and recognize
others' cues. MacDonald & Parke, "Bridging the Gap:
Parent-Child Play Interaction and Peer Interactive Competence,"
Child Development vol 55 (1985), pp1265 - 1277; Youngblade &
Belsky, "Parent-Child Antecedent of 5-Year-Olds' Close
Friendships: A Longitudinal Analysis," Developmental Psychology
Vol. 28 (1992), pp. 700 - 713; Snarey, How Fathers Care for the
Next Generation (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press), pp. 35
- 36; Gottman, The Heart of Parenting (New York: Simon &
Schuster, 1997), p. 171.
- Girls whose fathers play with them a lot tend to be more
popular with peers and more assertive in their interpersonal
relationships throughout their lives. Parke et al, "Family-Peer
Systems: In Search of the Linkages," Kreppner & Lerner, eds,.
Family Systems and Life Span Development (Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum,
1989), pp. 65 - 92. As cited in Parke & Brott Throwaway Dads
(Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1999).
- Men and women who have had warm paternal relationships have
better, longer marriages and engage in more recreation. Franz,
McClelland, & Weinberger, "Childhood Antecedents of
Conventional Social Accomplishments in Midlife Adults: A 36-Year
Prospective Study," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Vol. 60 (1991), pp. 586 - 595.
- The best predictor of empathy in adult men and women is the
amount of time spent with their father while growing up. Koestner,
Franz, & Weinberger, "The Family Origins of Empathic Concern:
A 26-year Longitudinal Study," Journal of Personality and Social
Psychology, Vol. 58 (1990), pp. 709 - 717.
- For boys, there is a very strong positive co-relation between
moral development (sense of right and wrong) and a positive father
relationship comprised of validating feelings and encouragement.
Santrock, "Father Absence, Perceived Maternal Behaviour, and Moral
Development in Boys," Child Development, Vol. 43 (1975), pp. 455 -
469; Hoffman, "Father Absence and Conscience Development,"
Developmental Psychology, vol. 4 (1971), pp. 400 - 404; Hoffman,
"Identification and Conscience Development," Child Development,
Vol. 42 (1971), pp. 1071 - 1082.
- Boys and girls with an involved father accept responsibility
for their own behaviour, and behave more responsibly. They are
less likely to blame others or "bad luck," and have a greater
sense of their own potency. Biller, Paternal Deprivation: Family,
School, Sexuality and Society (Lexington, MA: Lexington Books,
1974); Biller & Solomon, Child Maltreatment and Paternal
Deprivation: A Manifesto for Research, Treatment and Prevention
(Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1986).
- Children whose fathers spend the most time with them
consistently score higher on SAT, verbal skills, and
problem-solving tests, and perform above their grade level in
school. Blanchard & Biller, "Father Availability and Academic
Performance Among Third-Grade Boys," Developmental Psychology,
Vol. 4 (1971), pp. 301 - 305; Radin, "The Influence of Fathers
upon Sons and Daughters and Implications for School Social Work,"
Social Work in Education Vol. 8 (1986), pp. 77 - 92; Radin,
"Primary Caregiving Fathers in Intact Families," Gottfried &
Gottfried eds., Redefining Family (New York: Plenum Press, 1994),
pp. 11 - 54.
- Baby boys who have frequent father contact have more
precocious mental skills and curiosity than those with less
contact. Pederse, Rubinstein, & Yarrow, "Infant Development in
Father-absent Families," Journal of Genetic Psychology, Vol. 135
(1979), pp. 51 - 61.
- Girls' intellectual development is enhanced if their father
provides much verbal stimulation and responds to her overtures for
social contact. Clarke-Stewart, "And Daddy Makes Three. The
Father's Impact on Mother and Young Child." Child Development,
Vol. 49 (1978), pp. 466 - 478.
- A strong father-child relationship, even in infancy,
facilitates intellectual competence. Biller & Salter, "Father
Loss, Cognitive and Personality Functioning," The Problem of Loss
in Mourning: Psychoanalytic Perspectives, Dietrich & Shabad,
eds. (Madison, CT: International Universities Press, 1989), p.
* * *
The dogma of women's complete historical subjection to men must be
rated as one of the most fantastic myths ever created by the human
mind. - Mary Ritter Beard
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