Some Individual Costs of Gender Role ConformityChafetz essay deals with the issue of conformity to sex relevant stereotypes. This is demonstrated in the waysheexpresses how we are given a part to play, which stronglyinfluencesthe way we act. Gender role stereotypes vary in relation to social class, religion, race, and ethnicity. One example Chafetz provides is the hispanic groups whose culture stresses female passivity, and dominance and physical prowess in the male. Although gender stereotypes exist, they are declining according to Chafetz. Theauthor's reason for this is that survival has long depended on females as well as males, thus reducing the emphasis on thetraditional female stereotype.
Differences in stereotypes among certain groups remains vague. Chafetzdoes point out that minorities are pressured by the dominant society toconform. Society defines minorities as inferior to some degree. The minorities generally accept this inferiority, and often try to live upto the majority expectations. The author provides the black family a san example. Thetraditional way is for the black woman as head of family.
Now the black family is attempting to flow with society in returningthemale to the position of provider. Those who choose not toconform are faced with the cost of nonconformity. As the author states, they must face the wrath of most of the members of society. An example would be the loss of job opportunities.
Chafetz article continues with the perceived costs and benefit s of gender role. A nineteen seventy one study determined the following according to Chafetz. "There seem to be many more disadvantages adhering to the feminine role as perceived by femalesthan to the masculine roles perceived by males. Conversely, more advantages are seen as accruing to the masculine role by femalesthan to the feminine role by males." (Chafetz, Rereading America, Pg 197) The advantage of one group is thedisadvantag to the opposite sex. Chafetz states that males complain of having to be aggressive and successful while women complain of their passivity. Males see females as enjoying structural benefits, and having only one right.
Females see males as having structural benefits as well as more rights. The authors next issue was economic costs and benefits. This involved the cost of following the stereotypical role. The author shows how female traits tend to be more of a disadvantage asthereare far more hindering traits than beneficial traits.
"The costoffemininity for those who would enter the world outside the home could scarcely be more clear: The more a female conforms, the less is she capable of functioning in roles that are other than domestic." (Chafetz, Rereading America, Pg. 198) Chafetz concludes her essay with the following. "In short, feminine role stereotype gears women for economic failure, and if that is not the case, women explain their success in terms external to themselves. The masculine role stereotype gears men for economic success, and if that is not forthcoming men perceive themselves as personally responsible for their "failure." (Chafetz, Rereading America, Pg.