A Discussion of Gender Issues in the Modern Society

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Gender refers to a social-cultural paradigm of male and femaleidentity that shapes how people live and interpret the world thatsurrounds them. The paper presents: the changing landscape of genderin American families, marital power, and the role of socialinstitutions in shaping gender inequalities, the glass escalatorbarriers, and the issue of masculinity.

Changing landscape of gender

A lot has changed over the years as far as the gender issue isconcerned. A vast majority of the gender stereotypes present intoday`s world did not exist in the past. The development of gendertrends in the American society come as a result of the changingdifferent social expectations experienced in the diverse cultures.Besides, the gender revolution has led to both men and womenrestructuring their roles of work and care. Nowadays, males andfemales compete fairly in the formal employment, thus shattering thegender bargain between the roles of breadwinning and caregiving.

In modern families, researchers have found that there are anincreasing numbers of mothers who out-earn their spouses. Also, thepercentage of households consisting of same-sex couples hasincreased. The deterioration of secured jobs for men has led to womenearning more and becoming breadwinners, while the decline in stablemarriages has promoted same-sex matrimonies. The trends make youngadults to constrain gender inequality in their families regardless ofthe families` composition and changes in the job market.

Marital power

Regarding dual-career couples, partners combine family and workresponsibilities and thus interdepend on each other. Therefore, whenthe woman`s income increase, the satisfaction in the marriage alsoincrease. When professional women quit their jobs, the participationof women in the labor market decreases resulting to men dominance inthe job market. Stay at home fathers undergo harsh judgment as theyare perceived to violate the dogmatic gender stereotype of beingbreadwinners. On the other hand, working women are viewed as beingcommunal.

Social institutions

Social institutions provide the parameters on the choices, decisions,and behaviors that are deemed acceptable or offensive in the societyand thus define and influence gender roles and relations.Discriminatory social institutions restrict women and girlscurtailing their access to power, resources, and opportunities.Social institutions such as early marriage and violence against womendestroy a woman`s professional and personal development. Besides, sonbias causes a devaluation of the girl child which leads tounderinvestment in girls` health and education. Also, when a religioninstitution promotes hierarchal economic, political, and socialroles, patriarchal values reflect in the religious institution as aresult of reinforcing such roles. The scenario then causes the lessfavored gender to become disadvantaged.

Glass Escalator

Black men who experience better pay and promotions in occupationsthat are mostly dominated by women encounter social isolation in theworkplace as they are viewed as tokens. Besides, some people perceivethe black men to have low job standards, competence, and lowerqualifications and thus unsuitable for the jobs. Furthermore, theblack men in the glass escalator are perceived to possess fewermasculinity qualities, a factor which stigmatizes them.


The narrow definition of masculinity broadens masculine expectationsas it enables men and boys to achieve their full potentials and toexpress themselves, while at the same time devalues women as itconstrains them within their gender norms. Manhood`s positivedepictions promote social-emotional growth through the endorsement ofcritical thinking regarding questions of gender stereotypes.Individuals can critique the traditional rules and establishdesirable norms that interconnect race, culture, and class, whichenables them to value friendship, develop emotional control andpeaceful methods of resolving conflicts. In addressing the narrowdefinition of masculinity, attention needs to exist concerning theforces that shape and propagate masculine norms, followed by thehighlights of adverse impacts on men and boys caused by the forces.


Gender trends in the American society come as a result of changes indifferent social expectations. In dual-career couples, there is noexistence of marital power, and social institutions tend to influencegender roles and relations. In regards to glass escalator, the blackmen experience isolation, stigmatization, and seen as beingincompetent. The narrow definition of masculinity enables men andboys to achieve their full potentials while restraining women withintheir gender norms.