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Jul 11, 2019 in Psychology

Gender-Related Challenges

It is known that the rapid technological development led to the blurring the boundaries between the male and female roles. As a result, it launched the struggle for gender equity, which took place in the second half of the former century, --women liberalization. Undoubtedly, for the last century the life patterns of the humanity were significantly changed. This social trend aroused the fast transformation from the males' world to the gender equity, which stipulated the strengthening of confrontation between men and women. Undoubtedly, its negative implication has a number of manifestations in the modern world. What makes the things even worse, it is expected to increase the ratio of anxiety in the future society. To comprehend what kinds of gender-related challenges affect the life of the contemporaries, one should observe the changing men's and women's role from the economic, social and psychological perspectives. 

First and foremost, the changing world presumes that today's people live in the conditions of economic globalization, which implies the increased competition and higher level of aggressiveness while striving to take a good social niche. It means that both, males and females, should be breadwinners. In addition, the US national identity predefines the upbringing of the corresponding attitudes in the youth. Without doubt, this approach is aimed at meeting the social and economic demand of the future. Therefore, it is appropriate to assume that the tendency towards equity in job positions will remain topical in the near future. 

This fact evokes ambiguous thoughts. On the one hand, the adherents of the women's lib consider it to be highly beneficial for females. Indeed, most working women in the dual-income families are satisfied to remain employed after becoming parents. Consider the statistics, "working mothers in dual-earning couples are more likely to say they're very or pretty happy with life right now than their male partners are (93 percent to 87 percent)" (Dorment, n. pag.). Given this data, one may presume that women adjust to the circumstances of the rapidly changing world faster and less painfully. 

 
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On the other hand, this very statistics reveals the increased socio-economic burdens for men. It is clearly visible while observing the male responders, who are pretty often unhappy to have working wives (Dorment, n. pag.). It happens because in dual-income families the chores are expected to be shared equally, which inflicts stress on many men. Specifically, they are supposed to take more household and parenting responsibilities while maintaining the same or even increased job performance. For instance, the American society actively promotes the idea that men should consider taking parenting leave instead, or together with their wives or life partners, which should result in the equalization of opportunities for their women colleagues. Besides, "if men were involved fathers, more kids might stay in school, steer clear of crime, and avoid poverty as adults"(Dorment, n. pag.). It goes without saying that under such circumstances men experience greater fear while considering creating a family and, thereafter, throughout their lives, they are at risk of increased family conflicts, which leads to divorces. 

What makes the things even worse is that men are known to be more inclined substance use. For instance, males are reported to have higher predisposition "to ADHD, alcoholism, and drug abuse" (Dorment, n. pag.). This predisposition positively correlates with the enhanced anxiety caused by the increased economic and social burdens inflicted by gender confrontation. Moreover, the study conducted in 2011 regarding the issue of job dismissals displays that "of the jobs lost over the last four years 78% of them were held by men" (Kaplan, n. pag.). The increased inter-generic rivalry imposes considerable pressure on males, who were raised to be breadwinners. What is more, it encourages women to compete with men, which leads to the peculiarity that today's females are noticed to be more intelligent and educated than their male peers (Kaplan, n. pag.). Consider the statistics, despite comprising 51% of the US population "just over 40% of today’s college students are men"(Kaplan, n. pag.). Simply put, in the near future the amount of well-educated women will continue increasing. This trend suggests that men will be doomed to experience even stronger gender-related pressure. Given the above-revealed evidence, one can rightfully deduce that the capitalistic world that increases competition, combined with the rapid technological development, reinforces the struggle of achieving the gender equity. In its turn, this social tendency induces the anxiety and stress in males.  

Nevertheless, it also has a negative impact on women. To be more precise, realizing the seriousness of competition with the male part of the humanity, women strive to devote as much time and efforts as possible to their job ambitions and goals. As a result, they feel discriminated when it comes to combining job with parenting. In particular, parenting leave slows down career growth and often can be equated to giving place to a male co-worker (Dorment, n. pag.). Moreover, male employees are still preferred to their female contemporaries because men are considered not to be limited with parenthood and corresponding duties. Consider the case, given that men are praised greater than women, it is not surprising that "the average woman earns only seventy-seven pennies for every dollar made by the average man" (Dorment, n. pag.). In addition, females hold less "than 15 percent of Fortune 500 executive-officer positions in America" and represent less than "20 percent of Congress"(Dorment, n. pag.). Another example of inequity is that women have to accept the fact that "male leaders are routinely praised for having sacrificed their personal life on the altar of public or corporate service" (Slaughter, 92). In this regard, not many people realize that the true sacrifices are made by the wives of these men who refuse accomplishing their career goals for the benefit of their husbands and children. Nevertheless, this uneasy choice does not tame the issue of gender confrontation. On the contrary, leaving unmet their career and social needs, women become unhappy, which results in a greater amount of domestic conflicts. 

In addition, evaluating the position of working women, it is noticed that pretty often female employees slow down their careers, either purposefully or not, even before they have to take a parenting leave. It means that an average woman scarifies her career ambitions starting with planning or dreaming to become a mother (Slaughter, 87). In other words, the role of a parent starts to interfere with work much more than the situation actually requires. Linking these observations to the notion of increased competition and strong necessity for dual-income families, it is possible to presume that women also experience stress and anxiety connected to gender-related challenges. Partially, these negative emotional conditions are related to the intentional or unintentional deprivation of equal working possibilities. Simultaneously, the other part of females strives to maintain financial stability, which can be significantly complicated by an endeavour to combine the roles of a worker and a parent. 

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Apart from the above-discussed drastic socio-economic changes, the struggle for equity and, as a result, gender competition, stipulated the transformation of parents' role models. In particular, in the previous decades children were raised in accordance with their gender on the basis of the relations between their mothers and fathers. The relationship of children's role models was meant to display and instil the proper gender behaviour that a child was supposed to develop in order to meet the demand of his/her community. Nonetheless, the equity in breadwinning, chores, parenting, fashion style, and behavioural patterns may communicate an unclear message to the growing generation. Specifically, some people advocate the traditional male/female roles, whereas, the others stand for gender equity that erases a lot of defining features of men and women. Therefore, in terms of child psychology and upbringing the today's males and females face additional distress and challenge while striving to instil the proper behavioural patterns in their young. Consequently, the ambiguity in upbringing may result in the increased family conflicts that can worsen the general level of anxiety and distress in the American community. 

Summing up the above-mentioned, one should stress that modern men and women are affected by the social phenomenon of women liberalization and struggle for gender equity. This tendency adds anxiety and stress to both, males and females. In particular, apart from the burden of a breadwinner, contemporary American male is imposed with the additional parenting duties and chores. Naturally, it inhibits the professional development of men. In addition, women also experience socio-economic burden of being obliged to become breadwinners and combine careers with parenting. What makes the things even worse is that the distortion of role models has a negative impact on the today's youth. Specifically, children may struggle to develop the proper gender qualities and behaviours that their society expects.

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