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How Does Gender And/Or Sexuality Condition Influence Parenting? What Challenges Do Parents Face By Virtue Of Their Gender And/Or Sexual Identities?

926 words - 4 pages

Gender performances are correlated to femininity and masculinity, while sexuality pertains to sexual desire, feelings, and practices (Shaw and Lee 109). In other words, gender is associated with how we should think and behave in accordance to what society has deemed appropriate for boys and girls. This, therefore, insinuates the dichotomy that still exists in gender: male or female. This dichotomy is then translated into how couples parent and it becomes this never-ending cycle of placing males superior to females. With that being said, I think that a person’s gender and sexuality both strongly influence how parents teach their children to perceive and practice their own gender and sexuality.
Gender is structured. According to Lorber he states that, “gender divides work in a home and in economic production, legitimates those in authority, and organize sexuality and emotional life” (34). Therefore, one’s sexual status reflects their gender status. This is seen in women being, if not the only, influence in their child’s psychological development and emotional attachments. These roles mothers have are shaped by how society has defined women. More often than not though, women are being told that they must, “finish school, find a job, acquire skills, develop seniority, get tenure, make partner, and put children off until the very last minute” (The Mommy Tax 103). This makes women believe that in order to be a good mother, wife, and employee they must be financially stable. Although I can understand why, I cannot help but question at what expense. Mothers want to be taken seriously as a professional but at the same time they need to make time for their children. However, this teaches children that it is the mother’s responsibility to simultaneously take care of kids and work.
Meanwhile, fathers are also finding it difficult to choose between money and time with their kids. To this day, “childrearing remains an undervalued, isolating, and largely invisible accomplishment for all parents” (Lorde 327). Even employers are reluctant to recognize male and female parental responsibility as a legitimate right or need (Lorde 326). If they choose not to work and leave it up to their partner, they may not be making enough money to support their family but if they choose to work they do not have the opportunity to spend as much time with their kids. It is never a win-win situation. Plus, men are constantly seen as the breadwinners that some may feel that it is their duty to provide for their family. When they cannot, they may feel that they are not seen as a man in society. This mentality is passed on to their son’s that they too, feel that their main purpose as an adult is to support their family.
While both men...

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