Biological factors Historically, gender roles have been largely attributed to biological differences in men and women. Although research indicates that biology plays a role in gendered behavior, the extent of its effects on gender roles is less clear. One hypothesis attributes differences in gender roles to evolution.
When did gender roles become a thing?The late 1960s through the 1970s marked an important turning point in the field of gender research, including theory and research in gender development. The establishment of Sex Roles in 1975 as a forum for this research represented an important milestone in the field.
How do gender roles develop?Gender identity typically develops in stages: Around age two: Children become conscious of the physical differences between boys and girls. Before their third birthday: Most children can easily label themselves as either a boy or a girl. By age four: Most children have a stable sense of their gender identity.
Where do ideas of gender come from?Many biology-based gender differences originate from the hormonal environment within the womb, which is very different on average for boys compared to girls. But theres a huge variation in these environments, says Alice Eagly, psychology professor at Northwestern University.
What are the duties of a girl?Womens multiple roles As a daughter, a woman is traditionally responsible for taking care of her parents. As a wife, she is expected to serve her husband, preparing food, clothing and other personal needs. As a mother, she has to take care of the children and their needs, including education.
Why are traditional gender roles important?Many people still stick to traditional ideas that men and women should behave in ways that fall into specific categories determined solely on their gender. ... This is because gender roles evolved as a way to organize the necessary tasks done in early human society.
What is it called when you are born a boy and girl?Intersex is used to describe people who have chromosomes, anatomy, or other sex characteristics that cant be categorized as exclusively male or female. The notion that both sex and gender are binary — with everyone fitting into either a male or female box— is a social construct.
The Where do gender roles come from? against perpetuating normative gender roles has two prongs. First, there is the argument that gender roles do not offer anything that is not available to human beings autonomously determining their own roles. Second, there is the observation that no set of gender roles applies universally. There will always be those who, because of individual nature or life Where do gender roles come from?, cannot conform to the prevailing gender roles. In practice, those who conform least are most marginalized.
Taken together, gender roles appear to offer little substantial benefit but carry genuine cost. The strength of the first prong of this argument rests on a misleading intuition. Generally, the more beneficial a thing is the easier it is to identify the way in which that things is beneficial.
We all know penicillin is beneficial, and we can all state clearly exactly why. Therefore, the intuition goes, if gender roles are really all that important to society it should be the easiest thing in the world to explain how and why. When it comes to human inventions, this is intuition is sound, but gender roles were not invented.
Like language and markets, they belong to a class of social mechanisms that predate history. This much is true whether they evolved, were instituted by divine fiat, or both. Writing of these kinds of institutions, F. Hayek said: It would be no exaggeration to say that social theory begins with—and has an object only because of—the discovery that there exist orderly structures which are the product of the action of many men but are not the result of human design.
In some fields this is now universally accepted. Although there was a time when men believed that even language and morals had been invented by some genius of the past, everybody recognizes now that they are the outcome of a process of evolution whose results nobody foresaw or Where do gender roles come from?.
Because gender roles in some form have always existed in human society and because they were never invented or designed, we cannot apply the usual intuition that their primary effects should be obvious. Hayek the second in the 20th that we had any notion of the functions markets played in society. We are still in the early phases of understanding these concepts e. One argument for gender roles derives from. This Where do gender roles come from? principle states that it is always best for Where do gender roles come from?
parties to specialize and then tradeeven if one of the parties is better at producing every single good. Applied to families, this law dictates that the parents men and women ought to specialize into Where do gender roles come from?, non-overlapping roles to the extent possible. It suggests specialization in general, without indicating what those roles ought to take.
As Julie Hartley-Moore recently explainedthe evidence for the comparative advantage of men at attaining resources is shaky at best, Where do gender roles come from? highly dependent on available technology.
But the comparative advantage of women at the other primary goal of families raising children is obvious and universal. Thus: it would make sense for women to specialize in nurturing children and men to specialize in Where do gender roles come from? anything else. One of the frequent responses to this idea is that there are very few tasks related to childrearing which only women can do, but that misunderstands the principle.
The suggestion is not that women are exclusively capable of being caregivers, but that they have a comparative advantage at it, and that the optimal outcome for the family is when the parents specialize wherever they have any advantage at all. In a prosperous and affluent society it is easy to forget that most of human history has been dominated by struggle for survival.
In those cases, specialization would have been a necessity. In our society, it is optional, at least for the affluent. This raises a critical point: explaining why gender roles have existed in the past fails to illustrate why they should continue to exist in the future. Perhaps now that we produce so many excess resources as a society, the time has come to abandon gender roles.
Victor Frankl stated that: If all men were perfect, then every individual would be replaceable by anyone else. From the very imperfection of men follows the indispensability and inexchangeability of each individual. What is true at the individual level is also true at the level of gender. The idea that male and female genders are imperfect makes them indispensable and inexchangeable. At the other end of the spectrum, we are all the same.
In between, at the level of gender, we are divided into an us and a them. These are the three fundamental ways of learning to relate to the other: as the outsider, as the insider, and as separate groups. Gender is the one and only essential division of humanity that makes all three of these relationship models possible.
All three are crucial to the human experience, and without gender as a meaningful bifurcation of humanity we are left with only two. As politically charged and controversial as topics of gender and sexuality are, they are also sacred. Our society depends on the health of its families in ways that are profound, philosophical, and. As for the second prong of the argument against gender roles: It is understandable to oppose gender roles because of the sinful social judgmentalism that follows in their wake, but it is a dangerous path to tread because virtually all standards and ideals are susceptible to the same criticism.
There is no principle or ideal that cannot be taken to an absolute extreme and become an evil. There is no behavior or advice that, while useful or even vital in the vast majority of cases, will not be detrimental to someone somewhere.
Ideals and principles make distinctions. In a literal and real way, they discriminate. During the Creation God did not create from nothing. God created by imposing order on undifferentiated chaos. God created by separation: light from dark, a firmament to divide the waters, and then land from water.
Even the last creation, humans, arose with a division between complementary partners: male and female. The primary problem is that eternal principles can never be projected perfectly onto our imperfect and fallen world. When the Nazis come and ask if you are hiding any Jews, what do you do?
You throw honesty out the window and you prevaricate with the best of them. You deceive, and you do it as thoroughly and as convincingly as possible. All of the hard moral questions are not about the conflict between good and evil, but between competing goods.
And not even all of those questions are really hard. Does the fact that sometimes honesty is not the dominant consideration prove that honesty is not a valid principle? No, it proves that we live in a messed up world, which Where do gender roles come from? already knew. In this life, all principles come with a cost. Sometimes the cost is born by those who violate the principle, and repentance is their only relief. Sometimes the cost is born by the innocent who only appear to violate the principle, and in that case the fault is ours.
Thus, our emphasis should be on learning to minimize the collateral damage of principles, rather than discarding more and more principles until we manage to find the one that offends no one. In summary: gender is a vital part of the moral human experience because it bifurcates humanity into separate and complementary groups, which has a profound influence on our ability to understand and relate to others.
Gender roles of some kind are required to make the gender distinction real and complementary. Given the principle of comparative advantage and the scarcity of resource in our society, the general role of women to raise children and men to gather resources is most reasonable, although of course the breakdown is not that simple given resource constraints and other considerations.
Moreover, the specific gender roles will shift with social environmental factors and also must be negotiated independently by every couple, who may deviate substantially from the aggregate expectation. Therefore, this principle will come with a cost that is all too often born by those who do not deserve to bear it. This tragedy is not unique. As with all unfair trials, the response it ought to call forth from us is compassion, support, love, and acceptance for all those who suffer from trials great or small.
I plan to do one more in this series. So rather than being some objective thing that people should conform to, it sounds like you are halfway towards acknowledging that gender roles are nothing more than generalizations about how people choose to structure marriage, family, and society, and that as human behavior changes over time, so do gender roles.
Hayek the second in the 20th that we had any notion of the functions markets played in society. Why not, for example, ask about gender roles and Aristotelian flourishing, or Tayloresque authenticity, etc.? But the comparative advantage of women at the other primary goal of families raising children is obvious and universal. Thus: it would make sense for women to specialize in nurturing children and men to specialize in something anything else.
As Kristine observes above, you assert this, bur provide no argument for it. If Where do gender roles come from? spoke of the comparative advantage of birthing children, that indeed would be obvious. Our society depends on the health of its families in ways that are profound, philosophical, and also literal.
Just a note: it appears to me that your final sentence in this paragraph, if taken literally, undermines the claims you are gesturing at in the first two. The quest for costless principles is understandable, but it is also futile.
In this life, all principles come with a cost. Therefore, this principle will come with a cost that is all too often born by those who do not deserve to bear it. This tragedy is not unique. As with all unfair trials, the response it ought to call forth from us is compassion, support, love, and acceptance for all those who suffer from trials great or small. This is a beautiful conclusion, Nathaniel, and moreover, as best I can tell, it renders everything you insist upon in the foregoing paragraphs as essentially meaningless.
Can you please at least acknowledge your extreme privilege in your writings on gender? I really have a hard time seeing the Where do gender roles come from? away from ridged gender roles in modern society as a bad Where do gender roles come from?. But then, neoclassical economists are often prone to applying economic models and logics to all walks of life which themselves are abstracted and idealized out of Where do gender roles come from? complexity and reality of political economy, usually to serve the purpose of making capitalist relations appear natural and neutral.
The thing about the invisible hand is it was there before Adam Smith named it, as you say. So if gender roles, like the invisible hand, are so natural and beneficial to society, why do we have to keep trying so hard to convince people to subscribe to them? Not just now, after the feminist movement, but always. If they are so clearly natural, then why, since as far back as societies have been traced, are there so many forms of social policing required to enforce, articulate, and perpetuate gender systems?
How much evidence would it take to convince that perhaps these institutions and ideologies are producing gender, and not the other way around? Lastly, you should actually try reading feminist theory itself sometime, as these issues have been considered quite fully and by people who actually spend their lives engaging in the evidence on these issues. Judith Butler has an extremely complex, nuanced, and in Where do gender roles come from?
mind compelling theory of exactly how gender roles well, gender, period has come to appear pre-discursive what you would call naturaland how this insistence of its naturalness has made precarious Where do gender roles come from? disposable so many lives. And I believe there was an extremely thorough anthropological response to your last article that pointed out how wrong you were that what you see as gender roles are traditional.
You offer an extremely flat definition of gender roles characterized solely by a divide between nurturing children and everything else as a previous commenter points out. Schneider takes on the mistake you are most prone to here, which he sees as endemic Where do gender roles come from? anthropology and kinship studies in particular: the reifying of modern categories or constructs by taking them as givens, then reading all evidence that already exists and may be found as further features of already assumed categories.
Anyway, the book is A Critique of the Study of Kinship. Unless you want to do the work of studying these issues seriously, I beg you to stick to your field of study. I have faith that blogging can be much more than the practice of wild speculation on the part of unqualified people to justify their own pre-existing beliefs, if only we encourage each other to raise the bar a bit. Your values are what your values are. For example, why do you limit specialization in childbirth and childrearing to just a couple?
Why should people who do not have a competitive advantage at parenting become parents? To me the argument about reducing gender roles is just a consequence of the increasing valuation of individual freedom.
Your morality is very much tied up with your belief that God created nature for people and that he did a pretty good job of it. Feminism is pretty much tied up with the idea that regardless of what God intended, historically, women had constraints that were a very, very bad thing.
Constraints that make it worth risking the perpetuation of society to change. I think your post is a good representation of why you should be free to perpetuate but not legislate gender roles.
Why specifically do you think we need gender roles and by roles I think you mean some kind of public or community standard for gendered choices rather than just the ordinary biological, economic, individual choices that we all make without strong roles. If you are measuring strictly the number of pregnancies per woman, then feminism is clearly correlated with lower fertility. Where do gender roles come from?
really, we should all go home. Game, set and match to Haley. An appeal to authority is perfectly respectable, but not the reasoned argument you purport to make. I note that the gender roles you argue for are really nonsense—no sense—in any other kind of household. Second guess is that for a man and woman making a decision to get married or to have children or to form a household, you argue that selecting for these gender roles is preferred with exceptions and individual accommodation.
Third guess is that for any child custody or adoption question, you argue that a man and woman living together in these gender roles should be preferred. The thing I like about gender roles and other such eternal principles is that no amount of convoluted argumentation makes a bit of substantive Where do gender roles come from?
to the reality of human existence. How many legs does a dog have, if you call the tail a leg? I enjoyed your analysis, though I disagree with many points. You view roles as an outgrowth of evolution and thus without design. In contrast, the Family Proc. Additionally, you posit that gender differentiation is necessary in order for us Where do gender roles come from? specialize and to need one another.
But, of course, gay parents routinely specialize and need each other too. If gender roles are not required to make us need both a Father and a Savior, then why are they needed for us to need both our parents? And if gender roles are so central, why does Heavenly Mother not play any known role in the plan of salvation? Somehow the fullness of the gospel can be preached without any contact, instruction, or even speech allowed between Mother and children. Quite an odd situation if evolution teaches us that women are the best nurturers.
In reality, despite continued emphasis on gender roles, the actions of the church and of church members show that we are giving up this principle. The church recently affirmed that women are welcome to wear pants to church. Dads are as likely to change diapers and take kids to the foyer at church. Let me agree with you on one point oddly, the Where do gender roles come from? one. While this conflict remains, I choose to follow a gospel in which Christ provides a full example for all mankind, including my daughters, over a gospel with strict gender roles that would require my daughters to look for salvation elsewhere.
Had to take a breather. Controversial topics are definitely not my favorite thing. From where I stand, the dominant views of the Bloggernaccle are pretty far-removed from the beliefs of most ordinary Mormons, and I think that kind of push-back explains a lot of the disconnect. Therefore: I choose to go ahead and blog about it anyway. Though I suppose I am stepping outside my naturally beneficial sphere and entering the male realm of something anything else by participating in this conversation.
The one making vast claims about groups of people has the burden of evidence. Who says women have a comparative advantage at child-rearing? Women have an initial advantage that is undeniable in gestating and breastfeedingbut even if we assume that advantage disappears completely by age 4 just for examplethe fact that it existed to start Where do gender roles come from?
continues to matter. The problem is transition costs. If a woman is the primary caregiver for a couple of years, she knows more about the kid than the man does. And he knows more about specialized resource-gathering than she does. The possibility of multiple children seriously compounds this factor because the transition costs twice per child are cumulative.
For an affluent society, this cost can be overcome, but from the standpoint of my argument it is enough to note that there is a cost. In computer science, you have this idea of abstraction layers. The lowest layer is the hardware. The purpose of these abstraction layers is to make it so that at any given level, you only care about the level immediately above and below. If the firmware changes you should, ideally, not care.
My argument is primarily about having gender roles exist as an abstraction layer at all, and less about the exact form they should take. I do think there are some generalities e. Economics is the wrong approach. But then, neoclassical economists are often prone to applying Where do gender roles come from? models and logics to all walks of life which themselves are abstracted and idealized out of the complexity and reality of political economy, usually to serve the purpose of making capitalist relations appear natural and neutral.
However, the main reason I brought up economics is that I want to steer us away from our artificial and idiosyncratic perspective of unprecedented affluence. Focusing on a situation where resources are constrained is a way of checking that blind spot.
Economics happens to be the discipline explicitly concerned with human behavior as it relates to the allocation of scarce resources. I thought of just passing this one on by, but I thought a couple Where do gender roles come from? comments were worth brief discussion.
I probably should have thrown a couple of other examples in there to forestall this unfortunate myopia on the part of my critics, but oh well.
It just means they are the most obvious and important differences. My favorite part of every day is greeting my sleepy little kids with a big smile and a hug when they stumble blearily into the hall by our home office. I think I have an unusually good relationship with my kiddos and I derive more satisfaction from that than anything else in my life except my relationship with my wife.
This is something I intend to say clearly, emphatically, and exactly one time. Simple preview: I do recognize male privilege is a real thing that does exist and from which I have and continue to benefit. However, privilege is far more nuanced than most reductionist assumptions allow. Imagine if the history of war consisted of men sending women to die by their millions. It would be considered the rankest form of sexual oppression. And yet, the fact that men bear the brunt of war-related mortality is almost never discussed, and male domination of the military throughout history Where do gender roles come from?
taken to be yet another example of male privilege. The privilege to get killed? And yes, I realize that the issue of gender mortality in war is not simple, but at least 5. What does this all mean, in practice? The comments of both Chris Kimball 13 and Dave K 19 and some others really boiled down to asking about what all this means in a practical, contemporary way.
That will be the focus of my last post on this topic, probably sometime in the next few weeks. Again, the same caveat applies: no doubt there are progressives who also share some aspects of that outlook. I find that thinking about my daughters has a remarkable way of focusing my mind away from theory and onto social reality. I think I probably will try to frame them exactly the way they were framed for my by my parents and church culture. Instead I want them to know that, ultimately, not all endeavors are created equal, and that their worth to their community does not depend on a career, on recognition, or on making good in any other public way.
I am a glutton for those autobiographical cri-de-couer from post-academics, often female, who for whatever reason have not managed to thread the brutal needle of succeeding in academia while managing a family, and I am struck by the magnitude of their sense of failure, and the hit to their self-worth. I always feel so grateful that my sense of self and value was built on my efforts to create loving relationships in my home and community, and that consequently my opt-out has not left me scarred and adrift.
Columbia University Press, 2013, 68. People like me are prone to violent fantasy and jealous rage; we are over 10 times more likely to commit murder and over 40 times more likely to commit sexual assault.
Most prisoners suffer from my condition, and almost everyone on death row has it. Relative to other people, we have an abundance of testosterone, which is associated with dominance and aggression, and a deficit in oxytocin, associated with compassion.
My sons share my condition, and so does my father. Millions of years of natural selection have shaped male and female psychologies to be somewhat different. I know there are lots of folks who are reluctant quite reasonably so to wade into controversial issues. I may have to steal it. I tried to pin you down on your last post as to what work you saw gender roles doing for you given your own family situation and you declined to answer.
I just wanted to comment that—for the sake of my argument—I adopted a minimalist view of the connection between gender differences and gender roles. But my argument is Where do gender roles come from? minimalist and therefore misses quite a lot, and your quotes fill in a lot of that info. It broke a taboo by showing that differences in ability existed and predicted a variety of socioeconomic outcomes. So, I thought the book was important in raising that issue, but it failed totally when it focused so much on genetic determination of ability…I thought the book played a very important role in raising the issue of differences in ability and their importance.
It stimulated discussion if only by being a target of attack. It forced scholars to confront important facts about differences among people.
I think that was the contribution of the book. Much can be said about the data regarding gender. Game, set and match to Haley. Because starting with an attack and descending further into outright contempt is how everyone should conduct themselves in life.
I consider that a win for you and me both, sir. My sophomore English class in high school was taught by a brilliant African American woman who also led a faculty group for black teachers at my school. I remember that we studied The Trial of Socrates, the Gettysburg Address, and other classics. Not the book, but a 20+ page article written by the authors defending their book.
Obviously this was a difficult and challenging topic. There were tears and there was shouting. The point—and this is what I have never forgotten—was to model the intellectual integrity and courage it takes to look at any argument on its own merits.
A female rear admiral who was also one of the earliest founders of the entire discipline of computer science. But it was quite deliberately chosen to complicate the way I knew my post would be inevitably characterized by doctrinaire defenders of some strains of feminist ideology. Think about that picture again, Julie. Absolutist Gender Roles — Men and women have to do x and y. No Gender Roles — Men and women can do whatever they want. What about in between: 3. The roles exist, but some assembly is required.
And He had a full array of traits that we now consider to be either male or female ones — He was authoritative, decisive, bold, and self-assured, but also sensitive, compassionate, forgiving, and nurturing.
What more could any of us want? A sort of checks and balances if you will. If there was anarchy of individuals at the first existence, when we were all intelligences, the assignment of gender would have been Where do gender roles come from?
sort of check and balance. Women are more mysterious only because less is said about them on the other side. However, Eve knew before Adam, and Mary saw before Peter. Women often see things spiritually before men do. I do not know why, but I have polled as hard as I can and found that that is the common experience. It is only through these things that women can literally be allowed to be on an equal playing field. This is why in lawless communities or when there is anarchy, the women and children suffer the most.
The next life is one we do not understand. However, if we are all spirits and Gods and the same class of beings, there is a sort of government there. To suppose Where do gender roles come from?
because that progression in this life therefore means that there will automatically be no difference in genders in the next is a big leap on its own. Insisting on gender roles guiding us here is a difficult thing to swallow. Perhaps it has less use right now, especially compared to in Where do gender roles come from?
more primitive past. The coloring book side thinks it saves time to give them a place to start. The Where do gender roles come from? thinks it keeps them from becoming more creative.
Men ought to get rid of them as fast as they can before they become an even greater Where do gender roles come from? for men than they were for women. I appreciate your clarification in comment 36. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners.
Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed. Nathaniel comment 36 : Men and Where do gender roles come from? can save a lot of time and error by starting with some basic assumptions about what they should do, but will need to experiment to find out how applicable the generic roles are to their individual case.
The roles exist, but some assembly is required. But I believe that the Proclamation, in isolation, is not an accurate reflection of Mormon teaching on this issue.
To be simplistic about it, I think that you always need to put Mormon teaching next to this quote: As a General Authority, it is my responsibility to preach general principles.
There are exceptions to some rules. For example, we believe the commandment is not violated by killing pursuant to a lawful order in an armed conflict. I only teach the general rules. Whether an exception applies to you is your responsibility. You must work that out individually between you and the Lord. The general rule and the understanding that exceptions are real. But Mormonism is bigger than doctrine. This is the necessary reality of Where do gender roles come from?
atheological faith. Doctrine, hierarchy, and institution augment and co-exist with private, personal religious experience. They do not replace it. The desire to reduce Mormonism to general statements of doctrine is, at least in part, an attempt to abdicate our duty to make our own choices. I see them as a valuable example of a general guideline.
Any true artist knows that one most often works best when given flexible constraints as opposed to no constraints at all. I think the Proclamation Where do gender roles come from?
the World does an excellent job of providing just that. I have known Stay-at-home-dads and working mothers who seem to thrive in the church. Focusing on the needs of the privileged i. I think I probably will try to frame them exactly the way they were framed for my by my parents and church culture. Instead I want them to know that, ultimately, not all endeavors are created equal, and that their worth to their community does not depend on a career, on recognition, or on making good in any other public way….
Rather, this observation presents us with gender roles as a kind of class consolation, a psychological resource available to those who are engaged with the capitalist economy is such a way as feel its pressures but constrained in reach for its rewards. The difference, of course, is that it is not clear to me the prioritizing a certain socio-economic value system can have the same degree of consequences for those who feel drawn to a different lifestyle, as is the case of prioritizing certain gender roles for people who understand their own identity differently.
I see a lot of frustration from both Nathaniel, who seems to feel willfully misunderstood, and those who are, I think, genuinely confused by his arguments and positions. I keep finding myself going back to the thinking-feeling axis on the Myers Briggs. Nathaniel and others who are very comfortable with the way gender roles are taught in the church seem to thrive on rules based on general principles without worrying too much about how they work out on an individual level.
Hurt feelings and abuses are an unfortunate but unavoidable side-effect of what is otherwise a fair and logical system. On the other hand, those who are uncomfortable with the rhetoric about gender Where do gender roles come from? seem to be naturally more focused on dealing with what is best for the well-being and feelings of individuals.
Though they are perfectly aware that individual adaptation is technically allowed in church rhetoric, they still feel hurt by the rule because their focus is on individual people and their feelings. I get the sense that if Nathaniel were to boil his position down to some concrete statements that deal with real-life situations, we would all probably find much—though of course not everything—to agree upon.
At any rate, I think we would all feel less frustrated if we could see more clearly that we are approaching these highly sensitive topics the way we are not out of dogma and inflexibility, but because Where do gender roles come from? basic differences in how we see and relate to the world. He appears to me to be arguing from general premises not just from religious tenets.
Who do you think he is trying to convince of what with his post? I think that there are, however, a few places where the argument needs to slow down a bit. For example, I think the following three points get Where do gender roles come from? together a bit too much: 1 When it comes to gender roles, dedicated specialization is the best way to go. As near as I can tell, feminists and the like do not push too hard on 1. I think they have serious objections to 2 though, and I think 3 would probably go with 2.
But I could be wrong. I suspect this is the reason it was offered. Nathaniel, Some of your work is excellent but this was pretty loosey goosey and very convoluted stuff.
You seem to enjoy the apologist role defining the middle ground as you nuanced niche. It makes me wounder how committed you are to each of your positions given this apparent one size fits all topics template. But in a world where choices are limited then there are lots of reasons why women rather than men are left holding the baby.
This division of labor was the only plausible one in the sense of maintaining production, but also very bad in many other respects. In this life we are left to choose a small handful of things to get really good at, and it seems like child-rearing ought to be one of those things.
Specialization is the means by which exchange encourages innovation: In getting better at making your product or delivering your service, you come up with new tools.
The story of the human race has been a gradual spread of specialization and exchange ever since: Prosperity consists of getting more and more narrow in what you make and more and more diverse in what you buy. By way of analogy: it would be far more efficient for your ward to provide professional-quality training for various callings and then keep people in those callings forever to maximize their performance, but this is, of course, precisely the opposite of what we do—and for very good reason, I think.
Why, then, would gender performance be a carve-out from the general gospel pattern of providing people with callings that give them a chance to expand their abilities? If you launch directly into a complex, sophisticated explanation of something that skeptics assume ought to be simple, no one is going to listen to you. This makes sense, because the definitive example of a complex system would be a human society: lots of individual agents with their own information and incentives who nevertheless find ways to coordinate and cooperate, sometimes intentionally sometimes on accident.
To give a preview of some of the things that I think gender roles do, Where do gender roles come from?, here are some quick thoughts. Now, some ideas about the work they can do in society: 1. They help young folks make good choices. They help Where do gender roles come from? relations between the sexes. This is partially about social and individual flourishing, but the bifurcation of humanity into gender such that it makes sense to talk about male-female relationships as well as just person-to-person relationships creates an important new facet in our ability to relate to the other.
They provide a Where do gender roles come from? by which every single human being is automatically needed by society. The need to be needed is elemental, and if part of that need is predicated on gender, it means every human being is presumed to have an important role to play in his or her society.
This is crucial in several ways. First, it ensures that we all feel needed even before we have a good sense of our individual strengths and weaknesses. Second, it ensures that we all feel needed independent of our abilities. We are valued for what we are male or female independently of what we can do. They provide a framework of meaning which can assist in the construction of individual identity. However, these are usually vague enough that there is enormous latitude in how we personally interpret them in relation to our own lives and experiences.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, if gender is truly an eternal aspect of our identity as our Church teachesthen gender roles to the extent that they are correct Where do gender roles come from? us to come to know our true selves.
And none of those benefits are free. By way of analogy: it would be far more efficient for your ward to provide professional-quality Where do gender roles come from? for various callings and then keep people in those callings forever to maximize their performance, but this is, of course, precisely the opposite of what we do—and for very good reason, I think.
I disagree pretty vehemently with this. First of all, I believe the Church is very efficient at what it does. Your suggestion stems from a misinterpretation of what it is doing. If the goal is to efficiently execute the callings, yeah: hire some professionals.
But that defeats the purpose, which is not for the calling to be done, but for us to do the callings. We have a lot of mundane tasks that need to get done. We have a lot of people who need to be challenged and grown in interdependent work. What could possibly be more efficient than having the members do the work? That alternative hiring professionals makes about as much Where do gender roles come from?
as hiring a bodybuilder to do your workout routine at the gym because it will save you time. Is that an efficient way for you to get healthy? The reason I feel so passionately about this is that I believe it stems from a horrible malaise of complacence. We in the developed world have not earned our affluence and comfort, but we too often take it for granted.
We continue to dally in absurd and discredited theories like Marxism precisely because efficiency has provided so much surplus that we can afford the extravagance of such backwards thinking.
The entire notion that, you know, maybe we should just try a little less hard seems like an affront to the staggering weight of human want that continues to exist in this world, and that will only go away as we become more efficient.
Look, a human life has only but so many years. The amount of productive input into an economy is more or less fixed. This means that the only difference between a society with enough and to spare and a society that is drowning in deprivation is how much output you can wring from that input. Should we hand over the Church welfare department to some bright-eyed deacons to administer because it will provide them with a great learning experience? Or, when the product of labor really matters, should we perhaps let the experts run the show?
Any such costs have to be weighed against the benefits inherent in transitioning, and have to net out the costs of mother-as-primary-or-sole caregiver. I see you recognizing some costs in the shift—which, again, may exist—while ignoring the costs of maintaining the status quo and the benefits of any shift. Where do gender roles come from?
that is more efficient and thus, per your impassioned recent comment, would prevent child starvation, would you support that model for society? Indeed those structures would seem to be more entrenched there. A more equal society benefits everyone. We are their children after all. The same principle could apply to any nurturing role that the church has as well. She is more able to empathize and teach with love and kindness after all, since she is a woman.
Callings stretch us and help us grow. Abandoning gender role Where do gender roles come from? put us outside of Where do gender roles come from? comfort zone and result in spiritual growth and development. Just like a new calling makes you look at your life, at the ward, at others in a new and hopefully more loving way, as would some serious gender-bending in our roles.
Joseph Smith was basically deacon age when he got started, and that worked out. God qualifies those who are called. More specifically, people arguing that we should be careful changing Where do gender roles come from? arrangements have to deal with the fact that we should be careful eliminating sin and hypocrisy because all historical societies are replete with sin and hypocrisy.
Nothing would have such an unpredictable effect on society as an increased adherence to moral standards. Take for example that the number of sexual partners in real societies is distributed roughly as a power law. How do the gender roles we are discussing deal with this? In other words are we talking about utopian gender roles in theory or are we talking real gender roles that cover not just the exceptions but the incredible diversity of lifestyles and preferences. I do agree that there is a strong biological basis to gender roles, and that they serve to support and empower mothers.
At least in our family, the final say was up to the mother, whose life is likely going to be impacted the most. I think that differences in gender should be acknowledged and legitimized. I think that any woman who chooses a nurturing role should be respected, and that contribution should not be seen as less than what a man does. Earning a paycheck does not entitle one to a greater say. That was actually pretty radical when President Kimball was teaching it in the 1970s.
Also, while it is absolutely true that the gender roles are most pronounced and significant during the childbearing years, this is not so minimal to folks who are actually going Where do gender roles come from?
that phase of their life. Our children were born over an 18-year period, and in between there was a lot of soul-searching and prayer about whether to have another child, trying to deal with the realities of the kids that were there, and struggling to keep a marriage alive amidst the pressures.
It can be pretty intense. In my experience, leaders think of exceptions Where do gender roles come from? narrow and temporary. They are not inviting us to determine that the general rules are eternally inapplicable.
In the scriptures, the Lord routinely calls upon the weak and the least qualified to perform his work Enoch, Moses, Joseph, etc. So too with church callings.
So why, when it comes to raising children, should we only give the responsibility to the strongest and most well-suited? My position would be that if a couple said that in Gospel Doctrine, the correct response would be to give them the benefit of the doubt. My own family is something like that, and I know multiple stay-at-home fathers. Providing for your family is much more important than fulfilling a gender role.
The first priority is the health and safety of the family by whatever arrangement works. I continue to be confused at how difficult this concept seems to be.
Gender roles matter, but they are not the most important thing at all times and in all places. The idea that commandments give us free reign to shut our brains off and not use common sense is incredibly strange to me.
In the scriptures, the Lord routinely calls upon the weak and the least qualified to perform his work Enoch, Moses, Joseph, etc. So too with church callings. Yes, the Lord calls the weak. Because 1 it demonstrates His power, 2 it is a protection against pride and 3 it helps strengthen us. Now, given those objectives is calling the weak efficient, or inefficient? It is only inefficient if you think the Lord actually cares very much about tasks He could do himself in an instant.
Efficiency is a meaningless concept unless you first ascertain what the objective is. So, if you want to save time, it is efficient to hire someone to go to the gym for you. If you want to get stronger, it is not efficient to hire someone to go to the gym for you.
The Past, Present and Future of Gender Norms
If you want to maximize your success rate for cardiac surgery, it is efficient to operate on young, healthy people who do not have any heart problems. If you want to actually treat heart problems and save lives, it is inefficient to operate on young, healthy people who do not have any heart problems. If you want to minimize the time it takes to clean a car, it is efficient to only clean cars that are already clean. If you want to Where do gender roles come from? dirty cars clean, it is not efficient to only clean cars that are already clean.
You have to state what the efficiency is supposed to be of. Otherwise the concept is meaningless. According to your logic, we should go ahead and let the weaker parent specialize because it would be good for them. The problem with that is that your children are not obstacles for you to overcome. They are not trials sent for your benefit.
They are not things, like spiritual exercise equipment for you to exploit in some kind of self-fulfillment quest. Being a parent is not about you. It is about your child. The entire attitude that other Where do gender roles come from? beings ought to be viewed as objects which we can be put to serve our needs is poisonous. When we turn service into a narcissistic exercise, something has gone truly horribly wrong. You would perpetuate patriarchy, the man in charge, the women taking orders?
I would grant that a discussion of gender roles may assist in the construction of individual identity and help us know our true selves. Or was the thinking something else entirely? Thanks in advance for clarifying. It was a striking choice. It can been seen in your strong evaluative judgments in the comments Where do gender roles come from? what starts out in the post to be more a description of what has happened in the past.
So, on the one hand you seem to be saying that gender roles evolved rather than were designed and that they have unpredictable effects but then later you assume that you validly assess that gender roles are a good thing and that God designed us to have them. You also shift back and forth between what is good for individuals and what is good for societies in a way that ambiguous. Talking of evolution and comparative advantage is talking of people as objects and as objects that compete.
Morals are part of that competition. Here is one more try at an argument for why you should be wary of societal gender roles in our current society. You mentioned that gender roles are sacred. Do we want to society at large to play a role in what is sacred for us? The result will be a diminishing of our ability to live our own lives. We need the protection of the diversity of the sacred, a freedom of religion for our gender roles in our to carry out our unique role.
We need a thin version of the societal role in sacred, not Where do gender roles come from? thick one. If society as a whole needs to compromise on what gender roles are, it will be bad news for religion, bad news for diversity, bad news for freedom, and bad news for your posterity. If we preach one thing at church, and then tell people that they can go home and negotiate different terms with God, can we do that with other commandments, too?
Why not spend the precious time and resources we have as a church preaching laws that are universal, like baptism, repentance, patience, forgiveness, love, etc.? The need to be needed is elemental, and if part Where do gender roles come from? that need is predicated on gender, it means every human being is presumed to have an important role to play in his or her society.
This is crucial Where do gender roles come from? several ways. First, it ensures that we all feel needed even before we have a good sense of our individual strengths and weaknesses. Second, it ensures that we all feel needed independent of our abilities. We are valued for what we are male or female independently of what we can do.
I have found this to have the opposite effect in my life, as a single woman. Teaching young girls that much of their worth to society is because they will one day nurture children may give them a sense of being needed independent of their other abilities in the short term. Like I said earlier, I understand that you are trying to build a system of general rules in which individual adaptation is allowable, but in my experience, individual adaptation—by necessity or choice—comes with a hefty dose of existential anguish.
Its not just child-raising that Nathaniel thinks is vital but the whole concept of complementarity. That males and females are complementary in a way that is a very, very good thing. Additionally, the focus of this complementarity in a husband and wife bond is central to his vision. What is lost in this model for me are opportunities for deep friendship bonds between adults of opposite gender outside of marriage. The focus of male-female relationship in this role is about marriage and child-rearing.
There is always the danger that male-female relationships outside of marriage will threaten marriage. Mixed gender workplaces and societal groups have changed this dramatically. The benefits to children from men having rich friendships with women and women from having rich friendships with men are substantial. People are very, very different and the more contact we have with varying types of people the more refined is our ability to empathize and nurture each other.
They provide a basis by which every single human being is automatically needed by society. If so, why bring in all the extraneous, general points? The purpose of the Hayek quote was simply that many core institutions of human society were not invented by humans. Not necessarily that they were evolved. I stated this explicitly: This much is true whether they evolved, were instituted by divine fiat, or both.
I mean are you calling the gender role erasers to repentance or are you not? That has absolutely no ban on other ways to relate. It provides a structure, a framework, a starting point. Gender roles have value even if they are not absolute or utterly proscriptive. He has a great deal more patience than I to continue addressing the increasingly ludicrous acrobatics, in my mind.
They allow us to take advantage of the comparative advantage that each gender has and this promotes the welfare of individuals and families. However, because of the wide variety of individual personalities, talents and circumstances that apply to different men and women, these roles cannot be rigidly applied, and it is up to each of them to determine whether any particular gender role should apply to them and to adopt those roles only to the extent that doing so will maximize the welfare of their family.
There are no roles that are prescribed by gender. However, all individuals have particular talents, personality traits and other personal circumstances which will be best suited to specific roles. Men and women should both examine their personal circumstances, personalities and talents to determine what roles best suit them and their family.
They should maximize the welfare of their family by adopting those roles which gives them the greatest comparative advantage. They tend to work better in teams, and they tend to be better at communication. Moreover, if leadership teams begin to approach 50-50 male-female ratios, Finkelstein thinks that leaders will gain a greater sense of self-awareness—for the simple reason that diversity on a team can make all members more aware of their own assumptions, habits, and idiosyncracies.
Maybe even move to a female pope, among other religious leaders. Prescriptive rules do not work. We tried this once before with Blacks and slavery, or Sunnis against Where do gender roles come from?, etc.
Whenever we have in our minds that some group or other is consigned to doing such and such, or is lesser than, evil will result. I also disagree with the fact that ascendency is paid for by some cost, that if you pay the cost you should have this privileged. Somehow, men fighting and dying in war, in the ultimate act of insanity, should grant them some sort of privilege is perverse. That is the ultimate bedrock of patriarchy: if I or my gang can beat you up, I am the leader.
If we, males, follow Jesus, we will gladly use our gifts and talents for love and protection, just as any woman would. After a long day with the children, my husband came home but had to spend the next few hours working on a presentation he was giving the next morning. I stay at home and my husband has a very respected job. If I could have been given a glimpse of my life as a highschooler, I would have been just delighted with the way it all turned out.
Not my husband, who is great and kind and all. When the best most valiant Mormon boys work their tails off in college so they will be able to provide for a large family, they usually are faced with a many many years of training ahead of them…. So we did everything right. And my husband now has children and earning power. I have children and a lot of sadness. I actually feel used and useless at the same time.
Both rigid gender roles are potentially damaging, but I believe they are much more damaging for the girls who internalize them than the boys. Basically, I wish someone would have sat me down twenty years ago and helped me to see myself as a person instead of just a female potential future nurturer if I played all my cards right.
Oh to have those cards back in my hands. Somehow, to me, it would be unseemly for a man hearing a gunshot to Where do gender roles come from? behind a woman, but it makes perfect sense to imagine a woman ducking behind a man. Does this exemplify a gender role for men to be protectors?
If so, gender roles make sense to me — at least, this one does. When there are no gender roles, you more often than not get two people building careers, and strangers raising your children.
Even now, an empty nester, she cooks, cleans, and makes herself available to her family. She also continues to keep her hand in her career field. Many people would pity her. Even she struggles with feeling of worth. Yet without her, I, as the ex wife of a man who believed that a woman should also be making money for him to spend, would be constantly afraid of having to take unpaid time to nurse my sick children.
My life as a working mother would be even harder than it is. I would have loved to have a man who took his family obligations seriously, who felt a duty to provide and protect. Sadness comes, not from teaching ideals, but from misapplying them. I do agree that there is a strong biological basis to gender roles, and that they serve to support and empower mothers. I have to Where do gender roles come from?, because this conversation totally reminds me of discussions between me and my husband.
I think the more complex the argument, the more important it is to define your terms up front. If gender Where do gender roles come from?
are simply a suggestion based on averages e. Someone bringing up feelings sadness at the im moral judgments of others is not a trump card against moral truth, standards, or in this case a fundamental aspect of mortality. Are them some specific people you are rebutting or another source of why your two prongs are the argument against gender roles?
Luckily, my gender role socialization Where do gender roles come from? minimized respect for the personal and hurt feelings. So what I object to is the vast evidence which shows us that the fruits of the gender roles for most of human history and humanity have been really, really awful for the Where do gender roles come from? of God. They have been virtually excluded from political and economic power. Seriously, lets say you had to send your infant daughter off to live in another society than post-feminist 20th century America and the like?
Are you going to choose to send her to a society with strong dare we say traditional gender Where do gender roles come from?
where she has 1 no right to property, 2 no access to her own economic production, 3 faces exclusion from professions and crafts due to her gender. Do you send her to society where she is politically disenfranchised due to her gender?
I think this is why you get such knee-jerk push back to defending gender roles especially from women. For them gender roles have been used as much as a bludgeon and tool of social and economic oppression for their sisters as they have anything else. They live in a society where domestic violence and abuse is Where do gender roles come from? taken out on them.
Abortion and infanticide are both incredibly sad and incredibly disproportionately gendered. We belong to a church in which their Where do gender roles come from? excludes them from all decision rights now and for the foreseeable future read keys for decision rights. A religion that until 20 years ago had them covenanting asymmetrically to obey their husbands and now assymetrically hearken.
Until we can prove that gender roles, in the real world do not lead to systematic and importantly detrimental outcomes for women, then I have trouble trying to defend their origin as godly and as an arrangement to be given the benefit of the doubt. Especially outside a very narrow, privileged corridor life for women is not only nasty, brutal and short, it is nastier, more brutal and shorter for women than men.
So I tend to think that the women expressing skeptism to the usefulness of gender roles deserve the benefit of the doubt. Empirically its their blood, literally, that tends to be on the hands of societies and their execution of gender roles.
I think that historical and empirical context matters enormously when deciding how to approach this debate. Whenever people speak of a problem, I tend to try to envision a solution.
If any concept of gender roles is unacceptable, and the words masculine and feminine must be driven out of our vocabulary and daily lives, what is the replacement? If so, who is the arbiter of the new standard the new norm to be laid on all of us? If the current societal expressions of masculine and feminine were set in place by a God or are the product of evolution, well, how does one committee change all of that to make everything fair?
No, I think it is best to leave it alone, and to let each mother and father raise their own children, teaching correct principles as best they can, supported by societal institutions that help them. In our modern world, each individual can largely choose his or her own path — men and women are already free Where do gender roles come from?
break or sustain masculine and feminine stereotypes as each individually chooses. You might think you are arguing successfully against his points, but you are not. In order to truly see what he means, you would have to also examine the harm done to women by the multitude of men who abandon their responsibilities and familial roles.
Or even harm to men and children when women abandon theirs. Sadly, there is much evidence there as well. Our culture is increasingly celebrating only duty to oneself at the cost of spouses and children.
I recently looked at an app which told me what a typical family like mine looked like. If I remember correctly, that demographic describes nearly two percent of Americans, and is most likely to occur only five short years ago. That was sobering for me. I am so very, very lucky and blessed. That statistic will only grow more as more people decide that gender roles are oppressive and harmful. But when a man is taught that he had a duty to provide for his family and protect them, and is given community pressure to live up to those duties, he is more likely to do just that.
Where do gender roles come from? application of gender roles does not require rigidly adhering to only one definition. But it does give a starting point, a sense of obligation which, when lacking, has such devastating cost.
Thus balance is the key. Gender roles not by force, but by principle. Which is exactly how the Proclamation to the World couches it, and is what I understand Nathaniel trying to defend. So women returning to the workplace after some years at home find that their extensive volunteer work cannot be considered as experience. Moms who want to return to college while their own kids are in school are told they can only attend university on a full-time basis.
Assistant professors who hear their biological clock ticking loudly are not guaranteed time off from tenure deadlines. However, I can also tell you that people tend to hear and understand personal stories more readily than they do statistics. I told my story so my argument would be heard, but I can understand your frustration if you felt like I was attempting to be emotionally manipulative. So again, I have no problem with acknowledging that people are different.
I even acknowledge that there can be very real value in making observations about the differences between groups of people. However, I think one has to weigh that in this case, small benefit against the very real cost of normative statements about the importance of following and maintaining those differences.
I also want to point out that the context in which you measure differences is important. The same was observed in a hyper-patriarchal Masai tribe, but was reversed in a matriarchal Indian community in that community, women chose the more competitive route, but the genders were actually closer to each other on that Where do gender roles come from?.
When told it was a standard test and that there was no observable gender difference, women did just as well. Even telling people that you expect them to do less well at something can be harmful. This is how it applies. It is teaching men and women how to care for their families. It is giving each gender a particular realm of responsibility, a stewardship, and an obligation to help each other accomplish their respective stewardships.
You have a specific assumption of what gender roles mean that is so rigid, you are unable to hear the nuances. Which is unfortunate, because the entire point of this series of posts, as he stated, is to show that such a box is inadequate to accurately contain the reality of what most people who support the Proclamation to the World believe and are willing to fight for.
Undoubtedly, things are better if fathers support and value both mother and child. Undoubtedly, mothers have had less power and resources in many historical circumstances due to gender roles. There is an asymmetry in the consequences of reproduction for men and women.
In wealthy societies, what wealthy, educated women give up economically to have children has been increasing. The more education a women has the fewer children she has pretty much the world over. There seems to be little doubt that gender roles for women are changing. The number of children they have has decreased, and their political, economic and social role has been increasing.
However, at the same time, there is less consensus about what society in general will support for women who have children. There is not much formal societal support for what women are owed for taking on motherhood.
You choose motherhood, its on you to pick the man and bear the economic consequences, after all, its your choice. Nathaniel has said relatively little about what level of society world, state, religious, ethnicity, family, couple, etc. SilverRain points out that lack of adherence to good gender roles creates suffering. She seems to think that the bargain of a provider for a nurturer was not a good deal. I think it is great when dads take time off to bond with a new baby. But his choice is very different than that of a female colleague who had to be on bed rest for two weeks prior to delivery, and then has a C-section.
And yet, a lot of organizational policies do. Just so you know, at least one person benefited from your comment. Dave K 19: Thank you for your thoughtful comment. Rosalynde 26: This has given me a lot to think about today.
Nathaniel, thank you for evoking so much thought. Both my wife and I have careers, and both of us run the home when the other is working. Actually, I think we have argued about such things. Indeed, for my own two children it was almost a year each time before I began to feel human again. Leave for both parents allows both for the father to take time off to care for Where do gender roles come from? recovering wife, as well as to bond with the child.
Where Gender Stereotypes Come From
My husband grew up with his father as breadwinner in a demanding job that took him away from the home, and out of the country Japanfor months at a time. My husband hardly saw his father growing up, and determined to do things differently.
A year or Where do gender roles come from? ago he had a moving conversation with his father in which he discovered the things his father had been able to do to spend time with his family. That his father had refused to participate ins some expected team-building activities, expected by his employers at weekends he was in the country. His father had very much wanted to be able to spend more time with his family, but the Japanese expected gender roles, and employment practices simply did not have that flexibility.
For nearly everyone I know, navigating gender roles began early in life and had little or anything to do with marriage.
To do not do so falls into the same fallacy I just pointed out. If we really believe women are going to be more inclined to nurture, why insist on it? Why not promote mothers and fathers as partners in nurturing and providing for their children? They feel righteous expressing those feelings and they turn off any talents or desires they have, sometimes with relief because considering developing a practical skill sounds scary and hard, and then the women grow up and have the kind of sadness and regret that this woman in comment 104 expresses.
That there is something special about being a woman or a man, sure? That above all we are individual children of God with something beautiful to share with the world, yes.
That women, especially particularly vulnerable, less educated women, should feel pressure to equate their worth with marriage and childbearing, no. I really believe we have stronger relationships when we are full ourselves and I feel like strict gender roles make that harder for many. Nothing makes me question the point of existence like folding socks. The moment we try to flesh it out, we realize that both sexes are equally capable of doing it. That might be a challenge to Where do gender roles come from?
arguing that women are naturally better nurturers. But her situation is not the only one that women are unhappy with. The roles that Nate espouses women nurturing, men providing have the clear, predictable disadvantage of creating economically vulnerable women, because they matter at such Where do gender roles come from? fundemental level for a persons power and basic security and freedom in life.
The consequences of unbalanced models in this regard are just so clear both now and in the past. It has benefits of specialization, no doubt. We have Where do gender roles come from? strong relationship, but the longer and longer we go the inequalities and their downsides are more and more apparent to us.
Something my police officer brother and sister-in-law have managed so far, because they have the same employer who is prepared to manage their shifts accordingly whilst children are still at home they now have 6 children. Many years ago I also heard a great programme about a husband and wife academic team employed on a job-share basis by a university. The country is now facing a demographic crisis. The younger generations are often not marrying and reproducing.
The women are not prepared to put up with that environment, and they are making a choice. Here, the traditional marriage needs to be turned on its head. In many low-income families, it is the mother who has the best chance in the labor market. Although there is a lingering determinism about parenting and gender roles, recent evidence—in particular from Ohio State University sociologist Douglas B.
Downey—suggests that women have no inherent competitive advantage in the parenting stakes. But I do think it applies to gender roles. I believe to the core of my being that mothers have a right to be supported by their husbands. That decision is going to be different for every couple, and of course each couple should decide for themselves without fear of social censure of any kind.
But the employed mothers I know who are utterly miserable feel forced into their paid jobs because of the notion that the couple should share income-earning because that is the only way to be equal. Some of these women have said they envy Mormon women who are equal partners with their husbands although their various contributions to the family are different.
The lack of gender roles can be just as harsh on women as the strict interpretation thereof. Especially who decides how best to care for the children? But, it seems unlikely to me that there are bunch of men out there demanding their wives to join the workforce so the men can raise the children.
Nathaniel, as the original poster I think you need to sort this out. Is a Genderqueer more nurturing than a Two-spirit, or does a Cis Female have a comparative advantage in providing for a Neutrois?