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Gender Roles

Vocabulary Gender role - a set of behaviors that indicates one's gender, specifically the image projected by a person that identifies their femaleness or maleness; an overt (open) public presentation of gender identity. (

Questions for discussion:

  1. Do you believe that you are supposed to act in certain ways and do certain things because you are a man or a woman? Do you believe in gender stereotypes?
  2. Do you know that in some non-Western societies they have more than two genders? Can you imagine that?
  3. Which activities are usually attributed to men and which ones to women? Are there any unisex activities?
  4. When, why and how does a person get to know about which gender roles belong to him or her?
  5. What behavior patterns are generally expected from a boy and a girl? What would happen if we stop raising our children gender-wise? Will they figure out on their own how to behave?
  6. How has the attitude to gender roles been changing over the years? Has it ever changed at all in your opinion?
  7. Do you think gender roles can be applied in every situation? What do you think of women driving nails into the wall or men cooking a family dinner?
  8. What is a more feminine activity for women in the war time: participate in battles or work at factories?
  9. Should we measure gender roles in terms of good and bad?
  10. What do you think of men and women in business? They both have to be tough to pull through and win the competition. Do you think women may lose their femininity? Or have they lost it on the way to success?
  11. What do you think of men who look very feminine and have very graceful gestures and take too much care about their looks? Why do you think men want to become designers or actors, or dancers?
  12. Do you think there are purely male or female professions? Do you know anybody working in a profession generally attributed to the other sex?
  13. Why do you think some professions turned from male to female or vice versa? Personal assistant, driver, cook, doctor, tailor?
  14. What gender would you attribute these hobbies to: fishing, knitting, playing bridge, drawing, riding a horse, skating, jogging, collecting coins or stamps, photography, watching tv series, playing computer games, reading detective stories, hoсkey, football, belly dance, pole dance, etc? Can you think of more examples of male and female hobbies?
  15. Who is to do the household chores? Is it fair for a woman to do it on her own after work? Should men do a share of household work too?
  16. Who in a couple is to look for a new flat: man or woman?
  17. Who is to book everything when going on vacation together? Man or woman?
  18. Who is to take care of babies?

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