Historically, individuals gender roles have been associated with certain patterns of behavior. These roles determine how society believes individuals of a certain gender should behave, interact and play a role in different aspects of life, including family, work and the social environment. Gender roles and their essence are inherited through culture, so that society passes on its understanding of the role of roles in people’s lives to future generations, shaping the new generation’s worldview.
Historically, traditional gender roles have been twofold, with different roles for men and women. These roles are based on stereotypes, i.e. men have qualities such as strength or assertiveness, while women have qualities such as empathy or domesticity. These stereotypes not only limit individual potential, but also create inequalities and discrimination based on gender.
In the family sphere, traditional roles are associated with certain activities, e.g. women have the main responsibility for care and housework, while men are the main breadwinners. In the labor market, certain occupations are traditionally associated with a single gender predominance, thus contributing to unequal career opportunities.
Not all people associate themselves with traditional gender role behaviors. Those who deviate from traditional gender role norms may face social disapproval because of its prejudices. Abandoning the gender role defined by the biological body is a major challenge for many people, as they may face societal expectations and beliefs about the role of a particular biological body.
An inclusive and just society accepts individuals free expression of their associated gender role, i.e. society does not judge or base its judgements on stereotypes.
The concept of gender roles does not violate the biological factor, but describes patterns of behavior.