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Gender role is a term used in the social sciences and humanities to denote a set of behavioral norms associated with a given gendered status in a given social group or system. A person who exhibits a gender role at odds with the norm for their gender and class, in a society, is said to have an atypical gender role.
Gender Role Stereotype
Gender Role Stereotypes are the socially determined model which contains the cultural beliefs about what the gender roles should be. It is what a society expects men and women to think, look like, and behave. Gender role stereotypes are often based on gender norms.
Heteronormativity describes a binary system in which a person's gender identity and gender role should match a person's external genitalia. Gender role stereotypes are often aligned with heteronormativity.
A person is transgendered when their gender identity differs from the gender assigned to them at birth on the basis of their genetic and/or physical sex. Transgendered is often used as an umbrella term to describe gender variant and genderqueer people.
Examples of Atypical Gender Roles
Examples of some atypical gender roles:
- Househusbands: men who stay at home and take care of the house and children while their partner goes to work.
- Metrosexual: a man of any sexual orientation who has interest in style and fashion and dresses well.
- Androgynous people: identifying as neither male nor female; OR presenting a gender either mixed or neutral
- Crossdresser: a person who dresses in the clothing and approximating the appearance of members of the opposite sex, in public or solely in private. Their gender identity, however, is not necessarily congruent with the gender they are dressing as. (They may not be transgendered.)
- Hijra: A neutered male person whose gender identity is neither masculine nor feminine, whose gender role includes special clothing that identifies "him" as a hijra, and whose gender role includes a special place in society and special occupations.
- Xanith (pronounced hanith): The gynecomimetic partner in a heterogender homosexual relationship, who may retain his public status as a man, despite his departure in dress and behavior from a socio-normal male role. The clothing of these individuals must be intermediate between that of a male and a female. His social role includes the freedom to associate with women in the entire range of their social interactions, including singing with them at a wedding.
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