Gender Roles and Fatherhood: Abortion in a Woman’s World

Posted: October 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

Below is a short journal entry I submitted for an academic assignment on gender roles and their influence on personal social experiences.

“Gender roles are the actions, emotions, and cognitions that are expected from males and females. This concept is often suggested when discussing things such as behaviors and responsibilities within a relationship or a household. These gender roles are inevitably paired with gender stereotypes that determine those roles. For instance, the perceptions that males are stronger therefore he should be the individual in a household to work and pay the bills, and that females are more caring and thus should be the individual in a household to stay home and raise the children, are stereotypes that create the gender roles that individuals assume and then base their behaviors on.

As a pro-life activist, I encounter the stereotypes and gender roles on a daily basis. I often hear that men aren’t supposed to be involved in women’s reproductive issues, that men don’t care about pregnancy and thus shouldn’t advocate for anything regarding its termination, and that men are oppressive and want to control women’s reproductive decisions. These perceived stereotypes and gender roles are dangerous to progressivism in women’s health and they make activism for unborn babies dangerous in many cases for males. There was an instance in which I was participating in a silent prayer event on Gainesville State College and a post-abortive woman approached me in anger for my being a male and advocating for something that she believed was strictly a woman’s choice. The fact of the matter is that men are 50% of the process that causes pregnancy, and the baby in the woman’s womb makes them a father just as much as it makes the woman a mother. What should be given deeper thought is that stereotypes are just that, and we ought not base gender role decisions off of them. Gender roles are not always what they seem, and they can inhibit a man’s social freedom to advocate for the life of his child in a culture that views abortions as a woman’s issue.  Every day that gender roles determine the freedom of men and women, men lose fatherhood.”

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