Talcott Parson's Sex Role Theory

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Sex Role Theory: Talcott Parson’s theory that men and women perform their sex roles as breadwinners and wives as mothers (Conley, 2017, p 293). This idea of the nuclear family is centered around a working man who is the breadwinner and the wife will stay home to care for the children and keep clean the house. Each spouse has a specific role to play in the marriage and neither one would consider deviating from that role. Growing up on a large parcel of land with uncles, aunts and grandparents surrounding me, I observed the sex role theory quite well. All but one of the women in my family stayed home to care for the children and keep the home. The one aunt only worked because of divorce and often had to live with my grandmother because of low…show more content…
This system of stratification and prestige in society affected my self-worth as I was only a low wage cashier at a grocery store. According to the Conley text in chapter 7, table 7.1, the relative social prestige score for a cashier is ranked the 6th lowest out of 32 occupations. This lack of prestige and the low status I felt in society furthered my belief that I could not hope to obtain much in life and that my value as a human was attached to this low status. My husband played off my belief and would reinforce it by saying I should be grateful that he was taking care of me and what would I do to take care of myself if I left…show more content…
Because of the social stigma of not being able to keep a well-managed marriage within a religious community, many women feel it is their responsibility to hide the abuse to save the marriage. Part of this problem is, “some Christian and Jewish denominations have drawn on the various Biblical references and other cultural sources to argue that wives have a duty to maintain their marriages at all costs” (Pyles, 2007, p 282). This outlook also influenced my decision to stay in the abusive marriage as it was my religious obligation to stay married for divorce was a failure that would be carried upon the woman’s shoulders.
The text from Conley (2017, p 477-480) titled Flat Broke with Children, illustrates the difficulty that women can face in finding dependency upon a marriage to financially survive and will even stay in an abusive relationship for financial support. This was the situation I found myself in (without children) although I did not realize how many other women in society were struggling with the same situation.
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