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Gender Benders: The Battle Of The Sexes; Is It Taking A Toll On Our Children?

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

I guess I’m one of the “fortunate” ones; neither my husband nor I have gender specific limitations or duties in our home. In fact, me, being a by-product of a single-parent household, I quickly learned that women, when they have to, can do anything a man can do (for the most part) and I learned that men have the same capability when it comes to traditional women’s work.

Of course, I can’t lift heavy objects with as much ease or agility as my darling husband, and he’s quite not as meticulous about laundry, especially when it comes to folding and ironing it, so in a sense we “do” abide some of the traditional roles, but they are “rules” that are self imposed.

On the other hand, relationship experts suggest that getting the housework done is often a major point of contention for most couples with neither eager to venture into the other gender’s territory.

And, they add, this is primarily something we “can” blame on our parents. In fact, experts suggest that moms and dads may be perpetuating a detrimental stereotype.

Generally speaking we are more inclined to assign duties such as fix-it projects or physical labor to boys and more domestic duties to girls. Yet, we fail to realize that in today’s day and age, where adult children are moving out sooner and living single longer, they need to be able to “do it all”.

Still, according to studies, it seems boys between the ages of 10 and 18 were even paid to take part in the housework, even though on average, they spent about 30 percent less time doing chores. And, in many cases they are often assigned tasks that should be paid, such as lawnmowing, while females in the family are bestowed with the honor of household chores. Plus, it’s quite common for girls to hang out with their moms while boys tag around with their dads, often mimicking and following their routine, dynamic and patterns, well into their adult years.

And, statistically speaking, some studies suggest that even as adults many of us are “comfortable” in these roles. In fact, women are often content puttering around the house if they feel the setup is fare and their mate is doing his fair share such as helping when and where he can, and working (hard) to provide for her and the family.

But, when it comes to kids, it seems that little women not only do what is “expected” of them, but also more jobs that warrant getting “paid”, at least as compared to their male peers and siblings. And, experts suggest that just like mom, these gals are striving to become “super-moms” in their own time and right.

Yet, professionals point out that overall, housework and running and maintaining a home simply isn’t high on the priority list any more. In fact it has declined by 25% since the 1960s basically because of increasingly busy schedules and lifestyles which has led to the battle of the sexes when it comes to household chores, with many families placing greater value on pragmatism over gender politics. And parents note, that while it’s true that girls tend to “do” more around the house, it really doesn’t matter who does what, as long as chores ultimately and properly get done.


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