The Effects of Gender Roles on the Choices of Educational Discipline of Girls and Boys in the Limbe Municipality

Monday, December 5, 2022

The Effects of Gender Roles on the Choices of Educational Discipline of Girls and Boys in the Limbe Municipality

Department: Gender Studies

No of Pages: 44

Project Code: GS5

References: Yes

Cost: 5,000XAF Cameroonian

 : $15 for International students

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This study on the effects of gender roles on boys and girls choices of educational discipline in Limbe has identified and analyzed difficult problems faced by students  as well as what can be done to address the problem of gender roles affecting educational discipline.


This research is both quantitative and qualitative using the narratives, data collected from some student and teachers through questionnaire. An approximately total population of 50 student were geared for this research. 50 participants were interviewed, 27 female and 23male students.


After listening to the experiences of the students, the researcher found out that boys and girls face different challenges due to their different gender roles. Therefore the researcher suggests that boys and girls should learn how to break the boundaries of gender roles and perform task beyond their abilities and not to be limited by what parents and society deem fit.




1.1 Background of Study.

 Gender roles refer to normative expectations about the division of labour, between the sexes and to gender- related rules about social interactions that exist within a particular cultural-historical context. (Spence et al. 1985).


These s roles are the behaviors men and women exhibit in the private and public realm. They are the sociocultural expectations that apply to individuals on the basis of their assignment to a sex category (male or female) (Tong, 2012).


They can be conceptualized as behavioral expectations based on biological sex. Traditionally, for men to be masculine, they are expected to display attributes such as strength, power, and competitiveness, and less openly display emotion and affection (especially toward other men). H.J. Fawkner (2012)



Ayonrinde (2015) states that gender roles vary in different societies. While men and women have equal rights and opportunities in some, men dominate in others and rarely do women control the administration of a community.


Hofstede described the dimensions of masculinity-femininity in human groups. In high masculine societies women have restricted opportunities in vocation or societal hierarchy. There are higher degrees of individualism, financial reward, and limited support for the weaker in this groups. Conversely, feminine societies are relationship oriented and focus less on emotional or social differentiation.



According to Blackstone (2003), gender roles are based on the different expectations that individuals, groups, and societies have on individuals based on their sex and based on each society’s values and believes about gender.


Blackstone (2003) further states that gender roles are the product of the interaction between individuals and their environments, and they give individual cues about what sort of behavior is believed to be appropriate for what sex.


Gender roles also create sex differences in behavior when people adopt them as gender identities. Masculine and feminine identities guide behavior through self-regulatory processes. That is, people use their gender identity as a personal standard by against which to evaluate and guide their behavior (Wendy and Alice, 2012).


On average, men’s and women’s behavior corresponds to their gender identities. For example, Athenstaedt (2003) found that women more than men engaged in feminine behaviors (e.g. taking care of a friend, telling partners about troubles at work) and men more than women engaged in masculine behaviors (e.g. fixing the car, paying for dinner) (Lippa, 2005).

Gender standards do not, however, always enhance well-being. People may feel that gender roles standards are imposed by others so that they are pressured to act in gender-typical ways (Sanchez and crocker, 2005).


Children also may feel pressured by peers and parents to conform to gender role expectations (Egan and Perry, 2001). Socialization into masculine and feminine gender roles and the formation of gender roles identity begin in early childhood.


Gender-typed behaviors (e.g. playing with dolls or with cars) first emerge in the family context and are then reinforces in gender segregated peer groups throughout childhood and adolescence (Maria and Rainer, 2015).


According to the Mediterranean institute of gender Studies (2009) gender division of labour refers to allocation of different jobs or types of work to women and men. In feminist economic, the institutional rules, norms and practices that govern the allocation of tasks between women and men (and girls and boys) also constitute the gender division of labour, which is seen as variable over time and space and constantly under negotiation.


The division of labour between men and women makes a major contribution to the material and social inequalities associated with gender. It has a dual aspect in that, first, most women still retain the primary responsibility for caring and domestic work (which is usually unpaid), and second, women (in aggregate) do not gain the same level of reward from participation in paid employment as do men (in aggregate) (Rosemary Crompton 2007).



Gender division of labour is so widespread because traditionally it has an important purpose. Since many jobs take time and effort to learn to do well, families could save time by dividing duties and encouraging individuals to specialize.


Little girls could learn to do the labour expected of women, and little boys the labour expected of men (Cailin, 2019).


It is often argued that the gender division of labour is a result of biological traits; however, if we notice that in some societies women perform tasks and jobs that in some other societies are traditionally considered as men’s jobs, and vice versa, we see the division of labour has much to do with what each society perceives as appropriate for both sexes (GLOPP, 2008).



According to Tremblay, Boivin, RDeV, and CL (2014) gender socialization is the process through which children learn about the social expectation, attitudes and behavior typically associated with boys and girls. As children attain a sense of their own gender identity (knowing whether they are girl or boy), they pay great attention to information related to gender especially same gender models.


This gender awareness, in combination with an early exposure to gender from multiple sources of socialization such as parents, siblings, and peers, has immediate consequence on children’s attitude and behaviors towards members of their own and gender group.


Although children play an active role in shaping their gender identity development, their knowledge about gender comes from many sources of socialization, including parents, peer and teachers.


Tremblay, Boivin, RDeV and CL (2014) further state that parent provide children with their first lesson about gender. Although gender egalitarian attitudes have increased in many cultures over the past decades, parents and especially fathers typically have different expectations for their sons and daughters with regard to personality traits, abilities and activities.


Parents role inside and outside the family also influence children’s conception of gender roles and parents ascribe different role for their children based on their gender. Children are often dressed in gender specific clothing.


Parental disapproval for failing to comply with gender norms (beating a girl child for climbing on trees or rough playing), and parental approval for successful compliance with norms (praising a girl child for carrying water in house) can serve to solidify children’s understanding of gender role. 


Men are mostly found in the public sphere because during their childhood days they were thought how to go out and work, hunt and fish while women were relegated to the private sphere because they were always at home cooking, cleaning, washing and doing other household, unpaid and unrecognized jobs in the society.


This has even promoted segregation equally in choices of educational discipline. Men who are seen to be strong and brave are always encouraged in disciplines like maths, chemistry and engineering while women are encourage in subjects like literature, food and nutrition and biology. This goes a long way to affect even their jobs lending to gender division of labour.


Men are found in masculinized jobs while women on feminine jobs reflecting their gender roles. This is because men have gained the necessary skills needed to be in well-paid jobs because of what they studied while women are left with no choice to manage some low paid jobs or open their own small businesses like hairdressing and restaurant.


This has made men to be more influential because they are in better positions to make decisions which automatically will favor them (Farre, 2013).


Honlon (2008) highlighted the educational sector as one of the sectors greatly affected by the problems of gender stratification. This is because women chose subjects that will help them better perform their gender roles.


In a bit to explain this educational differences, Lee(1998), holds that boys turn up to choose science subjects such as mathematics and engineering and are likely to follow a scientific career than girls. Lee blames this on the effects of gender roles and self-concept and perception of scientist.


It should be noted however that this segregation of activities according to Lindsey (1997) leads to problems that affect women in areas such as; education, marriage, family life which helps them remain in inferior positions. In this study therefore, we want to examine how gender roles influence or affect boys and girls choice of educational disciplines.



Despite the recent increase in women in higher education, men and women are still concentrated in different educational programs and occupations (Barone 2011). Such gender segregation results from persisting gender different educational choices, which lead to different educational opportunities and labour market prospect (Gerber and cheung 2008).


 1.2. Statement of problem 

Meade (2006), observes that social construct comes as a result of what the society deems fit to be biologically and culturally appropriate for each gender.


 Park (2007) blames the family to be the helm of all social constructions. She holds that in the family setting, boys and girls are dressed differently; parental behaviors and modeling parent characteristic go a long way to socialize girls differently from boys.


Also Park insists that the influence of televisions and books, together with peer pressure and way girls are socialized by school teachers is the main reason why girls have low esteem to pursue the educational discipline which they so desire.


Park (2007) also stated that boys and girls are socialized and prepared for the role of fathers and mothers respectively. Mothers are expected to be submissive to their husbands, in charge of cooking, cleaning the house fetching water which are all unpaid and unrecognized labour and are found in the private sphere of the society.


Fathers on the other hand are to provide for the family by working in the society as carpenters, managers and politicians which are all found in the public sphere. This has led to public/private division because women will be found more in the private sector limiting them to good job opportunities while the majority of men will be in the public sector with a wide range of good job opportunities.


This gender role socialization has led to segregation in boys and girls choices of educational discipline because they will want to belong to disciplines that highly represent their gender role. This segregation has extended even to their jobs.


Women are being given feminized jobs and men masculinized jobs. Feminized jobs are jobs known to be meant only for women like cleaning, teachers, nurses and secretaries while masculinized jobs are jobs known to be suitable for men like managers, doctors and engineers.


All this division is due to their gender role socialization from childhood and gender stereotypes. This division has greatly affected the status of women because they are still found in subordinate positions.


1.3 Research questions

1.3.1 Main research questions

What are the effects of gender roles on the choices of educational discipline of boys and girls in Limbe municipality?


1.3.2 Specific research questions

What are the various gender roles of boys and girls in Limbe?

What factors define the choices of educational discipline of boys and girls in Limbe municipality?

What are the effects of gender roles on the choices of educational discipline of boys and girls in Limbe?


1.4 Research objectives

1.4.1 Main research objectives

  • To examine the effect of gender roles on the choices of educational disciplines of boys and girls in Limbe municipality.


1.4.2 Specific Research Objectives

  • To identify the various gender roles of boys and girls in Limbe.
  • To examine the factors defining choices of educational discipline of boys and girls in Limbe.
  • To identify the effects of gender roles on the choices of educational discipline of boys and girls in Limbe.


Check out: Gender Studies Project Topics with Materials