Gender Roles In Australia Essay

1265 Words 5 Pages
How much do changes in the structures of families in Australia reflect changing attitudes to gender roles and sexuality?

Modern times has seen the change of family structures shift into a more fluid dimension. Changes in family structures significantly reflect changes in gender roles and sexuality resulting in creating a path to complete equality and allowing a normalisation of all couples. Australia is beginning to officially recognise sexual or gender diverse people with protection laws and are promoting equality between men and women. Though there is a large gap in the curriculum, and a failure to educate children and young adults about the acceptability and normality of sexual and gender diversity, rather than pushing heteronormative gender
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A study from the Australian Social Attitudes Survey (cited in 11) in 2004, asked over 2000 Australians their view on the notion of family. 98.8 percent agreed that a heterosexual couple with children were defined a family (11), this is not surprising as it is the generalised norm. David de Vaus deduces from results of the ASAS survey that Australian continually broaden their understanding of family beyond the traditional image (11). For example, three quarters of the population did not deduce marriage was a key characteristic of a family (11), and 43 percent believed same sex couples with children were considered a family (11). These changing, underpinning values denominate the extent to which the word family will be used as a blanket term rather than a specific political statement. Children have a different concept of family, which could be further enhanced when coupled with teaching about gender roles and sexuality in schools (8). Family dynamics have changed since the 1950’s and 1960’s (11), this is because divorce is easier and more socially acceptable, and women in the workforce is increasingly high (7). The changing patterns of employment in Australia such as the increase in maternal employment, including shift work and a greater reliance on part time work (14) has significantly impacted family structure and the dynamics of families. An increased reliance on part time employment changes the traditional role pf the father from breadwinner to sharing the financial burden of running a home (14). While the dramatic increase in the number of men being the major child carer again creates a move against the traditional male role (14), reflecting an acceptance of changing gender roles. The changing definition of a family is a major reflection on the increased knowledge and

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