Gender roles are behaviours or attributes that society attributes to a particular gender identity. Gender roles vary between cultures and over time, reflecting the mainstream idea of what is appropriate. In a gender binary, the only gender roles are masculine and feminine, but some societies acknowledge other genders with their own unique roles in society.
In modern Western society, some examples of gender roles include:
- Blue is for boys, pink is for girls.
- Boys prefer to play with trucks and cars; girls prefer to play with dolls and fake domestic goods
- Men should work outside the home, women should be homemakers.
- Women are better at social skills, men are better at technical skills.
- Women are interested in fashion, men are interested in working out.
Gender roles are considered by many to be harmful to society, as they restrict the actions of all genders, and can result in one gender being given power over the other.