In the ancient past up to around twenty years ago, roles were defined based on gender. Men in the society were expected to perform certain tasks that were considered a taboo when performed by women. Similarly, women also had their well spelt out roles. The roles of men, who were the heads of their families, involved providing security for the family as well as being the breadwinners. On the other hand, women were homemakers. They would take care of the children, feed them and keep the home in order. Not much has changed about these roles except for a few adjustments.
Firstly, the role of the men as the heads of the family has remained unchanged over the last two decades (Lee & Ashcraft, 2005). However, unlike in the past where the man could dictate the direction that the family takes, the women and the children have, through the years, gained the capacity to take part in making family decisions. The man as the head, therefore, consults from the rest of the family members before settling on a decision.
Secondly, despite the fact that the role of a man as the breadwinner still stands, there has been introduction of shared responsibility over the years (In Merino, 2014). With women gaining more access to education and employment positions in the job market, they have been financially empowered to complement their husband’s incomes. In the same manner, men also take part in home making.
As seen in the two examples cited above, the role of men both in the family and society remain more or less unaltered. However, as people embrace shared responsibility, the roles are no longer gender specific.