Why Does Breaking Gender Norms Make Us Unhappy?

Whose supposed to be the breadwinner, husband or wife? Why Society Still Frowns Upon Male’s as primary Caregivers of their children.

How being labeled a freeloader, lazy, or lacking ambition is a societal problem for Fathers.

Breaking gender norms make us unhappy because people will always judge and put down those who are different.

Men and women who work and those who stay at home are both susceptible to depression.

A study found that those who work outside of the home and stay-at-home mothers are just as unhappy, suggesting the problem is specific to workplace norms. Although ‘Perfect World Thinking’ is slowing disappearing from adult lives, many adults still have this mindset, which leads to unhappiness.

These findings, which are bound to bother quite a lot of people, suggest that men and women who violate traditional gender norms are less happy for it. The data also serves as a reminder that culture changes slowly and that adults who think they are past this sort of Perfect World thinking — really aren’t.

Stay-at-home dads discuss how to help make parenting easier

“Depressive symptoms were higher for fathers and moms who violated gendered expectations about the division of labor,” said coauthor Karen Kramer, who also took part in the study. “And depressive symptoms were lower for parents who conformed to these expectations.”

Today, women still face discrimination in their education, career opportunities and within their workplaces. This can lead to negative psychological outcomes for men and women who break traditional social norms. More research needs to be done, but Kramer and colleagues hypothesize that progressives suffer from the lack of respect from their community because of this.

Kramer and her team studied over 1,500 men and women and found that when a woman’s in-home work goes unnoticed, they experience depressive symptoms. However, if a man takes on the responsibility to stay home with the kids, their depression subsides. This discrepancy is similar for families who have a rotating breadwinner system where each spouse contributes financially;

Women take on more responsibilities when they earn more money which can increase depressive symptoms.

Results of Professional Research

The findings of the study do not imply that women are naturally better at housework or that men are naturally happy in the workplace. The study wasn’t really about nature, but about nurture — the extent to which societal biases have altered our psyches (for example, telling men they can only find fulfillment through work and telling women that they will only find fulfillment through childrearing). The results show that even people who believe that gender norms no longer apply to them have been influenced by these societal biases.

The conclusion of the study isn’t very uplifting for stay-at-home dads, but the President and CEO of Work + Life Fit LLC, Horin Davenport, has some words of wisdom. She says to:

“hold your head high” and emphasize how educated you are in order to fight against the stigmatizing stereotype that dads who stay home with their kids are incapable of keeping up with society.

If you’re going to sacrifice an old pair of jeans for art, then be ready for what comes next

This article explores the issue of the relationship between norms within gender and the happiness of people that break these norms. The study suggests that an unequal division of labor at home and in the workplace is a source of depression.

The data collected shows that stay-at-home dads are more likely to suffer symptoms of depression, and women who enter the workforce and become top earners are similarly unhappy.

Find Out If Breaking Gender Norms are Harmful to Society

When men and women work outside of their gender binary expectations, they are more likely to have depressive symptoms or be unhappy.

Even as women gain more and more opportunities for education and an occupation, there is still a lot of discrimination that these women have to face. Women are not respected in the workplace or at home, so Kramer and co-researchers suspected that it would psychologically affect people who break traditional gender norms.

Regarding Women:

When a woman becomes the head of their household, their level of depression increases, which does not happen for men. This is due to the women taking on a new role when their husband moves out.

Regarding Men:

When men move out and make more money, they experience decreased depressive symptoms. Men often identify their true selves with careers, while women are discouraged from prioritizing family.

When this is the extent of “balance” in our society, it will alter everyone, even if they believe they can go against these societal biases.

The study concludes stay-at-home dads have few hopes of happiness as they are not accepted in the workforce. However, Obama Levin, a stay-at-home dad and author of The Diaper Chronicles, offers advice to stay-at-home dads.

“There are people out there who think that when they see a man staying home with his kids, they automatically think he’s unemployed and a loser.”

If a decision is unclear, you should be comfortable with your decision and not let it upset you.

Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts! Thanks for Reading!



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Cory Hinton

Cory Hinton

Pastor-Husband-Father-Entrepreneur Blog: Religion,Leadership,Relationships,History, Society. https://coryhinton.medium.com/subscribe