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Family Change and Gender Differences: Implications for Theory and Practice

Rachel T. Hare-Mustin
Family Relations
Vol. 37, No. 1 (Jan., 1988), pp. 36-41
DOI: 10.2307/584427
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/584427
Page Count: 6
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Family Change and Gender Differences: Implications for Theory and Practice
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Abstract

Theories of gender on which public policy and therapeutic interventions are based have not kept up with the family transition from preindustrial to modern times. The functionalist view of sex roles continues to emphasize separate spheres for women and men, a view which also has been adopted by some feminists. Yet working mothers have dual roles and suffer from overload as shown by research in a traditional society such as China and in an industrialized society such as the United States. Alpha bias, the exaggeration of gender opposition, is characteristic of psychodynamic and sex role theories. Beta bias, the denial of gender differences, is evident in systems theories. The dual roles of women and their dual socialization call for a new model of gender differences which recognizes this asymmetry in women's and men's roles and responsibilities.

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