Thursday, July 9, 2009

Follow up on gender role attitudes

In my last blog post (link below this paragraph) describing how Millennials are overall the ones who like the idea of unisex or softer names for boys the most, Boomers are the ones who most support the double standard of unisex names for girls but not for boys, Xers are somewhere in between the Boomers and the Millennials, Silents are the ones before the Millennials came along who were the closest to equality in unisex naming, and the G.I.s generally preferred gender-specific names both ways.

My observation is that those name trends are also closely linked to each generation's view on acceptable gender behavior. Going forward this time, the G.I.s tended to have sharply defined gender roles but there was not much of a double standard (boys/men were expected to be masculine and girls/women expected to be feminine). The Silents brought in a little more androgyny but except in the arena of names they tended to be in between the G.I.'s crisp roles and the Boomer's double standard. With the Boomers they expanded acceptable gender roles greatly for females but not so much so for males, hence the double standard in gender expectations that we've seen over the past few decades. The Xers pretty much followed along with the Boomers until the Millennials came along, and now they're often torn between the two different expectations. Finally, the group that makes up today's youngest adults - the Millennials - is finally starting to help widen the acceptable range of behavior for males (as I mentioned the metrosexual movement became noticeable in the public eye around the time the oldest Millennials were coming of age).

Once again these are all generalizations and may not apply to every individual in each group.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, exactly what I attempted to convey in my last, very rambling, comment!