Sex role refers to cultural expectations about the ways in which men and women should think and behave.

In psychology, the term "sex role" refers to the behaviors, attitudes, and characteristics that are traditionally associated with a person's gender. Sex roles are culturally and socially constructed and can vary across time and place.

For example, in many Western cultures, men are often expected to be strong, independent, and assertive, while women are often expected to be nurturing, supportive, and sensitive. These are examples of traditional sex roles that are associated with masculinity and femininity, respectively.

Here are some examples of sex roles in psychology:

  • A man who is expected to be the breadwinner and protector of his family is fulfilling a traditional masculine sex role.

  • A woman who is expected to be the primary caregiver for her children and manage the household is fulfilling a traditional feminine sex role.

  • A person who does not conform to traditional sex roles, such as a man who is interested in traditionally feminine activities or a woman who is interested in traditionally masculine activities, may be viewed as non-conforming or "gender non-binary."

Sex roles can influence a person's expectations and behaviors, and can also shape the way they are perceived and treated by others. Some psychologists believe that sex roles can be a source of gender-based discrimination and can limit a person's opportunities and choices. Others argue that sex roles serve important social functions.


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