Social Role Theory in Couple and Family Therapy
Biosocial construction theory
Social role theory seeks to address the question of why men and women behave differently at times and similarly at others. The theory holds that male and female psychologies are not fixed, but rather sex differences and similarities in behavior are shaped by a complex interaction of numerous factors, many of which are changeable and dynamic. The pertinent factors can be broadly sorted into two groups: local factors – those governed by immediate exigencies (i.e., social expectancies, personal beliefs, and individual biology) – and distal, more fundamental factors (i.e., evolved physical attributes of the sexes, cultural conditions, and societal circumstances; Eagly and Wood 2012).
A key tenet of social role theory is that cultural beliefs about gender roles influence men and women’s behavior, most often to accord with societal expectations. The forms these cultural beliefs take largely stem from what roles men and women, respectively,...
- Wood, W., & Eagly, A. H. (2012). Biosocial construction of sex differences and similarities in behavior. In J. M. Olson & M. P. Zanna (Eds.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 46, pp. 55–123). Burlington: Elsevier Science & Technology.Google Scholar