Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research

pp 2451-2453

Gender Role Attitudes

  • Mariska van der HorstAffiliated withDepartment of Sociology | ICS, Utrecht University Email author 


Attitudes; Gender values; Gender-related attitudes


“Gender role attitudes” refer to views held by individuals regarding the roles men and women should play in society. It is a term most often used with respect to the distinction between paid and unpaid work. When individuals agree that a traditional division of labor between men and women – with men in the role of breadwinner and women in the role of homemaker – is advisable, they are considered to have traditional gender role attitudes. This is independent of their own behavior. When they do not agree with such a division of labor and instead want a more equal division of labor, they are considered to have egalitarian or modern gender role attitudes.



In all societies, tasks are divided partly on the basis of sex. How they are divided between the sexes, however, varies from one society to the next and over time (Padavic & Reskin, 2002). Industrialization and the emergence of ...

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