I think my family reflects the normative U.S. family somewhat. Both of my parents work, but they value each other’s opinions and decisions about what to do within the household and outside of the household, equally. I think social institutions reinforce power relations in the family by issuing certain statements about the roles of women and men within the family that paints a picture and expectation of male dominance over the female. I think a lot of things in society need to be rewritten to express equality for both genders.
I think dating and romance scripts are taught through the media, mostly. I mean certainly young males and females hear about their parents experiences with dating, but considering that was a different generation, I think that they pick up most of their tips from TV shows, which is not always the best thing. I think these scripts teach us about the normative U.S. family by showing that through dating and romance, the initial signs of dominance of one sex over the other start to occur. Dating scripts hold up gender norms by showing what a female is supposed to do in a situation as opposed to what a male is supposed to do, and their roles are completely opposite of each other.
In my home, both of my parents clean equally now days. However this development was only recent. Before my mom got a job, she would clean the house every day and cook every day. She still cleans and cooks frequently, but now my dad tries to clean more to help her out. My mother still cooks, however. I am pretty lazy when it comes to chores, but I try and help my mom out with dinner and cleaning up after the dishes almost every day because I feel badly that she has to work all day and then come home and cook and clean.
Obviously, looking at what I just wrote, this definitely reflects typical social norms. I think that women’s and men’s different ways of communicating aren’t as stereotypical as mentioned in the module. My dad can be more talkative than all the women in our family put together, and we interrupt him frequently when he talks. He also tends to end sentence in a question formality. I don’t know if it’s because three women influenced him, or what. I think women’s and men’s different ways of communicating affect relationships a lot. I think women try too hard to gain a man’s attention and keep it. I wonder how different things would be if women initiated conversations in the same way men do.