How Far Would Sociologists Agree That Conjugal Roles Are Equal?

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How Far Would Sociologists Agree That Conjugal Roles Are Equal? The term conjugal roles refer to the relationship between men and women within a household and how the tasks are divided between them. A group of sociologists called feminists believe that men and women should have equal roles and be treated equally within society. Wilmott and Young are two sociologists which share the functionalist perspective. This is the belief that roles in the family are becoming more equal as time progresses. Functionalists believe that the symmetrical family where joint conjugal roles are in practice are becoming more common. In the 1970’s they announced the arrival of the symmetrical family, a family in which the roles of the man and women are joint. In the home a couple shares time and the amount of work they did. Men were seen to be increasingly helping with domestic chores, childcare and decision making about family life. They found that 72% of husbands helped with these household tasks. They’re argument was based on the fact that women are becoming more dependant and career driven providing more time for the men to be drawn into the family circle. However, feminists may argue that ‘occasionally helping out’ is not providing clear evidence of the symmetrical family exists. Feminists suggest that socialization within the household can cause inequality in the future as they are treated differently as children, for example; girls are given dolls and play kitchens whereas boys are given trucks and play power tools, etc. Ann Oakley is a feminist who criticises this view of Willmott and Young. She said that within this figure of ‘72%’ that some men only did very little, only having to do as little as one job a week. Ann Oakley suggests the idea that women are more likely to do more tasks and spend more time on household chores than men, thus creating the idea that
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