Gender roles are acquired social identities as male or female, socially constructed, assigned, negotiated, and mutable. What constitutes cultural difference between gender roles, and between female roles, ultimately depends on how gender and culture are defined and theorized in terms of the other-a central and ongoing problem in gender studies. An abundant amount of research traces gender roles across contemporary cultures, against a background of worldwide reconfigurations of labor, leisure patterns, reproductive technologies, domestic tasks, and global media. Below are outlined some of the ongoing theoretical challenges to studying gender roles across cultures; the internationalization of gender monitoring; use of standardized cross-culturally comparative research; and emergent research contexts.

Theoretical Terms and Problems

A strict opposition of sex (biology) and gender (culture) is often unhelpful in definitions of ...

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