Learn About Sexuality

The role women have in the family & in society

Women are generally the homemakers regardless of whether they have children or not. Women like the status and security of a fixed abode. Most men would just as soon live in their cars or a shed. Many people believe that the mother (but not the father) is responsible for ensuring that the children are properly cared for. Traditionally men have been responsible for supporting the family financially and so often men come under more pressure to be successful at work once a couple has children.

Female mammals are often occupied with nurturing young. But the need to support a child continues for many years in humans. The male has a support role to play in reproduction but it rarely includes daily physical presence and emotional engagement as the mother role does. So a woman needs to find ways of keeping a man interested in supporting her and a family. By providing him with a regular sexual outlet, a woman can keep a man motivated to return home to her and a family. Women obtain great pleasure and fulfilment from their role as a mother.

Female orgasm is not connected in any way with her reproductive capacity. A woman ovulates automatically (without conscious awareness).

For successful reproduction, women need to have:

  • A desire to experience motherhood;
  • The ability to care about others without any sexual payback; and
  • A willingness to respond to the needs of others (by breastfeeding a baby and providing a mate with the sex he needs).

Children may be cared for by two parents, a single parent, a foster parent, a grandparent, or an adult carer within an institution (such as an orphanage, a medical or correctional facility). The task of raising children can be much more enjoyable if the workload is shared with others, within an environment of practical and social support. Also the increased participation of fathers in the rearing of children should be welcomed as an additional benefit for our children.

In the past children were routinely raised within larger families by older siblings and others. It is the dedicated care of the mother that is new to our generation. The extended family environment where carers other than the mother take a part in rearing children is nothing new and can represent an equally valid approach to raising children. Children can flourish in many different family environments as long as they get the attention from a caring adult that they need. Parents are only one source of input: child-care professionals, grandparents, teachers, family friends and neighbours all have an influence.

Some men are unwilling to help and others have jobs where they are simply unavailable. The flip side is that many women, even those who work, prefer to have control over key areas of family life. Some women are only confident of being able to do the best for their children by providing daily care themselves. Men tend to be less personally driven by such concerns.

Different women react differently. We all have different personalities but also different emotional responses (that make relationships more rewarding) and personal confidence (that motivates us to succeed through our own achievements). Many women are not motivated to define and lead the spiritual, scientific, artistic, political and commercial aspects of humanity. Not only do they consider these male goals to be irrelevant to women’s lives, they positively prefer spending their lives focused on the home and family. They value the tasks of raising their children and providing a home as the most important personal achievement of all.

Even with similar opportunities in education and the workplace many women continue to prefer a life based around the family to a life based on achieving the personal status (and accompanying financial gain) that is important to men. Many women find that the experience of motherhood changes their focus from working life to family life. The emotional ties of a small baby can be overwhelming. Caring for the new light of her life can be the most rewarding task a woman can imagine.

For many people life is no longer a struggle for survival focused on the bare essentials of feeding a family and surviving violence. We have the luxury of the time and energy to maximise our quality of life. Anxiety is an increasing issue in a society where the essentials are taken care of. We feel constrained by duties and responsibilities: work, relationship and family. These pressures mean we struggle to cope with the expectations we sense others demand of us.

A woman’s basic energy is usually channelled into ‘nurturing spirit’, while a man’s is usually channelled into ‘warrior spirit’. (Kramer & Dunaway 1994)

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