Gender and Culture

Gender and Culture


















Gender and Culture

Looking at my life and examining my parents’ marriage, I believe that my family legacy and position gender aware. My parents are both working class and they have specific duties around the home. When we were growing up, my mother was mostly responsible for taking care of us. My father realized the role my mother had in the home, and he would be with us during the weekends and make some time for us in the evening after coming back from work. Gender aware seeks to strengthen the experiences of imbalances of gender. Feminism has led to increased awareness of gender differences and the need for equality of the genders (Knudson-Martin, 2002). Some seemingly trivial issues such as who opens and controls conversation and who makes decisions such as deciding on the next session of therapy offer clues on a couple’s gender awareness.

Some people come from families which practice traditional roles and others come from families where there is gender awareness and the people are egalitarian. Coming from the family I do has made me examine some issues relating to a couple’s relationship problems more closely. I seek to understand a couple better when I realize that there is a clear gender imbalance in the relationship. Before engaging in family therapy I had taken negotiations between couples for granted. I assumed that couples used to consult each other on matters relating to their families. However, learning more about gender awareness has made me realize that some people do not support the idea of equality with their partners and they are less likely to consult them on different matters (Hecker & Wetchler, 2003).

Understanding the fact that every person lives in a number of subcultures and making an effort to understand these subsystems is an essential step in dealing with multiculturalism. The difficulty of multiculturalism lies in the fact that there are many minority cultures and it is not possible to identify and fulfill all the needs of these cultures. People from different minority cultures face certain levels of discrimination. Family therapists can be prone to this when they apply the culture of the majority to people who do not belong to the majority cultures. Another personal difficulty is learning how to control my bias and assumptions towards other cultures, since this often leads to the application of stereotypical values. It is easy for a person to believe that she understands what other people are like because she has an idea about people in that culture.

These problems can be overcome by applying critical counseling skills which involve carefully listening and understanding people, and treating each case individually. The counselor should at the same time apply professional knowledge and not just depend on the information received from the family members. I will be able to address the meta-framework of multiculturalism once I have synthesized all the information I need, and once I involve the family as active collaborators and not just participants (Yarhouse & Sells, 2008. Collaboration involves working with the clients and alongside them so that the therapist can understand them better. The therapists realize and understand the importance of the clients’ knowledge (Gehart, 2009).









Gehart, D. (2009). Mastering competencies in family therapy: A practical approach to theories and clinical case documentation. New York, NY: Cengage Learning

Hecker, L. L., & Wetchler, L. J. (2003). An introduction to marriage and family therapy. Philadelphia, PA: Haworth Clinical Practice Press

Knudson-Martin, C. (2002). Feminism in MFT: Where has it led us? Family Therapy Magazine

Yarhouse, A. M., & Sells, N. J. (2008). Family therapies: A comprehensive Christian appraisal. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press



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