Lesbian couples and gender scripts

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  • Lesbian couples and gender scripts
    • Gillian Dunne (1999) argues that the division of labour continues because of deeply ingrained "gender scripts."
    • There are expectations or norms that are set out in different gender roles men and women in heterosexual couples are expected to play.
    • Compared with heterosexual women, lesbians are more likely to:
      • Describe their relationship as equal and share housework and childcare equally.
      • Give equal importance to both partner's careers
      • View childcare positively
      • Dunne argues that this is because lesbian and heterosexual partners interact in different ways.
        • Heterosexuals are under pressure to conform to masculine or feminine "gender scripts" by performing different types of domestics tasks that confirm their gender identities.
          • This supports the radical feminist view that relationships  between women are inevitably patriarchal and that women can only achieve equality in a same-sex relationship.
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    • Dunne contrasts this with the situation among lesbian couples, where gender scripts don't operate to the same extent.


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