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Marital Roles

Main Core Tie

Adult Roles And Responsibilities
Strand 4 Standard 3

Additional Core Ties

Adult Roles and Financial Literacy
Strand 6 Standard 3




Students will be able to identify gender bias in marriage roles and define and discuss the benefits of traditional egalitarian marriages.


Supplementary Resources
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John M. Gottman PhD. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 0-609-80579-7

The Art of Loving Well: A Character Education for Today's Teenagers, Boston University, ISBN 0- 87270-07-9

Strengthening Family and Self, by Leona Johnson, Published by The Goodheart-Wilcox Company, Inc.2002, ISBN 1-56637-780-3 (pg. 207-207)

Gender Roles and Family Analysis by Man Singh Das, Vijay Kumar Gupta, Published 1995 by MD Publications, ISBN 8185880581.

Instructional Procedures

Use the Vocabulary Worksheet and Key (pdf).

Primary Vocabulary:

  • Traditional Marriage
  • Egalitarian Marriage
  • Gender Bias

Supplementary Vocabulary:

  • Feminism
  • Sex Role Stereotype

To introduce the concept of Gender Roles, use one or more of these activities and continue the discussion ideas at the end of activity.

"Blue or Pink", Still More Activities that Teach by Tom Jackson, Red Rock Publishing, ISBN 0- 9664633-5-8, pg. 56


"Love at First Sight", More Activities that Teach, by Tom Jackson, Red Rock Publishing, ISBN 0- 9664633-3-1, Pg. 218. Love at First Sight Activity Page (pdf).
Show Video Clip of Gender Roles Stereotypes at

Content Outline, Activities and Teaching Strategies
(All options do not necessarily need to be taught. Select ones to cover standards and objectives and according to your district policies.)

Option 1: Background and Teacher Lecture Notes
Discuss the teacher information on marital roles (pdf) with the students. Follow the PowerPoint Presentation On Marital Roles.

Option 2: Jacobsen Marital Role Scale
Have students take test (pdf) to determine their current personal degree of traditional or egalitarian bias. Score by showing the overhead or powerpoint of scoring for Jacobson Marital Roles slides 4 and 5.

Option 3: Egalitarian and Traditional Marriage
Define egalitarian and traditional marriage. Refer to the Vocabulary List (pdf) and Background Teacher Notes (pdf) .

Option 4: Gender Roles
Review the history of Gender Roles in America. A concise article is from Yale Teacher's Institute (pdf).

See the Teacher information for Marital Roles.

Make a chart on board with 3 columns, Men, Women, Children.

List the responsibilities of each in different time frames or dates:

  • 1700-1800
  • 1860-1900
  • 1900-1920
  • Depression 1930's
  • WWII 1940's
  • 1950's
  • Feminist Movement 1960's
  • Equal Rights 1986
  • Now Today

Option 5: Good Wife's Guide
Read The Good Wife's Guide (pdf) taken from 1950's magazine. Ask students how they feel about the advice.

Option 6: Day in the Life
Read A Day in the Life Scenario (pdf). Have students compare feelings about each lifestyle.

Option 7: Dual Income Families
Conduct a lecture/class discussion on dual-income families. Discuss Dual Income and Case Studies (pdf). Show the Dual Income PowerPoint Presentation.

Option 8: Two Careers with Children
Have student read the When Two Careers Plus Children Equals Stress Handout (pdf). Discuss ways that couples can handle children and careers.

Option 9: Video Clips/Music
Watch one of these video clips or listen to or read words to Put Another Log on the Fire by Shel Silverstein. Discuss portrayal of the sex role stereotypes found in this song. Use the following web sites:

Option 10: Research Article About Gender Roles
Review or have students research articles about gender roles and household chores and how they affect marriage, and how to successfully adjust to the stresses of the changes. Have students discuss and report their finding.

Option 11: Emotional Connection
See and discuss articles and video clips from the following website: This study indicates that women want more emotional connection with their husbands, and want them to bring in at least 2/3's of the family income and housework divided fairly, not necessarily equally.

Option 12: Roles in a Relationship
Have students complete the Roles in a Relationship Worksheet (pdf). Next have them compare the list with their family of origin. Then have them compare with another student in class. Have students then discuss findings with someone they know of the opposite sex and compare their answers. Have them write up and discuss their findings next time in class. Have them complete Roles Expectations Worksheet(pdf). In groups have students complete the case studies for roles in a relationship.

The discussion of Gender roles has been a controversial hot topic for many years in society as well as religion and is an important one for you and your spouse to work through before you get married.

Created: 07/19/2011
Updated: 02/05/2018