Men are more autonomous and independent than women because the Social Role Theory suggests that boys develop gender roles by rejecting the mother, while girls identify with their mother (Gamble, p. 39). This automatically promotes male autonomy since fathers are not around as much as mothers to be role models for sons. When fathers are around, they also emphasize independence and autonomy while interacting with their sons (p. 41).

The following lyrics are from the band No Doubt’s song “Just a Girl.” The song has multiple lines that relate to gender concepts, however the following lines explicitly explain how women are told to be dependent. Specifically, the part that says “Don’t let me out of your sight” refers to the fact that autonomy is discouraged for women.

‘Cause I’m just a girl, little ‘ol me
Don’t let me out of your sight
I’m just a girl, all pretty and petite
So don’t let me have any rights

Gamble, T. K., & Gamble, M. W. (2003). The Gender Communication Connection. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

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