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“Stress is not what happens, it is our response to what happens and response is something we can choose” (Maureen Killoran, 2015). It is generally agreed, that the number of people suffering from high stress levels is increasing all over the world. In all households, regardless of the gender family perspective, men and women stress over different events that they may face. For example, men might usually stress over the financial situation of their family, over job-related stress and due to their self-employment.
In opposition, women may stress more than men in the case of the egalitarian women, in the case of single mother and when choosing her job. As a result, stress is considered as an issue that has turned into an important matter nowadays, since an increasing number of people is adopting a “gender free” perspective. In this literature review we will examine separately cases where men and women stress more than the other gender and present the bases of a “gender free” perspective on stress.
This literature review will focus on the following research question: “Under what circumstances stress affects men and women differently and what are the bases of a “Gender Free” perspective?”
A lot of studies have been performed to look into cases where masculine gender stress more than the feminine gender. For example, men usually suffer from financial stress, job-related stress and self-employment stress.
Some studies have further highlighted the case where fathers stress more than mothers over their family economic situation.
In fact, Hubler, Burr, Gardner ,Larzeler and Busby (2016, p.377) clearly state that when the gender ideology of a family is considered as traditional, husband and wife divide household work according to traditional basis. Hence, men feel a certain pressure due to financial problems, since they are considered as the primary earner of the family income as highlighted in Hubler, Burr, Gardner, Larzeler and Busby (2016, p.377). For instance, since the family income is all relied on fathers, men have to worry about providing a great future for their children and how to save money for future use. Therefore traditional men are exposed to higher stress levels than women especially due to the economic situation of their family.
In addition, certain studies have looked into how job insecurity and job-related 351), “Men experience greater job insecurity than women and are more vulnerable to job-related stress”. Furthermore, in some stressful cases, many men are facing strong levels of job insecurity because they are afraid of losing their job due to technical problem or any inconvenient error in their occupational domain.
A third case investigated by some studies has showed that father’s self-employment is a high stressful case for some men. Lozano, Hamplov and Le Bourdais (2016) reveal that fathers with malleable work timetables encounter more stress than women because flexibility in many cases delete borders between work and private life, consequently time performs pressure because fathers do not have specific time for work neither for privacy. In contrast, fathers have a personal choice to fix for themselves a working schedule, where they indicate their specified available time for work and especially for carpenters or for any free-lance worker. As a result, fathers are avoiding time conflicts and stress between their job and their private life. To conclude, according to previous findings, men usually stress more than women over their economic situation, due to job insecurity and due to their self-employment. Whereas, many studies concentrate on cases where the feminine gender stress more than the masculine gender.
Many researchers have presented findings about cases where women stress more than men. In other words, some studies lead us to believe that women may be exposed to higher stress levels in case of the egalitarian woman, case of single mother and where women are choosing their job.
Nowadays, some studies have proved that the case of the egalitarian woman is an exposure to advanced levels of stress. Cheung and Wong (2013, p.334) point out that nowadays some females are willing to achieve their high education levels before prioritizing their family and childcare. Hence, at a certain point in time females have to balance between their work and their family, this will lead to a high time pressure and will consequently lead us to a daily stress. A theoretical concept involves the idea that educated women have to set priorities, but still have to focus on how they will try to solve their family matters and this conclude that the egalitarian women experience high stress levels.
In the same way, the second case of single mother is certainly a case demonstrated by studies. In fact, Kim, Choi and Kim (2018, p.12) suggest that high levels of stress is increased due to a downturn of earning level, residential vulnerability and the alternating role between her work and her family will increase the risk of depression of a single mother. With this in mind, due to a lot of responsibilities, in other words, household work is not divided between two persons then single woman experience high stress levels and this will lead her to be affected from higher health problems.
In addition, from their younger age, women face a lot of difficulties that may lead them to stress while choosing their future job. Moreover, Notten, Grunow and Verbakel (2016, p.1284-1285) precisely suggest that as a result to the increasing rate of women participation in the labor force, some mothers are willing to spend more time on a full time job since part time jobs are non-affordable, whereas in other countries, women choose their choose less demanding jobs in order to reduce their work-family conflicts. Conversely, even if some women are opting for part time job rather than choosing their dream job, women have to insist on choosing their job, according to what that want to become in the occupational domain. In other words, women have to face environmental stress and have to fight for what she wants, even if the environment behind her is not supporting them to find full time jobs. Then, in many cases women face higher stress levels than men, an example is the case of egalitarian woman, single mother and when choosing her job.
Stress is now considered as a common problematic situation, since an increasing number of people are adopting a “gender free” perspective. Some studies have concluded that following perspective is certainly more and more affordable. Those people base firstly on the fact that high self-esteem and confidence can be an indicator of how we cope with stress, and secondly, many solutions are efficient to deal with stress.
Some researchers have found that there is a negative relationship between self-esteem and stress levels. The idea of self-esteem is clearly confirmed by Bi, Ma, Yuan and Zhang (2016, p,37) who argued that throughout the adolescence period, self-esteem performs a serious weight on how teenagers handle their social relationships, indeed for all teenagers , high level of confidence are positively related to a decrease of nervousness and stress levels. However, people with low self-esteem cope with stress negatively and subsequently their stress levels increase, as cited in Bi, Ma, Yuan and Zhang (2016, p.37). For instance, self-esteem is an important key for adolescents that play a major role on how to handle future stressful situations. Then, regardless of the gender, perceived stress is caused by low levels of self-esteem. It is known that confidence is deeply formed during adolescence, then from our younger age we have a power to increase self-esteem and thus it will lead us to cope with stressful events that affect our life.
As another base for a “gender free” perspective is that many solutions are found useful to cope with stressful situations. Studies have concluded that the use of positive thinking and seeking help from others may be considered as effective solutions. Gianakos (2000) articulates the same concern confirming that during high stress periods, both men and women tend to decrease stress by using positive thinking or asking helps from others, as optimist people. Regardless of gender, both solutions are likely to decrease stress and they are very helpful in order to handle future stressful situations. Then, there is a lot of solutions that help people facing chronic stress periods to cope with stress symptoms. Unfortunately, some people link stress and gender, in contrast to others who believe that positive thinking and seeking help from optimist and enthusiastic people are indeed solutions because they both decrease levels of nervousness. Therefore, from the point of view of a “gender free” perspective, self-esteem and some solutions are possible for this perspective.
To pull everything together, according to this literature review, it is showed that from one perspective men stress more than women in some cases, women stress more than men in other cases. The third point of view it the “gender free” perspective. We have deduced that men usually stress over financial stress, job-related stress and due to self-employment. In opposition, other studies have showed that women stress more in the case of the egalitarian women, case of single mother and when choosing their job. However, some studies have concluded that some people are adopting a “gender free” perspective. Knowing that stress is its appropriate cause and issue for some, and that health scientists have demonstrated efficacy of many solutions, Is there any case where stereotypical ideologies of gender are obviously not related with a type of stress.
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