Impact of alcoholism on gender roles and gender

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Impact of alcoholism on gender roles and gender Powered By Docstoc
					Implications for the future of the boy child in

Kathungu,B. ,Wasanga, C. ,Sirera,M & Karega,M.
Authors affiliations
 1.Department of Psychology Kenyatta University
 2.Department of Psychology Kenyatta University
 3.Department of Psychology Kenyatta University
 4.Department of Psychology Kenyatta University
 Every society has traditions and ideas about what
  works for its survival and devises ways of passing on
  that culture to its members through socialization
 Key among these are gender roles- ideas about
  behaviours and or patterns of activities that a society
  or culture deems appropriate for men and women
  which may or may not be related to sex and sex roles
Sex roles are the behaviours and patterns of activities
  men and women may engage in that are directly
  related to their biological differences and the process
  of reproduction
 Adults play a key role in performance of gender roles
  and in gender role socialization of society’s young
 Social learning theory, developed by Albert Bandura)
  1977), emphasizes the importance of children's
  imitation of the behavior of others (models). The
  theory posits that boys learn how to behave as boys
  from observing and imitating masculine behaviors,
  especially from their fathers, and girls learn from
  imitating females, especially their mothers.
 In Kenya the problem of alcoholism has affected a
  reasonable part of the adult population with several
  media reports of women protesting about neglected
  sex roles by their alcoholic spouses
 Key political leaders have often complained of alcohol
  ruining their men and making them impotent
 Much of the concerns raised touch on sex roles
 While sex roles are important , gender roles and
 gender role socialization are also key to society

 Key questions arise as to how problem alcohol use
 impacts on the process of gender role performance
 and gender role socialization for the young members
 of the Kenyan community.
Purpose of the study
 The overall goal of the study was to investigate and
 document the extent and patterns of alcohol use
 among selected rural communities in Kenya and to
 assess its impact on various community aspects
 including gender role performance and gender role
 Establish the importance of gender roles and gender
  role socialization in the communities under study
 Assess the extent and patterns of alcohol use in the
  communities under study
 Establish how alcohol use has affected performance
  of gender roles and gender role socialization in the
 Generate community based suggestions on how to
  manage problem alcohol use and related problems
 Descriptive survey approach
 Interviews with community members( alcohol users ,
  families of alcohol users, as well as key informants)
  and focus group discussions
 Target population was selected rural communities in
  three counties in Kenya namely , Embu, Nyeri and
 Sample was drawn from one location in each county
 Non probability sampling , purposive sampling
 A final sample size of 100 was obtained comprising of
 alcohol users , family members of alcohol users and
 key informants.
 Data was collected using semi structured interviews
  and focus group discussions
 Observation schedules were also used to document
  key behaviours touching on study objectives
 Data was analyzed both quantitatively and
 Data was presented using frequency tables , pie charts
  histograms and key themes
Ethical considerations
 Necessary authority from the institution of affiliation
  was obtained
 Research permit from the Government was obtained
 Necessary authority from the administration of the
  various counties ,locations and sub locations
 Respondents’ informed consent obtained
 Gender roles are important to the communities under
 While there were some behaviours and roles deemed
  appropriate for both males and females ,key
  differences emerged about characteristics and
  behaviours associated with males and females as
  indicated in the tables below
     Characteristics associated    Characteristics associated
           with males              with females
Characteristic Frequen Percentag   Characteristic Frequency Percentage
                 cy        e
                                   Active            34         34
Active           38       38
                                   Hard working      33         33
Authoritative    32       32
                                   Caring            22         22
Hardworking      30       30
                                   Faithfulness      18         18
Courageous       24       24
                                   Submissive        14         14
Aggressive       22       22
                                   Motherly          10         10
Responsible      21       21
                                   God fearing       10         10
Strong           16       16
                                   Responsible       8          8
 Importance of males and females
  possessing above characteristics

Importance                 Frequency   Percentage

Improve living standards      36          36

Ensure provision for the      22          22
Build the community           18          18

Live in peace                 17          17

Become good role model        15          15

Keep family together          12          12

Respect others                 9           9

Restore order in society       7           7
Are there duties or tasks that
should be done by males only
Response   Frequency         Percentage
Yes           81                81
No            19                19
Total         100
Duties for males only
                                    Driving &         10   10
Activities   Frequency Percentage   mechanics
Building        48         48       Paying school     9    9
                                    Slashing          8    8
Herding         18         18
                                    Logging           6    6
Carpentry       17         17
                                    Advice            6    6
Security        15         15
                                    Siring children   5    5
Digging         15         15
                                    Discipline male   4    4
Quarrying       12         12
Are there duties or tasks that
should be done by females only
Response      Frequency   Percentage
Yes              80          80
No               20          20
Total            100         100
Duties for females only
Activities           Freque Percent
                      ncy     age
                                      Hair dressing   10   10
Cooking                53     53
                                      Advise girls    10   10
Cleaning               52     52
                                      Midwifery       3    3
Taking care of         34     34
children                              Train girls     3    3
Taking care of the     20     20
Giving birth           14     14
Fetching water &       12     12
 Farming was indicated as a duty for both males and
 females by 19 % of the respondents
gender role socialization and its
Who is responsible for teaching of
          gender roles
Person           Boys                Girls

          Freq           %    Freq            %
Father    70            70     0              0
Mother     0             0    71             71
Both      30            30    29             29
Total     100           100   100            100
Alcohol consumption extent and
           Person taking alcohol
Person taking alcohol   Frequency   Percentage
Father                     56          56
Son                        27          27
Relative                   13          13
Mother                      3           3
Daughter                    1           1
Total                      100         100
 What types of alcoholic drinks are
Alcohol type           Frequency   Percentage
Local                     61          61
Bottled beer              16          16
Wines and spirits         14          14
Keg                        9           9
Total                     100         100
How often is the alcohol taken
Frequency of taking   Frequency   Percentage
Daily                    51          51
Frequent                 17          17
2-3 times Weekly         13          13
Weekends                 12          12
Occasionally              7           7
Total                    100         100
Place where alcohol is used
Place where alcohol is   Frequency   Percentage
Brewing centers             62          62
Local bars                  30          30
Home                         8           8
Total                       100         100
Perceived magnitude of alcohol use
Magnitude     Frequency   Percentage
High             47          47
Average          26          26
Minimal          27          27
Total            100         100
             Perceived effect of alcohol
Effect of      Families   Victims   Other         Total
alcohol on                          respondents
gender roles
Very Much      20         10        21            50
Much           0          16        14            30
To some        10         4         5             20
 Impact of alcohol use on the users
         and the families
Effect of      Frequency Percentage   Parent has     20   20
                                      no time for
alcohol                               the children
Avoiding          34         34       Health         17   17
responsibili                          problems
ty                                    Lack of        13   13
Domestic          32         32       parental
violence                              guidance
Marriage                              and
break up-                             counseling
Divorce/se                            Negligence     12   12
                                      Withdrawn      5    5
School            21         21       parents
drop out
Poverty           20         20
Person who performs the duties of
the alcohol user
Person     Frequency   Percentage
Wife          58          58
Self          20          20
Brothers      13          13
Parents        6           6
Father         3           3
Total         100         100
Suggestions on how to address the
problems caused by alcohol
Suggestion                Frequency   Percentage
Create jobs/income            49          49
generating projects
Sensitization(awareness      35          35
programmes /seminars)
Enforce strict laws on       32          32
alcohol consumption/
Monitor alcohol              23          23
Increase beer prices         20          20
Spiritual intervention       16          16
Guidance and counseling      14          14
Key themes from FGDs
 The children are afraid of their drunkard and violent
 The boys have nobody to show them the male roles
 Boys are beginning to imitate their fathers by
  spending long hours idling at the market places
 The boys have no role models
 Women are afraid their boys will follow in the
  footsteps of their fathers
 The alcohol users feel helpless and worthless
 Women feel that their men are useless and “ as good as
 not there”
Observed behaviours
 Many boys were loitering while the girls were doing
  chores at home with the mothers
 Mothers tended to engage the girls in several domestic
  activities while the boys were either idle or not doing
  anything productive
 Several drunk males staggering in the market centers
  in the early afternoon
 Several young men idling in the market centers
   importance of gender roles
 The findings revealed that the concept of gender roles
  is still very important in the communities under study
 Traditional gender roles are still very prevalent with
  ideas that men should be authoritative, courageous,
  aggressive and strong while women should be caring,
  faithful, submissive and motherly
 Division of labour was also encouraged with specific
  duties being assumed to be only for males and other
  for females
 Only males were expected to engage in siring children
   building houses
   Herding
   Carpentry
   Security
   Digging
   Quarrying
 Women were expected to engage in
   Cooking
   Cleaning
   Taking care of children
   Taking care of the home
   Giving birth
   Fetching water & firewood
 Respondents felt that these gender roles help to
  improve living standards, ensure provision for the
  family, build the community, promote peace and keep
  the family together
 Other than activities like siring children for men and
  giving birth for women which are based on biological
  differences , the other expected duties are based on
  social cultural ideas of what males and females are like
  and should do. The concept of gender roles is therefore
  very important in these communities
Gender role socialization
 On gender role socialization , it emerged that
 The role of teaching male children their gender roles
 was expected to be carried out largely by the father
 while that of socializing the female child was largely
 expected to be done by the mother
 Extent and patterns of alcohol
On the extent and pattern of alcohol use it emerged that:
 Alcohol use is high in the areas under study
 The males are the most affected and especially fathers
 Majority of them consume local brews
 Majority are daily drinkers suggesting that most are
  abusing and possibly addicted to alcohol
 Most drink in the brewing centers
          Impact of alcohol use
 It emerged that some of the consequences of alcohol
 use are
   Avoiding responsibility
   Domestic violence Marriage break up-
     Parent has no time for the children
     Health problems
     Lack of parental guidance and counseling
     Negligence
     Withdrawn parents
 The wives were shouldering the responsibilities of
  their daily drinking spouses
 Most of the wives were angry and bitter at their
  spouses negligence of their roles
 The boy child lacked a model of male parent as the
  fathers were largely absent drinking
 When present the fathers would be drunk and
  engaging in negative behaviours like domestic
 While the impact of the absent father may be felt by
 both male and female children, the impact may be
 double on the males for the following reasons
   The boys were modeling negative behaviours from the
    fathers such as being away from home loitering in the
    market places which increased their vulnerability for
    getting into alcohol use ( Bandura, 1977)
   The boys were also modeling violent behaviours as the
    fathers engaged in wife beating while drunk
 The boys were missing out on being taught crucial
  male gender roles by their fathers who themselves
  were not undertaking them as expected
 This created a risk of passing on transgenerational
  family dysfunctions to the new generation as theorized
  by Bowen ‘s (1966) family systems theory
There is need for urgent intervention at least to try and
  mitigate the effects of alcohol abuse on the
  communities and especially on the children and
  particularly the male child
Need to initiate community based mentoring
  programs for the youth with a focus on the needs of
  both male and female children
Need to sensitize communities on the dangers and
  consequences of alcoholism
Initiate community based guidance and counseling
  programs for both parents and the youth
 Initiate affordable community based rehabilitation
  programs to assist the many members with alcohol use
Recommendations for further research
 Need for similar studies using a larger sample to test
  the generalizability of these findings
 Need extend this study to other communities in
  Kenya to find out whether similar findings will be
 Need for studies analyzing the impact of alcoholism on
  other aspects of community life

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