Gender Role Definition and Identity: The Centrality of Primordial Values

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Elsie Le Franc
Wilma Bailey
Clement Branche


Almost all writers on the subject have, for a long time, agreed that in the Caribbean there has been very clear gender role demarcation, and that gender role-stereotyping has been fairly well entrenched: "Boys will be boys". Boys should only have certain kinds of domestic responsibilities and duties, and which would in any event be few; girls, on the other hand, are expected to bear the full responsibilities of domestic management and family nurturing. Boys should pursue certain kinds of occupational activities - such as engineering, mechanical work, or farming, while areas such as teaching and nursing are the preserve of females. One aspect of this differentiation has been the strong "macho" image of the West Indian male. Although commonly found in most Caribbean countries, it is most noticeable in Jamaica (Parry 1996).

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