Gender Roles


Paragraph 286 from Amoris Laetitia


286. Nor can we ignore the fact that the configuration of our own mode of being, whether as male or female, is not simply the result of biological or genetic factors, but of multiple elements having to do with temperament, family history, culture, experience, education, the influence of friends, family members and respected persons, as well as other formative situations. It is true that we cannot separate the masculine and the feminine from God’s work of creation, which is prior to all our decisions and experiences, and where biological elements exist which are impossible to ignore. But it is also true that masculinity and femininity are not rigid categories. It is possible, for example, that a husband’s way of being masculine can be flexibly adapted to the wife’s work schedule. Taking on domestic chores or some aspects of raising children does not make him any less masculine or imply failure, irresponsibility or cause for shame. Children have to be helped to accept as normal such healthy “exchanges” which do not diminish the dignity of the father figure. A rigid approach turns into an overaccentuation of the masculine or feminine, and does not help children and young people to appreciate the genuine reciprocity incarnate in the real conditions of matrimony. Such rigidity, in turn, can hinder the development of an individual’s abilities, to the point of leading him or her to think, for example, that it is not really masculine to cultivate art or dance, or not very feminine to exercise leadership. This, thank God, has 216 changed, but in some places deficient notions still condition the legitimate freedom and hamper the authentic development of children’s specific identity and potential.

The Great Debate


William Lane Craig and Kai Nielsen
with annotations by William Lane Craig
February 1991, University of Western Ontario


This debate is presented on the Internet as a project of Leadership University. Leadership University is dedicated to providing the best information in the world informed by a biblical worldview.

The Caste System

Indian society has traditionally been organized into groups called castes. People are born into the caste of their family. The caste system includes a strict hierarchy and rules for social interaction. Each caste also had certain rights and responsibilities.

Advocates of the caste system say that is it not discriminatory but makes life easier for members of all castes. According to the, them, the caste system just acknowledges that people are different. Some are natural administrators; some are better at working with their hands. Under the caste system, those who are good at routine work do not compete for jobs with strategic thinkers; they compete with their equals.

Opponents of the system say that this theory is fine, but in actuality, skills like leadership or manual dexterity are not hereditary traits. A person born in a low caste might be a gifted leader but would not be allowed to develop those gifts.

Based on your knowledge of people, do you think a system like the caste system would tend to level the playing field for all? Would it tend to give certain people more privileges than others?