Personality Differences by Gender

Caribbean cultural stereotypes of how men and women ought to be are both challenged and reinforced among West Indian Americans. The aforementioned notions of female "respectability" and male "reputation" are rearticulated by immigrants who have settled in the United States. Adult immigrant women still see the "respectable female" as a cultural ideal that one should strive to become. Similarly, for males, notions of protecting one's reputation are still salient. Yet, adolescent immigrants and second-generation West Indians often find that their parents' notions are at odds with their own American-influenced constructions of how men and women should behave.

Caribbean cultural stereotypes of "proper" women as dependent on men, natural nurturing caregivers, and bound to the home have been contested in the Caribbean and are displaced in the United States because women have greater success in the U.S. labor force, are often heads of households, and sometimes support legal and "common-law" husbands back home. These practices in turn disrupt cultural constructions of West Indian men as dominant independent breadwinners.

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