Teen's Ideas on Gender Stereotypes
One of the underlying contributions to sexism is the attitudes we
have toward each other based on gender stereotypes.
Activity 1.1 from Grade 8: Gender Equality and Media
Awareness asks the students to list the social expectations and
pressures to "fit in" to a limited repertoire of values and possibilities for men and
The following is the response from a grade 9 class of both boys
Question? What does it mean to "Act Like a Man" in our society?
* Answers: Macho, tough, stand up for self, in control, nothing stand in
don't back down, muscles, rough sports, men stronger than women,
don't cry, get mean, sexually aggressive, strong, muscular, not nice or
kind, be a leader and burp.
Question? What does it mean to be "ladylike" in our society?
* Answers: Polite, fragile, gentle, nice, kind, don't spit, sensitive, cry
all the time,
good manners, cross legs, shave your
legs, passive, pretty, skinny, well dressed, don't fight, can't be
smarter than guys, followers, smarter than men, confused, loyal,
depend on guy.
After the answers are displayed in the workshop discussion then takes
place on where we learn
Of course we learn for peers and family, but where do
those individuals get their ideas on gender stereotypes? The media,
television, magazines, movies, video games and any other medium of
information effects our attitudes and shapes our value system. The
Healthy Relationships Curriculum helps students deal with these
influences to help them celebrate positive values and attitudes
needed to form healthy relationships.