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A view on the television and the gender stereotypes

Exposing Gender Stereotypes - Lesson

Gender roles and impacts Gender stereotypes are culturally ingrained ideas about appropriate behaviours for males and females. Common narrow gender stereotypes can include: Young people are largely aware of gender stereotypes by this age and will have begun to accept some of these as universal truths.

Rigid gender stereotyping promotes inequity between the sexes and can set young people up to expect and accept power imbalances within relationships later in life. This is an opportune time, before adolescence, to talk about the impact of gendered expectations on choices, existing friendships and future relationships. For example, surveys with 12-18 year olds have found that: One in three think that exerting control over someone is not a form of violence. One in four think that street harassment is not serious.

One in six think that women should know their place. One in six think that it is ok for a guy to pressure a girl into sex if they are both drunk.

Lesson Kit:

Become aware of the messages that promote gender double standards and inequality in the media, online and within the broader community.

Know fact from fiction about sexuality. Understand the effect gender stereotypes can have on their options and roles in sport, at school and within their families.

Develop realistic expectations about future relationships based on mutual respect and equity. Where do children learn about gender? Children may learn about acceptable gender roles and stereotypes from television, the internet or other media. Print media magazines such as Dolly, Girlfriend or K-Zonefrom books or magazines that their parents read2 e. Visual media the Internet, including social media such as, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and video games, television and music videos.

Audio media song lyrics that include narrow representations of men and women or language that is derogatory towards women. But children also learn about gender roles from their parents from a young age. How roles and tasks are shared both within and outside the home i. Themes and colours of clothes, toys and presents given to children.

Interactions between family members, for example, how decisions are made within the home.

  • New York Times, June 6, p;
  • Rigid gender stereotyping promotes inequity between the sexes and can set young people up to expect and accept power imbalances within relationships later in life;
  • Ready for prime time;
  • About two-thirds of characters in television programs are male, a figure that has remained constant since the 1950s Condry, 1989; Huston et al.

Expectations placed on different family members based on gender. Language used based on gender, such as commenting on the appearance of girls and commenting on the actions and abilities of boys. How parents reward or discipline behaviour that adheres to accepted notions of gender.

What do young people think about gender stereotypes and roles? Research conducted around Australia with young people aged between 9 and 11 years, indicates that they have an understanding of culturally accepted gender roles and the power dynamics associated with these.

However, it is evident that young people also buy into these stereotypes and are often not aware of when and how stereotypes are impacting on their behaviours and choices. Therefore, conversations around identifying gender stereotypes can work best when supported by an adult such as a parent who can assist young people to understand influences on identity, relationships and decision-making.

Below are comments from Australian young people 9-11 years illustrating their existing understanding of gender stereotypes. Some young people can see how early gender stereotyping begins: That stereotypes can change over time: Making a difference at home Children model a lot of their behaviour and develop their understanding of acceptable masculine or feminine qualities from their parents. Parents can influence how their children view gender and how they decide what it means to be a girl, boy, woman or man.

Children are influenced by their parents through the roles they take on inside and outside the home and through the language used with children themselves.

Talking to young kids about gender stereotypes

Ensure that children receive equal praise for the same behaviour. For example, praising both boys and girls for being neat or being active in physical activities. Encourage children to be friends across genders.

Use the anatomically correct terms when referring to body parts. Point out, critique and discuss gendered representations in the media. Encourage gender neutral toys and colours.

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This is a key time prior to puberty, high school and before many young people start experiencing romantic relationships, as well as an age where gender stereotypes are becoming more cemented and begin to impact on future decisions such as subject and extra-curricular choices.

Age appropriate topics about gendered expectations can include: Jobs and roles for women and men both inside and outside the home and how stereotypes can limit these options.

Cultural expectations about feminine or masculine activities, fashion and behaviour e. Who can wear trousers? Who has body hair? How gendered expectations have changed over-time i. These minor changes can support an awareness of rigid gender stereotypes among children and assist them to create respectful relationships and identities both now and in the future. Talking gender stereotypes with 9-11 year olds - a resource for parents Download the resource 'Talking gender stereotypes' here.

This is a resource to assist parents to talk to children between 9-11 years of age about gender stereotypes and how they can both impact and limit choices and interactions with others. This resource will aid parents to assist children to understand: What gender stereotypes are.

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Where we learn about stereotypes. The impacts of stereotypes on our identities and relationships. The importance of challenging stereotypes. The content of this resource is based on findings from a number of participatory workshops undertaken with 9-11 year olds to understand in their own words how gender stereotypes impact and influence their relationships, identities and future expectations.