Talking to young kids about gender stereotypes | The Line
Men are generally observed to exercise more power than women within the marriage relationship. One way of expressing such power is through the roles in . Feb 9, It's easy for us to observe the ways the media is guilty of exploiting the differences between men and women and exaggerating stereotypes to. When it comes to relationships between men and women, almost everyone It's destructive to base decisions about your relationships on gender stereotypes.
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 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. Become aware of the messages that promote gender double standards and inequality in the media, online and within the broader community.
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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. 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.
Typical stereotypes of women involve them being helpless, emotional, sensitive, unstable, and irrational.
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Personally, women can easily form deep emotional attachments and are less interested in sex. Professionally, they are less interested in their careers and more driven toward marriage and motherhood.
These traits may seem black and white or exaggerated, but to varying degrees, a surprising number of people buy into their validity. Too often, men and women conduct their lives to preserve these illusions.
He must be the best all of the time. He cannot falter, be fearful or insecure. She must be submissive and passive. She cannot be powerful, self-sufficient, or independent. At times, men and women manipulate each other in order to preserve these illusions. When we look at some of the ways society depicts men and women, we can see that these depictions actually pit men and women against each other.
This problem is exacerbated by the fact that people are often criticized or ridiculed for not complying with these stereotypes. A man may develop vanity as a means to maintain superiority or demand an unrealistic build up from his partner. A woman may develop a victimized approach to life in order to illustrate her powerlessness.
Rather than assert herself to achieve her goals, she manipulates her mate with indirect maneuvers such as weakness, helplessness, and emotionality. Men and women are betraying themselves when they adopt these defensive approaches in their relationship. The more a man relies on the build-up of vanity, the more he rejects the part of himself that is sensitive and vulnerable.
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The more a woman relies on indirect manipulations to achieve her goals, the more she rejects the part of herself that is strong and powerful. As the split within a person becomes greater, the more alienated he or she becomes from their true self. By really tossing aside these old gender roles, expectations, and stereotypes, the freer we become, and the more we allow ourselves and our partners be who we really are. Sexual stereotypes and their distortions of the sexes are divisive, and they interfere with our being intimate and loving in our close relationships.
The social pressure exerted by these attitudes is as damaging to couple relationships as racial prejudice is to relations between people of different ethnic backgrounds.
Talking to young kids about gender stereotypes
In truth, men and women are more alike than they are different. Both men and women have essentially the same desires in life and seek the same sort of satisfactions with each other.
Both want sex, love, affection, success, dignity and self-fulfillment.