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. 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. Develop realistic expectations about future relationships based on mutual respect and equity. 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. Who can wear trousers? Point out, critique and discuss gendered representations in the media. 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. One in three think that exerting control over someone is not a form of violence. Who has body hair?
Cultural expectations about feminine or masculine activities, fashion and behaviour e. How parents reward or discipline behaviour that adheres to accepted notions of gender. Children may learn about acceptable gender roles and stereotypes from television, the internet or other media. Where we learn about stereotypes. Know fact from fiction about sexuality. Ensure that children receive equal praise for the same behaviour. Common narrow gender stereotypes can include: One in three think that exerting control over someone is not a form of violence. Audio media song lyrics that include narrow representations of men and women or language that is derogatory towards women. 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. Develop realistic expectations about future relationships based on mutual respect and equity. One in four think that street harassment is not serious. Visual media the Internet, including social media such as, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and video games, television and music videos. For example, surveys with year olds have found that: 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. Where do children learn about gender? What do young people think about gender stereotypes and roles? Language used based on gender, such as commenting on the appearance of girls and commenting on the actions and abilities of boys. For example, praising both boys and girls for being neat or being active in physical activities. 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. Jobs and roles for women and men both inside and outside the home and how stereotypes can limit these options. 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. The importance of challenging stereotypes. Age appropriate topics about gendered expectations can include: Interactions between family members, for example, how decisions are made within the home.
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