It is important that there is space in the school curriculum to create opportunities to challenge negative gender stereotypes and promote positive role models for young women.
Outdated notions persist about the differences between girls and boys which lead to expectations of different outcomes, achievements and behaviours based on their sex. These notions limit all young people. Stereotypes put pressure on boys and girls to conform to certain notions of ‘masculinity' and ‘femininity'. They are a cause of bullying. Often, girls feel they have to decide how far to engage with, or reject, ‘girlie' characteristics. Yet, generally, girls do not have the skills to enable them to resist the pressures to conform. Boys feel pressurised to commit to dominant forms of masculinity – in order to attain popularity and escape censure. These expected forms of masculinity include various combinations of football, fighting, girlfriends, sex, anti-gay talk and misogyny.
Traditional stereotypes still shape young people's aspirations in education, training and employment. The Gender Equality and Race Inclusion project (GERI) have produced teaching resources on challenging occupational gender stereotyping.
Resources on challenging gender stereotyping
- Teaching resources on challenging occupational gender stereotyping. These include lesson plans for Key Stages 3, 4 and post 16.
- PSHE /Citizenship lessons for KS3 and 4
- No Outsiders Project website has a vast array of resources for classroom use
- Gendered Intelligence deliver facilitated workshops to all young people in schools to generate discussion and debate around gender and the ways in which it presents challenges in our everyday lives
- This website includes a set of activities for Key Stage 3 and 4 students
- Pink Stinks is a campaign website that challenges the culture of pink that invades every aspect of girls' lives
- Changing faces – face equality teaching resources aimed at KS3 promoting positive attitudes and behaviours towards facial disfigurement
- Girls Allowed (A website about self esteem and relationships).
- Gender Education Association
- Education For Choice - Supporting young people's right to informed choice on abortion.
- Abortion Rights - The national pro-choice campaign.