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The experiences of gender stereotypes in society today

Read this excerpt from Sciencegrrl The case for a gender lens in STEM and think about the content in relation to your classroom environment. The reason these hurdles are invisible is that they are so deeply embedded. We must look through both eyes to detect the unconscious biases that permeate our society, homes, classrooms and workplaces before we can start to dismantle them. Empowering individuals with real choice and freeing ourselves from social stereotyping and cultural expectations is better for girls and women, but also for boys and men.

Young women receive messages about themselves and the opportunities available to them from wider society, family and friends, the classroom and the workplace. The balance of these messages is crucial. We are all exposed to these messages.

Stereotypes and unconscious bias undermine real choice. We must start to take them seriously. Undermining cultural messages and social norms represent invisible roadblocks to the success of girls and women.

Such barriers are invisible precisely because they are so deeply embedded. Today, girls and women are told they can be whatever they want.

Section 1: Gender stereotypes and equality

When women are narrowly represented in the media and the toys children are given are gendered so that girls toys are more likely to reinforce domestic duties and physical perfection, whilst the boys get action roles and adventure challenges? In your Learning Log write down your first reactions to this article. Does it chime with your experience? Are there aspects of gender inequality that it excludes? How does it relate to the experience of young women in the education system? What barriers or roadblocks can you think of in relation to gender equality in STEM?

So what can we do about it? In order to begin to address inequality we need to learn to see and identify it. Applying a Gender Lens Against this background of persistent gender inequality, Science Grrl argues that: Despite being in an age of challenging gender roles, we still live with the echoes and reality of a patriarchal culture.

Recognition of patriarchy a social order in which men are the primary holders of power and decision making is not an accusatory statement. It is necessary to look at long-held systems through a gender lens to make real progress towards real equality. Out of one lens you see the participation, needs and realities of women.

Out of the other you see the participation, needs and realities of men. Your sight or vision is the combination of what both eye sees. We have to remind ourselves and train our minds to recognise the different ways girls and boys experience our classrooms and schools and the differences in interactions that take place.

Countering Gender Discrimination and Negative Gender Stereotypes: Effective Policy Responses

Noticing these differences and how different treatment and experiences lead to different outcomes is a crucial first step towards putting in place initiatives or changes that will lead to gender equality. One of the first steps in applying a gender lens is understanding gender stereotypes. It is for example based on the stereotype that women are more nurturing, that child rearing responsibilities often fall exclusively on them. Gender stereotyping is wrongful when it results in a violation or violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

An example of this, is the failure to criminalize marital rape based on the experiences of gender stereotypes in society today perception of women as the sexual property of men. Compounded gender stereotypes can have a disproportionate negative impact on certain groups of women, such as, women in custody and conflict with the law, women from minority or indigenous groups, women with disabilities, women from lower caste groups or with lower economic status, migrant women. International human rights law places a legal obligation on States to eliminate discrimination against women and men in all areas of their lives.

This obligation requires States to take measures to address gender stereotypes both in public and private life as well as to refrain from stereotyping. For example, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities CRPD also contains in article 8 1 b obligates States to combat stereotypes and stereotyping, including compounded stereotypes and stereotyping based on gender and disability.

Introduction

Write in the boxes below which toys you think belong in which categories: Girl You can type text here, but this facility requires a free OU account. Sign in or register. Boy You can type text here, but this facility requires a free OU account. Neutral You can type text here, but this facility requires a free OU account. Interactive feature not available in single page view see it in standard view. Discussion The messages young children receive about gender roles and expectations are heard loud and clear through the books, toys and clothes marketed to children based on gender stereotypes.

Young girls are encouraged to be pretty, passive and interested in pink, whereas young boys are encouraged to be strong, brave and interested in blue. It can be challenging to combat these stereotypes when they appear in seemingly harmless forms such as toys and books which are meant to be fun. In turn this skill can be used to challenge gender stereotypes in relation to hobbies, subjects and career aspirations. Gender stereotyping does not only negatively affect women and girls.

Those who identify as gender non-binary or transgender may experience additional layers of social pressure, discrimination and harm as a result of not conforming to stereotypes associated with gender.

1.1 Introduction to Gender Inequality

In short, gender stereotyping negatively affects everyone by limiting expression, development and progression based on assumptions and rigid cultural norms. Gender stereotypes in school One of the harms of gender stereotyping is that children learn these cultural norms from a very young age, starting as soon as they are born.

For instance, while the most comprehensive recent studies show no gender differences in maths ability or any difference in interest in science at a young age, stereotypes about gender and math or science are prevalent across society. Multiple studies show that parents and teachers hold strong stereotypes about gender, maths and science.

It can either be an environment where these stereotypes are reinforced, or one where children and young people are encouraged to challenge stereotypes and pursue interests based on their personalities and goals, not their gender. Several pupils talked about the traditional roles held by their own family and how this shapes their decisions. This was particularly evident amongst girls who reported people asking them: The Institute of Physics report Opening Doors: A guide to good practice in countering gender stereotyping in schools is a helpful resource about how schools can challenge gender stereotyping.

  • International human rights law places a legal obligation on States to eliminate discrimination against women and men in all areas of their lives;
  • Multiple studies show that parents and teachers hold strong stereotypes about gender, maths and science;
  • Gender stereotyping does not only negatively affect women and girls;
  • Does it chime with your experience?
  • Several pupils talked about the traditional roles held by their own family and how this shapes their decisions.

In your learning log note down any observations of how gender stereotypes operate in your classroom setting? The rest of the course will focus specifically on the science, technology, engineering and mathematics STEM sector. Question Your guess How many construction trade workers are women in the UK?

You can type text here, but this facility requires a free OU account. How many new engineers by 2020 in Scotland are estimated to be needed?

  • This was particularly evident amongst girls who reported people asking them;
  • One of the first steps in applying a gender lens is understanding gender stereotypes;
  • In order to begin to address inequality we need to learn to see and identify it;
  • When women are narrowly represented in the media and the toys children are given are gendered so that girls toys are more likely to reinforce domestic duties and physical perfection, whilst the boys get action roles and adventure challenges?
  • Question Your guess How many construction trade workers are women in the UK?
  • How many new engineers by 2020 in Scotland are estimated to be needed?

How many women who graduate from university in STEM subjects remain in the industry?