1. Gender inequality: Images and perceptions

IDevice Icon Lead in
There is a series of attitudes, behaviours and roles that boys and girls are pressured to adopt (and enact) in the process of becoming men and women in our society. Some of these are of course learned, and correspond to established stereotypes we conform to as we become adults. As we will see in the rest of the unit, some of these stereotypes are also at the root of violence against women.

IDevice Icon Learning gender roles: Reflect on the following questions
  1. What does it mean to act ‘like a man’? What words or expectations come to mind? (e.g. men don’t cry; men are tough; etc).
  2. What does it mean to act ‘like a woman’? What words or expectations do you think of? (e.g. girls are polite; girls are neat and submissive; etc).
  3. Where do we learn these gender roles? What people influence our learning of them? Can you mention any specific examples? Where else in society do we find these messages?
  4. What are some situations where you may be pressured to ‘act like a man’ or ‘be a lady’?
  5. How might these stereotypes lead to violence?

IDevice Icon Thinking about gender stereotypes

The table below shows some common examples of gender stereotyping. For each example, decide what ways of thinking are associated with the stereotype and what other possible ways of thinking there might be which are not shown in the examples. The first one has been done for you.


Examples of stereotyping
Way of thinking encouraged by this stereotype Other possible ways of thinking not shown by the stereotype

These advertisements seem to suggest that mothers do all the housework and cooking, and really enjoy this Men should do more of the cooking. Some mothers hate doing housework.


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AngloTIC Learning Objects 2011 Sergio Maruenda Bataller & Begoña Clavel Arroitia