Gender Stereotypes

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Gender Stereotypes

Gender stereotypes are inculcated into the minds of individuals from a very young age and thus influence the gender identity with which they identify themselves.

Gender stereotypes often arise in social situations. Kids face a lot of pressure to be popular and fit in with their peer group. Enacting realistic social situations in a safe, controlled classroom environment is a good way to prepare students for what may come. It also helps children to think about their role in both fighting gender stereotypes and perpetuating them.

Gender stereotypes are very common in children’s literature. Classic children’s books and even more contemporary stories often portray boys and girls in terms of specific socially defined gender norms.


Gender stereotypes are the views people have on masculinity and femininity: what men and women of all generations should be and are capable of.

Gender stereotypes are simplistic generalizations about gender characteristics, differences, and roles of individuals and/or groups.

Gender stereotyping becomes harmful when it affects a person’s life choices, such as training and professional paths, and life plans.

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Gender Division Of Labor




The process by which productive tasks are segregated on the basis of one’s sex is called gender division of labor. It stems from the social differentiation introduced by the relationship between men and women that attributes activities and roles according to the gender of the individual. It varies from culture to culture.

Both men and women have multiple work roles. These include: production, reproduction, essential domestic and community services, and community management and political activities.

Productive Work: This work has great value as development is also measured in terms of economic growth and hence, is work that has monetary remuneration or monetary value. Often women’s work is seen as reproductive work because its monetary reward is collected by the men in their families. Both men and women are involved in productive activities. The productive work of women is often underestimated.

Reproductive work: This includes not only giving birth to children, but also taking care of the child by feeding, clothing, etc. and taking care of the needs and demands of an extended family work that clearly has no economic benefit. This type of work is generally not recognized, nor is it included in the Gross National Product (GNP). To a large extent, women and girls are involved in performing reproductive work in most parts of the world.

Unpaid care work: This involves the production of goods or services in a household or community that are not sold in the market. Unpaid care work in the home includes household chores (cooking, cleaning, washing, and collecting water and fuel). The products of unpaid care work can also benefit those in the community (cooking a meal for a neighbor or volunteering at a homeless shelter). Unpaid care work also includes activities that provide for others (sitting children, and caring for the elderly and sick).




Patriarchy is a social system where men/boys are considered superior and more powerful than women/girls. Such thinking pervades all the institutions of our society (family, community, culture, economy). Men are seen as heads of households, although many households are headed by women, including single women.


Patriarchy is a social construct and values and implications based on biological differences between men and women are the result of culture.


Patriarchy is defined as the control of women’s labor, fertility, and sexuality for the benefit of men. Although patriarchy is a structure that operates through various institutions of society, the loose usage of the term has come to mean the oppression/exploitation of women by men. Patriarchy is both a consequence and a contributor to how gender is employed to perpetuate and maintain social systems. It is a social system that perpetuates and perpetuates a male-dominated society, where men enjoy higher status and greater power in most aspects of life. They carry on the family name, inherit property and make decisions. Patriarchy sets roles for men and women. These roles prescribed for men and women are the norm of a patriarchal society, and are not created by their ‘biology’.


Patriarchy also places expectations on boys/men and limits their choices and expressions

– Boys find it difficult to choose a dancer, musician, cook or tailor. They are pushed to be ‘muscular’ and ‘macho’ men. Even today there is ‘son preference’ in our society for various reasons.


The patriarchal mindset deeply influences girls in terms of how to dress, what to say, where to go, whom to meet, thereby limiting their choices to a great extent. Their autonomy, body control and mobility are part of their socialization from an early age.


While our society is changing, and women are breaking barriers – becoming scientists, fighter pilots, athletes, entrepreneurs – the magnitude and direction of change in socio-cultural-political domains is still slow.

Girls and boys are equal.





Masculinity is a set of social practices and cultural representations associated with being a man. It varies historically and culturally between societies and between different groups of men within any given society. It (also called masculinity or masculinity) is a set of characteristics, behaviors, and roles associated with boys and men. Traditionally masculine qualities include strength, courage, independence, leadership, and assertiveness. It is socially constructed.

Each society views and constructs masculinity according to the social and cultural values of that society, thus, there is always a difference in the method used by the society to construct masculinity.




After knowing about the concept of masculinity and its social construction, let us move on to different types of masculinity.

Learn in:


  1. Hegemonic masculinity: The most prevalent, culturally valued and dominant form of masculinity. Property; Heterosexual, physically strong and suppressed emotions.


  1. Collaborative Masculinity: Doesn’t fit into dominant masculinity but doesn’t challenge it either.


  1. Marginal masculinity: Marginal masculinity is a form of masculinity in which a man does not have access to hegemonic masculinity because of some of his characteristics such as his caste.



  1. Subordinate masculinity: men with characteristics opposite to hegemonic masculinity such as physical weakness and expressing emotions, for example feminine and homosexual men.



There are examples of boys/men in our families, communities and our peers who have embraced alternative ideas of masculinity.


 They are calm and control their anger, help with household chores and communicate respectfully.


 There are boys who believe in equality and speak up for the rights of their sisters to get a fair share in the parental property.


 They do not feel bad if they have to express their weaknesses. When needed, they ask for help from friends.


 There are fathers who take care of their children. There are men who respect their colleagues at work.


Ending Violence Against Girls/Women: Advancing Safety and Rights





define violence


Violence means hitting and hurting someone physically. It may include verbal abuse or psychological stress without actual hitting which causes injury to mind and damage to reputation.

Types of Violence:


  1. Criminal violence (rape, murder, kidnapping, abduction, dowry death)
  2. Domestic violence (sexual abuse, wife beating, domestic abuse)
  3. Social violence (molestation, forcing wife or daughter-in-law to commit female foeticide, forcing widow to commit sati, etc.)



Girls and women experience different types of violence in their life cycle:


  • Gender based sex selection, neglect of girl child, forced early marriage, sexual abuse, dowry related violence, trafficking, discrimination against widows etc.
  • Sexual Harassment in public places, roads, bus stops, schools, transport system etc.


  • The serious threat of cyber crime and cyber-bullying
  • Other sites of such violence include the home, educational institutions, the community and the workplace.


violence against children


Likewise violence against children takes many forms: physical, sexual and emotional abuse, and may include neglect or deprivation. Violence occurs in many places, including the home, school, community and the Internet.


All children have the right to protection from violence, regardless of the nature or severity of the act. Violence of all kinds can harm children, reduce their sense of self-worth, hurt their dignity and hinder their development

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