Teaching Gender Roles
The socially constructed stereotypical gender roles are sometimes divisive and other times are more or less harmful to both men and women in the society. The socially constructed belief separate the sexes which may be disadvantageous to male but also female. Although these ideologies may vary depending on several factors like race, religion, ethnicity and much more, this division transcends social class, race and other identity clusters in today’s society. It is for this reason that the stereotypical categorization becomes problematic. Other than defining an individual by either being male or female, the notion further puts their difference in the ability of what they can and cannot do depending on which side they are on; i.e., male or female (Levit 15).
The belief is deep-rooted in the society such that there are certain expectations when an individual is making decisions like what career path to take. For an individual taking up a career that is presumed to be of the opposite gender, they might face backlash and disapproval. In a way, this has influenced the gender-achievement gaps and underrepresentation of a particular sex in various positions. An example is the presence of very few women in the executive and leadership posts (Botting 117). Presence of few women taking up leadership is evidence that confirms how the traditional gender roles division has affected our society. It does not mean that women are not capable of being leaders, it only says that they are not given a level ground to develop themselves. It is something that emanates not just at home but also in the class.
In a recent study Gender Stereotypes in the Classroom and Effects on Achievement by Alan, Ertac and Mumcu (2017), beliefs instilled in children on gender roles from a tender age, were found to affect their educational outcomes. In the study, female students whose family and teachers maintained the traditional view of gender roles, had a lower performance on math and verbal tests. The test score was, however, the opposite for boys.
Everyone has a right to education, and within this, they have a right to develop their own opinion. The best way to deal with this is by presenting all the studies equally without conditioning the mind of an individual with what they can or cannot do or what they are supposed or not supposed to do. Literature that defines the role of male and those of female should be eliminated (Eveline and Bacchi 290). By doing this, it is possible to realize an individual’s full potential on a clean slate without having being programmed on what to do or not to do.
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