Gender identity is a controversial topic among many people, especially young adult students. Regardless of the measures put in place to promote equality, there are still many stereotypes of women.
Ultimately, such stereotypes affect women’s ability to live a fulfilling life achieving their dreams, aspirations, and profession choice. Unfortunately, the power of stereotypes begins in childhood and creeps into youth and adulthood.
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With that said, the following article shed light on some of these stereotypes that women face from a tough age and how to confront them.
Girls are Soft and are Supposed to Be Caring
A survey carried out in the UK among children (both girls and boys) showed that ‘being tough’ for boys is vital while ‘being good looking and caring’ is essential for girls.
The problem with this stereotype is that it assumes girls cannot be tough. But research and science have shown that today, women are more resilient and tougher than men as they live longer through all situations, i.e., famine and epidemics.
Girls are Better at Reading While Boys are Better at Math
While there are certain gender differences, learning is not one of them. As men have dominated the math and science industries for long, women have surpassed men in college enrollment and degree attainment.
This stereotype is also similar to one suggesting that girls are not interested in STEM subjects. STEM subjects are technology, science, engineering, life sciences, mathematical sciences, social sciences, and geosciences. Also, women are expected to be better writers with good and neat handwriting.
However, according to new research, there are gender similarities in the brain during math learning and development. This means that both girls and boys have similar study tendencies when it comes to learning math.
More men have simply been exposed to or, better yet, encouraged to take courses math-related. But to stop this stereotype, we need to teach our girls that if they enjoy learning math and want to succeed, work hard and persistence is all it takes regardless of the gender.
Take Mayim Bialik, for instance; she is the star of the hit sitcom series “The Big Bang Theory” and a real-life scientist who encourages more and more women to pursue careers in STEM subjects from different world class universities.
Boys Should Engage in Sports While Girls Should Engage in Less Athletic Activities
Sports are often considered masculine as girls are encouraged not to participate, especially during their younger years. According to a survey done in 2016, girls aged 8 to 12 are 19% less active than boys.
Not only is encouraging girls not to participate in sports wrong, but it could have severe implications on their health. Physical activity and sports are vitally important to both genders.
Additionally, if a girl wants to participate in such activities, they should be allowed. According to research, girls’ physical activities are not limited by any physical differences between them and men, but by societal forces that determine their actions.
Statements like ‘you throw like a girl’ or ‘you hit like a girl’ have dire consequences on both genders. And as a result, harsh penalties should be taken to those who look to offend their fellow mates using such phrases.
Fresh thinking about the roles of boys and girls in society needs to be done. Also, significant reforms to our school’s programs with regard to physical education need major rethinking.