Common Sense’s 2017 research report, Watching Gender: How Stereotypes in Movies and on TV Impact Kids’ Development, showed that kids who are fed gender stereotypes may internalize those roles, shaping their behavior for years to come.
Stereotypically gendered media shows kids a narrow view of who they are and what they can be. Girls must be princesses: damsels in distress and sexual objects. Boys must be superheroes: decisive and strong. The effects on children of gendered media include:
- girls’ focus on their appearance and value as sexual objects
- more tolerant views of sexual harassment
- the establishment of gendered behaviors in romantic and sexual relationships
- riskier behavior in boys
- career choices limited by gender norms
While it’s the role of a parent or caregiver to communicate the family’s beliefs about gender expectations, teachers are key role models in kids’ lives and have an enormous impact on how kids regard themselves and their capabilities. It’s important to be mindful of how our words, actions, and content choices in the classroom can perpetuate or combat gender stereotypes.…Read More