Gender Stereotypes And The Classroom

1308 Words6 Pages
Current issues today such as transgender bathroom laws, the wage gap between men and women, and equal employment can all be traced back to one issue: gender. Gender as a social construct has limited women to the home and men to the workplace, and while this is not as prevalent today, women and men are still expected to perform according to their gender. From the early years of childhood, girls are encouraged to play with dolls and boys are expected to play sports. While this may appear innocent, most people are not aware of gender biases and the impact it can have on students. Gender biases in schools have hideous effects on students, including bullying, depression, and in some cases, suspension. Educators should be informed on how they may be enforcing gender bias by being properly trained using programs implemented in schools. This will create an environment where students will feel welcome and comfortable with who they are without societal pressures to act like someone they are not. In order to fully understand the gender biases in schools, the definition of gender must first be given. Gender is a social construction that humans are expected to, by society, fit into. The definition of gender varies based on culture, not by biological differences. In society, gender is defined by what is masculine or feminine and the behaviors and characteristics prescribed to each. Contrary to popular belief, gender and sex are completely different. Sex is the biological difference between male and female; it has nothing to do with one’s gender identity. When gender is thought of as biological, it leads people who do not fit into the gender norms to feel exorcised and abnormal; they may feel they have something biologically wrong with them. T... ... middle of paper ... ...ty. The link between the classroom and society is illustrated by Marshall: “classrooms are microcosms of society, mirroring its strengths and ills alike, it follows that the normal socialization patterns of young children that often lead to distorted perceptions of gender roles in the classrooms” (qtd. in Chapman). This ties to the idea that youth today are the future of tomorrow. Ideas that students are learning in the classroom, from adolescence to teenage years, such as male dominance over female, and feminine versus masculine academic subjects, are weaved into their ideologies and will likely be enforced into the workplace later. This leads to unequal employment opportunities where employers may favor a male candidate, for example, for an engineering position over a female due to their stereotype that he will be better at the job since engineering is “masculine.”
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