Young children receive many powerful messages about gender roles and gender identity. These gender roles pressure students to conform to behaviors that may limit their full developmental potential.
Children who do not adopt the traditional gender roles are often targeted for harassment and bullying. Gender based name-calling is among most common in elementary school.
- Check out “Gender & Children: a Place to Begin” for some simple steps that educators can take to develop a classroom and school that allows children to be who they are.
- Check out our recommendations for picture books and chapter books that help children see more possibilities with strong, intelligent girls or gentle, brave boys. We also have specific recommendations for books on gender and bullying. (Picture books and Chapter books)
- Find books that reflect students who expresses themselves in ways that don’t typically match their biological sex? Learn more by checking out our recommendations of books for adults on gender identity and children or our listing of children’s books that look at gender identity.
- Contact one of our regional consultants for ideas and trainings to develop a school that feels safe for all children so that they can thrive in your school.
- Help your students observe and discuss the impact of gender stereotypes that one sees in the media or in books through simple lesson plans.
- Biographies of girls/women and biographies of boys/men can provide students with role models of people who have achieved in many realms.