Learning Gender Stereotypes


Understand the importance of distinguishing between fantasy (what happens on television, in the movies, and in ads) and reality (what really goes on in their lives) ;
Understand that stereotypical perfection is illusory and unreal ;
Recognize the futility and the harmful effects of striving to attain stereotypical perfection ;
Appreciate the benefits of celebrating who they really are.
Learning Gender Stereotypes

Brief description of the issue

A strong endorsement of gender stereotypes is associated with higher school dropout rates, for boys as well as for girls. They can also have a negative impact on teenagers’ self-esteem, especially for those who don’t or can’t conform to those stereotypes. Gender stereotypes are widely shared through the media and contribute to teenagers’ understanding of the roles expected from men and women in society. It is therefore important to put specific activities on this topic in place (like this one!) to break down gender stereotypes with students.

This lesson plan named Learning Gender Stereotypes is promoted by MediaSmarts, “a Canadian not-for-profit charitable organization for digital and media literacy. Our vision is that children and youth have the critical thinking skills to engage with media as active and informed digital citizens.” It however has been taken from the Violence-Prevention Curriculum Healthy Relationships, produced by Men For Change, a Halifax, Nova Scotia advocacy group.

According to the website’s description, ”the objective of these lessons is to encourage students to develop their own critical intelligence with regard to culturally inherited stereotypes, and to the images presented in the media – film and television, rock music, newspapers and magazines.”

You can download the activity directly on MediaSmarts’ website or in the “Documents” section below.


Learning Gender Stereotypes - Lesson Plan
File size: 483 KB (application/pdf)