Gender Stereotypes and Body Image


Understand the potentially damaging effects of living up to stereotypes, and how they can lead to abuse and violence against ourselves and others ;
Understand the media’s role in perpetuating these stereotypes ;
Understand that “going along with the crowd” can involve sacrificing one’s own principles, as well as infringing on the rights of others.
Gender Stereotypes and Body Image

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 children.

This lesson plan named Gender Stereotypes and Body Image 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, this lesson plan aims at making “students aware of the dangers of gender stereotyping and the media’s role in perpetuating gender stereotypes.”

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


Gender Stereotypes and Body Image - Lesson Plan
File size: 91 KB (application/pdf)