The Impact of Gender Stereotypes


Recognize the potentially damaging effects of living up to stereotypes, and how they can lead to abuse and violence against ourselves and others ;
Understand that “going along with the crowd” can involve sacrificing one’s own principles (which is one way of being aggressive towards oneself), as well as infringing on the rights of others ;
Explore and practice a positive approach to situations involving peer pressure.
The Impact of 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 children.

This lesson plan named The Impact of 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.”

Teachers can also find here how this activity helps developing cross-curricular competencies as well as subject-specific competencies.

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


The Impact of Gender Roles Stereotypes - Lesson Plan
File size: 110 KB (application/pdf)