Girls like pink and boys like blue. Everyone knows that, right?
The idea that men and women are different has been around for centuries. In Victorian times, it was wrongly thought that women were less clever because their brains are smaller. They were also kept from doing important jobs, like being a doctor or politician.
Even today, women and girls are told to be gentle and sweet, while men and boys are taught to be strong and not to cry.
These are stereotypes (fixed ideas about what groups of people are like, which are not always true). Stereotypes about gender can create problems for everyone. After all, girls can be brave and have adventures too! At the same time, boys are allowed to talk about their feelings.
Luckily, attitudes about gender are changing. We now know that it does not matter if you are a boy or a girl. Anyone can be strong, brave, clever, kind, or all of those things at the same time.
Can you think of any other stereotypes about gender?
Read Our Story
Why do we say that pink is for girls and blue is for boys? This fun video explains where the stereotype comes from!
- Divide the whiteboard or a large piece of paper in half. One side is for boys; the other for girls. As a class, suggest words that you associate with each gender! They could be stereotypes you have seen, or your own ideas about gender. Are there any big differences? Do any words appear on both sides?
- “What are little boys made of? Snips and snails and puppy-dogs’ tails. What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice and all things nice!” This nursery rhyme has been around since the Victorian era. Have a go at writing your own version for the 21st century. Bonus points if you can get it to rhyme!