The goals of this module are

  • to define gender stereotypes and
  • to increase understanding of stereotypes of boys and girls, men and women and how they can affect our behaviour.

Ideal Group size:

Up to 30


25 minutes



  • chalkboard and chalk, flip chart paper and marker pens

Materials for download:

External resources:

How it’s done

  1. How we see boys, girls, men and women
    1. Explain that people often have beliefs and attitudes concerning the abilities of women compared to men and these are not based on reality. One example is that women are more caring than men.
    2. Ask learners to list other examples of characteristics that are often associated with either women or men.
    3. Together with the learners, develop a list of such stereotypes.
  2. Stereotypes and Behaviours
    1. Write the following two statements on the board:
      • Boys may believe that to be a real boy they should…
      • Girls may believe that to be a real they should…
    2. Ask learners to list as many responses as possible
  3. Conclude the session by reminding learners of the first activity in the gender section of what boys and girls can really do. Emphasizing that apart from the reproductive functions, which are dictated by biology, women can do everything that men can do and men can do everything that women can do. Everyone – boys and girls – should strive to be the best they can be at whatever they choose. Emphasize that:
    • Stereotypes are a form of discrimination
    • Stereotypes are wrong
    • Essential ingredients should be human relations and respect for all humans

Examples for stereotypes (click to expand list):

  • Female: what is a girl thing?
    • Gentle and caring
    • Physically weak
    • Less intellectual
    • Submissive
    • Cannot lead followers in a household
    • Gossip
    • Cannot make decisions
  • Male: what is a boy thing?
    • Rough
    • Individualistic
    • Physically strong
    • More intellectual
    • Assertive
    • Leaders and decision-makers
    • Heads of household
  • Feminine: what is a girl thing?
    • Be emotionally sensitive
    • Be vulnerable
    • Submit to wishes of men
    • Be dependent
    • Meet needs of others before self
    • Be physically attractive
    • Be tolerant
    • Avoid careers in math and sciences
    • Have children when men want
  • Masculine: what is a boy thing?
    • Be in control
    • Appear unemotional
    • Be dominant
    • Be sexually active
    • Have many partners
    • Head the family
    • Be the breadwinner
    • Avoid household work
    • Be strong (resolve conflicts with violence)
    • Take risks
    • Be in careers that are mechanical and analytical

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