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Gender Module for Online Education Program

Sex is the biological and physical characteristics that define men and women. Females have breasts and a vagina, menstruate, produce eggs, and are capable of breast-feeding. Males have testicles and a penis, produce sperm and generally have more massive bones than women. Sex is not necessarily permanent and there are people who believe that they were born in the wrong body. Sex change operations are possible.

Gender is the socially constructed attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women. To be feminine could be described as considerate, emotionally strong, nonviolent, caring, quiet and chatty (and more); to be masculine is often described as being powerful, financially successful, emotionally not expressive, and brave (and that is not all). Gender affects our self-image, our relations with others, the way we learn, the way we perceive our options, and the choices we make. Gender is variable across society, it is hierarchical, and can be changed. Transgender people identify with a different gender than the one with which they were reared.

Gender Roles/ Norms are the behaviors that are learned from infancy onwards about how to be male or female. They are not “natural” like sex, but are made up. A person is a combination of both masculine and feminine attributes, but people are forced by societal norms to be a certain way.

Girls are forced to conform to feminine roles such as to: be caregivers; be docile and submissive to males, underplay their intelligence, undervalue or withhold their opinions and ideas; accept having their rights limited; accept close monitoring of their dress, friendships, and their comings and goings; be careful not to hurt people’s feelings; avoid having sex before marriage, even if they wish to; and give in to having unwanted sex.

Boys often suffer pressure to prove their masculinity, for example, to: be brace and assertive; have money and prepare to become providers; suppress certain emotions (for example, vulnerability and tenderness) or behaviors that may appear “feminine”; engage in physical violence (against people they know or do not know); perform as an athlete and have a muscular body; avoid seeking health care, or even admitting that they are sick or have been harmed; and take physical risks (including with drugs, alcohol, or with a vehicle).

Gender Stereotypes are portrayed in the media

Both children’s stories and the media exert a powerful and wide-ranging influence on the gender norms and expectations of young people. Such media include radio, television, movies, newspapers, magazine, the Internet, and advertising

Media images and messages can promote and expose people to values of equality, respect, and dignity—or to those of disrespect and inequality. The media depicts men as heroes and women as victims and representing women in highly sexualized ways. Men also have the more visible and senior positions on news channels.

Fighting Discrimination with Gender Equality

Almosteveryone enjoys activities that do not align with the stereotypes of their gender. For example, girls enjoy sports, excel at math and science, and have goals of leading the country—and still feel like girls. Many, if not most, boys enjoy developing close friendships, creating art, and feel free from pressures to do brave and risky things—and still feel like boys.

Gender Equality

makes everyone better off, as there are more opportunities to reach his or her full potential. Some families treat boys and girls equally. For example, both sons and daughters are encouraged and permitted to: seek success in the public sphere; express feelings of vulnerability; and share equally in household chores.If the household chores are shared than girls will be less likely to fall behind in school or leave the education system without any qualification.

Increasingly women are being educated and society is recognizing the value of women’s contribution to spheres outside the home. Yet still, women are paid significantly less than men for the same work, and are not encouraged to ask for promotions. This is because some girls are discouraged from being assertive.

But girls are not the only one’s to be discriminated against. Boys, especially from minority or marginalized groups or from low-income neighborhoods, may face harassment or brutality by police. Some boys face severe beating for relatively minor misbehavior. Girls tend to enjoy greater opportunity than boys to develop and practice one-to-one interpersonal skills.

How to Break Out of the System

Despite gender inequality, every day millions of individual seek to fulfill their dreams. Although everyone does not automatically enjoy the same opportunities they obtain.

Greater roles change over time, and in many settings people—especially young people—are embracing greater gender equality. Many young people resist conventional pressure to conform to an idealized body image or version of manhood. Many girls have confidence in themselves and their own power. They know they can fight for opportunities to work hard, achieve and pursue their dreams. Many boys feel free to express vulnerability and tenderness.


What is the difference between gender and sex?

A.   Male Sex is having male sex organs. Gender is to be masculine.
B.   Male Sex is having short hair. Gender is to be feminine.
C.   Female Sex is having a high voice. Female Gender is to wear a sari.
D.   Female Sex is to stay home raising children. Female Gender is to be able to become pregnant.
What are some gender norms?

A.   Boys are expected to be nice, and kind.
B.  Girls are expected to fight back and to speak up.
C.  Girls are expected to be caregivers, to be docile and to be submissive to males.
D.  Boys are expected to keep out of harms way in order to protect themselves and their families.
How could the media be more representative of both genders?

A.  Female characters as side-kicks
B.  Female characters as the main hero
C.  Females as helping run news stations for male TV anchors
D.  Female characters as promiscuous characters
What is gender equality and how is it possible?

A.  Girls going to school for a few years, but not the whole time, since they will most likely stay home to do housework anyways.
B.  Sharing household chores between boys and girls equally.
C.  Boys getting beaten by police in order to make them more docile.
D.  Girls saying yes, in order to avoid hurting someone’s feelings.
Why does gender equality matter?

A.  So girls have better opportunity than boys.
B.  So girls compete for the opportunities boys already have.
C.  So girls and boys are free to act in either masculine or feminine ways.
D.  So girls and boys have equal opportunities and are free to act in both masculine and feminine ways.
What is the main point of this lesson?

A.  Individuals can challenge gender inequality that they see in their own relationship and lives, communities and national campaigns.
B.  Males are higher in the hierarchy of gender than woman
C.  Sex can be changed and gender is socially constructed
D.  Females are supposed to act a certain way: sweet, easy-going, nurturing and males are supposed to act a certain way: strong, powerful, and assertive.