07.04.2021

Why misogyny needs to be tackled in education from primary school

Early primary school is the time where boys begin to distance themselves from girls and from behaviours stereotypically perceived as “feminine”, through put-downs and bullying. Current teaching guidelines, however, do not involve engaging younger children to think about their gender identities in any depth. They also do not facilitate detailed discussion among children on why they or their peers may engage in gender-based behaviours that are damaging to others.

Global research on primary schools has shown that boys learn to behave in gendered ways that are reinforced by the adults around them. Teachers are a key part of this socialisation process. To change behaviour, we need to start with school.

Education needs to address a series of essential socio-cultural issues around gender, from power relationships and inappropriate language to touching and violence.

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