Let’s talk about gender socialisation 

Everyone has beliefs and associations that are unconscious and automatic, that help us make sense of the world and makes our lives easier. For example, you may automatically associate fish with chips, which makes it easier to decide what you want for lunch. While some of these associations come from our personal experience (e.g. fish tastes good with chips!), they are also influenced by pop culture and outside sources, and can reflect more about how the people around us think rather than us as individuals.

In all sorts of TV shows, movies and even news media, men and women are portrayed with sets of overarching characteristics. Women are often seen as followers. They are depicted as being emotional, nurturing, focused on family and romance, and mending conflicts rather than causing them. On the other hand, men are often seen as leaders. They are depicted as rational and level headed, assertive, the breadwinners of families, and in charge of decision making. But these gender roles are created by society collectively rather than based purely in facts, and vary a lot around the world.  

These stereotypes and assumptions can affect people on a day to day basis. For example, back in the 1800s, women did not have the right to vote because they were considered not intelligent enough and too emotional to take part in anything related to the running of a country. 

And although the right to vote is thankfully no longer still an issue, gender based stereotypes and biases continue to affect people every day. The key way this manifests in our society today is through gender based violence, with one woman in Australia being killed by a current or former partner every week. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Gender based assumptions and stereotypes may seem benign at first, but they can have serious consequences. To begin to address the issues around gendered violence, we need to examine their drivers which lie in our social and cultural norms. These drivers are deeply entrenched, but they can be shifted. 

Together, let’s #ChalkAboutIt

Quick facts:

  • One in five Australian women has experienced sexual violence in her lifetime (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2012)
  • One in four Australian women has experienced physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2012)
  • Women are at least three times more likely than men to experience violence from an intimate partner (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2012)
  • Both women and men are more likely to experience violence at the hands of men, with around 95% of all victims of violence in Australia reporting a male perpetrator   (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2012)

This conversation starter was produced by Chris Phung and Yan Zhuang - Chalk Circle's #ChalkAboutIt Content Creators

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This resource was produced by Chris Phung and Yan Zhuang - Chalk Circle's #ChalkAboutIt Content Creators

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