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What's gender stereotyping? Perhaps you meet up with your boyfriend. It could be a date or a simple eating out. Who should pay the bill and why? Most people would obviously expect the man to cater for the bill. But why not you, the girlfriend? Nothing guarantees that it's the man who should go into his pocket to fund a lady. Again, nobody should look down upon him just because he failed or shared costs with his girl. This is a simple example of how stereotyping and discrimination affect us. This article discusses how gender stereotyping hurts everyone. Let's read on to see how.

Defining gender stereotyping

A stereotype is a general opinion about the traits supposed to be demonstrated by a particular social group of individuals. Therefore, a gender stereotype describes an overall view about roles or attributes that ought to be shown by either males or females. It can be positive or negative. It can be unsafe and pressing if the man or woman involved has limited capacity for personal development, can't choose their lives, or cannot pursue their career.

No matter the severity, harmful gender stereotypes encourage inequality. For instance, women were traditionally known for caring and looking after the children. It mainly implied that kids' responsibilities were an exclusive role for women. More imbalances are seen in certain women groups, including migrant women, those with disabilities, indigenous groups, and those with lower social and economic status.

Gender stereotyping is bad when its effects cause violation of freedom and human rights. For example, failure to criminalize marital rape, whereby a woman is perceived as a sexual object, hence must give it even without consent. Also, failure to investigate or sentence sexual offenses against a woman. Sometimes the people in authority tend to a victim violated sexually wasn't modestly behaving or dressing, thus leading to the offense.

Wrongful acts that discriminate against both men and women arise from gender stereotyping. It contributes highly to violating several rights, such as education, adequate living standards, work, family relations, and political participation.

Sources of gender stereotypes

Gender stereotypes come from local traditions and cultures. It’s complicated because children are nurtured with a mind constituting what males and females should do. They see it in their family, through media, friends, and different institutions, including religious centers and schools. The thing has greatly impacted all genders with excessive exposure of the young to stories and messages informing how boys and girls should play, look, or act. The ideas are usually unconscious and socially accepted. Thus, they grow up with them from infancy. 

Gender stereotype styles and their effects on various people

The four basic styles include;

Personality trends

Normally, women are perceived and expected to be emotional and accommodative. On the other side, men are known to be aggressive and self-assured. 

Physical appearance

The prediction about women’s appearance is graceful and thin, whereas men are famous for being masculine and tall. Both genders also have a specific manner they dress or groom. For instance, ladies should apply makeup and wear dresses, while men should put on pants with short hair.

Domestic actions

Some individuals still see women as responsible for preparing dinner, staying with children, cleaning the house, and all house chores. On the other hand, men contend with car work services, budget, and house upkeep.

Career and occupations

The society mainly perceives teachers or nurses to be females only. Men are predicted to manage engineering roles, medicine, and piloting. Some individuals think a woman shouldn’t be a doctor.

Gender stereotyping reflects on all people, and not just ladies and women. Some gender stereotyping approaches can be adverse for men. They include;

  • Pressure from society asking you to look like a man and behave manly.
  • Choose careers and topics that go along with the present stereotypes, unlike following your passion and skills.
  • Learn how to suppress emotions and not cry like ladies.

Individuals under the transgender or non-binary social group also are part of some social pressure, damage, and discrimination since they don't follow the stereotypes associated with gender. That suggests that gender stereotyping has a negative impact on everyone through growth and development following inflexible assumptions by social norms.

Negative effects of gender stereotypes

Gender stereotyping has numerous impacts on how we participate in the lines of duty, our relationship attitudes, and self-perception. School students can influence academic performance, classroom experience, choice of subjects, and general health. People make varied perceptions about girls and boys, either consciously or unconsciously. This can cause different treatment for both genders, such as having different opportunities offered according to your sexual orientation.

Unconscious stereotyping

All of us can suffer gender stereotyping resulting from unconscious bias. It occurs when our subconscious overlooks people’s actions relying on their actual or perceived background. Be sure everybody does it. You could be unconsciously impacted by a certain stereotype even without approving it. The best way to counter such gender stereotypes is by knowing our biases and limiting them. Such stereotypes mainly develop because we allow ourselves to comprehend huge information amounts from time to time. We should start by knowing how the assumptions come about. For instance, most characterizations are based on gender mainly, age, and race. Their communication is through word choice and body language. We get in the mix, especially when tired or stressed, leading to rising issues that influence how we treat others or beliefs. Handling our biases can be daunting, but it's vital to pinpoint, reflect on them, and talk over it with others.

The bottom line

Gender stereotyping entails the general beliefs about the characteristics and deeds that ought to be done by men or women. For example, women are portrayed as emotional, insecure, and caring. Men, conversely, are rational, muscular, and career-driven. The misconceptions can be negative, including assumptions that men are insensitive and women irrational. Others are positive, saying that men are leaders, whereas women are nurturing. Regardless of how big or small, gender stereotypes have negatively impacted all of us.