What are gender stereotypes?

Gender stereotypes do not always coincide from one society to another, and influence our way of thinking, living and prejudge people. Limit and restrict the aspirations and desires themselves and others besides establishing rigid models of what should be a man and a woman, two rigid categories already.

Thus, influence both the way we express or repress our emotions (sensuality, pain or sadness, for them, or anger, competitiveness or courage, if them) and in areas as diverse as our dress, interact, choose a career, choose a partner or sports.

To understand them, say a simple exercise proposed by the guide ‘Equality, teamwork’ (Andalusian)

“With 80 years he traveled to Afghanistan inaccessible area, at 84 dropped raft down the Euphrates and at 89 went to the Himalayan mountains mule.”

Many people have thought of a “strong, courageous and determined” man, when in fact, correspond to the merits Freya Stark (1893-1993), a British explorer who published 24 books of travel and died at 100 years. Stark participated in World War I as a volunteer Red Cross, and in the second race as a reporter of the British government thanks to his knowledge of the Middle East and India. He received the Cross of the British Empire in 1953.

This exercise is a good example of how they work in our minds gender stereotypes, which are defined as “myths, habits or physical and mental traits that cultures determined as appropriate (virtues) or inappropriate (defects) for each sex “.

Stereotypes are passed from generation to generation and its origin is cultural. They can be changed socially, but this process requires both individual and collective changes as they are built by a social group to try to control or exert power over the rest.

In the case of gender, patriarchal and male-centered society has created and nurtured from the archaic state a system of stereotypes that favor men and disadvantage women. And although it may seem to make life easier, to mark a path of behavior, generate conflicts in people who, by their biological traits or self-knowledge and way of understanding freedom of thought, rebel against them and vindicate your authentic self. Stereotypes is the source of discrimination.

Since sexist education, it is transmitted to children these social differences, and thus constructed, as if you were biological, concealing the true nature of people. A man or woman able to get rid of sexist stereotypes will be free and happy, plus more empathetic and receptive to others.

(Sources: Guides ‘Equality, teamwork’ and ‘sex / gender system’ of the Junta de AndalucĂ­a).