PACEY has been working with the Fawcett Society on their expert Commission on Gender Stereotypes in Early Childhood, that was set up to better understand and combat gender stereotypes in the early years of life.
Today, we are able to share the findings of the Commission’s report titled Unlimited Potential – the final report of the Commission on Gender Stereotypes in Early Childhood.
This report outlines how gender stereotypes are significantly limiting children and young people and contributing to mental health and body image issues.
Some of the reports key findings include:
- 74% of parents believe that girls and boys are treated differently, with 60% believing that this is has negative impacts.
- Parents are seven times more likely to picture their sons working in construction and almost three times as likely to see their daughters in nursing or care work.
- Over half of education practitioners have heard staff say ‘boys will be boys’ when they misbehave.
- 61% of parents say they would worry about bullying if their son behaved differently to what is seen as ‘normal’ for their gender, compared to 47% in relation to their daughters.
The Commission calls on the education and commercial sectors as well as parents to challenge these gender stereotypes, and in particular urges the Department for Education to prioritise this throughout its teaching and childcare curriculum and guidance.
The majority of parents echo this call for change, with 66% saying they want to see companies voluntarily advertise toys to boys and girls in the same way.
The report findings will also be presented in a public online Zoom event later today from 5:30-7:00pm. Sign up to hear the impact gender stereotypes have, and how we can all - parents, educators, government and companies - commit to tackling them.
Read the Commission's full press release here.
Helen Donohoe, Policy Advisor at PACEY comments:
“We know that a child’s early experiences shape their outcomes later in life, and this important report clearly evidences the lasting and harmful impacts of gender stereotyping from an early age.
PACEY is proud to be part of the Commission on Gender Stereotypes in Early Childhood and we urge the government to prioritise addressing stereotypes to prevent children being pigeonholed from a young age.
PACEY will continue to support early years and childcare providers in providing an equal and enriching learning experience to allow all young children to reach their potential."