Is Sexist Banter Putting Women Off Certain Careers?

sexist-banterQuestion: Is sexist banter putting women off certain careers?

Answer: Yes! An Institute of Physics report suggests that gender stereotyping can turn girls away from studying science subjects as often as boys.

All schools have policies to counter racist, homophobic and sexist language hidden somewhere on their website, but the BBC states that generally, teacher’s awareness on the subject is very “patchy”.

The report said: “The senior leadership team would assert there was no problem with sexist language, only for the classroom teachers to refer to some cases and the students to report that it was an everyday reality.”

Interestingly, the report referred as much to the gender of stereotyping of boys as much as girls, saying “Lack of confidence and resilience can present a barrier for girls taking subjects perceived to be the most challenging and boys can get caught up in a culture of not working hard.”

In 2013, a survey of 1,300 girls showed that a staggering 75% of the girls aged 13 and over admitted to suffering sexual harassment. Perhaps even more shocking, is the fact that much of the harassment – unwanted sexual attention, touching, sexual jokes or images that made them feel uncomfortable – happens at school!

The government said thinks that no woman should feel that their gender is a barrier to their success, and I strongly agree. I personally think that the fact sexism is a daily reality for children is very concerning.

A lot of people place the blame of sexism within school on the sexual education system. The curriculum for sex ed hasn’t changed in 14 years, with almost no mention of the internet. A lot has changed since then! Children can see almost anything with a click of a button and people are starting to think these issues need to be addressed within the classroom.

What do you think?

Do you think schools are not taking sexist “banter” as seriously as they do racist or homophobic language? Let us know.

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