(Kuala Lumpur News) Regarding gender education in adolescent sex education, how should parents and teachers teach it? The concept of gender is the most critical part of gender education. It can help teenagers realize that gender is not only a physical characteristic, but also a concept influenced by society and culture.
Sex education at this stage teaches teenagers to understand the difference between biological sex and social gender, that is, gender is a social construct and does not only depend on physical characteristics.
Society expects boys to be strong and girls to be gentle.
Sexuality educator Cai Xiuqin pointed out that when we talk about biological sex, we refer to the physiological characteristics related to reproductive organs, such as the different physiological differences between boys and girls; but social gender is a role and responsibility given by culture and society. and expectations.
“Sometimes, the gender a person identifies with is not consistent with our biological sex, which leads to the concept of gender identity, which is the gender you personally identify with.”
“For example, some people may be biologically male, but in their hearts they identify themselves more as female. This is very common in society and should be respected. So when we mention gender, don’t take it too seriously. It is too binary. It is not just two options: boys and girls. It is more like a large spectrum, including different degrees of male and female sexual characteristics, as well as transgender and non-binary identities. “That is, some people may believe that they are not entirely male or female, or somewhere in between.”
She said that it is like an oversized drawing board, and everyone has their own recognized position; there is also a concept called gender expression, which is the way to express gender. For example, some girls may choose to grow their hair long and wear skirts, but this does not mean that all girls should do this; they can also keep their hair neat and short and wear comfortable pants. Everyone has the right to do it the way they like. , to express one’s gender characteristics.
Teaching to be a gender equality advocate
“Don’t forget that gender roles are society’s expectations and requirements for men and women. For example, in the past, there were notions that boys should be strong and adventurous; girls should be gentle and law-abiding. But these are just social expectations, not Hard rules.”
She emphasized that a very important content in gender education is to emphasize the importance of respecting and tolerating gender diversity and opposing sexist bullying and discrimination against transgender individuals.
“As teachers, you must educate young people to become advocates for gender equality; for homosexuals, bisexuals and transgender people, especially transgender people, because their appearance is often more obvious, even if They don’t want to come out and are less able to hide, so they often suffer unreasonable and rough treatment.”
She knew someone who worked for a transgender rights organization. He said that transgender people are often coerced by others and have difficulty integrating into the groups around them. As a result, their living circles are relatively narrow and their job options are very limited. There is still a long road to overcome unless There can be a more open and comfortable atmosphere, otherwise the living space for transgender people is still very limited.
She said that to create a friendly and open social environment, family education and school education are very important. In school, we will also find some boys with relatively feminine personalities who are often teased and ostracized by their male classmates, and their classmates will also give them very unpleasant and indecent nicknames. Parents and teachers must stop such behavior as soon as possible. Children realize that everyone has their own characteristics and personality. We must know how to respect differences and learn to accept people, things, and things that are different from ourselves. Just like a garden is charming because of its diverse colors; this society is also because of gender diversity. As for the beauty, the school is a microcosm of society. If we can show an open attitude and a broad mind in the school, we will be able to respect all those who are on a different track from us in society in the future.
Choose to be yourself without hurting others
“As long as no one is harmed, everyone has the right to make their own choices and be themselves. Parents are role models for their children. If the parents’ tone and heart are empathetic and accepting, the children will be influenced by what they hear and see. He will naturally be tolerant and will not easily despise or even hurt others.”
Of course, there are also individual factors or religious factors. Students have questioned why they cannot have opinions, and they really cannot agree with the relevant behaviors in their hearts. She often tells her students a famous saying: “I don’t agree with your views, but I will defend to the death your right to speak. If they don’t agree, please give this group the respect it deserves and don’t hurt them physically or verbally.”
In terms of education, it may not be possible to make everyone accept homosexuals and transgender people in a short period of time, but at least everyone must be able to accept their existence and give them a comfortable living space, because in gender education, there is a very important The content is to emphasize respecting and embracing gender diversity and opposing gender discrimination.
Breaking gender stereotypes
Give children a comfortable space for development
Gender concepts are actually constantly evolving. In different cultures and historical periods, people have different views on gender.
Imagine that the concepts today are completely different from those 100 years ago. This shows that the concept of gender can be redefined and understood.
Gender stereotypes will affect a person’s growth, gender recognition and future career development. For society, some potential talents may be lost because of this; and for individuals, when adults limit teenagers’ various possible visions for the future time, it will bring great restrictions and impact on their personal career development.
The gap between men and women is narrowing
Cai Xiuqin pointed out that in our country, many jobs are still clearly divided according to gender. Gender differences are still huge in different occupations; and the division of housework in many families is still divided by gender, so we must help teenagers recognize and challenge these gender stereotypes and encourage them not to be trapped in traditional male and female roles. constrained.
“In today’s era,
Technology is becoming more and more developed and sophisticated technology,
Intelligent devices have replaced manpower in large numbers, and intelligence, creativity,
At a time when thinking ability has become a critical factor in success,
The boundaries and differences between men and women have also begun to narrow.
The current educational trend is to abandon the previous single gender education.
Begin to move towards gender role diversity in education. “
“As parents, it is time to let go of the stereotypes about boys and girls and provide them with a more comfortable and comfortable space for development, so that teenagers can try to develop their more comprehensive characters and abilities in many aspects, so that they can compete more fiercely in the future. society, to fully display their abilities and talents; that is to say, in fact, boys can be emotional, gentle, and careful, while girls can also be rational, heroic, and adventurous. These should not be affected by gender bias, let alone because of these. Personality traits that are different from traditional concepts, and are misunderstood and even discriminated against.”
Raise inclusive children
She said it is important to emphasize to teenagers that everyone has the right to pursue their own interests and goals, regardless of gender.
“There are many disputes and unpleasant things in society, which are caused by us always wanting others to be like us. Once we find that others are different from us, it is easy to have conflicts. We must let others become what we want. It seems that if others can’t do it, it will cause all kinds of harm.”
“Some bullying incidents also occur because some people can’t stand others showing characteristics that are different from their gender behavior. Teenagers must know that everyone can have different characteristics. This has nothing to do with gender, but their own unique characteristics. Personality traits.”
She pointed out that to break this gender stereotype, we must start with family education. Only with a free and open family that accepts various possibilities can we cultivate more tolerant and understanding children.