Letter of the Day

Children lead way

It is more than half a century since thousands of females across the West, incldung myself, started agitating for an end to gender stereotypes.

It is heartening children now “are more aware of gender issues and bias” according to Deakin University research (“Gender is child’s play”, HS, 19/2).

That it has taken just six months of respectful relationships lessons and an overhaul of library books and sporting equipment to instil this awareness illustrates that maybe parents, too, should take similar lessons to ensure they offer a range of toys to children and do not proscribe career aspirations by gender stereotypes.

It is interesting, but unsurprising, “boys were more stereotyped in their views than girls” as the pervasive social milieu in which boys live is still skewed towards male stereotypes, values and behaviours as representing success.

The research shows how vital early education is in shaping and influencing attitudes.

It has nothing to do with political correctness and/or changing language references as the City of Melbourne program has suggested, rather, it is about embedding equal opportunity for everyone is our social spectrum so stereotypes are irrelevant.