Gender Respect Project 2013-2016

Aiming to help children and young people to understand, question and challenge gender inequality and violence.

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Teacher Blog: Carol

Talking group – secondary

Session Two – Consent

Carol – The government have recently passed a bill to make consent a compulsory subject for 11yr olds.   Lets think about this. What does it mean not to have consent?

J (boy) – It’s rape.

Carol – Remember to talk to the whole group not just me. Is it a good thing to have lessons for eleven year olds on sexual consent?

J (boy) – No some families might think it is not a good idea.

Carol – Are parents concerned?

I (boy) – My Mum would be concerned. They are only doing it because there have been quite a few cases.

Carol – How much rape do you think there is?

J (boy) – Quite a lot.

A1 (boy) – There was the thing in Rotherham with the taxis, lots of under-cover people, Jimmy Saville – no one expected that.

Carol – Is it just about pinning someone down?

S (girl) – We did it in Crime Awareness. It’s rape if you are under thirteen, if there’s peer pressure and…something else.

Carol: If you are drunk.

L (girl) – It’s good we learn about it. It might happen in later life and we might not have the confidence if we don’t know.

Carmel: Does learning make you safer?

Carol asks S not to be on her phone but she is looking up rape statistics.

S (girl) – 85,000 rapes in England and Wales last year and 400,000 sexual assaults.

Carol – Those are very large numbers and they are only the ones who went to the police. Are there any reasons why people might not go to the Police?

J (boy) – You might be frightened or ashamed.

Carol – Or very angry.

(Got distracted by taking about school dinners cat-food, dog-food)

A2 (boy) – I was playing a game and I pressed the chat button and the next day someone was chatting to me and said, “Do you want to have sex?” and I said “No” and she said “Do you want the best girlfriend ever?” I said I was a girl and turned the chat off.

Carol – Do animals give consent to sex? Described guinea pigs mating – talked about bringing baby guinea pigs into school for them to see.

The group got excited and were pressuring Carol to bring them in soon.

Carol – I will not be pressurised into bring them in!

Some laughter – they saw the link

A1 (boy) – Is bringing animals into school allowed?

Carol – It is for me. Do you think rape is used as a slang word now? On Grand Theft Auto there are rape rewards where you get to rape a prostitute.

D (boy) – They do it to advertise the game more.

S (boy) – Like Pretty Woman.

Carol – Who would that appeal to?

? – People who watch porn.

A1 (boy) – Is it women rape men or men rape women?

Carol – Mostly men play. CBBC are bringing out a drama based on GTA for Cbeebies.

Shock from the whole group

J (boy) – They will learn to play it.

L (girl) – It’s frightening, rape, heist, sexual violence, robbery.

A2 (boy) – I’ve got GTA on my ipad and I play it, you don’t have to be 18.

D (boy) – On the shop it asks you for your age but not when you play it.

H (girl) – I have to ask my parents to download for me when I want things because it is on their account.

S (girl) – The law isn’t working it’s rubbish, it’s just on who buys it not on who plays it and there are no restrictions on watching.

Carol – Why should there be restrictions?

D (boy) – It’s a bad influence. Some children might not be very mature.

Carol -There was a case recently of a ten year old boy who watched something and then he sexually abused his seven year old sister.

H (girl) – There are age restrictions but you can put in a different date of birth.

S (girl) – My cousin’s tablet wouldn’t let us watch a video. We only wanted to listen to a song but it came with a rude video.

A1 (boy) – When something has age restrictions it makes you want to watch it more.

Carol – So it makes it worse?

S (girl) – But I don’t want to watch a PG or a 12. 15 and 18 are good films. I like horror movies.

I (boy) – It’s like smoking, young people do it because it makes them look cool.

Carol – When someone tries to control you it makes them rebel. –e.g. of own children.

L (girl) – I’m not allowed to watch 16+ programmes. My parents would have to watch it.

? – A ten year old boy would want to watch it then tell his friends, it’s being cool.

A2 (boy) – I had a friend who kept talking about women. I told him to stop. I died in the game I was playing so I had a rest. He was on my ipad watching women having sex. I said this is not for your age and he gave it to me. Then my parents came in and I was holding the ipad and it was still playing. – long explanation of parent’s reaction.

Carol – When you have seen images like that they can stay with you for a long time.

I (boy) – What if you saw your children watching porn?

Carol – They wouldn’t choose to do that they are only 6 and 7 so it would be traumatic for them. They know about sex .

Carmel – My boys are 18 and 21 and I would be worried about it.

S (girl) – Models in shops always show perfect girls and men see them and think all girls are like that.

H (girl) – On YouTube there was a film about people who were dared to look at porn on a site and you couldn’t see what they were looking at but you could see that they were really shocked.

L (girl) – Can looking at porn cause post traumatic stress?

Carmel – You can get flashbacks from porn, just the same as with post traumatic, the images can seem to always be there and they won’t go away.

A2 (boy) – In Iran there were no rules, my friend watched a CD with really horrible sex it was so bad I broke it.

A1 (boy) – Can you get scarred if you see someone naked?

Carol – Well it could have the same effect that you can’t get the image out of your head if it had really shocked you.

Time ran out the group disbanded without any time to sum up.


Name Questions Comments Total
A1 (boy) 3 2 5
A2(boy) 4 4
Carmel 1 2 3
Carol 11 11 22
D (boy) 3 3
H (boy) 3 3
I (boy) 1 2 3
J (boy) 5 5
L (girl) 1 3 4
P (girl)
S (girl) 1 1
S (girl) 6 6

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Teacher Blog: Kathryn

Gender and Work

I am looking at children’s opinions around gender and work. We have collated and analysed data from children’s parents and from the Government.

Session 1: Baseline

Questionnaires were sent home to find out what jobs their friends and families have and who does the housework. The results were shared with the class and children had to create a bar chart showing who did the most housework.

Results: many stereotypical jobs and more women than men did the housework.

Children were also shown a list of jobs and asked to choose male, female or both for who they think of when they think of that job.

Jobs: doctor, nurse, teacher, scientist, builder, engineer, electrician, secretary, politician, shop assistant.

Results: most children chose both for most jobs.

Obvious exceptions were electrician and builder = more male and nurse = more female.

Session 2: Intervention: Women at Work

Using graphs and data from the House of Commons Document (April 2014) Women in Public life, the Professions and the Boardroom children had to read and analyse the information, answering questions about it. We discussed which jobs had more females and which had less. The professions we looked at were primary and secondary education, NHS, police and armed forces. We generally found that the number of women is increasing in these professions. The graphs also showed that there are more women than men in primary education and some NHS jobs (nurses, midwives, health visitors, scientific, therapeutic and technical). Some of these results were a surprise to the children, although when they thought of their own primary school, they recognised that there are more women than men.

We also looked at Women in the labour market: A report by the Office for National Statistics, September 2013.

Some key points are:

  • Rising employment for women.
  • More men over 22 years old are employed than women.
  • Men tend to work in jobs which pay more than women.
  • More women are employed within caring and leisure jobs.

Session 3: Questionnaire

Following the graph analysis, I asked the children to fill in this questionnaire:

  1. If you could choose up to 3 jobs to do when you’re older, what would they be?
  2. What do you think you need to do to get that job?
  3. Is there anything that might stop you from doing your dream job?
  4. Do you think there are more females or males that do your dream job?
  5. Would you be happiest working with people mostly of the same gender, different gender or a mix?

Results: Children mainly wished to do gender stereotypical jobs (especially boys), but felt that they would be happiest working with both boys and girls. Girls thought of more barriers to jobs than boys.


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Teacher Blog: Carol

Teacher Blog

Talking group – secondary

Aim: to start a weekly talking group offering a space for a mixed (age & sex) group to talk in a facilitated group

 Session One: Growing up, Friendship and Gender, 

Ground rules – listen – respect – all equal

Feedback from gender friendship questionnaire

Discussion (Carol – teacher, Carmel –  project volunteer, letters – different students)

Carol – do you have friends of the opposite sex?

Yes cousins

Carol -Is it easier if they are cousins?


S – I had a best friend who was a boy and then he asked me out, and I said no because he was not best looking, but then I did go out with him but it was weird because he knows everything about me so then I dumped him and then he started stalking me and coming into my garden.

A – I used to have friends who were girls but I don’t know.

Carmel – When did it change?

Y7 –  Then people make fun of you – (Discussion about boys not being as nice after that age).

Carmel – Boys, how do you feel about the girls saying you are not as nice as you used to be?

A – Being cool being in the wrong crowd

Boys get mardier

S – We were looking at an old photograph and we all wear very different clothes now but the girls hadn’t really changed, except for the clothes, but the boys are very different and not as nice. – (Continued into a description of one particular boy and his relationship with prescribed drugs).

Carol – Are you still the same person?

  • It’s not cool to be a mama’s boy.
  • Boys don’t want to learn but girls do they want to do well.
  • Are there different pressures?

H – Girls fall out more than boys (P whispered a comment)

  • Boys and girls fight differently – air kissing – violent hugs
  • Discusion of kissing in public – Valentine’s day – embarrassment
  • Sometimes people think they are popular if they are in a relationship. It’s about feeling popular

Joined by A – described a drunk man falling onto another man and hugging him and a computer game and online pressure to start a relationship.

  • Lack of trust in friendships when not sure of the other person’s intentions.

S – My neighbour’s little boy acs like a girl

Plans for next week:

  • Another room with less distraction
  • Tokens for speaking to limit loudest and encourage quietest.
  • Addressing each other not Carol
  • Reminder about boundaries and gossip.
  • Carol to record answers to the three questions we asked this week.
  • Carmel to plan an activity. At what ages do certain behaviours start and stop?