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

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?