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Rethinking gender

Gender Identity & Diversity
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What is gender?

In Australia, gender is defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) as “a social and cultural concept. It is about social and cultural differences in identity, expression and experience as a man, woman or non-binary person. Non-binary is an umbrella term describing gender identities that are not exclusively male or female.” As a social construct, gender varies from society to society and changes over time. We all have our own sense of gender – here’s a collection of articles exploring how the concept of gender is defined, impacts on our daily lives and is always changing.

Gender and colour

Article from the University of Melbourne on why boys are blue and girls are pink. This article explores the history of these colours and when our connection between colour and gender shifted.

This article from Britannica explores if pink has always been a “girly” colour.

CNN reports on the complicated history of the colour pink in this article.

Gender and clothing

This piece by The Conversation explores why we still make girls wear skirts and dresses as their school uniform.

This article explores the history of men and skirts, from ancient times to today.

This BBC article explores the history of men wearing heels and why they stopped wearing them.

Gender and culture

As one of the “most visible LGBTQIA+ cultures in Asia”, this Guardian article explores gender identity in the Phillipines.

This ABC article explores what we know, and what we don’t know, about queer Indigenous history in Australia.

Tales of Waria: Inside Indonesia’s third-gender community.

Miss Fa’afafine: Behind Samoa’s ‘third gender’ beauty pageant.

Meet the mixed gender ‘Muxes’ of Southern Mexico in this Washington Post article.

The beautiful way Hawaiian culture embraces a particular kind of transgender identity.

This Guardian article reports on the two-spirit people of Indigenous North Americans.

Gender roles and stereotypes

This BBC article explores how the toys we give to children and the traits they are assigned can have lasting impacts on their lives.

This Guardian article shares findings from ‘The Global Early Adolescent Study’, a study involving children and parents from 15 countries around the world. The study reports on understandings of gender and how children are locked into gender roles early on.

“Tough man stereotype can hurt women and men.” This landmark study, Men in focus, is an extensive review of Australian and international research evidence on the topic, which aims to build a deeper understanding of masculinity.

In this Conversation piece, the authors explore how challenging masculine stereotypes can be good for men.

This Guardian article reports on moves by Lego to remove gender bias from its toys after child survey reveals stereotypes are harming boys and girls.