Perception of gender stereotypes among adolescent boys in Chandigarh, India

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Simran Kaur Dhatt


Background: In India there exists gender inequality, where men and boys occupy higher social status in comparison to women and girls. Only a handful of studies have been carried out in India, which give an insight into perception of gender norms and gender stereotypes among adolescent boys. Such studies are important as they help in designing and implementing gender sensitisation intervention strategies for adolescent girls and boys.

Aim: An attempt has been made in this qualitative study set in urban India i.e. Chandigarh, to try and understand perceptions related to gender stereotypes among adolescent boys living in a lower income neighbourhood.

Methods: Qualitative survey research design was used for the purpose of data collection. Selection of candidates was done with the help of purposeful sampling technique. Semi-structured interviews were conducted by the researcher among thirty one adolescent males living in a rehabilitation colony for slum dwellers. Interview transcripts were coded using predetermined and emergent codes to identify perceptions related to gender stereotypes.

Results: Major themes that were identified in the interviews included: (1) teaching is one of the best professions for women; (2) boys don’t cry; (3) boys are better at mathematics and science than girls; (4) cricket is a game only meant for boys; and (5) only men are legal heirs to their parents’ property.

Conclusion: Results from the study reflected that majority of the adolescent boys held egalitarian attitudes related to gender stereotypes discussed in the study.

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