We have seen a few hopeful changes in Hollywood, but it seems we still have a ways to go in the world of mutual respect for each other, especially when talking about opposite sexes. But the real question is, what can we do to help ensure our next generation knows better?
As adults we are going to have prejudices and biases – there is no getting around that. But what isn’t OK is letting our children go on believing in an old world belief structure that we may have been raised with. To say “Boys can’t play with dolls” or “Girls aren’t good at math” can have a real negative effect on our children and how they grow up viewing their peers of the opposite sex.
One study of men who were repeat offenders of sexual assault and rape showed that they believed women were lesser and owed things to men. Their distorted beliefs and behavior started at a young age and was encouraged by their peers who thought the same. So with that said, if a person rubs off on who they associate with, then we need to teach our children to stand up and challenge untrue beliefs in others. It is especially important they do this with their close friends.
We need to teach our children to be strong, independent thinkers who don’t just go along with the status quo. We want our children to be successful and happy in life, but those wants and desires should never come at the expense of other people’s well-being.
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