We use a lot of sex stereotypes in our everyday speech, most of the time without realizing it. Sometimes even the most gender-neutral phrases carry a strong stereotyped message. In most cases, the words are harmless, but other times they’re dangerous.
Take, for example, the word “behave” as it’s often used in schools. For decades, we’ve been telling boys in classrooms that they should “behave” properly: sit still and be quiet—behavior that’s strongly associated with girls. Unfortunately, that’s not the way boys learn best. Boys get the message that girls’ behavior is “right,” and that that there’s something wrong with boy’s behavior. Parents are told that their sons have ADHD, and they rush out to find a doctor who will confirm that “diagnosis.” As a result, way too many boys are drugged unnecessarily.
Read the rest of this article on the Talking About Men’s Health blog, here.