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Why Do I Think This Way?


Case Study at a Glance

“Why Do I Think This Way?” explores the social construct of gender and how society defines gender. Students brainstorm what dominant message our culture tells us about how boys and girls should act, be, or do.

Students examine advertisements that are gender-neutral and ones that affirm society’s gender bias. Students then create or redesign an ad to be gender-neutral. Students follow up by writing a persuasive letter to a toy manufacturer or a store to request that they change the way they market toys or goods to a specific gender.   

The goal of this case study is to bring an awareness to gender biases and the ways by which society influences how we think about gender. Students have the opportunity to think critically about their identities and how society impacts their thoughts about themselves and others.
 
Author
Caren Arnold
School
Northeat Elementary
Grades
Second - Fourth

 
Student poster from "Why Do I Think This Way" case study
(click thumbnail to enlarge)

ICSD Anti-Marginalization Focus Questions
  • What is my identity?
  • What are my biases?
  • What are my beliefs about gender?
  • Where do my beliefs about gender come from?

Student Products

Students work together to create a chart or video that shows what/how they think society wants boys and girls to act, be, or do. Students are taught the difference between sex and gender: sex is defined at birth and is dependent on the body parts with which one was born; gender is a social construct. 

(click thumbnails to enlarge)
Student poster from "Why Do I Think This Way" case study
Student poster from "Why Do I Think This Way" case study
Student poster from "Why Do I Think This Way" case study
Student poster from "Why Do I Think This Way" case study
 
Students create a toy advertisement that is free from gender biases or sexism. 

(click thumbnails to enlarge)
Student toy advertisement, from "Why Do I Think This Way" case study
Student toy advertisement, from "Why Do I Think This Way" case study
Student toy advertisement, from "Why Do I Think This Way" case study
Student toy advertisement, from "Why Do I Think This Way" case study
Student toy advertisement, from "Why Do I Think This Way" case study
Student toy advertisement, from "Why Do I Think This Way" case study