In a nursery school, dolls are given to boys and toy trucks to girls. In a primary school, teachers talk with children about families with two fathers and two mothers. In a secondary school, students help make a documentary about transgender people. Similar educational experiences on gender issues are increasingly common, fuelling heated debates among teachers, educators, parents, and public administrators, as well as in the media. But what exactly is meant by “gender education”? What motivates its advocates and its opponents? Is it really something new? One thing is certain: fighting inequality really does mean making a difference.
Rossella Ghigi teaches Sociology of the Family and Gender Differences at the University of Bologna.