The Impact of Gender Stereotypes - Lesson Lesson Plan

Level(s): Grades 8 - 9

Author: This lesson was taken, with permission, from the award-winning Violence-Prevention Curriculum Healthy Relationships, produced by the Halifax, Nova Scotia advocacy group Men For Change.

This lesson is part of USE, UNDERSTAND & ENGAGE: A Digital Media Literacy Framework for Canadian Schools.


This is the third of three lessons that address gender stereotypes. The objective of these lessons is to encourage students to develop their own critical intelligence with regard to culturally inherited stereotypes, and to the images presented in the media — film and television, rock music, newspapers, magazines and social networks. The lesson begins with a discussion about how self-violence may be promoted by the fashion industry, as well as on social media when men and women put their health at risk to attain impossible standards of attractiveness and thinness. Students also explore how stereotypes about masculinity can fuel male violence.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • recognize the potentially damaging effects of living up to stereotypes, and how they can lead to abuse and violence against ourselves and others;

  • understand that "going along with the crowd" can involve sacrificing one's own principles (which is one way of being aggressive towards oneself), as well as infringing on the rights of others.

Click here to download the Images of Media Stereotypes slideshow (PPT).

This lesson and all associated documents (handouts, overheads, backgrounders) are available in an easy-print, pdf kit version.

Lesson Kit