Game of Respect

Remember a time when gender roles were challenged? Well Italy is trying to change gendered stereotypes, and the government does not approve. They are trying implement a program titled Game of Respect. This program is aimed at children aged three to six in 45 schools in the Trieste region of Italy and involves educating teachers about how to use games and role-playing to teach gender equality.  “It is not about sexual attitudes. It is about roles in society and stereotypes”. Many officials think that this program will create confusion for the children about sexual identity.  The biggest obstacles for this program are political.

What do think about The Game of Respect? Do we need something like this in the US?

8 thoughts on “Game of Respect

  1. Your post brought a few thoughts to my mind. First, that this is an international issue and that America is not the only place having a problem with gender inequality. I think that it is a great idea to teach healthy thinking in schools. Second, I think that Italy has the right idea about starting this change with the younger generation because once stereotypes are ingrained in peoples minds, it is very hard to change the way they think. By starting gender education at a young age, the next generation will grow up with a more open mind about gender. Also, the article talks about how the schools did not get permission from the parents before starting their kids in the programs but I think that a very simple solution to that would be to have them sign permission slips like they do for sex education here in America. Finally, I think the most important part of this is the word ‘Respect’ that is in the name of the program. It is so easy to get wrapped up in all the politics and not see the basis of what the organization is trying to do. It is one thing to try and make people think a certain way but it is entirely different to try and teach respect for those that are different than yourself. I think that teaching respect in many parts of society could make the world a better place but I am glad to see that gender is set as a priority because it is something that so often gets overlooked. Bravo Italia!

  2. I think that we do need a way to teach children about genders but I also think it will be a while before it is introduced in the United States simply because the adults who run our country haven’t all come to a consensus yet. However I do think that once we start talking about it, these things won’t become so ostracized in our society. One of the biggest problems we face as a country is that we say we want equal rights but when it comes to implementation we hesitate and fight the change.

  3. I think Italy has the right idea! If children are introduced to gender roles and equality early on, it will stick later on in life. Children learn through social learning and imitating others. If they see positives that come from these activities and games, they will continue to do them. This will create a less stereotypical and judging world. I think we should implement something similar in the United States to help spread the positivity of gender equality. Just having those simple games and activities can have a huge impact later on in life.

  4. This sounds like a great and refreshing idea for young children in schools. Because of social learning, kids learn by imitating others and if they see that its okay, for example, for a girl to aspire to be a fireman, they will not grow up with these unfair gender norms in their heads like a lot of us did. The world will be a better place without gender norms. Maybe the men will start coming home early for the “second shift.”

    • Since we have learned in this class that we have “discovered” our gender at 3 years old and we acknowledge that it will not change, I believe this is a great idea to start educating children at this age. Reaching beyond binary standards will allow more freedom for the children and may result in a more educated/diverse culture for Italy. However I am curious if the teachers will be males or females. We have noticed that most preschool and elementary teachers are predominately females (at least here in the U.S.). I would hope that no matter what gender the educator is, they could be unbiased in order to fulfill the purpose of the program.

  5. This is an interesting idea and I think that it is definitely a step in the right direction. From the perspective of public officials, I feel that they are stuck in the old school traditional viewpoint on the terms of sex and gender, as well as what roles men and women play in society. This is not so much about creating confusion, instead it is a fun way for girls to realize that they can be anything and for boys to know the same is true for them. A game like this shows boys that they have the ability to be a stay at home dad and shows girls they can be the “breadwinner” and that is acceptable. I believe the times are changing and the public officials will understand what they are misinterpreting and let the game reach the masses. Cool post!

  6. I really like this campaign that Italy is running, and yes I think this campaign should be implemented in schools as a “social learning” activity for young children. I went to Italy in a study abroad trip and after reading this article and looking back at my own experiences while in the country, I realize that there were a lot of gender professional stereotypes that I encountered. As we toured the cities, I noticed that there were mostly male security guards and that there were mostly female retail employees. I believe Italian children seeing those gender stereotypes in their daily lives may end up choosing their own professions based on what they see and recognize. This program of, “Game of Respect” is a good teaching tool because it tells children that women can not only be teachers, but that women can also be pilots or firefighters, professions typically seen as for only men. The article mentioned that Italy has one of the lowest gender rankings in Europe and it is my opinion that this program will change those statistic by helping to blur or remove gender stereotypes. This program has the potential to be a huge step forward in blurring gender stereotypes so children do not see just only men entering certain professions but that all professions are open to women as well. It is also my opinion that it would be very beneficial for this program to be implemented in the United States. While, yes, the United States is more evolved when it comes to gender stereotypes, there is still little participation of women in some typically male oriented professions such as engineering and science. This program could help lead the charge.

  7. I love this! Games of Respect sounds like such a good idea. With Social Learning, where children at a young age are learning to be masculine and feminine by imitating others such like their teachers, using Games of Respect can easily teach children gender equality. This idea could show children of both sex being both feminine and masculine in role playing, this would use no punishment but reward. Children would be exposed to learning how to be feminine and masculine at the same time. This would only result in gender equality.

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