I started filling my school notebooks with doodles of Disney characters and quickly decided I wanted to work in animation when I grew up. Although my career goals were high reaching for a young woman from humble roots in Rust-Belt Pennsylvania, my core motivations were always pretty simple: I fiercely wanted to earn and maintain a sense of respect from others. That if I worked hard enough to land a seat with an admired company in a thriving part of the country, life would become kinder and more edifying to me than it had in the past. But regardless of how proficient at hoop jumping I became —— no matter how many degrees, awards, performance bonuses or film credits I racked up —— that gracious, gratifying and more dignified version of a better life always seemed to evade me.
Donate Understandings of gender continually evolve. This has perhaps never been more true than it is now. All of us are inundated with gender messages from the time we are born, yet we offer children few opportunities to more deeply consider or understand this fundamentally important aspect of life. Basic gender literacy is essential for children to understand their own gender, engage in healthy relationships, identify and place media and social messages in context, and have agency in determining aspects of their gender now and in the future. Societal ideas about gender will affect every critical aspect of their lives, from education to career, finances, relationships and more.
Puberty is the name for when your body begins to develop and change. During puberty, your body will grow faster than any other time in your life, except for when you were an infant. Back then, your body was growing rapidly and you were learning new things — you'll be doing these things and much more during puberty. Except this time, you won't have diapers or a rattle and you'll have to dress yourself! It's good to know about the changes that come along with puberty before they happen, and it's really important to remember that everybody goes through it.
Messenger Gender is generally thought of as a stable trait: It turns out that for young children, initial concepts about gender are quite flexible. So, how do children come to understand gender? When do they begin to think about gender as a stable trait? We often tend to think about gender as the biological differences between men and women.