The Williams Lake Girl Guides sitting around a campfire at Tyee Lake Camp. (Phot by patrick Davies)

Girls face sexism as early as 10 years old: Girl Guides poll

Canadian girls reported being twice as likely than boys to see the brunt of gender inequality

Sobering but not surprising – that’s how the head of Girl Guides Canada described results from a recent poll that suggests girls across the country are twice as likely as boys to experience sexism as early as 10 years old.

The Ipsos poll, conducted in September and released this week, surveyed about 1,200 girls and boys between the ages of 12 and 17. It focused on attitudes and behaviours related to gender inequality, sexism and feminism.

“The impact of gender inequality on girls and women is real and it’s significant,” Girl Guides of Canada CEO Jill Zelmanovits said. “We know from previous studies that girls who expect to be treated unequally can be dissuaded from pursuing their passions.”

Forty-three per cent of the girls said they’ve experiences sexism at least once in their lives, compared to 21 per cent of boys. Thirty-five per cent of the girls said gender inequality has “impacted their lives.”

Respondents said inequality is most pronounced in two key areas: on the sports field and online.

About 27 per cent of girls said they’re treated worse than boys in gym class, while 15 per cent of boys said they’re treated better. The survey heard the same response for treatment on social media.

The study also suggests stereotypes about gender persist in organized activities and school. Thirty-one per cent of boys and 18 per cent of girls said they believeboys are more capable than girls in activities such as math and science, sports and leadership roles.

READ MORE: Celebrating the strides towards gender equality on International Women’s Day

READ MORE: Liberals to dig deeper, aim higher on gender equality in 2018 federal budget

While the survey showed work must be done to fully realize gender equality in Canada, most respondents said they support gender equality in principle and recognize inequality currently exists between girls and boys.

A majority of both girls and boys – 81 per cent and 76 per cent, respectively – said they recognize the importance of providing girls with dedicated spaces.

Me Too At Work: Sexual assault and harassment in the B.C. workplace

When it comes to sexual harassment and violence, 80 per cent of girls and 71 per cent of boys believe the #MeToo movement is a positive development. There was nearly unanimous approval for teaching consent in the classroom, of roughly 90 per cent.

Zelmanovits said the survey shows just how early gender inequality affects girls, and called on adults to speak with young people about what they might be feeling.

“If you are a parent or teacher or coach, or if you have a young person in your life, you need to listen to their experiences,” she said.

“You need to be aware of how you speak and realize that what you say and do matters to young people. Consider if you are part of the reason that one in three boys, and two in ten girls, think that boys are more capable than girls in a variety of activities.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

In Wetaskiwin, Angus Watt says no, we’re not heading into recession

Wetaskiwin Chamber of Commerce speaker says economy was down but not out

Blackfalds RCMP on scene of school bus collision and car jacking

RCMP are looking for a silver 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander with Alberta license plate BNR655

Police looking for missing 81 year old Thorsby man

Thorsby RCMP seek assistance to locate missing elderly male

Calmar break and enter investigated, suspect pictured

Leduc RCMP Investigate Break and Enter and Theft

County of Wetaskiwin approves lots at Dorchester development

Lots located at Pigeon Lake golf course have strong interest says developer

2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

On Sunday night, the moon, Earth and sun lined up to create the eclipse, which was visible throughout North and South America

Top Canadian athletes inducted into the Canada Games Hall of Honour

Athletes doing incredible things for communities are inducted into Hall of Honour, says Games CEO

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Blackfalds RCMP seeking information on activities of stolen Fountain Tire Truck

Blackfalds RCMP recovered truck following earlier collision and car-jacking

Red Deer RCMP arrest man after truck collides with six vehicles

No one was injured and the male driver was restrained by a nearby resident until police arrived

Liberals look to make home-buying more affordable for millennials: Morneau

Housing is expected to be a prominent campaign issue ahead of October’s federal election

Man accused of threatening to kill ‘as many girls as I see’

Christopher W. Cleary wrote he was angry because he’d never had a girlfriend and wanted to ‘make it right’ with a mass shooting

Cannabis-carrying border crossers could be hit with fines under coming system

Penalties are slated to be in place some time next year

Most Read