Age 14–17

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Family -

At this age, teens:

Mix with other gen­ders and be­come more flex­i­ble about stereo­types. Be­come pre­oc­cu­pied with their fu­ture ca­reers, as well as ap­pear­ance.

Want to learn gen­der-based ex­pec­ta­tions for how to be­have in ro­man­tic and sex­ual sit­u­a­tions.

Choose what they want to watch and are will­ing to dis­cuss ab­stract ideas (and don’t want to be lec­tured to).

What you can do

Look for shows that fea­ture boys and men ex­press­ing their emo­tions in con­struc­tive ways, hav­ing di­verse in­ter­ests (other than only sex), and be­ing kind or friendly to non-het­ero­sex­ual char­ac­ters. Check out This Is Us and point out how the fa­thers are shown as nur­tur­ing and thought­ful. Or watch The King’s Speech, about King Ge­orge the VI, who must re­veal his big­gest vul­ner­a­bil­ity. Ask, “Can a man, or a boy, be both strong and sen­si­tive?”

Point out when fe­male char­ac­ters voice their own needs. Watch an en­sem­ble show such as Brook­lyn Nine-Nine and note how the fe­male char­ac­ters don’t de­fer to the men.

Find char­ac­ters who have non-gen­der-stereo­typ­i­cal pro­fes­sional as­pi­ra­tions (girls who want to be sci­en­tists and boys who want to be nurses). Con­sider a show like Bones, which fea­tures a strong fe­male lead in a tra­di­tion­ally male-dom­i­nated pro­fes­sion.

Com­mon Sense Me­dia (­mon­sense. org.) is an in­de­pen­dent non­profit or­gan­i­sa­tion help­ing fam­i­lies make smart me­dia and tech­nol­ogy choices.

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