The Sunday Telegraph

No More Boys and Girls: Can Our Kids Go Gender Free?


- SH

Dr Javid Abdelmonei­m makes for a likeable guide in this two-part film about gender bias and children. Taking an ordinary year three class in the Isle of Wight, Abdelmonei­m, with the willing help of amiable teacher Graham Andre, it aims to uncover both how rooted gender bias is and what, if anything, can be done to challenge it.

There are some eye-opening discoverie­s along the way – when asked to say how well they’ll do at a task most of the boys confidentl­y predict they’ll get 10 out of 10 while the more cautious girls plump for five; a horrifying number of the girls describe themselves purely in terms of looks, while a similar number of boys insist that they shouldn’t cry.

Poor Mr Andre with his tendency to address all the girls as “love” and all the boys as “mate” comes in for a fair bit of flak as well, while many of Abdelmonei­m’s theories on why the bias is so pronounced at such a young age are interestin­g and largely ring true. He’s on considerab­ly shakier ground, however, when presenting the findings of one school in the Isle of Wight as being true of all primary schools throughout the UK.

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