Rigid, narrow codes of tradition masculinity and femininity drive lower reproductive health, homophobic and gender-based violence, and poorer education outcomes. This is especially true in under-resourced communities, where gender codes are apt to be particularly narrow or harsh. This is our round-up on some of the best reports–including our own–on the challenge, implications, and improved outcomes that result from implementing programs and policies with a strong gender focus.
|Table of Contents|
|Anti-Transgender Violence (2015)|
|Economic Security & Gender Norms: Why the "Empowerment Model” Won’t Work (2015)|
|Gender Norms: A Key to Improving Life Outcomes in At-Risk Populations (2012)|
|Gender Norms & Youth Development (2017)|
|Gender Transformative Philanthropy: A Case for More Effective Giving (2015)|
|Jewish Girls and Gender Norms (2015)|
|Jewish Girls Empowered Together Curriculum Overview (2015)|
|STEM & Feminine Norms (2015)|
|Teen Suicide, Homophobic Bullying & Gender Norms (2015)|
|Young Black Men and Masculinity (with ABFE) (2015)|
|Young Latinas and Feminine Norms (with HIP) (2017)|
|Anti-Transgender Violence (2015) |
For two decades, activists and advocates have been quietly highlighting and documenting a murderous wave of violence that regularly claims the lives of gender non-conforming and transgender Americans. Although these assaults are often extreme, they seldom surface in mainstream and as a result are largely absent from this dialogue. This report provides a lot about how transgender women are perceived, what is believed about them, and key attitudes that appear to be driving attack towards them. It also highlights key points that could be adopted for messaging and creating interventions.
|Economic Security and Gender Norms (2015) |
High rates of poverty among US women and children make it imperative for funders to continue seeking out, and supporting, new and innovative pathways out of poverty. However, funding models are based on a set of tacit assumptions which are seldom made explicit, collectively called the "Empowerment Model.” Studies have found that programs that address and look beyond providing funding, information and opportunities to challenge gendered attitudes, beliefs and practices that hold women and girls back will be more effective than those that ignore them. This report suggests six ways to adopt gender transformative funding.
| Gender Norms: A Key to Improving Health & Wellness Among Black Girls (2013) |
Black adolescent girls and young women face barriers related to both race and gender, which have immense effects of their health, achievement and life outcomes. This is especially the case for low-income Black girls, who have added challenges associated with poverty. This report, produced by TrueChild with support from The Heinz Endowments, illustrates the small but growing body of empirical research devoted to Black girls and gender norms and focuses on three problem areas where that research base is both broad and well-accepted: basic health and wellness, reproductive and sexual health, and intimate relationships and partner violence.
| Gender Norms & Youth Development (2017)|
The George Family Foundation has been a leader among a small but growing core of funders that recognize and uphold the importance of gender norms in youth development work. Beginning in 2014, the Foundation launched a muti-faceted, multi-year effort to help bring gender norms into broader recognition among Minnesota's youth-serving foundations and non-profits. As a further step in this effort, the George Family Foundation and the Women's Foundation of Minnesota commissioned dozens of interviews with local funders and a select number if community-based youth development organizations to better understand the state of knowledge about gender norms in Minnesota philanthropy and programmatic efforts. This white report is the result. It first explains what gender norms are and how they work, and then explores the implications for Minnesotans and for Minnesota's funders.
|Gender Transformative Philanthropy: A Case for More Effective Giving (2015)|
Why should donors support gender transformative programming? This report makes the case that support for gender transformative programming is crucial to effective giving. Gender transformative approaches are a low-risk, high-return opportunity to address gender inequality in greater depth and with more comprehensive solutions.
| Jewish Girls and Gender Norms (2015) |
Learning to negotiate gender norms and expectations is a central development task for nearly every adolescent girl. This task is made all more challenging because the girls, including Jewish girls get very mixed messages about feminine expectations and how to meet them. Despite these and other known impacts and the vulnerability gender norms create, Jewish women and girls are almost totally absent from the academic literature on gender norms, and more studies and data are greatly needed.
| Jewish Girls Empowered Together Curriculum Overview (2015) |
Learning to conform to feminine ideals is a rite of passage - perhaps the central rite of passage- for nearly every adolescent girl. Yet girls also get very mixed messages about feminine expectations and how to meet them, including Jewish girls. While many communities go out of their way to encourage girls to become leaders, there are also long-standing patriarchal traditions at home, in school, and in synagogue that make clear the cultural and religious primacy and centrality of males. This curriculum overview will provide an understanding of the differences between sex and gender, how gender norms influence the lives, health, and relationships of Jewish girls.
| STEM & Feminine Norms (2015) |
Science, technology, engineering, and math - the "STEM" subjects are an important focus of philanthropic institutions trying to address educational and economic disparities between girls and boys. STEM-related fields account for an increasing number of new, and high-paying, positions being created in the knowledge economy. Especially for young women of color or in low-income communities, who already face additional social barriers in finding new and well-paid jobs, a strong STEM background can be a stepping stone to a better career. Yet historically so many girls have dropped out of STEM courses by middle school there was even name for it - the "leaky pipeline." This report will look at how gender norms are a significant variable, and one at which researchers, practitioners, and philanthropic institutions must look more closely if we are to continue improving STEM interest and participation.
|Teen Suicide, Homophobic Bullying & Gender Norms (2015) |
Efforts to address homophobic and transphobic bullying in middle school have acquired an new urgency in light of the recent wave of teen suicides. To better understand connections between gender non-conformity, middle-school bullying and teen suicides, the Bruce W. Bastin Foundation provided support for a series of focus groups and in-depth interviews with LGBTQ students in Salt Lake City, which has had one of the highest rates of teen suicide linked to homophobic attacks. The project concludes that adults need to recognize gender intolerance as more of a pervasive atmosphere of general hostility and ostracism, one which targets students because go gender non-conformity and s often shared by teachers and staff. The report provides five suggestions for action to address homophobic and transphobic bullying and teen suicide.
|Young Black Men & Masculinity (with ABFE) (2015) |
Black adolescent boys and young men face barriers related to both race and gender, which have immense effects of their health, achievement and life outcomes. This is especially the case for low-income Black men, who have added challenges associated with poverty. This report, produced by TrueChild with Association of Black Foundation Executives
and Frontline Solutions
, illustrates the small but growing body of empirical research devoted to Black men and gender norms.
| Young Latinas & Feminine Norms (with HIP) (2017) |
Decades of research has found that when young women and men internalize ideals of femininity and masculinity, they have markedly lower life outcomes in a cluster of related areas that include health, education, reproductive health, and economic security. Yet few program officers and grantees are challenged to do innovative work around gender like they are race and class. This report, prepared in partnership with Hispanics in Philanthropy
(HIP) and Frontlines Solutions
, will help funders understand what gender norms are, how they impact young Latinas, and how to adopt an intersectional approach that connects race, class, and gender to increase the social return on their philanthropic investment.