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Atbalsti MARTU

The Effect of Blasting Gender Stereotypes

In order to change the perception and patterns of traditional gender stereotypes, demonstrating it to be possible to have a more active life by promoting diversity of opinions, centre MARTA carried out the first systematic research in Latvia on the work of youth groups in order to see whether increasing self-confidence helps to reduce the risk for violence and human trafficking.

The research was conducted in cooperation with researchers from Scandinavia.
For the last 20 years the so called girl and boy group method has been successfully implemented in Scandinavia, motivating young people to live a responsible life, in consent with oneself rather than adopting to the norms of the society, which aren’t always genuine, correct and true.

Scandinavians have verified that educating young people is an effective way to shape an active and democratic society of tomorrow with each individual being empowered to fulfil itself, enjoy life and live an individual lifestyle.

The first research in Latvia proves that as a result of the work of the girl and boy groups young people raise their awareness and challenge the common values and behavioural norms prevailing in the society and among the contemporaries. They consider gender stereotypes and norms, allow for a diversity of opinions and are aware of their capabilities and ability to actively shape their personal life rather than just passively react to the externals.

The research shows that understanding gender stereotypes is an important aspect for prevention of violent behaviour. Only understanding femininity and masculinity can give teenagers a possibility to deliberately reject a violent behavioural model as a norm.