NCERT Textbook - Growing up as Boys and Girls Class 7 Notes | EduRev

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Class 7 : NCERT Textbook - Growing up as Boys and Girls Class 7 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


UNIT
THREE
©NCERT
not to be republished
Page 2


UNIT
THREE
©NCERT
not to be republished
Gender
Teacher’s note Teacher’s note Teacher’s note Teacher’s note Teacher’s note
Gender is a term that you may often have
heard. It is a term, however, that is not
easily understood. It tends to remain
distant from our lives and restricted to
discussions during training programmes.
In fact, it is something that all of us
experience in our lives on a daily basis. It
determines, for example, who we are and
what we will become, where we can go and
where not, the life choices available to us
and those we eventually make. Our
understanding of gender is often based on
the family and society that we live in. This
leads us to think that the roles we see men
and women around us play are fixed and
natural. In fact, these roles differ across
communities around the world. By gender,
then, we mean the many social values and
stereotypes our cultures attach to the
biological distinction ‘male’ and ‘female’. It
is a term that helps us to understand many
of the inequalities and power relations
between men and women in society.
The following two chapters explore the
concept of gender without actually using
the term. Instead, through different
pedagogic tools like case studies, stories,
classroom activities, data analysis and
photographs, students are encouraged to
question and think about their own lives
and the society around them. Gender is
often mistakenly thought to be something
that concerns women or girls alone. Thus,
care has been taken in these chapters to
draw boys into the discussion as well.
Chapter 4 uses two case studies, situated
in different places and points in time to
show how girls and boys are brought up
or socialised differently. This enables them
to understand that the process of
socialisation is not uniform; instead it is
socially determined and changes
continuously over time. The chapter also
addresses the fact that societies assign
different values to the roles men and
women play and the work they do, which
becomes a basis for inequality and
discrimination. Through a storyboard,
students discuss the issue of housework.
Done primarily by women, housework is
often not considered ‘work’ and, therefore
made invisible and devalued.
 Chapter 5 further develops ideas around
gender inequalities in the world of work and
describes women’s struggles for equality.
Through a classroom activity, students
begin questioning existing stereotypes
regarding work and career choices. The
chapter also points out that opportunities
like education are not equally available to
boys and girls. By reading about the lives
of two Indian women, from the ninteenth
and twentieth centuries, students see how
women struggled to change their lives by
learning to read and write. Change on a
large scale usually takes place through
collective struggles. The chapter concludes
with a photo-essay that gives examples of
different strategies the women’s movement
has used to fight for change.
43
©NCERT
not to be republished
Page 3


UNIT
THREE
©NCERT
not to be republished
Gender
Teacher’s note Teacher’s note Teacher’s note Teacher’s note Teacher’s note
Gender is a term that you may often have
heard. It is a term, however, that is not
easily understood. It tends to remain
distant from our lives and restricted to
discussions during training programmes.
In fact, it is something that all of us
experience in our lives on a daily basis. It
determines, for example, who we are and
what we will become, where we can go and
where not, the life choices available to us
and those we eventually make. Our
understanding of gender is often based on
the family and society that we live in. This
leads us to think that the roles we see men
and women around us play are fixed and
natural. In fact, these roles differ across
communities around the world. By gender,
then, we mean the many social values and
stereotypes our cultures attach to the
biological distinction ‘male’ and ‘female’. It
is a term that helps us to understand many
of the inequalities and power relations
between men and women in society.
The following two chapters explore the
concept of gender without actually using
the term. Instead, through different
pedagogic tools like case studies, stories,
classroom activities, data analysis and
photographs, students are encouraged to
question and think about their own lives
and the society around them. Gender is
often mistakenly thought to be something
that concerns women or girls alone. Thus,
care has been taken in these chapters to
draw boys into the discussion as well.
Chapter 4 uses two case studies, situated
in different places and points in time to
show how girls and boys are brought up
or socialised differently. This enables them
to understand that the process of
socialisation is not uniform; instead it is
socially determined and changes
continuously over time. The chapter also
addresses the fact that societies assign
different values to the roles men and
women play and the work they do, which
becomes a basis for inequality and
discrimination. Through a storyboard,
students discuss the issue of housework.
Done primarily by women, housework is
often not considered ‘work’ and, therefore
made invisible and devalued.
 Chapter 5 further develops ideas around
gender inequalities in the world of work and
describes women’s struggles for equality.
Through a classroom activity, students
begin questioning existing stereotypes
regarding work and career choices. The
chapter also points out that opportunities
like education are not equally available to
boys and girls. By reading about the lives
of two Indian women, from the ninteenth
and twentieth centuries, students see how
women struggled to change their lives by
learning to read and write. Change on a
large scale usually takes place through
collective struggles. The chapter concludes
with a photo-essay that gives examples of
different strategies the women’s movement
has used to fight for change.
43
©NCERT
not to be republished
Growing up as
Boys and Girls
Being a boy or a girl is an
important part of one’s
identity. The society we grow
up in teaches us what kind of
behaviour is acceptable for
girls and boys, what boys and
girls can or cannot do. We
often grow up thinking that
these things are exactly the
same everywhere. But do all
societies look at boys and
girls in the same way? We will
try and answer this question
in this chapter. We will also
look at how the different roles
assigned to boys and girls
prepare them for their future
roles as men and women. We
will learn that most societies
value men and women
differently. The roles women
play and the work they do are
usually valued less than the
roles men play and the work
they do. This chapter will also
examine how inequalities
between men and women
emerge in the area of work.
4
CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER
©NCERT
not to be republished
Page 4


UNIT
THREE
©NCERT
not to be republished
Gender
Teacher’s note Teacher’s note Teacher’s note Teacher’s note Teacher’s note
Gender is a term that you may often have
heard. It is a term, however, that is not
easily understood. It tends to remain
distant from our lives and restricted to
discussions during training programmes.
In fact, it is something that all of us
experience in our lives on a daily basis. It
determines, for example, who we are and
what we will become, where we can go and
where not, the life choices available to us
and those we eventually make. Our
understanding of gender is often based on
the family and society that we live in. This
leads us to think that the roles we see men
and women around us play are fixed and
natural. In fact, these roles differ across
communities around the world. By gender,
then, we mean the many social values and
stereotypes our cultures attach to the
biological distinction ‘male’ and ‘female’. It
is a term that helps us to understand many
of the inequalities and power relations
between men and women in society.
The following two chapters explore the
concept of gender without actually using
the term. Instead, through different
pedagogic tools like case studies, stories,
classroom activities, data analysis and
photographs, students are encouraged to
question and think about their own lives
and the society around them. Gender is
often mistakenly thought to be something
that concerns women or girls alone. Thus,
care has been taken in these chapters to
draw boys into the discussion as well.
Chapter 4 uses two case studies, situated
in different places and points in time to
show how girls and boys are brought up
or socialised differently. This enables them
to understand that the process of
socialisation is not uniform; instead it is
socially determined and changes
continuously over time. The chapter also
addresses the fact that societies assign
different values to the roles men and
women play and the work they do, which
becomes a basis for inequality and
discrimination. Through a storyboard,
students discuss the issue of housework.
Done primarily by women, housework is
often not considered ‘work’ and, therefore
made invisible and devalued.
 Chapter 5 further develops ideas around
gender inequalities in the world of work and
describes women’s struggles for equality.
Through a classroom activity, students
begin questioning existing stereotypes
regarding work and career choices. The
chapter also points out that opportunities
like education are not equally available to
boys and girls. By reading about the lives
of two Indian women, from the ninteenth
and twentieth centuries, students see how
women struggled to change their lives by
learning to read and write. Change on a
large scale usually takes place through
collective struggles. The chapter concludes
with a photo-essay that gives examples of
different strategies the women’s movement
has used to fight for change.
43
©NCERT
not to be republished
Growing up as
Boys and Girls
Being a boy or a girl is an
important part of one’s
identity. The society we grow
up in teaches us what kind of
behaviour is acceptable for
girls and boys, what boys and
girls can or cannot do. We
often grow up thinking that
these things are exactly the
same everywhere. But do all
societies look at boys and
girls in the same way? We will
try and answer this question
in this chapter. We will also
look at how the different roles
assigned to boys and girls
prepare them for their future
roles as men and women. We
will learn that most societies
value men and women
differently. The roles women
play and the work they do are
usually valued less than the
roles men play and the work
they do. This chapter will also
examine how inequalities
between men and women
emerge in the area of work.
4
CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER
©NCERT
not to be republished
In what ways do the experiences
of Samoan children and teenagers
differ from your own experiences
of growing up? Is there anything
in this experience that you wish
was part of your growing up?
A Class VII Samoan child
in his school uniform.
Why do girls like to go to school
together in groups?
Growing up in Samoa in the 1920s Growing up in Samoa in the 1920s Growing up in Samoa in the 1920s Growing up in Samoa in the 1920s Growing up in Samoa in the 1920s
The Samoan Islands are part of a large group of small
islands in the southern part of the Pacific Ocean. In
the 1920s, according to research reports on Samoan
society, children did not go to school. They learnt
many things, such as how to take care of children or
do household work from older children and from
adults. Fishing was a very important activity on the
islands. Young people, therefore, learnt to undertake
long fishing expeditions. But they learnt these things
at different points in their childhood.
As soon as babies could walk, their mothers or
other adults no longer looked after them. Older
children, often as young as five years old, took over
this responsibility. Both boys and girls looked after
their younger siblings. But, by the time a boy was
about nine years old, he joined the older boys in
learning outdoor jobs like fishing and planting
coconuts. Girls had to continue looking after small
children or do errands for adults till they were
teenagers. But, once they became teenagers they had
much more freedom. After the age of fourteen or so,
girls also went on fishing trips, worked in the
plantations, learnt how to weave baskets. Cooking
was done in special cooking-houses, where boys were
supposed to do most of the work while girls helped
with the preparations.
Growing up male in Growing up male in Growing up male in Growing up male in Growing up male in
Madhya Pradesh in the 1960s Madhya Pradesh in the 1960s Madhya Pradesh in the 1960s Madhya Pradesh in the 1960s Madhya Pradesh in the 1960s
The following is adapted from an account of
experiences of being in a small town in Madhya
Pradesh in the 1960s.
From Class VI onwards, boys and girls went to
separate schools. The girls’ school was designed very
differently from the boys’ school. They had a central
courtyard where they played in total seclusion and
45 Chapter 4: Growing up as Boys and Girls Growing up as Boys and Girls Growing up as Boys and Girls Growing up as Boys and Girls Growing up as Boys and Girls
©NCERT
not to be republished
Page 5


UNIT
THREE
©NCERT
not to be republished
Gender
Teacher’s note Teacher’s note Teacher’s note Teacher’s note Teacher’s note
Gender is a term that you may often have
heard. It is a term, however, that is not
easily understood. It tends to remain
distant from our lives and restricted to
discussions during training programmes.
In fact, it is something that all of us
experience in our lives on a daily basis. It
determines, for example, who we are and
what we will become, where we can go and
where not, the life choices available to us
and those we eventually make. Our
understanding of gender is often based on
the family and society that we live in. This
leads us to think that the roles we see men
and women around us play are fixed and
natural. In fact, these roles differ across
communities around the world. By gender,
then, we mean the many social values and
stereotypes our cultures attach to the
biological distinction ‘male’ and ‘female’. It
is a term that helps us to understand many
of the inequalities and power relations
between men and women in society.
The following two chapters explore the
concept of gender without actually using
the term. Instead, through different
pedagogic tools like case studies, stories,
classroom activities, data analysis and
photographs, students are encouraged to
question and think about their own lives
and the society around them. Gender is
often mistakenly thought to be something
that concerns women or girls alone. Thus,
care has been taken in these chapters to
draw boys into the discussion as well.
Chapter 4 uses two case studies, situated
in different places and points in time to
show how girls and boys are brought up
or socialised differently. This enables them
to understand that the process of
socialisation is not uniform; instead it is
socially determined and changes
continuously over time. The chapter also
addresses the fact that societies assign
different values to the roles men and
women play and the work they do, which
becomes a basis for inequality and
discrimination. Through a storyboard,
students discuss the issue of housework.
Done primarily by women, housework is
often not considered ‘work’ and, therefore
made invisible and devalued.
 Chapter 5 further develops ideas around
gender inequalities in the world of work and
describes women’s struggles for equality.
Through a classroom activity, students
begin questioning existing stereotypes
regarding work and career choices. The
chapter also points out that opportunities
like education are not equally available to
boys and girls. By reading about the lives
of two Indian women, from the ninteenth
and twentieth centuries, students see how
women struggled to change their lives by
learning to read and write. Change on a
large scale usually takes place through
collective struggles. The chapter concludes
with a photo-essay that gives examples of
different strategies the women’s movement
has used to fight for change.
43
©NCERT
not to be republished
Growing up as
Boys and Girls
Being a boy or a girl is an
important part of one’s
identity. The society we grow
up in teaches us what kind of
behaviour is acceptable for
girls and boys, what boys and
girls can or cannot do. We
often grow up thinking that
these things are exactly the
same everywhere. But do all
societies look at boys and
girls in the same way? We will
try and answer this question
in this chapter. We will also
look at how the different roles
assigned to boys and girls
prepare them for their future
roles as men and women. We
will learn that most societies
value men and women
differently. The roles women
play and the work they do are
usually valued less than the
roles men play and the work
they do. This chapter will also
examine how inequalities
between men and women
emerge in the area of work.
4
CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER CHAPTER
©NCERT
not to be republished
In what ways do the experiences
of Samoan children and teenagers
differ from your own experiences
of growing up? Is there anything
in this experience that you wish
was part of your growing up?
A Class VII Samoan child
in his school uniform.
Why do girls like to go to school
together in groups?
Growing up in Samoa in the 1920s Growing up in Samoa in the 1920s Growing up in Samoa in the 1920s Growing up in Samoa in the 1920s Growing up in Samoa in the 1920s
The Samoan Islands are part of a large group of small
islands in the southern part of the Pacific Ocean. In
the 1920s, according to research reports on Samoan
society, children did not go to school. They learnt
many things, such as how to take care of children or
do household work from older children and from
adults. Fishing was a very important activity on the
islands. Young people, therefore, learnt to undertake
long fishing expeditions. But they learnt these things
at different points in their childhood.
As soon as babies could walk, their mothers or
other adults no longer looked after them. Older
children, often as young as five years old, took over
this responsibility. Both boys and girls looked after
their younger siblings. But, by the time a boy was
about nine years old, he joined the older boys in
learning outdoor jobs like fishing and planting
coconuts. Girls had to continue looking after small
children or do errands for adults till they were
teenagers. But, once they became teenagers they had
much more freedom. After the age of fourteen or so,
girls also went on fishing trips, worked in the
plantations, learnt how to weave baskets. Cooking
was done in special cooking-houses, where boys were
supposed to do most of the work while girls helped
with the preparations.
Growing up male in Growing up male in Growing up male in Growing up male in Growing up male in
Madhya Pradesh in the 1960s Madhya Pradesh in the 1960s Madhya Pradesh in the 1960s Madhya Pradesh in the 1960s Madhya Pradesh in the 1960s
The following is adapted from an account of
experiences of being in a small town in Madhya
Pradesh in the 1960s.
From Class VI onwards, boys and girls went to
separate schools. The girls’ school was designed very
differently from the boys’ school. They had a central
courtyard where they played in total seclusion and
45 Chapter 4: Growing up as Boys and Girls Growing up as Boys and Girls Growing up as Boys and Girls Growing up as Boys and Girls Growing up as Boys and Girls
©NCERT
not to be republished
Make a drawing of a street or a
park in your neighbourhood. Show
the different kinds of activities
young boys and girls may be
engaged in. You could do this
individually or in groups.
Are there as many girls as boys in
your drawing? Most probably you
would have drawn fewer girls. Can
you think of reasons why there
are fewer women and girls in your
neighbourhood streets, parks and
markets in the late evenings or at
night?
Are girls and boys doing different
activities? Can you think of
reasons why this might be so?
What would happen if you
replaced the girls with the boys
and vice-versa?
safety from the outside world. The boys’ school had
no such courtyard and our playground was just a
big space attached to the school. Every evening, once
school was over, the boys watched as hundreds of
school girls crowded the narrow streets. As these
girls walked on the streets, they looked so purposeful.
This was unlike the boys who used the streets as a
place to stand around idling, to play, to try out tricks
with their bicycles. For the girls, the street was simply
a place to get straight home. The girls always went
in groups, perhaps because they also carried fears
of being teased or attacked.
After reading the two examples above, we realise
that there are many different ways of growing up.
Often we think that there is only one way in which
children grow up. This is because we are most
familiar with our own experiences. If we talk to elders
in our family, we will see that their childhoods were
probably very different from ours.
We also realise that societies make clear
distinctions between boys and girls. This begins from
a very young age. We are for example, given different
toys to play with. Boys are usually given cars to play
with and girls dolls. Both toys can be a lot of fun to
play with. Why are girls then given dolls and boys
cars? Toys become a way of telling children that they
will have different futures when they become men
and women. If we think about it, this difference is
created in the smallest and most everyday things.
How girls must dress, what games boys should play,
how girls need to talk softly or boys need to be tough.
All these are ways of telling children that they have
specific roles to play when they grow up to be men
and women. Later in life this affects the subjects we
can study or the careers we can choose.
In most societies, including our own, the roles men
and women play or the work they do, are not valued
equally. Men and women do not have the same
status. Let us look at how this difference exists in
the work done by men and women.
46 Social and Political Life Social and Political Life Social and Political Life Social and Political Life Social and Political Life
©NCERT
not to be republished
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