Gender matters, says Professor Carrie Paechter at Nottingham Trent University


Nottingham Trent University Professor delivers gender lecture

Nottingham Trent University Professor delivers gender lecture

Professor Carrie Paechter has delivered a challenging and thought-provoking inaugural lecture on Gender Matters: power, bodies and identities in the lives of children, young people and families.

Carrie, Director of the Nottingham Centre for Children, Young People and Families at Nottingham Trent University gave her inaugural lecture in front of an audience of over 120 guests, including family, friends and colleagues from the School of Social Sciences. She began by introducing the concept of gender and how we think about it in the 21st Century. She started by pointing out that the introduction of the term ‘gender’ (about the mind) as opposed to sex (about the body) in the mid 20th century allowed both trans people and feminists to be able to assert that “biology is not destiny”.

Can we move towards a post-gender world?

Carrie then presented the three puzzles which form the big questions she has been trying to address: How is gender learned, and why do young children have such stereotypical ideas about what it means to be a boy or a girl?; Why are young children so entranced by heterosexuality?; and How should we theorise femininity?

Finally, posing the question ‘Can we move towards a post-gender world, and, if so, do we want to?’ Carrie discussed her thoughts about the possibilities for a gender-free world. She concluded by stating that what we should be aiming for, rather than a gender-free society, is a future without discrimination, and, especially, a less binary conception of gender. Everyone - children, young people and adults - is entitled to a safe, inclusive, liveable gendered future.

After the lecture, Carrie answered questions from guests including whether attending single-sex schools affect children and young people’s perception of gender, and the economy of gender.

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