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The children seem shocked by the role-reversal, but soon the girls are poring over a car engine and the boys are practising pirouettes.
One of the other common notions that the BBC team appear most keen to dispel is that boys are stronger than girls.‘As a doctor I have got an understanding of the body – how we grow and change,’ Dr Abdelmoneim says in the programme.‘What I do know is there is no difference in muscle mass between boys and girls up to the age of puberty.’To prove his point, Dr Abdelmoneim pits the children against each other in a strength test.
A cupboard with separate compartments for the boys’ and girls’ coats is removed. Books featuring characters ‘squarely aimed at boys’ – including Star Wars stories – are culled.
One of the first things the programme-producers ban is Mr Andre’s habit of using pet names such as ‘love’ or ‘sweetpea’ for the girls and ‘mate’ or ‘fella’ for boys.Banish boy jobs and girl jobs The youngsters were shown that women can be mechanics and men can be make-up artists to dispel the preconceptions they appeared to have that certain jobs are for girls and others are for boys. , which is being broadcast later this month, comes as the issue of gender in childhood is becoming increasingly contentious and complex.There has been a huge rise in the number of young people saying they identify as being of the opposite sex or that they are ‘non-binary’: neither female nor male.Paint over the pink cupboards A pink cupboard which had separate sections for the boys’ and girls’ coats was declared a ‘gender-neutral’ zone.The children could instead put their coats in any part of the cupboard. Signs of the times To encourage the students to reject the idea of gender-stereotyping, signs were put up around the classroom – such as this pair with the messages ‘Girls are strong’ and ‘Boys are sensitive’. To better reflect what is already happening with more frequency in the real world, pupils were told that they would be sharing gender-neutral toilets. The BBC2 programme, No More Boys And Girls: Can Our Kids Go Gender Free?