Gender Norms

Gender Norms

Gender norms are the socially prescribed attributes and behaviors that are considered the generally accepted 'norm' (the normal situation) based on a person’s real or perceived gender identity and expression, and/or biological sex. Gender norms vary across communities and may change over time. Put simply, gender norms are a specific society’s ideas of how people should look, think and act. Gender norms are often internalized at an early age, making them seem ‘normal’ and ‘natural’. Gender norms often greatly contribute to gender discrimination and inequality, and can be damaging for people who do not conform to them (and to those who do).

All young people worldwide should be able to explore, experience and express their sexualities in healthy, pleasurable and safe ways.