Topic 4 Gender-based microaggressions in the educational environment

Microaggressions performed in the educational environment harm students as they can trigger anger, stress and anxiety and may hinder their educational performance. By extension, this may result in post-traumatic stress symptoms leading students to exercise hazardous practices, such as aggressive behaviors, use of drugs or alcohol etc., in an attempt to deal with the symptoms mentioned above.

Microaggressions can be performed between teachers and students and between school’s employees and students, and throughout all the educational activities.

In the table below you can see some examples of gender-based microaggressions that may occur in the educational environment:




Second-class Citizen

In class, an instructor tends to call on male students more frequently than male female ones.

The contributions of female students are less worthy than the contributions of male students.

Sexist Language

Use of the pronoun “he” or the term “guys” to refer to all people.

It’s unusual for someone of your race to be intelligent.

Traditional Gender Role

“You’re a girl, you don’t have to be good at math or science.”

Women are less capable in math and science

Traditional Gender Role

Labeling an assertive female committee chair/dean as a “b____,” while describing a male counterpart as a “forceful leader.”

Women are out of line when they are confident or assertive.

Myth of Meritocracy                                                                                           

“Men and women have equal opportunities for achievement

The playing field is even so if women cannot make it, the problem is with them.

Finally, you can have a look at a really interesting video explaining the concept of microaggressions in the classroom: