Gender identity and its variability repre-sents one of the most important factors in the creation of children‘s classmate relation-ships from middle-school onwards. The preferred variant is the stereotypical model of girl and boy identity, moulded by the so-called „mainstream“ and presented through cultural politics designed for the young population. Pupils with gender identities that diverge from this stereotype are exposed in school conditions to the risk of low social status and ostracisation.
Identification with the established stere-otype is seemingly easy, but it is accompanied with a lack of self-knowledge and immaturity of personality. It can result in internalised problems in later years, dysphoric feelings, depression, a sense of inner emptiness and soon. Stereotypical gender identity is linked with the hegemony of masculinity and with the premature sexualisation of relationships between contemporaries. Negative consequences include sexual harassment, intolerance towards sexual minorities, bullying (often with a homophobic context) and also silence about bullying. These phenomena have been discovered and recorded as early as the first level of basic schools among boys and many girls. At the same time the period known as that of „sexual latency“ is becoming shorter among the youngest generation.
A deeper and more long-lasting cultivation of gender identity in pupils of both sexes can be achieved through the development of their rational and emotional reflexive intelligence. Openness to ones own experience combined with the tolerance of the social environment enhances a capacity for empathy with others and their non-standard behaviour and identities. The personality of the teacher and his or her capacity for reflection on his or her own experience and views, including gender aspects, plays a key role in this process.
The study offers a brief account of the deep psychological context of these phenomena and the reasons that sometimes block the efforts of teachers to cultivate the gender attitudes of their pupils. It also offers some ideas for work in the classroom.