Often asked: How Are Gender Roles Explained In Spirit Bird Journey?


Students will compare and contrast the beliefs and values of early European immigrants with those of two-spirit traditions in some Native American cultures. This lesson plan can be adapted for use in 5th or 8th grade.

Lesson Plan Resources:

Two-Spirit People are people who have two spirits.

Lesson Objectives:

The Native American two-spirit tradition is explained and discussed.

Essential Questions:

What is the Two-Spirit tradition, and why is it important in American history? How have gender roles and expectations changed over time and across cultures? What are the differences in gender understandings between certain Native American traditions and European traditions? Have these different gender perspectives caused inequity? If so, how?


Students learn how Native Americans expressed their culture through art, music, dance, religion, and storytelling, as well as how gender roles and family life differed between tribes by examining the multiple roles and influence of women in American Indian communities.


Gender binarism is prevalent in most Western cultures, with the exception of some indigenous North American cultures, which recognize at least four genders (feminine female, masculine female, feminine male, masculine male). The term “two-spirit” is widely used to describe these identities.

Teacher Background:

Many indigenous communities recognize at least four genders (feminine female, masculine female, feminine male, masculine male). The term Two-Spirit was coined by LGBT indigenous people to replace the term berdache (pronounced burr-dash), which was used to describe indigenous people who fulfilled multiple gender roles.


Use this handout to help students understand the Two-Spirit tradition. Teachers may want to include questions on a unit test or essay related to this topic.

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Author Information

Dr. Rob Darrow has worked as an online school principal, adjunct professor, school librarian, and teacher in K-12 schools, and his research interests include safe and inclusive environments for LGBT youth, LGBT history, blended and online learning, professional learning, and creating a social presence in online courses.

What are gender roles explain?

Gender roles refer to how we are expected to act, speak, dress, groom, and conduct ourselves in society based on our assigned sex. For example, girls and women are generally expected to dress in traditionally feminine ways and to be polite, accommodating, and nurturing.

How are gender roles formed?

Gender socialization takes place through four major agents: family, education, peer groups, and the media, each of which reinforces gender roles by establishing and maintaining normative expectations for gender-specific behavior. Secondary agents, such as religion and the workplace, also play a role in gender socialization.

How does gender play a role in identity?

Most children’s asserted gender identity aligns with their assigned gender (sex), but for some children, the match between their assigned gender and gender identity is not as clear.

What is the traditional view of gender roles?

Gender roles are the roles that men and women are expected to fill based on their gender. For example, many Western societies have traditionally believed that women are more nurturing than men, so the feminine gender role prescribes that women should act in nurturing ways.

What are the three gender roles?

Gender roles are culturally specific, and while most cultures recognize only two genders (boy/man and girl/woman), others recognize three: men, women, and a third gender in some non-Western societies.

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What are the 4 genders?

There are four different types of genders that apply to living and nonliving objects: masculine, feminine, neuter, and common.

Why are gender roles harmful?

Gender norms describe how people of a certain gender and age are expected to behave in a given social context, and they can lead to a variety of inequalities between girls and boys. While gender norms can affect all children, they have been shown to disproportionately affect girls.

Why gender roles are very important in family?

Gender role expectations can be beneficial in a variety of ways, including helping young children understand what is expected of them in the larger world and shaping family roles and relationships by teaching them that women are better at expressing emotions, are more “tender-hearted,” and agreeable than men.

What are the 7 genders?

Benestad has identified seven distinct genders based on his conversations with real people: Female, Male, Intersex, Trans, Non-Conforming, Personal, and Eunuch.

What is the main role of a woman in our society?

Women’s Global Role u2013 Caregivers, Conscientious, Farmers, Educators, and Entrepreneurs Women’s central role in society has ensured the stability, progress, and long-term development of nations throughout history, and women self-report their initiative in preserving child health and nutrition more often than men.

How does gender roles affect society?

Almost every young person we spoke to said they’ve heard jokes or comments about other people’s bodies or appearances, as if girls are expected to meet certain ridiculous expectations.

What are gender roles in sociology?

Gender roles refer to a set of social and behavioral norms that are considered socially appropriate for people of a particular sex. Gender roles have changed significantly over time and across cultures, and all gender roles are culturally and historically contingent.

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What is the female version of masculinity?

Femininities and masculinities are not descriptors of sexual orientation; they are plural, as there are many different types of femininity and masculinity.

Who created gender roles?

John Money coined the term ‘gender role’ in 1955 during his study of intersex individuals to describe the ways in which these individuals express their status as a male or female in situations where there is no clear biological assignment.

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