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ERIC Number: EJ742147
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 27
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2680
Female-Teacher Gender and Sexuality in Twentieth-Century Ontario, Canada
Cavanagh, Sheila L.
History of Education Quarterly, v45 n2 p247-273 Sum 2005
In this essay, the author first describes the cultural ethos of the Federation of Women Teachers' Associations of Ontario (FWTAO), with its primary commitment to the never-married teacher. She then traces the declining status of the single, female teacher in the postwar period. Coupled with this decline is an emphasis placed on the importance of marriage and motherhood by the educational community. Second, the author examines the postwar sociological and psychological literature to show how traditional gender roles and heterosexual identity cultures were both regulatory and normative. The importance placed on heterosexual adjustment by educational administrators became intricately tied to the worry about female homosexuality, masculine identified, and independent women. This essay also argues that married women teachers attained the professional stature originally held by single female teachers. The newly formed allegiance to the marriageable and heterosexually attractive woman (whether married or unmarried) caused difficulty for single females wanting to pursue administrative positions. The call to embrace a heterosexual ideal of beauty worked as an obstacle to tenure and to upward career mobility for female teachers who could not or would not adhere to these regulatory ideals. (Contains 135 footnotes.)
History of Education Society. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Educational Policy Studies, 360 Education Building MC-708, 1310 South Sixth Street, Champaign, IL 61820. Tel: 217-333-2446; Fax: 217-244-7064; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Ontario; Canada; North America