ERIC Number: ED145362
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977
Reference Count: 0
Are Reading Tests Sexist? An Investigation into Sex Bias in Three Frequently Used Individualized Reading Tests.
Rowell, E. H.
A review of the literature indicates that sex-role stereotyping is common in basal readers, in children's novels, and in content-area reading materials. This study analyzed three frequently used individualized reading tests for evidence of sex bias: the Diagnostic Reading Scales, the Durrell Analysis of Reading Difficulty, and the Classroom Reading Inventory. Each test was evaluated according to a frequency count of masculine and feminine nouns and pronouns. Comparisons were also made between the types and numbers of male and female characters, occupations portrayed, and famous people described in each selection. Data (described and presented in tabular form) clearly showed that the three tests exhibited considerable sex bias in language usage, number of animal and human characters of each sex, and male/female status within the selections. Deletion of generic terms did not significantly alter the ratios. In conclusion, it was suggested that test publishers attempt to represent males and females more equally; the validity of sex-biased tests for measuring students' abilities and for establishing ability groups is also questioned. (KS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Study prepared at Rhode Island College; Not available in hard copy due to marginal legibility of original document