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ERIC Number: ED252286
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
A Study of Sexism in the Illustrations of Counting Books.
Westbrook, Lynn
Sexism in math books for juveniles has created much discussion and controversy. In particular, sexist examples in arithmetic books suggest that math is a "masculine" subject and foster traditional, male-dominated sex roles. Just as with math texts, many adults read the words of counting books, and from these words alone, draw their conclusions as to whether or not sexism is apparent. They may neglect the illustrations, which most interest young children. Many modern counting books fall into three broad categories: (1) traditionally sexist, male-oriented books; (2) books that avoid the topic of sex roles; and (3) books that face the idea of female/male stereotypes in some way. The first category, traditionally sexist books, contains those books that use overtly sexist illustrations, historical illustrations of traditional roles, and illustrations of asexual characters in traditionally male roles. Such books may also deal with some other problem (such as racism) and present traditional sex roles. The second category, books that avoid sex roles, use nonsense drawings, totally asexual animals, or realistic objects in their illustrations. One example in the relatively small third category of books that deal positively with the issue of sex roles involves a boy who trades his toys for his sister's doll. When selecting counting books, adults need to pay attention to the content of the illustrations as well as noting whether they present clear pictures of items to be counted. (CB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A