ERIC Number: ED307288
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Are U.S. Elementary School Reading Textbooks Sex Stereotyped?
Gonzalez-Suarez, Mirta; Ekstrom, Ruth B.
Seven representative elementary school textbooks used in the United States were examined, as part of an international study of sex-stereotyping in textbooks, to determine whether the depiction of males and females was qualitatively and quantitatively sex-equitable. The analysis used a gender models checklist developed by M. Gonzalez-Suarez (1986) to examine textbooks in Costa Rica. The checklist uses 45 gender models subdivided into 12 categories. Content coding was done separately by two persons. The most recent editions of reading textbooks for the pre-primer through the sixth-grade level were obtained from four major publishing companies: Addison-Wesley; Houghton-Mifflin; Macmillan; and Scott-Foresman. One book was selected at random across the publishers for the seven grade levels. Out of the 4,665 models coded, 2,960 were masculine and 1,705 were feminine. Males were present more often in the text, at 64%, than in the illustrations, at 61%. Males were most likely to be depicted in occupational roles or as historical figures. Females were most likely to be depicted in a way that emphasized their personality characteristics. When results were compared to those of a study over a decade ago, some efforts to remove sex bias were apparent, with females engaging in a wide range of occupations and displaying a wide range of personality traits. Males, although shown engaged in housework and as being affectionate with children, were rarely shown in traditionally female occupations. Four tables present study findings. (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, March 27-31, 1989).