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ERIC Number: ED375086
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Jan
Pages: 29
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Uncommon Caring: Primary Males and Implicit Judgments.
King, James R.
The caring and nurturing of children, which characterize primary education culture, have tended to shape a public perception of primary teaching as "women's work." Several social factors influence men's underrepresentation in the profession of primary education, such as parents not wanting their children exposed to "soft" males. Male primary teachers are characterized as "feminine,""homosexual," and "pedophile," and these characterizations control the number of men who choose to enter primary education and manipulate those men who do teach young children. Some gay primary teachers feel compelled to monitor themselves carefully because of other educators' and parents' beliefs that social contact with homosexuals is harmful for children. Such self-censoring preempts caring relationships with students. The use of touch in classrooms is very suspect as a behavior and also requires self-monitoring. Feeling paranoid about their sexual orientation, gay and lesbian teachers have adopted coping strategies that reduce their effectiveness as teachers. Social constructions that have worked against males teaching in early grades can also be found in the implicit but pervasive relationship that has been drawn between primary male teachers and pedophiles, a relationship not supported by data. Bullying and excluding gay males who may provide nurturing and caring in ways that are especially productive for young children are clearly inappropriate. (Contains 27 references.) (JDD)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A