ERIC Number: EJ1039927
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 54
Revisiting "The Fertilization Fairytale:" An Analysis of Gendered Language Used to Describe Fertilization in Science Textbooks from Middle School to Medical School
Campo-Engelstein, Lisa; Johnson, Nadia L.
Cultural Studies of Science Education, v9 n1 p201-220 Mar 2014
Emily Martin's ("Signs J Women Cult Soc" 16(31):485-501, 1991) article, "The Egg and the Sperm: How Science Has Constructed a Romance Based on Stereotypical Male-Female Roles," was published in "Signs" over 20 years ago. In this groundbreaking article, she discusses how gender roles are often projected onto reproductive biology, leading to the portrayal of eggs as passive and sperm as active. We were interested in seeing if many of her findings are still relevant today. We analyzed science textbooks from the middle school to the medical school level to determine if fertilization in human reproduction is described in gender-biased language regarding the sentence structure, amount of information provided for female and male processes/parts, and neutrality in describing female and male processes/parts. Although there has been much improvement, there is still a long way to go. Sexist language in scientific textbooks is troubling because it negatively affects both female and male students and undermines teachers' ability to teach in an accurate and gender-neutral way.
Descriptors: Gender Issues, Sex Role, Pregnancy, Birth, Gender Bias, Language Usage, Textbooks, Science Instruction, Biology, Textbook Content, Textbook Evaluation, Middle Schools, High Schools, Secondary School Science, College Science, Graduate Study, Undergraduate Study, Medical Education
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; High Schools; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A