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•How is gender constructed?
•What role does gender play
in the education of children?
• social category
imposed on a
sexed body
• cultural
Special privileges
to men
• Western culture: special
privileges to men.
• Traditionally, women in
secondary roles to men.
• Attitudes about men and
women sharing housekeeping
and child-rearing tasks have
changed significantly since
the late 1960s.
• Women carry disproportionate
share of duties.
Women and U.S. Education
1640 laws requiring that women be taught to read.
Laws were difficult to enforce.
1826: first public high school for women
Men and women were usually segregated in schools.
Women’s seminaries in the 1820s.
• Trained women to be successful wives
and mothers.
• Curriculum: religious, moral, literary
domestic, musical, artistic.
• Horace Mann, Catherine Beecher
lobbied for women to be given greater
opportunities to become teachers.
• 400 plus east-coast women in teaching
positions throughout the West.
• Teaching provided women not only with
a meaningful profession, but also, as
time went on, with greater access to
higher education.
Sexual tyranny
• 1790’s: Mary Wollstonecraft: women be sufficiently
educated to be intellectual equals of their husbands and
• Capable individuals able to support themselves if
• Seneca Falls, New York 1848: women’s rights
convention, the most important meeting of feminist
leaders up to that time.
• Series of resolutions, patterned on the Declaration of
Independence, that proposed the principle that men and
women are equal and endowed with certain inalienable
• Important women’s rights leaders, such as Susan B.
Anthony (1820-1906), argued that women should have
not only equal educational opportunities, but also equal
opportunities in the workplace.
The women’s rights movement:
Important victory in 1920’s
Ratification of the 19th Amendment.
First time women had the right to vote.
Opportunities to work expanded during
the Second World War.
• Due to labor shortages, women began to
work in many businesses and industries
from which they had previously been
• Rosie the Riveter: effective in
occupations traditionally held only by
• Modern women’s rights movement began in the
1960s as an outgrowth of the larger civil rights
• Important federal civil rights legislation affecting
women was the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibiting
discrimination on the basis of race or sex.
• 1972, Title IX, an amendment to the 1964 Civil
Rights Act was passed by Congress, but did not go
into affect until July 21, 1975.
• Title IX states explicitly: “No person in the United
States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from
participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be
subject to discrimination under any education
program or activity receiving Federal financial
• Applies to all public school districts in the United
States and almost all institutions at the college
• For the first time women were to have equal access
to sports programs and facilities.
• Elementary, secondary, and collegiate
administrators were advised to make sure their
athletic programs provided equal facilities,
equipment, coaching staffs, publicity, practice
time, and opportunities for women to practice.
Sexual Discrimination
in the Classroom
• Inequity: male and female
students given unequal access
to learning materials.
• Gender discrimination can be
• Sex stereotypes represent
reified notions of what men
and women are like.
• Sometimes stereotypes
correspond to reality, but
more often they are rigid and
untrue perceptions.
Sexism in Textbooks
Research of David and Myra Sadker:
1992 analyzed the content of math,
language arts, and history textbooks
used in New England.
Twice to three times as many pictures
of boys and men as girls and women.
Out of 631 pages of a world history
textbook, only seven pages related to
women, either as famous individuals
or as a general group.”
Alternative Sexual Orientations
By never
• The unfortunate
• raising the issue of sexual
orientation as a legitimate reality of U.S.
society is that it
developmental issue
remains extremely
• placing informative and
nonpejorative books in the homophobic.
school library
• seriously confronting
homophobia in the classrooms
Schools abdicate their
responsibility not only to
adolescents who are
questioning their sexual
orientation but to all
Sex Education and the Schools
• Students have rights
• Parents have rights
• Parents’ rights need to
be balanced against
those of the state and
its need to educate
In conclusion
• “We need to create new narratives
which combat the destructive effects
of gender and discrimination in our society.”
--Eugene Provenzo
• Gender discrimination and stereotyping
diminish all people.
What do you think?
Think, pair, share about two or more of the following:
What are some ways that sexual discrimination manifests
itself in the classroom? Can you recall personal experiences
with such descrimination? How can this type of
discrimination be best overcome and eliminated?
How is sexism evident in our day to day use of language? Are
there ways of overcoming these problems with language?
What do you think should be the rights of homosexual
teachers and students?
Where can men fit into the movement for equal rights for
Where can heterosexuals fit into the movement for equal
rights for homosexuals.
How can antidiscrimintation be sustained?
Study: Sex ed does not
encourage sexual activity
May 30, 2001
Web posted at: 2:13 p.m. EDT (1813 GMT)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sex education and other programs that tell teen-agers how to avoid pregnancy and AIDS do not encourage them to experiment and in
some cases discourage it, a review of some 250 studies found.
The review, sponsored by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, identified a handful of programs that have succeeded in reducing teen
pregnancy, including a handful that talk straight to teens about sex and a couple that focus on community service, giving teens constructive alternatives.
Schools lax in tackling touchy subject? Educator, author: Teach sex education earlier
There remains no evidence about whether "abstinence-only" programs, a favorite of conservatives, are effective, the review said, even as the Bush
administration proposes an increase in federal funding for them. A national evaluation of a $250 million abstinence program created by the 1996 welfare law
is now under way, but results are not available.
Backers of these programs believe that talking about the benefits of birth control while encouraging abstinence sends a mixed message, but the report
released Wednesday disagrees.
"The overwhelming weight of evidence shows that sex education that discusses contraception does not increase sexual activity," concludes the report,
"Emerging Answers," written by researcher Douglas Kirby, a senior researcher at ETR Associates in Scotts Valley, California.
Four years ago, Kirby conducted a similar review of studies about teen pregnancy prevention and concluded that almost none of the programs that had been
evaluated made a difference. This time, he reports, the findings are more optimistic.
Teen birth rates dropping
Teen pregnancy, abortion and birth rates have been falling since 1991, and birth rates are now at their lowest level recorded, with about 50 out of every
1,000 girls aged 15 to 19 giving birth in 1999, a 20 percent drop since 1991.
Experts point out that teen sexual activity has dropped as use of condoms increased -- both largely due to fear of AIDS. Still, communities often struggle
when trying to create programs to reduce their rates.
Kirby's report found eight programs that showed evidence of success: five sex education programs; two community service programs that included group
discussions; and one intensive program that combined sex education, health care and activities such as tutoring.
All the effective sex education programs employed what's sometimes called "abstinence-plus." They delivered a "clear message" that abstaining from sex is
the safest choice for teens, but those who are sexually active should protect themselves from pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
The report, which examined only programs that had been scientifically evaluated, also concluded that family planning clinics probably prevent many teen
pregnancies, although there is little evidence to prove it.
Some studies have found that clinics were able to increase use of birth control by providing top-quality educational materials, discussing the patient's sexual
and contraceptive behavior and sending a clear message about what works.
The study also found that programs that give away condoms at school have produced mixed results in reducing sex and pregnancy, although studies have
consistently shown that these programs do not increase sexual activity.
Generally, short-term programs of any stripe were not effective, the study concluded.
Copyright 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Main points:
1. Gender: critical
2. Teachers need to
understand it
3. Giroux’s teachers
as border crossers
4. Gender issues
influence, shape
what goes on in the
• “Whatever the form or
medium, these stories have
formed us all; they are what
we must use to make new
fictions, new narratives.” -Author Carolyn Heilbrun
• “We need to create new
narratives which combat the
destructive effects of
gender and discrimination in
our society.” --Eugene