How gender fair are German schoolbooks in the twenty-first century? An analysis of language and illustrations in schoolbooks for mathematics and German

Moser, Franziska; Hannover, Bettina (2014). How gender fair are German schoolbooks in the twenty-first century? An analysis of language and illustrations in schoolbooks for mathematics and German. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 29(3), pp. 387-407. Springer 10.1007/s10212-013-0204-3

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Schoolbooks convey not only school-relevant knowledge; they also influence the development of stereotypes about different social groups. Particularly during the 1970s and 1980s, many studies analysed schoolbooks and criticised the overall predominance of male persons and of traditional role allocations. Since that time, women’s and men’s occupations and social functions have changed considerably. The present research investigated gender portrayals in schoolbooks for German and mathematics that were recently published in Germany. We examined the proportions of female and male persons in pictures and texts and categorized their activities, occupational and parental roles. Going beyond previous studies, we added two criteria: the use of gender-fair language and the spatial arrangements of persons in pictures. Our results show that schoolbooks for German contained almost balanced depictions of girls and boys, whereas women were less frequently shown than men. In mathematics books, males outnumbered females in general. Across both types of books, female and male persons were engaged in many different activities, not only gendertyped ones; however, male persons were more often described via their profession than females. Use of gender-fair language has found its way into schoolbooks but is not used consistently. Books for German were more gender fair in terms of linguistic forms than books for mathematics. For spatial arrangements, we found no indication for gender biases. The results are discussed with a focus on how schoolbooks can be optimized to contribute to gender equality.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Moser, Franziska

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology

ISSN:

0256-2928, 1878-5174

Publisher:

Springer

Language:

English

Submitter:

Franziska Moser

Date Deposited:

30 Mar 2016 09:28

Last Modified:

30 Mar 2016 09:28

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/s10212-013-0204-3

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Gender roles, Schoolbooks, Gender-fair language, Gender

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.79241

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/79241

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