Dissertation Information for Milton Hathaway
MPACT Status: Fully Complete
Title: Science-related gender roles in the illustrations of contemporary outstanding science information books for the middle school student
Abstract: Gender differences in science education and in children's textbooks and literature motivated an examination of the illustrations of outstanding science information trade books for children to determine what differences existed in the frequency and type of male and female science related gender role activity. The gender role matrix was developed to classify science roles by type of environment: scientific/technological, occupational and personal/social, and by type of activity: traditional, emancipated and inactive. Random samples of 648 illustrations from each of two periods, 1972-1974 and 1983-1985, were drawn from the Outstanding Science Trade Books Lists selected by the National Science Teachers Association and the Children's Book Council. Data gathered from the illustrations were classified by gender role activity and tested by chi square analysis and the Fisher exact test to determine differences in the frequencies of male and female roles. In all cases, males outnumbered females in the depiction of scientific activity, but the difference in frequency between boys and girls was not significant. The difference in the frequency of men compared to women was significant for all three environments at p $<$.05. Traditional activity is the predominant type displayed. Science related gender role activity is performed in isolation from the opposite sex. There was no difference in frequency of gender roles for either sex either over time or between the physical sciences and the biological sciences. The illustrations of outstanding science information books for children exhibit a model of science related activity as being represented mainly by adult male presence.
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