Gender and Science: Men and Women in Greek Gymnasium Science Textbooks

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Ampatzidis, Georgios
Armeni, Anastasia
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European Science Education Research Association
Although the gender gap in science related occupations has been considerably reduced during the last 40 years, women still seem to be underrepresented in areas such as physics and technology. Several reasons have been suggested to explain the lack of interest of female students for science classes such as (a) the formation of sex-segregated groups of students especially in early school years, (b) parental attitudes and behaviour and (c) textbooks. Focusing on the latter, it has been argued that the way gender is portrayed in science textbooks may contribute to the sex role socialization of students; gender bias in science textbooks may influence the development of a view that science is a subject addressed more to boys than girls. This article focuses on the frequency of appearance of men/women and male scientists/female scientists in the illustrations of science textbooks of the Greek Gymnasium (students aged 12-15 years old). The analysis of 7 science textbooks shows that men and male scientists appear more frequently than women and female scientists respectively in the illustrations of physics, biology and chemistry textbooks. Relevant limitations and possible implications are discussed.
gender issues, curriculum, science education