Gender stereotypes of teachers and students - Pedagogical psychology

Gender stereotypes of teachers and students

When teaching children in one class of children (the girl is older than the brother), Azeri parents say to the teacher: "The girl should try to study well, the boy as he can and wants, so let him learn. On still be the boss & quot ;. This example shows the existence of different requirements for the education of girls and boys in different cultures. These requirements the family brings to school. The tormentor must, in the opinion of the parents, meet these wishes.

The teacher as the leading subject of the educational and upbringing process in the school plays an important role, transmitting to the students through the educational activities, by their example and their personality, certain gender representations, stereotypes and gender settings.

Gender stereotypes according to the dictionary of gender terms A. A. Denisova (2002) are generally accepted sustainable views in a particular society about the "female" and masculine behavior, their purpose, social roles and activities. Gender stereotypes are determined by the sociocultural environment and are accordingly subject to change. Gender stereotypes form gender expectations.

Gender settings - a positive or negative attitude, attitude towards one's and the opposite sex: the desire to be a representative of a certain gender; preference for appropriate sex roles, occupations; positive or negative evaluation of sex. Gender heterostereotype - a stereotypical opinion about the behavior and characteristics of the personality of members of the opposite sex.

E. Igly put forward the assumption that gender stereotypes, in essence, are social norms. This means that we all have the notion that men and women are characterized by certain sets of specific qualities and behaviors that the overwhelming majority of people adhere to this point of view and that we usually know which behavior is right for the representatives of one or the other sex. The main reasons why we try to meet gender expectations are normative and informational pressure. The sources of this pressure are family members, peers, teachers, media, etc. The effect of normative pressure is that we try to match gender roles in order to gain social approval and avoid social disapproval. We consider gender norms to be correct, because we are under the influence of social information. Information about correct gender-role behavior is asked by parents, educators and teachers, children's literature, television and spoken language ("female logic", "all the men ...").

Gender stereotypes can be found in educational materials. Thus, according to the researchers, in many of the examples presented in the textbooks, the male heroes are strong, smart and smart, and the girls are weak and helpless.

People in different degrees are subject to traditional gender roles. Subordination to gender norms can be manifested in the desire to look like a peer or role model, as well as in the appropriate behavior and belief system (I want, I can and do). They may not coincide and differ. This appears vividly in situations of deviant behavior from social norms of behavior.

A female teacher is the bearer of gender characteristics and gender stereotypes that transmit to children. Psychological characteristics of the teacher give the children information about what women are like, how they look, how they treat themselves and children of different sexes, how they interact with their own and opposite sex, ie. form in children gender attitudes towards people of different sexes.

Many studies have shown that gender perceptions of teachers are mostly stereotyped and traditional. Thus, attitudes toward girls are aimed at familiarizing and implementing them in the sphere of interpersonal relations, and attitudes towards boys are oriented toward realization in the activity sphere.

Gender representations of teachers in relation to themselves, to pupils-boys and girls-girls are gender-oriented and in many respects stereotyped. This is manifested, first of all, in the fact that the normative representations of teachers about men and women ("a man should be ...", "a woman must be ...") are of a traditional character: i.e. a woman must be feminine, and a man - masculine. The ideal image of itself is androgyny, with a slight predominance of masculine qualities. In our opinion, in many respects this is determined by the influence of the respondents' professional activity and the nature of those conflicting demands of society that are made on the working woman. On the one hand, the woman must be feminine (affectionate, gentle, weak, etc.), on the other hand, the teacher performs organizing and educational functions (explains, points, orders, encourages and punishes), which involves the development of certain traditionally masculine qualities (confidence, determination, strength).

In the description of the male students and girls-girls teachers are dominated by gender-neutral qualities, and in pupils-boys and girls-girls, teachers appreciate different qualities corresponding to the models of the personality of the masculine man and the feminine woman. Therefore, it can be assumed that teachers consciously or unconsciously will make efforts to educate children in precisely these qualities, relying on them and cultivating them.

In the study by A. A. Chekalina it was shown that teachers have clear ideas about "real men and women", "female and male happiness", "female and male professions", they are basically convinced that educating boys and girls need different ways, and they know how to do it. Here are the main statements of teachers regarding the education of boys and girls, showing typical stereotypes of teachers (Table 10.6).

Table 10.6

Teachers' gender settings for upbringing (% of respondents)

on the education of boys

on the education of girls









Defender of the Motherland










Artistic skills


Shutter speed




Possession of technique


Participation in household affairs










Educate respect for the opposite sex




Life support


The general qualities that must be educated in boys and girls, according to the views of teachers, are few: decency, education, the ability to be a caring parent in the future. The qualities and skills that must be inculcated in children of different sexes are significantly different in content with respect to their future roles, to people and especially to their personal qualities. The range of qualities of a character united by a category "in relation to people" is much wider for girls. Boys are prescribed education "respect for the opposite sex", girls, apparently, for life it is not required.

The ratio of positive and negative statements about children of different gender is almost the same. But the nature of these statements is different: the negative qualities of real girls are located in the sphere of interpersonal relationships (capricious, touchy, sloppy, envious), in boys their negative qualities are noted mainly in the activity sphere (fussy, lazy, naughty). The list of positive statements about girls is a little longer, this includes the qualities of attitudes toward appearance (coquettish, neat), attitudes toward activities (organized), attitudes toward people (able to understand, affectionate).

Thus, gender stereotypes of teachers are conservative and do not correspond to modern conditions of development of boys and girls. Similar data were obtained in other studies (Sh. Bern, VV Barabanova, EA Mukortova, etc.).

The reasons for stereotypes can be the following.

1. Transferring individual single cases to a wider range of phenomena and underestimation of information from different sources. In this case, the hypothetical statement becomes a generalized statement. For example, on the basis of the utterance "In a woman, nature has laid the maternal instinct and over the centuries the leading role in caring for the child was given to the mother" concludes: "All women want to be mothers, and all mothers love their children."

2. Exaggerating the characteristics of children of different sex. Beliefs about certain characteristics of boys and girls lie at the heart of pedagogical activity aimed at strengthening, using these features in learning, rather than compensating for poorly developed qualities. Beliefs are taken as a guide to action, the teacher begins to walk on the occasion of persuasion. For example, if the boy lags behind in the development of speech and verbal intelligence, then it is necessary to pay special attention to the development of this aspect, and not to neglect it in the training of boys. If the girl is easier to work on the algorithm, this means that other types of work are not available to her and should not be developed.

3. Lack of attention to individual characteristics can lead to the consolidation of gender stereotypes. So, in accordance with the stereotype we expect from boys and girls the manifestation of gender-typical qualities. But the girl can be active, bold and determined, and the boy - gentle, meek and timid against the expectations of others can be opposite.

How to overcome gender stereotypes? One of the tasks of modern education should be the softening of hard sex-role stereotypes in upbringing. Parents and teachers can explain that sex is essential only for the reproductive sphere. In other spheres of life, cultural and ethno-national traditions are important. Parents and teachers can demonstrate behavioral patterns and activities that are common to both sexes.

One of the ways to overcome gender stereotypes in education can be the formation of psychological androgyny of schoolchildren, i.e. stimulation and development of the personality of a boy and a girl, harmoniously combining the psychological characteristics of femininity and masculinity, capable of partner inter-personal relations in personal and public life. LV Shtylev in his monograph suggests the criteria for the formation of psychological androgyny (Table 10.7).

Table 10.7

Criteria and indicators for the formation of psychological androgyny in schoolchildren



Harmonious development in the personality of the male and female beginnings

Psychologically, androgynous children easily take on the performance of both "male" and "female" Do not share them, do not label speech.

In communication and behavior, depending on the situation, as typically masculine quality (determination, perseverance, courage), and "typically feminine" - caring, attentiveness, sensitivity

Adaptability, easy (conflict-free) transition from one activity to another (from typically masculine to typically feminine and vice versa)

Both boys and girls on their own initiative undertake to perform any work without discussing its "sex-role status."

Students strive to master all the useful skills for life, without separating them into "male" and female & quot ;, support each other in the learning process

Positive perception of persons as their own and the other sex in different situations of interaction

1. When choosing partners for educational exercises and games, students easily create sex-mixed groups.

2. Between boys and girls in the class are maintained an even and friendly relationship.

3. Children have friends of their own and of other sex.

4. Students do not use gender-defined nicknames, definitions, to communicate with each other.

5. Sharp, negative comments on the "correct male" and correct female do not receive support in the classroom.

6. Manifestations of cultural and individual diversity in the behavior of women and men (peers and contemporaries) are perceived by children as a natural right of the individual to self-expression.

The goal of socialization according to egalitarian rules is a personality that is characterized by:

1) gender competence (cognitive element);

2) gender tolerance (the value-semantic component);

3) gender sensitivity (emotionally-communicative component).

Thus, we can state the following: teachers appreciate in pupils, boys and girls, almost the same set of qualities. First of all, it is kindness, neatness, responsibility, qualities, useful in learning activity and thinking ability. In girls, teachers most value tolerance and, to the least extent, volitional qualities; in boys, on the contrary, to a greater extent - strong-willed qualities, especially dedication, courage and independence and to a lesser extent - qualities that ensure interaction with other people. Teachers appreciate curiosity in their pupils, while this quality is not practically mentioned in girls. The requirements for boys are not sufficiently defined - the corresponding models of behavior of the female type, and at the same time, insufficient attention is paid to the development of strong-willed qualities.

Gender attitudes of teachers have a significant impact on the upbringing of children. That is why it is important for a teacher to understand his own attitudes in order to use some of them for the benefit of upbringing, and some to correct it.

It is necessary to remember the existing differences between boys and girls:

- in the pace and features of psychophysiological maturation;

- neuropsychological features;

- the formation of arbitrary regulation of behavior and arbitrariness of attention;

- Some features of the functioning of intellectual operations (visual perception, spatial orientation, etc.),

- personal characteristics.

However, these differences are not so significant. However, the spread of individual indicators within gender groups (boys or girls) exceeds the spread between groups.

When teaching a child, it is necessary to rely on universal laws of development. First, the real differences in the development, education and upbringing of boys and girls are not so great, despite the stereotypes common in everyday consciousness, and largely due not to the biological sex, but to the given cultural, social norms and the system of upbringing. And, secondly, the spread of individual differences prevails over sexual differences.

Girls and boys need to be trained and educated, given their characteristics, both natural and formed as a result of socialization. Training depends not only on the intellectual abilities of the students, but also on the attitude of the student to the teacher, the teacher to the student, on their psychological compatibility, the proximity of their cognitive styles, strategies for processing information, and the tempo characteristics of students. Parents and teachers need to learn to approach children on the basis of the individual characteristics of the latter, rather than the expected gender differences. Gender can influence what children and teachers expect from children, and this can lead to different attitudes toward children based on their gender. As a result, children can develop gender-differentiated skills and ideas about themselves, which limit their opportunities. Teachers and parents can and should create an environment in which gender freedom reigns, simulate equal gender-role relationships and ensure that children do not adopt the gender stereotypes depicted in the media.

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