Introduction to Special Populations EDUC 2301: Chapter 5 Gender and Sexual Orientation: boys and girls, sexual orientation and learning Perspectives on Gender Identity 2 • The development of one’s sense of identity—the knowledge that one is separate from parents and family— begins early. • A critical part of identity development, beginning at least at birth, is gender. • Gender is our social and legal status as girls and boys, women and men • Gender identity is how you feel about and express your gender (clothes, behavior, appearance) Sex and Gender Identity • Identification in terms of sex begins at about 18 months of age—“I am a girl,” “I am a boy.” • Sex is a biological characteristic (genetic make-up, hormones, body parts) • Gender is social one—what it means to be a boy or girl in any given society; what the rules are, what it means to be feminine or masculine 3 Gender Role Socialization • The rules associated with one’s gender role may vary by race, ethnicity, social class, religion, and even by geographical region. • The process of learning one’s gender role can be described in three parts, as follows: 4 5 • The child learns to distinguish between men and women, boys and girls, and to know what kinds of behavior are characteristic of each; • The child learns to express appropriate gender role preferences for himself or herself; • The child internalizes the “rules” and learns to behave in accordance with gender role standards. Gender Stereotypes • • • • • Personality traits Domestic behaviors Occupations Physical Appearance Extremes – hyperfemininity and hypermasculinity • Addressing Gender Stereotypes – Speak up (challenge sexist jokes, attitudes) – Be a role model – Give it a try (do things not normally done) The Impact of Gender in the School Social Component • Play Mates • Play Spaces • Play Styles • Play Themes – 1 year old girls look longer at film of human faces, boys look longer at film of cars • Resolving Conflicts – Girls more empathetic Implications for Teachers • Respect • Outdoor and Indoor • Balanced activities • Wide variety of materials – 95% of teachers of young children are female and choose materials to minimize competition…boys find their books and activities boring • Rules and strategies Gender Role Socialization in the Middle Class • Parents: – Boys handled more roughly, girls get more verbal attention – Boys given more freedom to explore; girls kept closer to supervising parent – Girls get more help in solving problems; boys told to “figure it out” – Parents’ approval of “appropriate” gender behavior shapes the behavior of children 8 Other Socializing Agents • Television • Children’s books – Need adventure books to maintain interest in boys • Children’s toys • Nursery rhymes, religious stories • Proverbs and sayings 9 Gender Differences in Approach to Sexuatlity • Teen girls and female college students who are sexually active are much more likely to – Get STD’s – Experience later infertility and cancer – Be emotionally harmed – feeling used, hurt and demeaned – Experience clinical depression Gender as an Issue of Legal Equity in Schools • Title IX, Educational Amendments (1972) “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” 11 Some Important Court Cases • Grove City v. Bell (1984)—Supreme Court agrees that schools that do not receive direct federal funds can be excluded from Title IX • Civil Rights Restoration Act (1988)—overrode Bell; required all education institutions receiving any federal funds (e.g., student loans) must comply with Title IX • Numerous cases have been brought in lower courts on the question of girls’ athletics; most have affirmed Title IX. 12 • Sexual harassment; the results have been mixed in adult-on-student cases: – Franklin v. Gwinnett County Public Schools (1992)—petitioners may claim punitive damages under Title IX when intent to evade compliance is established – Gebser and Mccullough v. Lago Vista Independent School District (1997)—denied compensatory damages from both the teacher involved and the school district • Student-on-student harassment case – Doe v. Petaluma Unified School District (1995)— plaintiff was awarded punitive damages of $250,000 13 Major Studies on Gender and Schooling in the Last Decade • Mid-Atlantic Equity Center and NETWORK Study (1993) found eight areas of concern related to Title IX still to be addressed in order to ensure equal educational opportunity for all students, as follows: 14 15 – Girls & boys at risk of dropping out of school – Gender bias in student–teacher interactions – Participation and achievement of girls in math and science – Students enrolling and completing vocational education courses historically nontraditional to their gender – Gender bias in standardized tests – Gender differences in learning styles – Teen pregnancy and parenting – Sexual harassment of students by their peers Educating Our Boys • Boys are now falling behind in reading, according to a 50-state survey released in 2011 by Center on Education Policy • 62% of Community College graduates are female; 57% of students earning bachelor degrees are female • “Raising Cain” Ethical Issues 17 • The degree to which all students are encouraged to be open, reflective, and critical thinkers • The degree to which open inquiry may place students at odds with their families or the community – use good judgment, insistence on political correctness can do more harm than good • The degree to which the role of the school is seen as one which helps all students to understand, appreciate, and negotiate differences—of gender and sexuality as well as of other characteristics Equity through Respect and Balance • Teaching strategies must be informed by a comprehensive knowledge of gender socialization and its effect on human development and learning. In addition, teachers must be aware of their power and its use in the classroom and how male and female students experience power differently. • It is possible to be equitable in language and behavior while affirming contrary beliefs • Teachers must be aware of and continually review their own values and biases toward both males and females in order to be advocates for equityy and equal opportunities for boys and girls in schools. .