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AS Unit 2 - Education

6) Feminist Perspective

Feminists’ say that education emasculates women, rather than the working class as marxists say. This is because of gender inequalities within school which lead to inequalities in society. Feminists say this happens in several ways:

  • Gender stereotypes – reading schemes show gender differences, for example: girls are shown as more caring and are followers, whilst boys are shown as more adventurous and stronger.
  • Gendered Roles – the curriculum shows Parsons sexual division of labour, reinforcing the idea that men should be working and women caring for the family. Feminists feel that this is emasculating
  • Gendered Language – School textbooks tend too always refer to men, for example saying “him” and “he” rather than “she” and her”, Feminists say this makes women feel devalued.
  • Lack of women in the curriculum – The national curriculum includes far less about women than men, and Feminists say this too leads to women feeling unimportant and devalued.
  • Lower university attendance for girls – traditionally less girls have attended university than boys. This could be because teachers encourage boys to go to university more.

Evaluation of Feminists Perspective

+ Feminists have helped to reduce gender inequality by exposing it in education. They have done this through research and campaigns.

+ Women are achieving far higher than in earlier years, and a lot of this can be attributed to the Feminists’ input

 Girls are now outperforming boys by a long way, this means the concern should now be that boys are disadvantaged, making the feminist perspective less useful.

About Sam Cook

A blog set up to help A Level students revise Sociology

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