Analysis of Gender Roles in Primary School (1st to 4th Grade) Turkish Textbooks

Burdur Mehmet Akif Ersoy University, TURKEY
DOI: 10.14689/ejer.2019.79.1


Purpose: Textbooks can directly or indirectly affect gender stereotypes. In this study, text characters and pictures of textbooks were examined to find out how the messages were given about gender. This study examined text characters and the pictures in the primary school Turkish textbooks respectively in terms of Bem’s Sex-Role Inventory and gender stereotypes.

Research Methods: This paper explored the roles of text characters and pictures in the primary school Turkish textbooks through document analysis. The material for this study consisted of twelve primary school Turkish textbooks from the 1st to the 4th grades. Textbooks were selected out of the ones used in Burdur in the 2015-2016 academic years. A “Text Character Evaluation Form” arranged in line with Bem’s Sex-role Inventory and “Picture Evaluation Form” was used in the study.

Results: The texts included male characters with feminine and masculine roles, and female characters with feminine and masculine roles. The first, second, third and fourth grade textbooks had more male pictures than female pictures. All colors were used for both males and females in the textbooks examined in this study. Dress, skirt, shirt and t-shirt were mostly worn by the females in the textbooks. Male clothes consisted of trousers, shirt and t-shirt.

Implications for Research and Practice: It is observed that text characters have androgynous roles, and it can be argued that using more texts with characters possessing such qualities may have a positive effect on children’s opinions about gender. Keywords: Textbooks, gender, androgyny, Bem.