Gender Perceptions of the Primary School 4th Graders Regarding “Children’s Rights”

1Gazi University Faculty of Gazi Education, Primary Education Department.
2Erzincan Binali Yıldırım University Faculty of Education, Primary Education Department.
3Gazi University Institute of Educational Sciences.
DOI: 10.14689/ejer.2019.83.7


Problem Statement and Purpose: It is crucial to determine the gender stereotypes, learned at an early age and limiting the freedom and rights of individuals to initiate the change in the egalitarian direction at an early age. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate the 4th-grade primary school students’ perceptions towards gender (in)equality based on children rights and to assess whether the perceptions differ by gender.

Method: This study was conducted using a descriptive survey method. The study group, which were assigned using a convenience sampling strategy, comprised by.570 4th grade students, 264 of whom were girls and 306 were boys, from six districts of Ankara Province. The research data were obtained by a data collection tool that was developed by the researchers drawing on the books, namely The Declaration of Girls’ Rights and The Declaration of Boys’ Rights by Élizabeth Brami and Estelle Billion-Spagnol, which were written for children. Data were analyzed using frequency, percentage and Chi-square test.

Findings: Overall results of this study suggested that the primary school fourth-grade students failed to consider professions, plays, toys, colors, daily life skills, academic, artistic, and sportive activities based on “rights”, that they had explicit stereotypical approaches, and that girls had more equalitarian perception than boys regarding gender roles.

Implications for Further Research and Practice: Efforts should be made to eliminate all kinds of sexist items and practices from the content and functioning of the education (e.g. programs, books, teacher behaviors, spaces, activities). Steps should be taken to increase the awareness of families and society in general about gender equality.

Keywords: Gender stereotypes, children’s rights, fourth graders, gender role development, survey method.