Gender bias in primary school textbooks used in selected Commonwealth Caribbean countries: An exploratory study

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Nov. 1990

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Commonwealth Secretariat


Primary school textbooks from five countries: Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts-Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago were selected for study. An instrument was devised to analyse the texts targetted at 8- and 11-year-olds in the subject areas of Language Arts, Social Studies, Mathematics, and Science. The study examined the portrayal of characters divided into eight age and gender groups: girls, women, senior women, female personifications; boys, men, senior men and male personifications, in order to determine whether bias was displayed. The findings are presented in two ways. In the body of the report, the data are presented in a summary manner by country, while in Section Four, an analysis of each text is presented. The data revealed that gender bias obtained in different ways and to different degrees in textbooks used in all the countries. Moreover, age and class bias were also indicated


Prepared for the Commonwealth Secretariat

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