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Examples of Discrimination Against Female Students

Research (Russell, 1987) reveals that teaching methods are often unknowingly guided by cultural assumptions regarding gender roles.

Stereotypical notions about women and men, and their roles in society are often revealed in attitudes and pedagogical practices which devalue female students and render them invisible.

The following represent the most typical illustrations of how teachers' understanding of gender influences their classroom behavior.

  • Habitually calling on male students more frequently than female students to answer questions and address discussion topics.
  • Interrupting female students more often than male students and allowing other students to do the same.
  • Addressing the class as if no women were present. For example, “when you were boys…”.
  • Being more attentive and responsive to comments made by men than to those made by women.
  • Treating/ viewing women who ask extensive questions and who challenge the material as troublemakers or ‘bitches’ and treating/viewing men who do the same as ‘serious’ students and critical thinkers.