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dc.contributor Coughlin, Mimi en
dc.contributor.advisor Carinci, Sherrie en
dc.contributor.author Falkenstein, Alena en
dc.date.accessioned 2012-08-10T19:53:50Z en
dc.date.available 2012-08-10T19:53:50Z en
dc.date.issued 2012-08-10 en
dc.date.submitted 2012-04-23 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10211.9/1678 en
dc.description Thesis (M.A., Education (Behavioral Sciences Gender Equity Studies))--California State University, Sacramento, 2012. en
dc.description.abstract The importance of balanced curriculum is crucial to a student’s successful development in many ways. Self-conception, identification within a text, and connection to the material are all key components in a female student’s style of learning (Belenky, Clinchy, Goldberger & Tarule, 1997). Because words help to shape reality, it is all the more vital to address the educational practices which help to shape the language skills of students (St Pierre, 1999). In addition to the positive impact of seeing oneself in the curriculum, there is also a negative consequence of not seeing yourself in the given materials. When females are invisible within the text, they are sent the message that they are invisible and less important in the real world as well. Invisibility also “creates a sense of powerlessness and actively undermines self-confidence to succeed and persist” (Carlson, 1989, p. 30). This factor, along with social and cultural grooming, produces young women who lose their voice and place in the world (Brown & Gilligan, 1992). Conversely, when male students are offered no exposure to the perspectives of the other half of the world, they learn that their voice is considerably more important than a female’s. The goal of this study was to determine the percentage of female and male authors, primary characters, and secondary characters within assigned works at the selected schools. The schools were selected by their proximity to the researcher (counties in Northern California) and instructors were contacted systematically by the researcher. Two counties were selected, and then a list of districts within each county was compiled. The researcher then created a master list of high schools from each district and assembled a contact list for language arts instructors via each high school’s employee directory. The researcher contacted each instructor by electronic mail with a request for their list of frequently used language arts titles. The researcher contacted approximately 425 high school language arts instructors throughout two counties in the Northern California region. The researcher received 124 viable responses from instructors that included their syllabi, their school’s book list, and their own personal choices within the classroom. The responses of the instructors were varied, with some instructors citing the grade levels and number of classes each taught, and some only responding with a list or syllabus. Some responded with their school’s list, which was extensive. Given the varied responses, the researcher decided to record each title from each response without filter. Therefore, some instructors contributed multiple titles to the data, while others contributed only two or three titles. The researcher found that each category of data (author, primary character, and secondary characters) contains greater numbers of males than females, and that no category of data is near a 50%-50% ratio which would indicate equal representation in the text. The researcher compiled the data into an overall percentage of representation including all three categories of data, where (n) is the total sum of all occurrences of authors, primary characters, and secondary characters. The total percentage of gender representation within the works, an average of author gender, primary character gender, and secondary character gender is 24.96% female and 75.04% male. Of the 659(n) occurrences of the works within the data, 536 authors are male and 123 of the authors are female. That is, 18.6 % of the most popularly assigned works in the data have female authors, while the male authors represent 81.4 % of the collected data. Of the 709(n) occurrences of the primary characters within the data (n is increased by 50 due to the dual primary characters within Romeo and Juliet), 193 characters are female and 516 characters are male. That is, 27.2 % of the most popularly assigned works in the data have female primary characters, while the male primary characters represent 72.8 % of the collected data. Of the 9646(n) occurrences of secondary characters within the data, 2806 character occurrences are female and 6840 character occurrences are male. That is, 29.08 % of the characters within popularly assigned works in the data are female, while the male characters represent 70.92 % of the collected data. en
dc.description.sponsorship Education (Behavioral Sciences Gender Equity Studies) en
dc.language.iso en_US en
dc.subject Gender en
dc.subject Literature en
dc.subject English en
dc.title Of mice and women: an analysis of gender inclusion in high school literature offerings en
dc.type Thesis en


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