Year of publication: 2017

Author/Organizations involved: Eleni Kiousi, Georgios Floratos, Evaggelos Papakitsos

Area of investigation: secondary education

Brief Abstract / Data analyzed: 

Gender stereotypes and attitudes that shape them, undoubtedly influence, combined with other factors, the decision – making process of choosing a field of study. This decision is influenced not so much by the biological aspect of gender, but mainly from its social aspect. Many external factors are contributing to the preservation of gender stereotypes’ phenomenon in modern societies. This study examined the impact of gender stereotypes in choosing a field of study in Greek secondary education and the evolution of the phenomenon in the 2008 – 2014 period. For this purpose, data had been collected from three related researches, in high schools of Attica. The results of comparing the data that originate from the three researches, partially confirm the original hypothesis, namely that the gender stereotypes influence the decision – making process of choosing a field of study. The harmonious coexistence of the sexes requires the development of self-knowledge and critical thinking. This can be achieved only by raising the awareness of teachers, who are invited to promote critical self-knowledge and social knowledge to individuals, through the implementation of policies regarding school and local society.

Highlights / Importance:

The overall human development is affected by both exogenous and endogenous factors that shape the gender identity. The harmonious coexistence of genders presupposes the development of self-awareness and the critical capacity of the human. Various factors influence and contribute to the formation of cross-gender educational (and consequently professional) choices. Stereotypical perceptions are reproduced and transmitted to the receivers and possibly work negatively towards the direction of gender equality.

The reduction and subversion of stereotypes is partly achieved through raising awareness among teachers (at all levels of education) and especially of those involved in professional orientation, which can and must work towards such a goal model that promotes critical self-awareness and social awareness of the individual through programs and actions concerning the school and the local community.

In these conditions, the interracial school choices will be based on their real inclinations, desires and abilities and not fictitious “dictations” of societies, which perpetuate stereotypical perceptions.

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