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Gender in Education: A Systematic Review of the Literature in Turkey



Many international and national measures have been taken to advance gender equality in education. The results of scientific research enlightened us on the ongoing problems of inequality in education despite these measures. The study presents a systematic analysis of 63 theses and 58 articles which were published on gender education in Turkey between 2002 and 2019. This study aims to analyze the trend in gender studies in education in terms of year, subject of study, method and findings. 121 studies selected by criterion sampling method were analyzed by content analysis. According to the research results, it was observed that the studies conducted centered on gender representations, gender perception and gender roles. It was determined that qualitative methods were mainly preferred in the studies analyzed. Based on the analysis of the findings of the researches, it is possible to collect problem areas related to gender in education under four main titles. These are gender representations reflecting inequality in educational materials, traditional gender perception and attitudes in educational environments, the need for gender education and teacher attitudes and behaviors that are not based on equality. In line with the results of this study, recommendations were made to researchers and policymakers.
Article History
Received: 20.04.2021
Received in revised form: 02.11.2021
Accepted: 31.12.2021
Article Type: Research Article
Gender in Education: A Systematic
Review of the Literature in Turkey
Sevilay Aydemir1, Eda Öz2, Gürcü Erdamar3
1Indipendent Researcher, 0000-0002-8167-7544
2Ministry of Education, 0000-0003-2881-2513
3Gazi University, 0000-0001-6753-0151
To cite this article:
Aydemir, S., Öz, E. & Erdamar, G. (2022). Gender in education: a systematic review of the
literature in Turkey. International Journal of Contemporary Educational Research, 9(2),
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International Journal of Contemporary Educational Research
Volume 9, Number 2, June 2022, Page 232-247
ISSN: 2148-3868
Gender in Education: A Systematic Review of the Literature in Turkey
Sevilay Aydemir 1
, Eda Öz2, Gürcü Erdamar3
1Indipendent Researcher
2Ministry of Education
3Gazi University
Many international and national measures have been taken to advance gender equality in education. The results of
scientific research enlightened us on the ongoing problems of inequality in education despite these measures. This
study aims to analyze the trend in gender studies in education in terms of year, subject of study, method and
findings. The study presents a systematic analysis of 63 theses and 58 articles which were published on gender
education in Turkey between 2002 and 2019. 121 studies selected by criterion sampling method were analyzed by
content analysis. According to the research results, it was observed that the studies conducted centered on gender
representations, gender perception and gender roles. It was determined that qualitative methods were mainly
preferred in the studies analyzed. Based on the analysis of the findings of the research, it is possible to gather
problem areas related to gender in education under four main titles. These are gender representations reflecting
inequality in educational materials, traditional gender perception and attitudes in educational environments, the
need for gender education and teacher attitudes and behaviors that are not based on equality. In line with the results
of this study, recommendations were made to researchers and policymakers.
Keywords: Gender in education, Gender equity, Gender research, Systematic literature review, Document analysis
The main motivational factor for the emergence of gender concept is to emphasize that this concept is different
from sex and to draw attention to problem areas related to gender (Delphy, 1993). Oakley (1985, p. 159), who
introduced the concept of gender to the literature, stated that sex refers to biological aspects while gender is the
term with psychological and cultural meanings. According to this statement, gender is a condition acquired through
certain social contexts (Lindsey, 2016, p. 4). Fine (2017) indicated that social context affects who we are, how we
think and what we do, and therefore, thoughts, attitudes and behaviors are a part of social context (p. 22). The
social context that plays the key role in the construction of gender is culture. Oakley (1985) stated that culture
influences deciding on the roles for both sexes. In addition, women and men are stereotyped in different patterns
by the society from early childhood to adulthood. Minds shaped by culture largely resist gender equality (Fine,
2017, p. 24). The traditional thoughts about society, norms, gender stereotypes, roles, and behaviors generate
differences between men and women and inequalities. Therefore, gender discrimination is often a type of
discrimination performed unconsciously and it is quite difficult to struggle against such discrimination (The
European Students’ Union, 2008).
When the concept of gender is conceived as a cultural construction of gender roles, the crucial role of education
system in the development of gender and gender related behaviors becomes even more evident. As Tezcan (1978)
also noted, education is based on the culture of the society that produces it, and therefore, in a sense, education is
the transmission of its or culture's. In education systems, society’s gender role stereotypes are conveyed to students
through implicit or explicit messages in learning-teaching processes (TUSIAD, 2000, p. 25). In this case, according
to Sayılan (2012), education systems play a key role in regenerating and maintaining the prevailing gendered
stereotypes and values embedded within the society in its cultural climate throughout the teaching process (p. 14).
This research was presented as an oral presentation at the International Pegem Conference on Education held
between 16-19 September 2020, and only the abstract was included in the abstract book.
Corresponding Author: Sevilay Aydemir,
Since education is a long-term investment, evaluating the effect of national and international steps taken and
policies implemented to achieve gender equality in education both in the field of education and on social sphere
requires a certain period. Scientific research in this field demonstrates that gender inequality in education still
exists despite all the legislative regulations (Hançerli, 2019; Kitiş Çınar, 2013). These researches can provide an
insight into whether gender equality policies developed in the field of education are sufficient. Studies in this field
play a very important role in determining the causes of gender inequality in education and current problem areas
and shedding light on policies, regulations and further studies to solve these problems. For this reason, it is
important to analyze the subject areas deeper examining findings and recommendations of the studies conducted
in the field of gender education. In the literature, there are other review studies exploring studies on gender (Çelik
and Altunbaş, 2019; Gürkan, 2018; Koyuncu Şahin and Çoban, 2019; Yıldırım, Taze, Kurban & Topal, 2019).
However, from various aspects, this study differs from existing literature review studies in the literature. First of
all, the scope of this study is limited to the papers written in the field of education. In addition, this study provides
a comprehensive assessment by analyzing the results of the studies and the thematic and methodological trends in
the studies. The purpose of evaluating the existing studies is to identify problem areas related to gender equality
in education and to assist decision makers and policy makers in this regardIn this context, answers to the following
research questions were sought in line with the aim and objectives of the study. Regarding the studies on gender
in education: (1) What is the distribution in terms of subject areas? (2) What is the distribution in terms of research
method? (3) What is the distribution in terms of sample / study group? (4) What is the distribution in terms of
themes on which findings center?
Gender Inequality and Education
Gender; it is shaped by discourse, language, practices, behaviors and relations, that is, by the socialization process
(Adaçay, 2014). At the end of these socialization processes in the family and close environments, children reach
school age with a gender identity. After family, the cultural construction of gender roles continues in schools
(Bayhan, 2013, p. 154; Lindsey, 2016). Because school has an important role in transferring culture to individuals
through education. Learning-teaching processes and the cultural climate of the schools are an effective tool in
teaching and reproducing dominant gendered stereotypes and related values (Sayılan, 2012, p. 14).
Through written and visual texts, the materials used in gender roles education are conveyed and reinforced. In
particular, implicit learning about gender roles can be realized through textbooks (Adaçay, 2014, p. 65). Research
on this subject; showed that women and men are not represented in equal roles and equal ratios in textbooks, and
that gender stereotypes and stereotypes take place in texts and images (Aratemur-Çimen & Bayhan, 2019; Çelik,
Aydoğan Yenmez & Gökçe, 2019; Doğanay & Çapur, 2021; Demirhan, 2021; Kozallık and Kargı, 2019). This
indicates that the steps taken on a national and global scale to make textbooks sensitive to gender equality are not
as effective as expected. In addition, apart from scientific and academic research, within the scope of international
conventions, systematic and regular data on the extent to which gender stereotypes are cleared from textbooks,
educational programs and the daily life of the school are not available (Göğüş Tan, 2018, p.21).
Socio-cultural norms, gender perception of the society, traditional structure and economic factors, and the attitudes
and behaviors of administrators and teachers are among the factors that cause gender discrimination in education
(Engin-Demir & Çobanoğlu, 2012; Raina, 2012, p. 43). Gender roles are reproduced in schools through official
discourses and hidden curriculum (Eren Deniz, 2014, Saldıray, 2017, Sayılan & Özkazanç, 2009). Especially in
educational environments, teachers' attitudes and behaviors can be good role models in terms of gender or maintain
marginalization and stereotypes (Chisholm & McKinney, 2003). Teachers can reinforce gender inequality,
whether they are aware of it or not, through formal or implicit curricula. Teachers' expectations can be effective
on students' behavior, their academic success, and even their choice of profession. Tstudents' behavior, their
academic success, and even their choice of profession, which can deepen the inequality (Adaçay, 2014, Hançerli,
2019). Fine (2017, p. 60) stated that implicit gender stereotypes regarding achievement in science and mathematics
further reinforce gender discrimination regarding achievement, especially in numerical fields. This indicates the
need to include gender issues in the curriculum in teacher education.
UNESCO (2015, p.3), a global and international organization, emphasized that gender equality should be promoted
in teacher training institutions because gender equality is a priority in the international development agenda and
plays a key role in the development of teachers' values, knowledge, human potential and skills. In Turkey, on the
other hand, it is noted that gender issues are not sufficiently included in the curriculum of faculties of education
(CoHe, 2018).In addition, studies have shown that pre-service teachers have bias and stereotypes about gender
that support the patriarchal structure (Aslan, 2015; Öngören, 2019; Seçgin & Tural, 2011). In this case, education
policies that will support gender equality and concrete steps to be taken in this direction should be developed to
Aydemir, Öz & Erdamar
make education faculties sensitive to gender equality. Because education and gender equality are fundamental and
inalienable human rights. Gender equality in education refers to equal access for boys and girls to learning
opportunities, fair treatment in the learning process, and equal opportunities in all fields. In order to achieve gender
equality in education, the entire education system (laws and policies, educational content, pedagogy, learning
environments) should be gender-sensitive, harmonious and transformative (UNESCO, 2013).
Gender in Education: International and National Initiatives
Many documents bearing legal and political obligations have been signed to strengthen gender equality in
education, ensure respect and support to human rights, and improve the situation of all groups being exposed to
discrimination. Perhaps the most important of these documents was the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
declared by the General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) in 1948. In accordance with this Declaration,
“Everyone has the right to education (Article 26). Also, “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set
forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or
other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status (Article 2)." In addition to this declaration,
in 1952 UN signed the Convention on the Political Rights of Women, which grants women the exercise of political
rights such as the right to vote, to elect, and to be elected.After the UN convened the first world conference on the
status of women in Mexico City in 1975, the General Assembly initiated global efforts on gender equality. It
promoted the advancement of women by declaring the period between 1976 and 1985 as the United Nations
Decade for Women (The European Students’ Union, 2008).
One of the conventions that made a tremendous impact on gender equality in education in the international area
was the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) adopted in
1979 by the UN General Assembly. In Article 10 of the Convention, equal access to education, equal rights to
education, types of education, revision of textbooks, elimination of stereotyped concepts related to gender roles at
all levels of education, and the need to adapt curricula and teaching methods were underlined (United Nations
Human Rights, n.d.). Additionally, in the resulting documents of the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women
(the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action), education was stated as a human right and also an essential
tool for achieving the goals of equality, development and peace (Turkish Grand National Assembly-TGNA, 1995).
According to Acar (2018), the Beijing Platform for Action is a comprehensive international policy document that
includes an implementation plan and it is also a document with a powerful political impact. Another important
covenant to ensure gender equality in education on a global scale was the Education for All and Millennium
Development Goals agreed by 164 governments in 2000 within the Dakar Framework for Action. This framework
aimed to eliminate gender disparities in primary and secondary schooling by 2005 and achieve gender equality in
education by 2015 (UNESCO, 2010).
The legal framework of the right to education in Turkey is defined in the Constitution of 1982 and the Basic Law
of National Education numbered 1739. Article 42 of the Constitution of 1982 states that no one shall be deprived
of the right to receive education, primary education is compulsory for all citizens of both sexes, and it is free of
charge in state schools (Constitution of the Republic of Turkey). Turkey undertakes to produce policy towards
ensuring gender equality in education and minimizing the conditions against girls and women's education by both
international agreements and national legislation (TGNA Committee on Equality of Opportunity for Women and
Men, 2011). To ensure equal participation of girls and boys in education, one of the important actions taken was
that basic education was introduced as the eight-year uninterrupted compulsory schooling in 1997 and the period
of education was later increased to twelve years in 2012. With these initiatives in compulsory education, gender
equality has been achieved to a large extent at the primary education level in terms of equal participation in
education. A significant progress has been made in secondary education and adult literacy. However, qualitatively,
quality education and school completion issues still remain (Erçetin & Arifoğlu, 2016).
Another important action taken regarding gender equality in Turkey is the amendments made in Article 10 of the
Constitution in 2004 and 2010. In accordance with the mentioned Article, “Men and women have equal rights.
The State has the obligation to ensure that this equality exists in practice. Measures taken for this purpose shall
not be interpreted as contrary to the principle of equality”. In addition to this, in 2009, the Committee on Equality
of Opportunity for Women and Men was established to monitor national and international developments in the
protection and development of women's rights and in the implementation of gender equality. The Committee
published a report on the place and importance of gender equality in Turkish education system in 2011. The report
emphasized that it aims to identify the progress and difficulties in ensuring gender equality in education and to
determine the measures to be taken in line with the goals to be achieved (TGNA Committee for Equal
Opportunities for Women and Men, 2011).
One of the comprehensive steps taken to promote gender equality in education was the Promoting Gender Equality
in Education Project. The project which was funded by the European Union and the Government of Turkey was
launched in September 2014 and implemented for 24 months. With this project, it aimed to make schools more
gender-sensitive in terms of gender equality in education, review education policies and legislation, curricula and
textbooks and develop recommendations, train educators, and raise awareness about gender equality in different
segments of society. Upon the reactions from the media and various segments towards the project, the Ministry of
National Education (MoNE) stated that the project was completed and there was no ongoing project (MoNE,
2019). On the other hand, in 2015, the Council of Higher Education (CoHE) also put gender equality on its agenda
and held a well-attended workshop. In the document on attitudes to gender that was published by the CoHE and
also in the final report for the workshop held in the same year, it was stated that gender equality course would be
included in higher education programs, with the same or a different name, as a compulsory or elective course. The
mentioned attitude document was again drafted in 2019 with an emphasis on the concept of justice-based
women’s studies (Arkan, 2019, Yılgör, 2019). Göğüş Tan (2020) evaluated the cancellation of gender-related
education and projects by the CoHE and MoNE as a regression in respect of ensuring gender equality in education.
Research Model
“A research literature review is a systematic, explicit, and reproducible method for identifying, evaluating, and
synthesizing the existing body of completed and recorded work produced by researchers, scholars, and
practitioners.” (Fink, 2014, p.3). The central aim of this literature review was to identify trends in gender research
in education in terms of years, study subject, methods and findings. The reason for choosing this method is that it
enables to determine trends and priority areas related to the research subject, summarize the general,
methodological and content characteristics of the studies, and classify and interpret the studies within a certain
systematic framework.
Study Group of the Research
The study group of this research consists of master’s theses and doctoral dissertations completed on gender
education and relevant articles published in peer-reviewed journals between 2002 and 2019. Criterion sampling,
one of the qualitative sampling methods, was used to determine the research's study group. The criteria determined
by the researchers are listed as follows. (1) It is required that the study has been conducted with sample and/or
study groups in Turkey. (2) It is required that the study has been permitted for open-access in relevant databases
and full-length access to its content. (3) It is required that the study has been conducted in education. (4) It is
required that the study provides sufficient data within the scope of research method / that the study is not a review
study. (5) It is required that the study is not a book summary, translation study, theoretical study. (6) It is required
that only the thesis study is examined in the studies produced as articles from theses.
Figure 1. Distribution of studies on gender in education in Turkey according to years
When the studies were eliminated based on these criteria, it was determined that the first study was dated 2002,
and by accepting this date as the beginning, the scientific studies conducted between 2002 and 2019 were
determined. Again, as a result of elimination in line with these criteria, 121 studies; 10 doctoral dissertations, 53
Master's Thesis
Doctoral Dissertation
Aydemir, Öz & Erdamar
master’s theses and 58 articles, were included in this research. There is an increase in studies on gender in education
from 2002 to 2019. Especially, the studies published between 2017 and 2019 constitute almost half of the total
Data Collection
Data in the research were collected by using document analysis technique. In the first stage, the researchers
conducted a literature review in the CoHE National Thesis Center Database, Turkish National Academic Network
and Information Center (ULAKBIM) Social Sciences Database, and Google Scholar’s database to access the
studies on gender education. The reason for preferring the mentioned databases is that they mostly include the
relevant studies at the national level and can meet the accessibility criterion. Due to the conceptual structure of
gender, differences in terminology, and frequency rate of the studies produced by gathering different variables or
methods, the searches were carried out on various keywords. These keywords are gender education, sexism in
education, gender equality in education, and gender in education. The number of 101 postgraduate theses accessed
through document analysis decreased to 65 when ‘education and training’ filter was used. Since there was no
access to the content of two theses, 63 theses were included in the research. In addition, since five of the 65 articles
accessed at the beginning were produced from a postgraduate thesis and also two articles were a review study,
therefore seven articles were excluded and 58 articles were included in the analysis.
Data Analysis
The content analysis method was used to analyze data obtained in the research. In content analysis, excerpts from
written texts, speeches or interviews are selected and converted into standard codes. After the codes created for
the research problem are classified systematically, the relationships among data are explored to create meaning
(Marvasti, 2004). In this study, a scoring matrix was created in the first phase of data analysis to prepare the
research data for analysis, and each document was coded (e.g., T1, M1, etc.) and ordered.
In the scope of analysis, the studies were systematically classified under the titles of publication type, subject area,
method, sample/study group characteristics and findings. The data regarding the subject area and findings of the
studies were collected under subthemes in terms of meaning similarities and the main themes were created after
the relationships among the subthemes were determined. Data related to the publication type, method, and
sample/study group characteristics of the studies were interpreted using frequency values by considering the
frequency of use of word groups. The subject areas and results of the studies were analyzed using an inductive
Validity and Reliability
Validity in qualitative research is related to the proper collection and interpretation of data and also related to the
fact that the phenomenon studied and research results reflect and represent the real world properly. Reliability is
that the findings obtained after repeating the same research are consistent, and the research results are objective
and unbiased (Merriam, 2009; Yin, 2011).
To ensure the internal validity of the research, the identity of documents analyzed in the scope of the research was
recorded to be checked by other researchers. In addition, the data were reviewed a few times during the content
analysis, and agreement was reached among the researchers when creating the themes. For the external validity of
the research, the information about how the research was conducted was conveyed in detail.
To increase the internal validity of the research, intercoder reliability was carried out. To ensure the reliability of
coding, the coding of the studies to be included in the analysis must be conducted by at least two coders (Wilson,
2009). For this reason, the coding during the study was made by two experts in the field who have doctoral degree,
and then the coding procedures were compared. The reliability of the coding was calculated by using the formula
“Reliability = Agreement / (Agreement + Disagreement) x 100” (Miles & Huberman, 1994) and it was found 93%.
In this context, it can be said that the coding carried out is reliable (Yıldırım & Şimşek, 2011, p. 233). To ensure
the external reliability of the research, the research method and procedures were explained clearly and in detail.
Limitations of the Study
The scope of this study is limited to 63 postgraduate theses and 58 articles published in gender education between
2002 and 2019. Book summary, translation and review studies were excluded from the scope of research. The
generalizability of the results obtained from the study is limited to the theses and articles analyzed in the study.
The results of this study were obtained through content analysis of theses and articles in specific databases.
This section presents results related to the studies on gender education examined by content analysis in the order
and title specified in the sub-objectives.
Distribution of the Studies on Gender in Education According to Subject Areas
The 121 studies included in the study were analyzed in terms of subject areas and the findings obtained were
presented in Table 1.
Table 1. Subject areas of the studies on gender in education
Gender rep-
Primary school
Turkish Language
T58, A24, A39, A42
Social Studies
T17, A24
Life Studies
T58, A24
Secondary school
Turkish Language
T24, T26, T41, T44, T48, A42
Social Studies
T17, T60
English Language
T30, T64
Citizenship and
Religious Culture and
High school
T32, T33
English Language
Adult textbook
Family Education
Children's book
T4, T5, T12, T31, T37, T42, T63
Cartoon movies
T15, T34, A30, A34, A36
(Woman education)
Gender perception
Primary school
T14, T40
Secondary school
T6, T14, T20, T40, M41
T8, T61
T7, T9, T10, T39
Secondary school
T45, T52, A41
High school
T61, A29
Pre-service teacher
T13, T19, T55, A3, A5, A17, A45
Associate degree
A23, A48, A56
Gender roles
Teacher /
High school
High school
T62, A11,
Pre-service teacher
T18, T25, A18, A40, A50
A9, A15, A19, A20, A38, A44, A54, A58,
A59, A61, A64
Aydemir, Öz & Erdamar
development /
activity designing
T43, A51
Primary school
Secondary school
T29, T49, T50
High school
T35, A28
Pre-service teacher
T3, T22, T65, A6, A21, A26
of profession
Primary school
High school
T28, T47, T53, A27, A47
Pre-service teacher
A22, A31
T51, A10
Primary school
Secondary school
T57, A43
Pre-service teacher
Gender awareness
T59, A52
Hidden curriculum
Primary school
T27, T36
Secondary school
Gender constancy
Problem-solving skill
Gender policies
Table 1 demonstrates that twelve themes were determined as a result of the content analysis for the subject areas
of the studies examined. These themes were listed in terms of the frequency of being studied, respectively, as
gender representations (N = 36), gender perception (N = 27), gender roles (N = 19), curriculum
development/activity designing (N = 16), vocational education/choice of profession (N = 8), gender discrimination
(N = 7), gender awareness (N = 2), hidden curriculum (N = 2), achievement (N = 2), gender constancy (N = 1),
problem solving skill (N = 1), and gender policies (N = 1). It was determined that primary and secondary school
textbooks, which are mostly verbal (Turkish, life studies, social studies, etc.) under the theme of gender
representations, were examined. On the other hand, it was seen that researches on pre-service teachers under the
theme of gender perception and research on undergraduate students under the theme of gender roles were
predominant. In addition, it had been determined that program development studies for pre-service teachers were
mostly included under the theme of curriculum development and activity design, and educational activities were
integrated into the social studies course in studies within the scope of basic education.
Distribution of the Studies on Gender in Education According to Methods
Findings regarding the research method of the studies on gender in education were presented below (Figure 2):
Figure 2. Distribution of the studies on gender in education according to the research methods
Figure 2 illustrates that the qualitative research method (54%) was predominantly used in the studies on gender
education. In addition, quantitative methods (35%) were preferred in most of the studies, while mixed-method
research were preferred least (11%). The research design was not specified in most studies conducted by qualitative
research method (N = 43). It was observed that descriptive research (N = 8), case study (N = 6), phenomenology
(N = 5), feminist methodology (N = 2) and action research (N = 1) were used in the studies in which the research
Qualitative Quantitative Mixed
design was specified. Regarding the studies in which quantitative research method was preferred, survey research
design (N = 16) was used at most. Other quantitative research models used in the studies were experimental design
(N = 5), correlational design (N = 3) and causal-comparative design (N = 1), respectively. It was also found that
quantitative research design was not specified in many studies (N = 18). The research designs preferred in the
mixed methods studies were sequential explanatory (N = 3), convergent parallel (N = 1), triangulation (N = 1),
and concurrent transformative (N = 1). The design of seven out of thirteen mixed methods studies was also not
Distribution of the Studies on Gender in Education According to Sample / Study Groups
Findings regarding the sample/study groups obtained as a result of the analysis of the studies on gender in
education were presented in Figure 3.
Figure 3. Distribution of the studies on gender in education according to the sample/study group
Notes. *In some studies, more than one sample or study group was used.
**Other undergraduate students except pre-service teachers.
***Reports, guidelines, statistics, studies, publications, transcripts, and etc.
Figure 3 illustrates that the sample/study group mostly selected in the studies on gender education were textbooks
(N = 22), pre-service teachers (N = 20), teachers (N = 18) and undergraduate students (N = 17), respectively.
These were followed by secondary school (N = 10) and high school (N = 10) students, preschoolers (N = 9),
children’s books (N = 7), other documents (N = 7), parents (N = 5), school principals (N = 5), primary school
students (N = 4), cartoons (N = 4), and adults (N = 2), respectively.
Distribution of the Findings of the Studies on Gender in Education According to Themes
The findings of the studies on gender in education were thematically analyzed and classified. Findings revealed as
a result of analysis are presented in Table 2.
Aydemir, Öz & Erdamar
Table 2. Distribution of the findings of the studies on gender in education according to themes
Inequality in representation
Inequality in professional
Private-public field
Inequality in gender roles
T4, T12, T15, T17, T24,
T26, T30, T31, T32, T33,
T34, T37, T38, T41, T44,
T46, T48, T58, T60, T63,
T64, A14, A24, A30, A33,
A34, A35, A36, A37, A39,
A42, A63
Gender perception/
attitudes towards
gender roles
Traditional gender roles
Gendered discourse,
Stereotyping and bias,
Patriarchal understanding
T6, T8, T14, T20, T59,
T61, A27, A41, A46, A51
Student /K12
Stereotyping and bias
Traditional gender roles
T7, T8, T9, T39, T45, T47,
T52, T55, T61, T62, A2,
A41, A51,
Parents influence
T7, T9, T45, T57, T62,
A32, A43
Curriculum, teacher, and
administrator influence
Egalitarian perception/attitude
T13, T18, T19, T25, A17,
A19, A20, A38, A44, A54,
A56, A61
Stereotyping and bias
T55, A3, A5, A40, A50
Educational activity
Positive attitude/perceptions
T3, T11, T22, T29, T35,
T43, T49, T50, T65, A21,
A26, A28, A51, A55
Educational needs,
T65, A2, A6
Teacher behaviors
and attitudes
Gendered discourse,
Patriarchal understanding
T6, T8, T20, T27, T36,
T47, T59, T61, A25, A27,
A41, A43
Notes. *The most frequently repeated findings in the studies were included. The criterion of frequency is that
frequency is 10 or more.
Table 2 demonstrates that four themes were determined due to analyzing the findings of the studies on gender
education. These themes were gender representations, gender perception/roles, curriculum development/activity
designing, teacher behavior and attitudes. As seen in the table, four themes were determined as a result of
examining the findings of gender education research. These themes are gender representations, gender
perception/role attitudes, curriculum development/activity design, and teacher behaviors. Under the theme of
gender representations related to the findings of the studies, inequality in representation rates, inequality in
professional representations, distinction between private and public spheres and inequality in gender roles came
to the fore. Under the theme of gender perceptions/roles; in research on teachers and school administrators,
gendered discourse, stereotyping and bias, patriarchal understanding, and traditional gender roles (N = 10); in
research on elementary students, family influence (N = 7); Stereotyping/bias and traditional gender roles (N = 13);
In studies conducted at the university level, the terms egalitarian attitude/perception (N = 12) and stereotype/bias
(N = 5) were found to be repeated more frequently. While the concepts of positive perception / role attitude (N =
14) and training need (N = 2) stand out under the theme of curriculum development/activity design; Under the
theme of teacher behaviors and attitudes (N = 12), gendered discourse, discrimination and patriarchal
understanding were frequently repeated findings.
Conclusion and Discussion
In this study, the distributions of the subject areas, methodological trends and findings of the studies on gender in
education were analyzed and the following results were obtained.
When analyzing gender education studies in terms of distribution by year of publication, a steady increase in the
number of studies was found from 2002 to 2016. Based on this result, it can be concluded that the interest in gender
in education research has increased. It can be assumed that the topic of gender equality put on the agenda by the
CoHE between 2015 and 2019 and the final report of the workshop published in 2015, as well as the Promoting
Gender Equality in Education project carried out between 2014 and 2016, have contributed significantly to the
increase in interest. This finding is supported by the results of other research (Çelik & Altunbaş, 2019; Koyuncu
Şahin & Çoban, 2019).
Twelve themes were determined as a result of content analysis for the subject areas of the studies on gender
education. These themes were gender representations, gender perception, gender roles, curriculum development
or activity designing, vocational education or choice of profession, gender discrimination, gender awareness,
hidden curriculum, achievement, gender constancy, problem-solving skill, and gender policies. The most
frequently studied topics in gender in education in recent years (2017-2019) were gender representations (N = 21),
gender perceptions (N = 16), curriculum development/activity design (N = 9), and gender roles (N = 6).
Under the theme of gender representations, 23 of the 36 studies were about textbooks. A significant amountof the
studies examining textbooks were related to Turkish (N = 10) textbooks (Kırbaşoğlu Kılıç & Eyüp, 2011; Kitiş
Çınar, 2013; Kozallık-Çebi & Kargı, 2019; Saydam, 2019). In addition, it was determined that among the textbooks
related to positive sciences (science, physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, etc.), only primary and secondary
school mathematics textbooks were examined. In contrast, only sociology and history textbooks were examined
at the high school level. It has been observed that there was a lack of research on textbooks on positive sciences in
the field of gender in education, especially at the high school level. Studies in which story/fairy tales books (Peker,
2019; Salman Erden, 2019), cartoon movies (Kalem, 2019; Kalaycı, 2015) and columns (Çelik & Uysal, 2012) for
preschoolers were analyzed in terms of gender were also encountered. Another theme emerging from the content
analysis of the studies on gender was determined as gender perception. It was observed that the number of studies
on gender perception increased in 2017 and afterward and teachers (N = 8) and pre-service teachers (N = 7) were
included in a considerable part of the research. No research was found examining the gender perception of primary
school students. Another prominent theme was gender roles, and a significant part of the research (N = 19) on this
subject was aimed at undergraduate (N = 10) students (Çelikkaleli & Avcı, 2016; Elgün & Yeniceri Alemdar,
2017). Under the theme of gender roles, there was a lack of studies for preschool, primary and secondary school
students. Primary and secondary school education are considered the educational levels at which students discover
their interests and abilities and the foundations for profession choices were laid. Therefore, the analysis of gender
perception of students at this educational levels will provide valuable data for determining their education needs.
In addition, there is a need for research that examines both gender perception and gender roles of academics for
more holistic assessments. Except these, it can be said that curriculum development, activity designing, and so on,
are among the research subjects studied increasingly as related to gender education. The gender equality attitude
document published by the CoHEthe CoHE published in 2015 is considered to influence research subject trends
of gender education studies (CoHE, 2015). This situation revealed the need for gender equality curriculum in
higher education and accelerated the curriculum development studies conducted especially for teacher education
at undergraduate level. Some studies scientifically supported that topics related to gender can be integrated into
the courses such as social studies and history at the primary and secondary school levels (Dilek, 2012; Seçgin,
2012). On the other hand, there had been a tendency towards vocational education and choice of profession in
studies on gender education after 2014. In addition to these, research on hidden curriculum was limited to two
studies at primary school level. Hidden curriculum research at preschool, secondary school, high school and
undergraduate level will provide important data on how gender is constructed in educational environments.
The distribution of studies on gender education in terms of research methods was analyzed and it was found that
the qualitative research paradigm was predominant in most of the studies. The least preferred method in the studies
was mixed-methods research. Qualitative methods were usually used to analyze printed and visual materials such
as textbooks, children’s books, and cartoons which constitute a significant part of the research. These results are
also consistent with the results of other studies on this subject in the literature (Koyuncu & Şahin, 2019; Yıldırım
et al., 2019). However, in the study conducted by Çelik and Altunbaş (2019), it was determined that quantitative
research models were preferred more. While it was seen that descriptive research, case study, phenomenology,
feminist methodology, action research were used in the studies in which the research design was specified, the
Aydemir, Öz & Erdamar
research design of a significant number of studies was not specified. While survey research design preferred mostly
in quantitative research studies it was found that the quantitative research design was not specified in many studies.
Considering the research methods of the studies on gender education, it is possible to say that mixed-methods,
experimental, and action research are in limited number.
Based on the analysis of the findings of studies on gender in education, main problem areas related to gender in
education can be collected under four titles. These are (i) gender representations reflecting inequality in educational
materials, (ii) traditional gender perception and attitude in educational environments, (iii) the need for gender
education and (iv) teacher attitude and behaviors reflecting gender inequality. The continuance of these problem
areas as of the years when discussions on gender in education have started indicates that the relevant steps taken
so far are not enough. In addition, although international conventions and legal regulations have created a positive
perception in terms of gender equality, it was supported by scientific data in consideration of the findings of the
studies that progress could not be achieved at the targeted level in implementation.
When the findings of studies examining educational materials such as textbooks, curricula, cartoons and children's
books in terms of gender, were evaluated, it was seen that four concepts stand out in general. These were inequality
in representation rates, inequality in professional representations, distinction between private and public spheres
and inequality in gender roles. According to these findings, girls or women characters were less included than men
in educational materials. While more occupations were recommended for men, the recommended number of
occupations for women had remained limited. In addition, occupations were represented in accordance with the
traditional gender roles of women and men. On the other hand, women mostly do housekeeping, child care, etc.
men were depicted as a figure working outside the home while jobs and dutiesjobs represented them and dutiesjobs
represented them and dutiesjobs and duties represented them represented them. In conclusion, the findings of the
studies showed that gender stereotypes and bias were included in educational materials. In some studies examining
textbooks and children's books, it had been emphasized that although there were some improvements in the
representation of genders, this was not enough and that messages reinforcing gender inequality were still present
in images or texts (Başaran, 2019; Karakuş, Mutlu, & Çoşkun, 2018; Özmeriç Taştekin, 2019). These results
revealed that educational materials, especially textbooks, should be freed from gendered stereotypes and bias.
Because educational materials convey the dominant gender culture through written and visual texts. This situation
lays the foundation for the realization of implicit learning about gender roles and the reproduction of inequality
(Adaçay, 2014). Cleansing educational materials of gendered elements may not be sufficient by itself to ensure
gender equality, but it is believed to be effective for mental change.In the Article 10 of the Convention CEDAW,
which is for education, the necessity of revising textbooks and eliminating gender stereotypes from almost all
levels of education was emphasized (United Nations Human Rights, n.d.). In the Article 6 of the MoNE Regulation
on Textbooks and Educational Materials, the statement that “It introduces an approach to support fundamental
human right and freedoms and to refuse all kinds of discrimination.” was included among the qualities of
textbooks (Official Gazette, 2012). However, in the light of the findings of the studies on gender in education, it
was revealed that the contents of textbooks, children’s books, cartoons and curricula examined did not reflect
gender equality, were in a gendered structure and promoted traditional gender roles. Similar findings were also
obtained in a study carried out on the issue (Koyuncu Şahin & Çoban, 2019). In fact, all these findings showed
that this problem might continue to exist for long years in future unless necessary precautions about sexism in
textbooks were taken and implemented. (Aratemur-Çimen and Bayhan, 2018, 2019; Esen, 2007; Kancı, 2008).
In the analysis regarding the findings of the studies on gender in education, attitudes towards gender perception
and gender roles were analyzed under a single title. The results of the studies showed that teachers and school
administrators adopt a gendered discourse and a patriarchal understanding. Teachers, school administrators, and
students at the basic education level have gender stereotypes and bias and internalize traditional gender roles (N =
10). On the other hand, the results of the studies mentioned above revealed that the family is effective in the
perception of gender and attitudes towards gender roles of students at the basic education level (N = 7). In addition,
in most of the gender studies conducted at the higher education level, it was concluded that university students
have egalitarian perceptions and attitudes towards gender roles (N = 12). In fact, the findings showed that female
students adopted gender equality more than male students. However, in some studies, it was found that university
students had gender stereotypes and bias (N = 5). It was thought that these different research results on gender in
higher education were due to the measurement tools used in the research and the difference in research methods.
In fact, studies that concluded that students have egalitarian perceptions or attitudes tended to favour quantitative
research methods and techniques and used the Gender Perception Scale (Altınova and Duyan, 2013) and the
Gender Roles Attitude Scale (Zeyneloğlu and Terzioğlu, 2011) as measurement instruments.
Gender perceptions or attitudes of teachers affect their behavior towards male and female students (Tsouroufli,
2002). Therefore, teachers have a key role in learning and reproducing gender roles in education systems.
However, the findings of gender education research revealed that teachers adopted a patriarchal understanding.
Teachers made gender discrimination with practices and behaviors that were not based on equality and gendered
discourses (Durmaz, 2019; Esen, 2013; Hançerli, 2019). It can be said that these gendered attitudes and behaviors
of teachers are a reflection of the culture they grew up in (Fine, 2010; Lindsey, 2016).
The results of gender studies in the field of education had shown that the steps taken to improve gender equality
in education in Turkey were insufficient. For this reason, the dominant gendered stereotypes and values of the
society are reproduced and maintained in education processes (Sayılan, 2012). In this context, gender education is
needed at almost every level of education. However, no education initiative will support gender equality neither
at the basic education level nor in the faculties of education. In fact, studies had revealed that especially
undergraduate education is insufficient in developing perceptions and attitudes towards gender equality (Acar-
Erdol, Özen & Toraman, 2019, Baba, 2007, Direk & Irmak, 2017, Kızılaslan & Diktaş, 2011). This situation
supported that the studies on curriculum development and educational activities in the field of gender were carried
out due to the gaps and needs in this field. In researches on preschool students, it had been determined that gender
education activities helped students break stereotypes about tasks such as indoor and outdoor tasks, jobs,
professions and toy preferences, and change students' attitudes positively (N = 2). In the studies conducted for
primary and secondary school levels (N = 4), the activities were integrated into the social studies course. The
students gained gender awareness and sensitivity at the end of the training. Studies with pre-service teachers and
other undergraduate students (N = 6) show that training or activities had positive effects on students' perceptions
and attitudes towards gender. All these results showed that systematic and regularly planned gender education will
be an important step in improving gender equality.
In consideration of the obtained results of this study, the following recommendations can be made. (i) Studies on
gender education may be analyzed at regular intervals and by using content analysis in order to obtain various
studies with richer content. (ii) It is considered that action research will provide unique data regarding current
situation analyses for gender equality in educational environments, problems encountered in the process, and
solutions to these problems. For this reason, action research which will enable teachers to gain experience should
be included in studies on gender education. (iii) It was determined that studies including preschoolers and primary
school students as sample and study groups in the studies on gender education were limited, and studies for school
administrators and academicians were not in sufficient in number. For this reason, it is recommended that research
be conducted to fill this gap in this area. (iv) Considering the results of the gender education studies analyzed in
this study, it was found that the problem areas were grouped under four titles. It is recommended that policy makers
and practitioners develop strategies and take action on these problem areas.
Acknowledgements or Notes
This research was presented as an oral presentation at the International Pegem Conference on Education held
between 16-19 September 2020, and only the abstract was included in the abstract book.
Author (s) Contribution Rate
The authors contributed equally to the study.
Conflicts of Interest
No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.
Ethical Approval
Ethics committee approval is not required as it does not involve clinical researches on humans as well as it does
not contain Retrospective studies in accordance with the Law on Protection of Personal Data.
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The aim of this study was to determine the attitudes towards gender equality in education faculties of the university students in Turkey and to compare them interms of different variables. The study was a quantitative study and the causal comparison method was used in the analysis of the data. The first level of the Classification of Statistical Region Units was taken as the basis for the determination of the participants. In the study, which included one state university from each region (12 in total), the data were collected using the Gender Equality Scale developed by Gözütok, Toraman and Acar-Erdol (2017). Mann Whitney U Test and Kruskal Wallis Test were used for data analysis. The results of the study indicated that the pre-service teachers' understanding of women as dependent and superior to men was moderate and their views became more negative as their class level increased. It is seen that the views related to gender are affected by variables such as the department they study, the region they live in, and the education level of their parents. In this context, the research results are discussed together with the other research results and some suggestions are offered.
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ÖZ Amaç: Bu çalışmada Dokuz Eylül Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi 1. ve 6. sınıfında okuyan öğrencilerde toplumsal cinsiyet algısına yönelik tutumların saptanması ve gerek 1, gerekse 6. sınıf öğrencilerinde toplumsal cinsiyet rollerine yönelik tutumu yordayan değişkenleri araştırılması amaçlanmıştır. Gereç ve yöntem: Bu araştırmada Toplumsal Cinsiyet Rolleri Tutum Ölçeği kullanılmıştır. Gerek ölçek gerekse diğer verilerin toplandığı form öğrencilere sınıf ya da diğer ders çalışma ortamlarında verilmiştir. Bulgular: Çalışmaya toplam 99 kişi katılmıştır. Bu kişilerin 50'si (%50,5) 1. Sınıf öğrencisi ve 51'i (%51,5) kadındı. Tüm grubun yaş ortalaması 21,8'di. 1. ve 6. sınıf öğrencilerinde toplumsal cinsiyet rollerinin algılanışı açısından net bir fark gözlenmedi ancak tüm grupta yapılan analizde kadın öğrencilerde, sınıf farkı olmaksızın gerek toplam puan gerekse alt ölçek puanları erkek öğrencilere göre daha yüksekti ve aradaki fark istatistiksel olarak anlamlıydı (p<0,05). Tüm diğer yordayıcılar kontrol edildiğinde kadın öğrencilerde toplam puan erkeklere göre 15,5 puan daha yüksekti. Kadın cinsiyet rolü puanında en önemli yordayıcı, diğer puanlardan farklı olarak annenin yıl olarak eğitim süresiydi. Annenin eğitim süresindeki her 5 yıllık artış, ölçek puanını 1,2 puan kadar arttırmaktaydı. Sonuç: Sonuç olarak tıp fakültesindeki dönem 1 ve 6. sınıf öğrencileri arasında yaptığımız çalışma bize toplumsal cinsiyet algısının eğitim ile olumlu hale gelmediğini, en önemli yordayıcıların eğitim sürecinin dışındaki kadın cinsiyeti ve annenin eğitim süresi olduğunu göstermiştir. Buradan yola çıkarak tıp fakültesi eğitim müfredatının toplumsal cinsiyet algısını eşitlikçi yönde değiştirecek biçimde gözden geçirilmesi önemlidir. Anahtar Kelimeler: Toplumsal cinsiyet, tıp fakültesi, eşitlikçi cinsiyet rolü
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Öz Bu çalışma, gelecekte medya sektöründe yer alacak olan ve iletişim eğitimi alan öğrencilerin toplumsal cinsiyet rollerine yönelik tutumlarını ölçmek üzere tasarlanmıştır. Medya sektörünün çeşitli alanlarında istihdam edilme olasılıkları yüksek olan iletişim fakültesi öğrencilerinin toplumsal cinsiyet rollerine ilişkin tutumlarının, medya sektöründe cinsiyetçi bakış açılarının ortadan kalkmasında, istidama ilişkin eşitliğin tesis edilmesinde ve basmakalıp yargılar çerçevesinde oluşan temsil sisteminin dönüşmesinde etkili olacağı düşünülmektedir. Bu bağlamda, çalışmada İletişim Fakültesi öğrencilerinin toplumsal cinsiyet rollerine yönelik tutumları, Simge Zeyneloğlu tara- fından 2008 yılında geliştirilen “Toplumsal Cinsiyet Rolleri Tutum Ölçeği” kullanılarak tespit edilmeye çalışılacaktır. Ege Üniversitesi İletişim Fakültesi 1. Sınıf öğrencileri ile 4. sınıf öğrencilerine uygulanacak olan anket çalışması aracılığıyla toplumsal cinsiyet rollerine yönelik geleneksel kadın/erkek cinsiyet rollerine bakış açılarının ortaya konması hedeflenmektedir. Araştırmada aynı zamanda demografik sorular aracılığıyla, öğrenci demografileri ile toplumsal cinsiyet rolleri tutumları arasındaki ilişkiler tanımlanacaktır. Anahtar sözcükler: Toplumsal cinsiyet, medya, iletişim fakültesi Abstract This study is designed to measure media and communication students' attitudes towards gender roles. The attitudes of media and communication faculty students who have a higher prospect of being employed in various parts of the media industry, is thought to be influential in removing the sexist perspectives in the media industry, in providing equality with regard to employment and in transforming the representation system that formed in the framework of stereotypical judgements. In this context, Communication Faculty students' attitudes towards gender roles are going to be analyzed by using "Gender Roles Attitude Scale", developed by Simge Zeyneloğlu in 2008. With the help of a questionnaire that is going to be given to Ege University Communication Faculty first and final year students, perspectives on traditional male/female gender roles towards gender roles are intended to be revealed. Also with the help of demographic questions in the study, relations between student demographics and gender role attitudes are going to be defined. Keywords: Gender, media, faculty of communication
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Bu çalışmanın amacı sosyal bilgiler programında yer alan adil olma, saygı, özgürlük, hoşgörü değerleri dikkate alınarak hazırlanan çeşitli toplumsal cinsiyet etkinliklerinin öğrencilerin algı ve tutumlarına etkisinin incelenmesidir. Araştırmanın çalışma grubunu Tokat il merkezinde yer alan bir ortaokulda öğrenim görmekte olan deney grubu 26, kontrol grubu ise 25 öğrenci olmak üzere toplam 51 7. sınıf öğrencisi oluşturmaktadır. Araştırmada veri toplama aracı olarak araştırmacı tarafından geliştirilen “Toplumsal Cinsiyet Tutum Ölçeği” kullanılmıştır. Araştırma kapsamında ayrıca toplumsal cinsiyete ilişkin farkındalık kazandırmak amacıyla sekiz haftalık ekonomi (çalışma yaşamı), eğitim, siyaset, sosyal yaşam alanlarına ve cinsiyet kalıp yargılarına özgü toplumsal cinsiyet etkinlikleri hazırlanmış ve geliştirilen “Toplumsal Cinsiyet Tutum Ölçeği” etkinlikler öncesi ve sonrası çalışma grubuna uygulanmıştır. Araştırmada, toplumsal cinsiyet etkinliklerinin uygulandığı deney grubu ile uygulanmadığı kontrol grubunun tutumları arasındaki farkı ortaya koymak amacıyla ön test-son test kontrol gruplu deneysel modelden yararlanılmıştır. Araştırmada nicel verilerin analizinde, aritmetik ortalama, frekans, bağımsız t testi ve Mann Whitney U testi kullanılmıştır. Araştırma verilerinin incelenmesi sonucu çalışma grubundaki öğrencilerin deneysel işlem sonrası toplumsal cinsiyete ilişkin tutum puanları arasında deney grubu lehine anlamlı bir farklılık olduğu (t=2.219, p<.05) görülmüştür. Deney ve kontrol grubu öğrencilerinin deneysel işlem öncesi ve deneysel işlem sonrası toplumsal cinsiyete ilişkin toplam tutum puanları incelendiğinde, hem deney hem de kontrol grubu öğrencilerinin toplumsal cinsiyete ilişkin tutum puanları arasında kız öğrencilerin lehine anlamlı bir farklılık bulunmuştur (p<.05). Araştırma sonucunda toplumsal cinsiyet etkinliklerinin öğrencilerin toplumsal cinsiyete ilişkin algılarını somutlaştırdığı ve onlara farkındalık kazandırdığı görülmüştür.
Egitimin ekonomik buyume ve toplumsal kalkinmaya olan basat etkisi artik bilinmektedir. Bu nedenle egitim girisimi, 21.yuzyilin bilgi toplumu ve ekonomisinde vazgecilmez bir politika alani haline gelmistir. Bunun icin hem ulkeler hem de uluslar ustu cesitli kuruluslar surdurulebilir ekonomik buyume, insani gelisim ve kalici bir barisin saglanmasi icin egitim alaninda kapsamli reform hareketleri gerceklestirmektedirler. Gunumuzde en onemli kuresel egitim girisimi, 1990 yilinda UNESCO tarafindan baslatilan Herkes icin Egitim hareketidir. Cocuklarin, genclerin ve yetiskinlerin egitimden yararlanmasini hedefleyen bu hareketin kapsami, 2000 yilinda gozden gecirilmis ve 2015 yilina kadar basarilmasi gereken 6 hedef belirlenmistir. Bu calismanin amaci, Herkes Icin Egitim hedefleri kapsaminda Turkiye’nin 2000-2015 doneminde uygulanan egitim politikalarini genis bir perspektiften incelemek ve degerlendirmektir. Avrupa Birligine katilim surecinde olan Turkiye, bircok alanda oldugu gibi egitim sisteminde de onemli reformlar yapan bir ulkedir. Bu amaca yonelik olarak calismada Turkiye’nin bu donem suresince egitime yonelik politikalari Herkes Icin Egitim hareketinin alti hedefine gore degerlendirilmis ve gelecege yonelik onerilerde bulunulmustur.