Any gender-oriented, discriminatory attitude, belief or behavior. Since the founding of the first school in the Americas, education has continually reflected the sexist attitudes of a society that denied women access to collegelevel education until 1836 and the right to vote until 1919. Although the CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964 banned overt discrimination of all kinds on the basis of gender inter alia, sexism continued to permeate education at all levels. Until recently, myriad books perpetuated stereotyped women as the weaker sex, destined by nature to be dominated by men, to fulfill specific vocational roles as secretaries, clerks, maids, nurses and elementary school teachers and to accept social roles such as mother and housewife.
Moreover, the educational establishment reinforced such stereotypes. In 1920, 86% of the teachers in public elementary and secondary schools were females, while their administrative superiors—public school principals—were almost universally men. As late as 1990, women made up almost 72% of all public school teachers but only 30% of public school principals. In addition, many schools continued to perpetuate curricular sexism, with girls steered into home economics courses and boys into industrial arts courses.Tags: civil rights, sex discrimination, sexism, vocational roles