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Gender Theories in Education

Theories of gender in education have evolved from earlier feminist analyses of schooling to include more nuanced dimensions of gender, sexuality, and race. Contemporary theories of gender in education consider interactional and cultural facets of students' lives and how they interact with the institutional conditions of schools. Early feminist research on gender and education focused on the experiences of girls and women in schools. Scholars developed theories of gender and education that aimed to explain the widespread unequal access and differential treatment that girls and women face in educational institutions.

Two such theories, socialization theory and sexual/gender difference theory, emerged in the 1970s and early 1980s. Socialization theory's assertion was that parents and teachers treat boys and girls differently, socializing girls into believing that they are ...

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