Review Article Sexism in Foreign Language Textbooks


  • Rhoda H. Stern

    Search for more papers by this author
    • 1

      Rhoda H. Stern (Ed.D. candidate, Teachers College, Columbia University) is Director of Language Laboratories at Baruch College, New York, N.Y


ABSTRACT  The content and photographs of twenty-five foreign language textbooks published after 1970 are examined for their sexist stereotypes and omissions. The texts, all but one published in America, are used by students enrolled in elementary and intermediate foreign language courses from elementary school through college. Under examination, each is found to perpetuate the sex role stereotyping prevalent in American and foreign cultures. Whether by a female or male author, revised or a first edition, or considered non-sexist by the publisher, these texts, especially the college ones, overwhelmingly omit women or place them in mundane and eccentric roles. Pressure must be exerted so that textbooks more accurately reflect the position of women in all societies.