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Gender Discrimination in Education in Croatia

Authors: Ivana Šalinović

Abstract:

The term gender emerged in the second half of the last century and since then a growing body of research dealing with the topic demonstrates its importance. Primarily, the research and the theories that were addressing the topic were focused on stating the differences between the terms sex and gender, where sex refers to the biological aspect of a person, while gender refers to the socially ascribed roles, attitudes, behaviors, and etc., and on gender discrimination whose visible and invisible repercussions are harming society and one of the agents of change should be educators on all educational levels since they are emotionally sculpting their students, that is why considerable effort should be put into implementing education about this topic into the standard curriculum. Not only educators, but it is also necessary to change the mindset of the younger generations because they will be important agents in the further elimination of gender discrimination, thus causing societal changes. Therefore, it is very important to hear their voices and their experiences and for these reasons, this research has been done, to see what the students of the second year at a private college university Aspira in Croatia have gone through in their educational ladder. The hypothesis was that the findings would most certainly show a huge difference between female and male students’ experiences and effects of gender discrimination, but the results have actually shown a very mixed picture and the original hypothesis was somewhat disapproved. Instead of finding out that girls experienced a lot of gender discrimination, it turned out that it was the boys who believed that in their previous and current education, there was no equal time distribution between genders, they noticed that the language was not gender-sensitive, teaching aids were not adopted to the genders. They were also the ones that pointed out that the discipline path was not the same for everyone, and they were the ones that the teacher’s gender had more influence on and were also the ones that experienced more gender discrimination.

Keywords: Gender, discrimination, elementary school, high school.

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