The Gender Role Perceptions of Male Students at a Prestigious, Single-Gender Catholic High School

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Spring 2010

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This study utilized a data set of categorical responses measuring the gender role views of students (N = 701) from a prestigious, Midwestern, all-male, Catholic high school. Incongruence between student self-perceptions and the realities of gender role miseducation and the embracement of sexist ideology were readily apparent. Findings suggest that all-boys' schools are improved if they (1) co-opt parents to become active partners in promoting women's awareness, (2) adopt meaningful anti-sexist curriculum that is K-12 articulated throughout the district, (3) find a way to capitalize on gender friendliness that students bring into the school as freshman, sensitivities that somehow become eroded by their senior year, and (4) recruit and retain a student population that reflects racial, economic, and religious diversity--characteristics that appear to have an impact on school climate that is more female sensitive. Male graduates from single-gender schools tend to become leaders within their community, thereby necessitating a need for anti-sexist, critical pedagogy. Educators cannot assume that appropriate gender role education for students who attend schools with no opposite-sex peers will come from parents, or that school influence will be meaningful and balanced without a concerted effort on the part of the administration.