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Rethinking the Concept of Masculinity and Femininity: Focusing on Iran’s Female Students

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Iran, with the world’s youngest population, needs to pay utmost attention to the content of textbooks used to instruct at the primary and secondary school levels because, in many parts of Iran (except for some affluent parts of the capital), the textbooks are the only reference books for the teachers and students. If these textbooks reflect gender-bias in their language and illustrations, especially at lower levels of education, future generations who are the hope for sustainable development in Iran as a developing country can be affected by the pictures of gender stereotypes and the bias generated through these textbooks. In this article, it is argued that due to the religious and social context of Iran, there is still great emphasis on the social theory of differences between men and women. This social role theory in Iran, together with mores and cultural values, leave no room for other versions of femininity and masculinity to emerge in the social sphere of Iranian society.

Affiliations: 1: University of Malaya Kuala Lumpur


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