Abstract 1- Volume 1, Number 3, Winter 2006

Social Studies Research and Practice

Volume 1, Number 3, Winter 2006



Gender Balance in K-12 American History Textbooks

Kay A. Chick
Penn State Altoona


This research study evaluated K-12 American history textbooks for gender balance. Elementary, middle school, and high school texts were assessed for the number of male and female historical figures in text content and illustrations. Significantly more males than females were found at all levels in both content and illustrations, and all differences were significant at the .001 level. However, American history textbooks do include more women than in previous editions and since the publication of the National History Standards. The challenges of defining gender balance are discussed, and recommendations for teachers and textbook adoption committees are presented.

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About the Author(s)…

Kay A. Chick is an Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at Penn State Altoona. She holds undergraduate degrees in elementary education and special education with a master’s degree in educational psychology with certification in school psychology. She earned her doctorate in elementary education in 1996. Research interests include gender role development, gender bias, women’s history, and children’s literature. Contact information: kxc19@psu.edu, Penn State Altoona.