What Boys and Girls Learn through Song: A Content Analysis of Gender Traits and Sex Bias in Two Choral Classroom Textbooks

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Abstract

In an effort to further the understanding of gender traits or sexual bias that high school-aged choral music students might be exposed to in their curricular materials, two choral textbooks Choral Connections Beginning Level 1 Treble Voices and Choral Connections Beginning Level 1 Tenor-Bass Voices published by Glencoe MacGraw-Hill in 1999 were analyzed using a modified Bem Sex Role Inventory Model. The results found that significantly more songs were about men than were about women. The songs selected for the treble voices were more androgynous, while the secular music presented to the boys was significantly more masculine in the traits: assertive, masculine/heterosexual, adventurous, and self-reliant. Gender stereotypes were also found in the volumes. Lastly, women and minority groups were presented less often than were males and the white majority.

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About the Author

Patrick Hawkins is the Director of Vocal and Piano Studies at the Phoenix Preparatory Academy in the Phoenix Elementary School District, and he also serves as the Organist/Choirmaster at the Episcopal Church of the Nativity in Scottsdale, Arizona. Previously, he taught as a choral music teacher in the Rowland Unified School District and in the Palm Springs Unified School District in California. Mr. Hawkins has presented workshops for the Southern California MENC and for the 2006 ACDA regional conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. In addition, he has presented recitals and workshops throughout the USA for the American Guild of Organists (AGO) and is currently serving on the program committee for the 2009 AGO regional convention in Phoenix, Arizona. …