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Sex Roles in Instructional Materials: Testing the Stereotypes

Margot L. Zimmerman, Maria Elena Casanova, Dianna P. Stern and Sarah S. Auman
Studies in Family Planning
Vol. 13, No. 8/9 (Aug. - Sep., 1982), pp. 262-270
Published by: Population Council
DOI: 10.2307/1965566
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1965566
Page Count: 9
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Sex Roles in Instructional Materials: Testing the Stereotypes
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Abstract

This special report discusses the significance and potential benefit of portraying men in nontraditional sex roles within pictorial instructional print materials on health and child care. It is based on the cognitive and behavioral findings of a comparative research study conducted in selected rural and periurban areas of Mexico on the use of two versions of an ORS pictorial pamphlet. Major findings of the study were: (1) portraying nontraditional sex roles for men in the ORS pamphlet did not reduce the credibility of technical information contained in the pamphlet; (2) a significantly greater number of subjects preferred the version that portrayed the father figure as co-caretaker of a sick child. These unexpected results have important implications for instructional and motivational communication and health education projects throughout the developing world.

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