The relevant gender models: for gender sensitive education

The article discusses the relevant gender models that can be defined similarly to the main directions of gender studies. In this sense, the authors have analyzed and drawn conclusions that the gender dimension of social practice can be a starting point in understanding the essence and evolution of gender relations, an objective and reliable explanation of the characteristics of gender models in different traditional cultures. The results of such scientific research will contribute to the most optimal solution of the content-organizational problems of gender-sensitive education.

Didactic aspects of gender-sensitive education lie in the design of its content and technological support of its process. Due to the specifics of gender, these two aspects of education are so inter-integrated that they represent a certain monolith, the differentiating signs of which can only be distinguished conditionally. Therefore, in the pedagogical context, it is advantageous to consider the gender problem from the standpoint of models of social practice.

Thus, the study of the gender category is unexpected, but as it turns out, at first glance, it came into contact with the problem of national identification. It is well known that an adequate explanation of its distinctive features is not possible without studying the territorial, political, ethnic, social, religious and other aspects of the national problem. But the nation, in addition to the unification of various groups of people formed due to historical, territorial, linguistic, socio-cultural unity, also unites two opposite sexes, without an analysis of the interaction of which it is also impossible to fully understand many national features. This primarily explains the inclusion of the category of gender in the number of ethno-differentiating characteristics. The concepts of «masculinity» and «femininity» in their antithesis are an important driving force for the evolution of a particular ethnos, a nation [1].

The problem of gender in connection with ethnic and national identity was first voiced at the scientific conference «Gender and Nation: Nationalism and Gender Relations in the Nineteenth Century - World Expe- rience» held in Berlin (Gendered Nation: Nationalisms and Gendered Order in the Long Nineteenth Century - International Comparison). This conference was organized by the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Gender at the Technical University of Berlin, together with the University of Bergen (Norway) and the Einstein Forum (Potsdam, Germany). About 40 specialists from the various countries took part in its work.

Then the main directions of gender studies in the aspect of national identification were outlined [2]:

  • – comparative characteristics and theoretical comprehension of the gender structures of different nations (the role of the male and female beginnings of the class, ethnic, colonial and religious structure of the history of the past in the light of gender problems);
  • – problems of gender and war;
  • – gender specificity of national movements, social and cultural practices;
  • – the image of sex in national symbols, rituals, myths, etc.;
  • – the relationship of national, social and gender identity;
  • – Women's emancipation in connection with the problems of nationalism;
  • – The ratio of the sexes to the war and the national image of sex.

In principle, these directions may well be synonymously called gender models in national identification. One of them is the correlation of gender with national statehood and ethnos. The essence of this model is that any ethnic community has its own specific hierarchy of relations between the sexes, regulating and regulating the vital activity of the ethnos as a whole. Universality that is inherent in all types of traditional cultural communities, of these relationships is defined by the notion of a «social minority». Here we are not talking about the numerical prevalence in society, the «social minority» in its context unites, as a rule, representatives of an unequal group. However, it should be especially noted the presence of emotionally colored subjective self-esteem. Objectively or subjectively, but considering themselves as a discriminated minority, in amultinational, colonial or class society, women may be unexpectedly correlated with an ethnic or social minority, which leads to unique consequences for culture and public life in general.

It is enough to note such a social phenomenon as polygamy, which is stereotypically associated with lack of rights, discrimination against women. But with careful analysis, this fragment of historical experience that has taken place (and still has) in almost all cultures turns out to be a real and effective protection of the rights of every woman for marriage and motherhood, as: a) the numerical predominance of women is almost always and in all societies objectively determines the number of unmarried, single women; b) allows to facilitate life through the division of labor and duties in a polygamous family; c) the growth and spread of extramarital affairs and divorce is blocked; d) the number of «single mothers» and, consequently, orphans growing up without a father is reduced; e) there are more rich people, since polygamy can be afforded by men from the social category of those who have property, then children, being born and growing up in well-off families, have a sufficient level of seed capital for further increase in material well-being; f) there is a demographic «spring», and a woman in a polygamous family does not need to have many children; g) psychologically, the woman's fate is «facilitated», as the sense of suspicion and uncertainty disappears (her «rivals» know in person), etc. Arguments «in favor» can be continued. Polygamy can be a serious alternative to divorce, immorality and debauchery.

Single women are a socially dangerous phenomenon. The objective situation of unrealized female and, above all, maternal origin potentially breeds fatherlessness, orphan hood (with live parents!), abandoned children and child homelessness with all the ensuing consequences. Any serious study of polygamy already at the initial stage allows revealing its positive moments in terms of social protection of childhood and motherhood: protecting the right of every woman to an official marriage, which in many respects removes psychological discomfort, and protects the right of every child to legitimate birth.

In this regard, the results of a three-year (2002-2005) study conducted by the Karaganda State University scientists are not without interest. The range of specialties of the attracted student contingent is quite wide: mathematicians, physicists, political scientists, teachers, psychologists, future teachers of physical culture and a foreign language. The results of the research were covered in the article «Polygamy ...» (L.S. Syrymbetova) [3]. According to the authors of the article: «The future of polygamy in our country depends on whether women will accept it. Yes, it is women, because as opponents of polygamy, as shown by the results of the poll, in which 273 people participated (107 men and 166 women), they are regardless of occupation, level of education and marital status. «However, a comparative analysis of the results of the survey before and after the appropriate interview on the problem of polygamy showed a stable tendency to admit this tradition in modern society. In addition, this trend manifested itself in the initial survey. Such a provision was admitted to a greater extent by men regardless of age and marital status, as well as women aged 30-50 years with higher education, and the marital status of this category of respondents is not uniform. On this basis, scientists come to the conclusion that people with a high level of education show great tolerance for polygamy. But this is, perhaps, because tolerance in general is peculiar to high intelligence. Nevertheless, there is reason to believe that an adequate relation to any fragment of historical experience, including polygamy, is possible with a relief representation and the identification of its social significance.

According to the authors, when discussing polygamy, there were always counter-arguments on the negative aspects of this phenomenon, and positive characteristics (for example, equalization of the demographic situation, eradication of prostitution, etc.), as a rule, did not find justified counterarguments. Among the negative characteristics of polygamy, the most often mentioned was the infringement of women's rights. To the question «What is the infringement of rights, and what is this manifested in polygamy?» The respondents in their arguments were not convincing enough. In addition, women in the discussion of this topic were more impatient, emotional, and men exhibited their inherent impartiality. As the authors note, "the initial categoricalness of the majority of female respondents after the discussions was reduced, but the general imperative of their behavior can be described as follows: «I do not mind if this does not concern me. Therefore, let us reiterate that the future of polygamy in our country, as well as, crucially, depends on women».

Polygamy and monogamy are ordinary human states. Nothing can prevent someone who was born with a desire for one of these states. However, polygamy can be quite natural for a man and is not at all characteristic of a woman, for a man promotes the growth of manifestation, whereas a woman destroys it. Illegal polygamy is worse than the legitimate (or rather legalized), because it creates pretense and deceit in a man.

Nevertheless, scientists recognize the fact of «the presence of negative problems in polygamy. But on this occasion, you can safely say that the reverse side has any social phenomenon, such as, for example, thebirth of children. After all, there is no guarantee of security even in such an absolute basis of being, but this does not cause any fear and doubt. There are innumerable similar parallels» [3].

As one more model, it is possible to single out a range of problems related to the place and role of gender in the society. The essence of this model is determined by the participation of men and women in social and cultural practice. First of all, the differences are related to the degree of involvement of the sexes in the field of upbringing and education of new generations. Particularly interesting is the comparative analysis of this problematic in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries when the role of women in the education of children has become not only leading, but in a number of countries - exceptional. It is not difficult to predict the consequences of the «totalitarian female» influence on children, and consequently on the fate of the whole nation.

Thus, the study of gender in the context of the national question revealed its links with the economy, politics and culture. It is not just about the different contribution of men and women to these spheres of society, but about their different attitudes towards them, which is determined by the social and mental level of their participation in the life of the nation. And consequently, we must admit that the solution of the gender issue in many respects causes an adequate solution of all problems related to national arrangement.

Many spheres of culture and social practice are traditionally purely «feminine» and especially «mascu- line». Is this understandable, in principle, if it is understandable? How stable are stereotypes about the separation of social functions of men and women? What are the limits of what is permissible and unlawful in their relationship? Are these limits measurable? We believe that the general meaning of the answers to these questions is associated with the category of tolerance.

Tolerance (derived from the Latin word toleration) is a willingness or ability to allow a person or an inanimate object to take any action without protest or any interference.

However, understanding the nature of tolerance is complicated by the fact that in different languages the word is synonymous with other words, which sometimes have non-identical meanings: tolerance, patience, temperance (similar to the case with the concept of gender). And it is very important to distinguish them from each other. The nature of their differences is clearly defined in the Oxford Dictionary, where two different meanings of the verb «endure» are given. The first of these refers to «tolerance», while the second meaning is expressed by the noun «patience»: allow without protest or interference; tolerate (pain, etc.), be able to carry (medicine) or be exposed (radiation, etc.) without causing harm [4].

The term «tolerance» is usually explained in dictionaries in a religious context. Tolerance is a policy of patient abstinence from anything that is not liked or disapproved. Thus, tolerance should be clearly distinguished from freedom or liberty precisely because it implies the existence of something that cannot be accepted or that is vicious.

Toleration contains in its meaning an element of condemnation, in contrast, tolerance rather suggests the absence of condemnation. A tolerant person does not need to have negative perceptions and be attuned to disapproval of many things. Tolerance is first and foremost the recognition of people's freedom to be who they are, to believe in what they believe, etc. Tolerance is perhaps the most acceptable option for denoting virtue, and the term «toleration» is more acceptable to denote indulgence, a condescending attitude to those who are deprived of something, as a rule, by any social privileges. In this sense, tolerance differs from toleration by showing the same respect for others. Its distinctive feature is that it does not contain a sense of superiority in relation to one another.

With such a wide range of associative series, the word «tolerance» still has a basic meaning, shared by many, perhaps even in most natural languages. Nevertheless, the word «tolerance» acquires several different emotional characteristics in different languages. For example, the classic commentary on tolerance in French is «houses designed specifically for this», in Russian it means brothels.

In addition, the word «tolerance» causes a number of associations of questionable properties, for example, such as indifference, arrogance, contempt or disapproval. This word can be used without any negative associations, but it cannot avoid ambiguity. It is also interesting to note how the definition of tolerance can vary in different dictionaries of the same language. In the old French dictionary «tolerance» is explained as «indulgence» and as «indulgence to what you do not want or cannot prevent». This concept almost coincides with the English word «tolerance».

In Swedish, this word has a more consistent positivity. You can criticize a person for being too «patient» if you admit that he is too patient for his own benefit. Despite the fact that in Swedish the word «patient», as a rule, does not in itself cause negative associations, such as, for example, contempt or dislike, it more often expresses its consent than disapproval of something. In most cases, this is a compliment, whichis released, for example, to people with a broad outlook and sociable. In the view of most liberal cultures, «tolerance» has a partially positive meaning.

Tolerance allows originality. Tolerance is a somewhat vague area of relationships. In addition to the fact that tolerance is a very vague concept, it also has its own degree of expression. People can be tolerant in varying degrees. And here the question arises of the limits of toleration. In order to maintain tolerance in one case, you may need to abandon it in another [5]. Tolerance finds its expression in different contexts. Therefore, two basic forms of tolerance should be distinguished: the tolerance in relation to anything and the tolerance in action. Tolerance can be natural and spontaneous, but it cannot be a consequence of primitiveness.

Concerning the problem of gender, it is logical to present tolerance as a property of women, and toleration in the sense of indulgence is a traditional feature of men. But then the myths about the superiority of the male mind are broken, because, in fact, tolerance is a property of a broad outlook, an expression of open- mindedness, a sign of intellectual development, of intelligence, although not necessarily of an analytical nature, and it need not necessarily be a consequence of theoretical knowledge. Any person on Earth can be tolerant, regardless of additional knowledge.

It is this statement that can become the starting point in understanding the essence and evolution of gender relations, an objective and reliable explanation of the features of gender models in different traditional cultures.

Knowledge of this order, of course, will contribute to the most optimal solution of the content- organizational problems of gender-sensitive education.



  1. Gilligan, C. (1982). In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory & Women's Development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  2. Haraway, D.J. Simians, Cyborgs and Women (1991). A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century. The Reinvention of Nature. N.Y.: Routledge.
  3. Syrymbetova, L.S. (2008). Ethnopedahohika [Ethnopedagogy]. Karaganda: Sanat-Polihraphiia [in Russian].
  4. Grimshaw, J. (1992). The Idea of Female Ethic. Philosophy East and West, Vol. 42, 2, 236.
  5. Scott, J.W. (1986). Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis. American Historical Review, No. 5.
Year: 2018
City: Karaganda
Category: Pedagogy