Sex Roles

, Volume 56, Issue 9–10, pp 639–649 | Cite as

Mitigating Gender-typed Occupational Preferences of Zimbabwean Primary School Children: The Use of Biographical Sketches and Portrayals of Female Role Models

  • Tichatonga J. Nhundu
Original Article


The present study was designed to investigate the influence of children’s books in promoting nontraditional career aspirations of primary school girls in Zimbabwe. Children who used specially written readers that contained biographic sketches of women role models in nontraditional careers comprised the treatment group; the control group consisted of non-user children. Survey data were collected from these subgroups using multiple data collection techniques. Analysis indicates that career preferences of the treatment group were not conditional on background characteristics. As expected, analysis of post-treatment perceptions showed that girls had significantly greater interest in the careers of role models than did boys. Finally, the former also expressed more interest in nontraditional occupations during post-test analysis than the control group did.


Children’s literature Gender roles Role modelling Occupational preferences Occupational stereotyping 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Continuing EducationUniversity of BotswanaGaboroneBotswana

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