Were the French school manuals of physical education, hygiene and morals between 1880 and 2004 sexist?

The following paper is based on an overview study about gender relations and co-education in Physical Education in France during the 20th century. In the development of this work three important discursive domains were approached towards the same object: the hygiene manuals, the morals manuals and the manuals and official texts in the field of physical education and sports. In this research it was possible to observe that the school manuals about physical exercise are not only sexist; they are also used as tools to teach different forms of sexism through physical exercise. The sources used in this study are available in files at the Centre d'Etudes de Documentation et de Recherche en Histoire de l'Education (CEDHRE) of the Institut Universitaire de Formation des Maîtres (IUFM) in Montpellier, one of the educational centers with the most complete documentation about school manuals in France.

Gender; Body; School manuals; Morals and hygiene manuals; Gender and physical education


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