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Androcentrism (Greek, andro-, "man, male") is the practice, conscious or otherwise, of placing male human beings or the masculine point of view at the center of one's view of the world and its culture and history. The related adjective is androcentric, while the opposite of androcentrism is gynocentrism.

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Origin of Term

The term androcentrism has been introduced as an analytic concept by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in the scientific debate. Perkins Gilman described androcentric practises in society and the resulting problems in her investigation on The Man-Made World; or, Our Androcentric Culture, published in 1911. Thus androcentrism can be understood as a societal fixation on masculinity. According to Perkins Gilman, masculine patterns of life and masculine mindsets claimed universality while female ones were considered as deviance.

Male and female education

In the past boys and men were expected to have better formal education than girls and women. Before universal literacy, girls and women were less frequently able to read and write than boys and men were. Therefore written material tended to reflect the male point of view. This may be true in the Third World today. Well into the second half of the 20th century young men entered university far more frequently than young women. Some universities consciously practised a numerus clausus and restricted the number of female undergraduates they accepted. Therefore “Educated Opinion” risked being androcentric. Today women in industrialized countries have far better access to education.[1]

See also

Literature

  • Fox Keller, Evelyn. Reflections on Gender and Science. Yale University Press, 1985.
  • Ginzberg, Ruth. “Uncovering Gynocentric Science,” in Feminism and Science, ed. Nancy Tuana, (Bloomington, IN: IUP, 1989): 69-84
  • Harding, Sandra and Merrill B. Hintikka, ed. Discovering Reality: Feminist Perspectives on Epistemology, Metaphysics, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science. 1983.
  • Harding, Sandra. The Science Question in Feminism. 1986.
  • Harding, Sandra. Whose Science? Whose Knowledge?: Thinking from Women's Lives. 1991.

References

External links

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