Masculinities and Femininities in the Design and Technology Classroom


  • Olexandra Solomka University of Cambridge


masculinity, femininity, tasks, Design and Technology, Projects


Design and Technology is a secondary school subject that is perceived by students to be masculine and has been documented by the literature as an environment that can be considered off-putting to non-laddish masculinities and femininities. This paper posits that dominant forms of masculinity and femininity, and the characteristics that make up these forms, are highly dependent on the context in which they are being observed. Furthermore, the paper presents the findings of a small, qualitative group interview with four girls at a private secondary school in a deprived area of East Anglia. The participants were asked about their perceptions of whether specific tasks, artefacts (e.g., clock), and projects were masculine, feminine, or neutral to document which parts of the subject are most associated with masculinity. The study found that the participants' perceived confidence in the workshop to be a masculine trait, as well as any tasks or projects related to electronics or robotics. Conversely, working with textiles and creating similar projects were considered feminine. Tasks and projects that focused on problem solving, and using materials other than electronics, robotics and textiles were neutral. The paper also found that general practical tasks and building projects were considered neutral, though the participants perceived that their (masculine) teachers did not believe they were competent.

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How to Cite

Solomka, O. (2023). Masculinities and Femininities in the Design and Technology Classroom. The 40th International Pupils’ Attitudes Towards Technology Conference Proceedings 2023, 1(October). Retrieved from