Students are being taught with textbooks that portray women as housewives and men in professional and historical roles, the Equal Opportunities Commission claims. The commission is conducting a study of gender stereotyping in teaching materials and textbooks and says students are using books that are dated in their depiction of men and women. 'We are seeing more men than women depicted as doctors and engineers, as fighting wars and as acting decisively,' said the commission's chairwoman, Anna Wu Hung-yuk. 'Historical heroes are men and it's all about 'his-story', but what about 'her-story' and the development of women in history?' she asked. Ms Wu said the study would be completed in March and the results would be shared with the Education Department and other relevant groups to encourage bias-free curriculums in schools. Ms Wu also called on the Education Department to handle at a more fundamental level the potential for bias in the new Secondary School Places Allocation system. She said the commission had received 807 complaints about last year's allocation results and found that 90 cases were sustained - 85 involved girls and five involved boys. She said the assumption that there was something abnormal about girls doing well was an attitude that should not be perpetuated. 'We need instead to focus on why boys are under-performing and target the issues from that end.' She cited studies in New Zealand and other developed countries where separate classes were created for boys and girls in co-educational schools for subjects at which each group was weaker. 'We all have a learning disability of some sort and the key is to identify issues of learning problems and focus on how to teach the different groups,' she said. The commission has also sent a letter to the Legislative Council requesting an annual meeting with the home affairs panel to discuss the work of the commission.