Boys Act and Girls Appear: A Content Analysis of Gender Stereotypes Associated with Characters in Children’s Popular Culture

Boys Act and Girls Appear: A Content Analysis of Gender Stereotypes Associated with Characters in... We conducted a content analysis of children’s products in U.S. popular culture that depict male and female characters to determine the extent to which gender stereotypes were portrayed. We examined popular Halloween costumes (90 female costumes and 90 male costumes) from popular retail websites, 79 popular dolls and 71 popular action figures from national store websites, and Valentines found at two national stores (portraying 54 female and 59 male characters). The coding system was adapted from several different studies. Female characters were far more likely than male characters to be depicted with traditional feminine stereotyped cues (e.g., decorative clothing) and sexually submissive, hyper-feminine cues (e.g., revealing clothing). Male characters were far more likely to be portrayed with traditional masculine characteristics like functional clothing and the body-in-motion, and they were often depicted with hyper-masculine accessories such as having a weapon. Implications for children’s gender-role development and the perpetuation of patriarchy are discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Boys Act and Girls Appear: A Content Analysis of Gender Stereotypes Associated with Characters in Children’s Popular Culture

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-015-0558-x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

We conducted a content analysis of children’s products in U.S. popular culture that depict male and female characters to determine the extent to which gender stereotypes were portrayed. We examined popular Halloween costumes (90 female costumes and 90 male costumes) from popular retail websites, 79 popular dolls and 71 popular action figures from national store websites, and Valentines found at two national stores (portraying 54 female and 59 male characters). The coding system was adapted from several different studies. Female characters were far more likely than male characters to be depicted with traditional feminine stereotyped cues (e.g., decorative clothing) and sexually submissive, hyper-feminine cues (e.g., revealing clothing). Male characters were far more likely to be portrayed with traditional masculine characteristics like functional clothing and the body-in-motion, and they were often depicted with hyper-masculine accessories such as having a weapon. Implications for children’s gender-role development and the perpetuation of patriarchy are discussed.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Nov 20, 2015

References

  • The effects of playing with thin dolls on body image and food intake in young girls
    Anschutz, DJ; Engels, RCME
  • The gender marketing of toys: An analysis of color and type of toy on the Disney store website
    Auster, CJ; Mansbach, CS

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