Gender Stereotyping and Under-representation of Female Characters in 200 Popular Children’s Picture Books: A Twenty-first Century Update

Gender Stereotyping and Under-representation of Female Characters in 200 Popular Children’s... Gender stereotyping and under-representation of girls and women have been documented in children’s picture books in the past, in the hope that improvements would follow. Most researchers have analyzed award-winning books. We explored sexism in top selling books from 2001 and a 7-year sample of Caldecott award-winning books, for a total of 200 books. There were nearly twice as many male as female title and main characters. Male characters appeared 53% more times in illustrations. Female main characters nurtured more than male main characters did, and they were seen in more indoor than outdoor scenes. Occupations were gender stereotyped, and more women than men appeared to have no paid occupation. Few differences were found between Caldecott award books and other books. A comparison of our book sample to 1980s and 1990s books did not reveal reduced sexism. The persistence of sexism in picture books and implications for children and parents are discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Gender Stereotyping and Under-representation of Female Characters in 200 Popular Children’s Picture Books: A Twenty-first Century Update

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-006-9128-6
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Gender stereotyping and under-representation of girls and women have been documented in children’s picture books in the past, in the hope that improvements would follow. Most researchers have analyzed award-winning books. We explored sexism in top selling books from 2001 and a 7-year sample of Caldecott award-winning books, for a total of 200 books. There were nearly twice as many male as female title and main characters. Male characters appeared 53% more times in illustrations. Female main characters nurtured more than male main characters did, and they were seen in more indoor than outdoor scenes. Occupations were gender stereotyped, and more women than men appeared to have no paid occupation. Few differences were found between Caldecott award books and other books. A comparison of our book sample to 1980s and 1990s books did not reveal reduced sexism. The persistence of sexism in picture books and implications for children and parents are discussed.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Dec 6, 2006

References

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