Parental Role Portrayals in Twentieth Century Children’s Picture Books: More Egalitarian or Ongoing Stereotyping?

Parental Role Portrayals in Twentieth Century Children’s Picture Books: More Egalitarian or... Gender role stereotyping continues to dominate within many media forms. This research examined the portrayals of mothers and fathers as companions, disciplinarians, caregivers, nurturers, and providers in 300 twentieth century children’s picture books randomly selected from the Children’s Catalog (H.W. Wilson Company, 2001). The books were published in the United States between the years of 1902 and 2000. The list of texts was stratified by time periods before sampling. The impact of time of publication upon each of the five parental role constructs was assessed using cross-tabulations. Previous analyses suggest traditional parental role portrayals are commonplace, but by employing time of publication as an independent variable, the researchers questioned whether an evolvement of roles would be noted. By examining the father and mother role performances independently over time it was expected that some progression toward egalitarianism would be noted. Overall, mothers did outperform fathers in nurturing and caregiving, and fathers outperformed mothers in companion and providing behaviors. However, when these behaviors were cross-tabulated with time of publication, no significant role evolvement was found. For example, while not statistically significant, father characters were most likely to nurture, provide care, and act as a child’s companion in books published in the 1970s, but these behaviors declined in subsequent time periods. The role evolvement of mother characters also lacked statistical significance, suggesting that the traditional male breadwinner-female homemaker model has been consistently portrayed in children’s picture books. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Parental Role Portrayals in Twentieth Century Children’s Picture Books: More Egalitarian or Ongoing Stereotyping?

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 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/s11199-013-0285-0
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Gender role stereotyping continues to dominate within many media forms. This research examined the portrayals of mothers and fathers as companions, disciplinarians, caregivers, nurturers, and providers in 300 twentieth century children’s picture books randomly selected from the Children’s Catalog (H.W. Wilson Company, 2001). The books were published in the United States between the years of 1902 and 2000. The list of texts was stratified by time periods before sampling. The impact of time of publication upon each of the five parental role constructs was assessed using cross-tabulations. Previous analyses suggest traditional parental role portrayals are commonplace, but by employing time of publication as an independent variable, the researchers questioned whether an evolvement of roles would be noted. By examining the father and mother role performances independently over time it was expected that some progression toward egalitarianism would be noted. Overall, mothers did outperform fathers in nurturing and caregiving, and fathers outperformed mothers in companion and providing behaviors. However, when these behaviors were cross-tabulated with time of publication, no significant role evolvement was found. For example, while not statistically significant, father characters were most likely to nurture, provide care, and act as a child’s companion in books published in the 1970s, but these behaviors declined in subsequent time periods. The role evolvement of mother characters also lacked statistical significance, suggesting that the traditional male breadwinner-female homemaker model has been consistently portrayed in children’s picture books.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Apr 30, 2013

References

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